Five selected for top 4-H Key Award honor

Katie Deheck, Sarah Lillesand, Emily Meinnert, Jenny Schwartz and Waycee Thiel have been selected as the Sheboygan County Wisconsin 4-H Key Award winners for this year.

The prestigious Key Award, one of the highest recognition a 4-H member can receive, honors a select group of 4-H participants annually. The youth receiving this award are ones who have demonstrated consistent growth in their 4-H involvement, developed and applied their leadership skills, and actively participated in their club and community.

According to Sheboygan County 4-H Youth Development Educator Sarah Tarjeson, this year’s winners exemplify the goals and values of the Wisconsin 4-H Program.

Katie Deheck, the daughter of Tony & Susan Deheck and a member of the Ourtown Orioles 4-H Club. In addition to her involvement in many club level committees, Deheck was Secretary for the Youth Association, was a member of the Ambassadors and a base camp counselor for the last 3 years. Deheck asserts, “Being in 4-H has taught me many things and helped me become a better person in many ways. It has taught me to care more about the community through the community service our club does. I wouldn’t be the same person I am today without 4-H.”

Sarah Lillesand, is the daughter of EJ & Lisa Lillesand and a 10 year member of the Herman Cheerios 4-H Club. County wide Sarah has been active helping with county beef weigh-in, hog and lamb weighin, conducting a beef workshop for Manitowoc County 4-H and also with school activities including FFA. Lillesand says, “4-H provides so many opportunities. It has shown me the importance of teamwork, volunteering, helping others, and getting involved. Perhaps the most important thing I feel I have learned is that by being my best and never giving up, I can be proud of my accomplishments.”

Emily Meinnert, the daughter of Jeff & Debbie Meinnert is a 11 year member of Johnsonville Hustlers 4H Club. She has also taken part in the county fair, 4-H Dairy Committee, MAS committee youth representative, Dairy Quiz Bowl and Dairy Management Team. Emily also keeps busy with school activities being on student council, summer school aide and FFA. “Being active in many organizations has gotten her involved with lots of people. Constantly interacting with different varieties of people has improved my communication skills,” syas Meinnert.

Jenny Schwartz, is the daughter of Eugene & Kathy Schwartz and a 12 year member of Spring Valley 4-H Club. Projects Jenny has been involved in are: dog, foods & nutrition, Swine, Celebrate Art, vegetables and home environment. Jenny has been club director, reporter, vice-president and president for 2 years. Schwartz claims, “4-H has given me experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t have gained in school. 4-H has given me the confidence in myself to make the right decisions and live a full life. I feel that 4-H has been an anchor throughout my life.”

Waycee Thiel is the daughter of Dan & Delda Thiel. She is a seven year member of the Sheboygan County Wranglers 4-H Club. Thiel has been club vice-president and president. Thiel participated on the American Spirit Trip and attended Citizenship-Washington Focus. She enjoys the Horse & Pony project and has served on the Horse & Pony committee and as president for the youth horse & pony committee, attends State Gymkhana, was a youth assistant at the Horse & pony overnight. Waycee indicates “4-H has built up my self-esteem. I have experienced so many things since I’ve joined 4-H. I encourage many other kids to get involved in a local 4-H club.”

Key Award recipients are high school students with at least three years of experience in 4-H and one year as a youth leader.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau and Rural Mutual Insurance Company sponsor the Wisconsin 4-H Key Award program. They have sponsored these awards for over 25 years.

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