Barb DeTienne of rural Parshall, N.D., is North Dakota’s Outstanding Lifetime 4-H Volunteer for 2018.
She received the award during the North Dakota 4-H Foundation’s annual Awards and Donor Recognition Luncheon in Fargo on Friday, Nov. 2.
DeTienne, a retired Cenex credit manager, has been a 4-H volunteer in Mountrail County for about 34 years. During that time, she served as a 4-H club leader, Mountrail County 4-H Council member, council president, livestock camp presenter and livestock fair announcer.
Her involvement in 4-H began at age 8, when she joined the organization. During her 11 years as a 4-H member, she was involved in the Nimble Fingers 4-H Club and participated in sheep, beef, and food and nutrition projects. She began volunteering as an adult when her children joined 4-H. Now she has grandchildren involved in North Dakota 4-H.
She and other parents restarted the Cloverleaf Cowboys 4-H Club in an area that lacked a 4-H club. She also was instrumental in starting the small-animal exchange program in which 4-H’ers can trade or buy poultry, goats and rabbits from local producers for 4-H projects. That has resulted in many 4-H’ers being able to acquire animals at a reasonable price.
In addition, the DeTienne family has allowed 4-H’ers to house their 4-H animals in DeTienne farm barns. This allows 4-H’ers who don’t have access to barns to be involved in animal projects. DeTienne teaches the youth about animal care, nutrition and showmanship individually and in workshops.
DeTienne also has organized and hosted the Southern County Pet Show. Residents from the assisted living care facility are invited to the show to watch and share in the youths’ pet projects.
She served as the Mountrail County 4-H Council president for six years and ensured the county’s 4-H program remained strong during the years the county lacked a North Dakota State University Extension 4-H agent. She also has provided funding for 4-H programs in Mountrail and neighboring counties.
DeTienne and her husband, Alan, have about 250 head of cattle and raise a variety of crops. She also has served as a director of the Mountrail County Ag Improvement Board and helped start Women in Ag in the county. She leads the Women in Ag’s banquet committee.
“Barb’s impact on youth can be seen by the way youth look to her with respect at any 4-H event held in the county,” says Lynnette Vachal, the NDSU Extension 4-H youth development agent in Mountrail County. “There are very few 4-H youth who do not know Barb, and they are usually seeking her out to show her something or tell her their stories.”