National Volunteer Week salutes 4-H volunteers in South Dakota

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota 4-H relies on more than 3,000 youth and adults volunteers to run one of the state’s largest youth organizations. South Dakota 4-H solutes these volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 10-16, 2016.

“Without our dedicated and hardworking volunteers there would be no 4-H program. Our volunteers are the ones that help give input and direction to the county program, work one on one with the 4-H members, and share the first hand benefits that they see as a result of the 4-H program,” said Nathan Skadsen, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor – Minnehaha County.

4-H volunteers spend numerous hours working on tasks, such as helping organize an event at the county fair, helping a child with a 4-H project, or leading a project to serve the community.

“I volunteer for the 4-H program because 4-H teaches life skills. It is very rewarding to watch youth go from a shy 8 year-old who is scared to death the first time he or she gives a talk to a junior or senior 4-H member who speaks to groups with ease, who excels in everything that they do, and is an excellent leader and role model for the younger members,” explained Joy Braun Spink County 4-H volunteer.

Bev Wright, who has been a 4-H volunteer for 41 years added.

“I volunteer for the 4-H program because I recognize what it did for me in my youth and how it helps our children of today grow in so many ways, of which then culminates that they will be recognized by college professors for their leadership, poise, ability to get things done, ability to speak, follow deadlines, creativity and so much more! I believe in this program and just love to watch the children grow into outstanding adults!!!! For me, it is a simple matter of giving back to the wonderful program and to our children and young adults,” said Wright, who is from Spink County.

4-H Program volunteers are just one group of volunteers who are instrumental in carrying out the mission of SDSU Extension, said Audrey Rider, SDSU Extension 4-H Volunteer Field Specialist.

“Volunteers are involved in every aspect of the Extension Service, including determining the needs of the local residents, planning and implementing programs to address these needs, securing resources, and evaluating programs,” Rider said. “The work of SDSU Extension volunteers is continuous. Everyday volunteers lend a helping hand to make SDSU Extension programs more beneficial to the residents of South Dakota.”

If you or someone you know is interested in joining the team of SDSU Extension volunteers, contact your local SDSU Extension office, a complete listing can be found at