Five South Dakotans inducted into 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame

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Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — Five South Dakotans representing Aurora, Tripp, McPherson and Minnehaha Counties were inducted into the 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame September,42016 during the South Dakota State Fair.

“These five individuals have all put in at least 35-plus years of service to the 4-H youth of South Dakota,” said Audrey Rider, SDSU Extension 4-H volunteer field specialist. “It was an honor to induct these people into the hall of fame! They are all still actively involved in the local level and are great supporters of South Dakota 4-H.”

Meet the Honorees

Clyde Olsen of Aurora County started the Storla Stockers 4-H club in 1974. He has been a leader ever since. Olsen lives on the family farm north of Plankinton with his wife Donna. Together they have raised five children, who all participated in 4-H and have watched their three grandchildren go through 4-H as well.

Olsen has put in numerous hours helping kids with many different projects. One of his favorite is the county horse show. He has kept the horse show going in Aurora County for many years. He has announced the Aurora achievement days for 30-plus years. Olsen is also an auctioneer and puts in countless hours as a volunteer at the annual Aurora county 4-H auction.

Olsen is an active leader who has been treasurer of the Aurora County Leader’s Association leader’s association for many years. He has helped many young kids with anything they could possibly need help with in 4-H. As a matter of fact Olsen is often referred to as “Grandpa Clyde” to most of the kids in Aurora County. Clyde is very proud to say he has been a 4-H leader for the past 40 years.

Brian Burnham of Tripp County has volunteered for 4-H as long as anyone can remember. He and his family, (Burnham’s parents and siblings) have been helping with events in Tripp County and are relied on. For the past five to seven years Brian has helped organize the State 4-H Horse Show. He has been on the State 4-H Horse Show Committee for several years, taking on the role of “Mr. Everything” at the Horse Show. Burnham works the arenas, measures ponies, sets up trail and jumping events.

Burnham helps with many things at the county level, including the Tripp County horse show, County Rodeo, and Fair. He also used to be on the local extension board and has been on the leader’s association.

Betty and Gordon Mack have been involved with 4-H in McPherson County for more than 58 years. They were married in 1956 and lived on a farm north of Leola. They both belonged to 4-H when there were young, and felt there was a need for 4-H in their area.

In 1958, the Macks helped establish two 4-H clubs: The Prairie Pricillas-led by Betty and Margaret Kindelspire and The Sod Busters-led by Gordon.

Every member was required to give an illustrated talk/demonstration and complete their record book every year. The crafts and activities were items that could be used at home. Crafts where given as gifts.

As the number of 4-Hers declined, these two clubs combined to create the Prairie Rustlers 4-H club-which is one of three clubs in McPherson County today. While leading the 4-H clubs, Betty and Gordon raised seven children who were all involved in 4-H. Betty was also actively involved in the Extension Homemakers in McPherson County for 52 years.

Betty and Gordon still attend Achievement Days every year.

Steve Munk of Minnehaha County has given 12 years of continuous service to South Dakota 4-H as the lead chaperone for Citizenship Washington Focus. This is a week-long citizenship and leadership experience for 4-H youth at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Munk is a person who focuses on the positive aspects in a situation and honestly provides constructive comments to improve the trip experience for future Citizenship Washington Focus delegations.

In addition to working for SDSU Extension for 30 years and serving as a registered 4-H volunteer for five years. Munk is raises corn and soybeans near Dell Rapids. He is active in his community and also serves on the Sioux Empire Fair Board.

“I enjoy hearing and seeing the excitement, awe and appreciation the young men and women express as they experience the week in Washington D.C. This conference truly impacts the 4-H youth that participate.”