Benson County 4-H volunteer receives Lifetime Award
Barb Rice of Maddock is the 2016 recipient of North Dakota’s Outstanding Lifetime 4-H Volunteer Award.
She was honored during the recent North Dakota 4-H Foundation Donor Recognition Social at the NDSU Alumni Center in Fargo.
Rice has been a volunteer with Benson County’s Farm and Home Improvement 4-H Club since 1994 and has focused her efforts in the equine area.
As coach of the Benson County 4-H hippology team since 2008, she has raised the quality of the county’s hippology program to a higher level. Riding and equine showmanship highlight the county Achievement Days.
The number of Benson County youth who show horses has increased every year, thanks to Rice’s inspiration. She allows youth without access to horses to use her animals. She also has helped obtain lambs for Benson County youth to show at the local fair.
To help prepare youth for competition, she tirelessly quizzes and challenges them to learn and apply their abilities. As a result, the youth have won several national awards in hippology. Youth participating in hippology also have been involved in the community for the last five years, offering horseback rides in conjunction with Maddock’s Rural Renaissance Weekend.
Rice has been a cheerleader for other 4-H programs, as well, by encouraging youth to take advantage of Communication Arts and leadership opportunities. She also has assisted youth in preparing their Communication Arts projects.
“In working with the members, Barb lets them set their goals and find ways of meeting them,” says Farm and Home Improvement Club leader Priscilla Backstrom, who nominated Rice for the volunteer award. “She is so good at challenging them and giving them the confidence that they can achieve beyond their expectations. I have seen them attempt and achieve more each year as they are challenged and encouraged to continue.”
Rice also has raised money for the local 4-H hippology club and to send youth to the national hippology contest, and donated money for 4-H to host contests in Maddock and send youth to competitions. In addition, she has coached junior and senior horse judging teams at state contests and chaperoned North Dakota 4-H teams who competed in national hippology and horse judging contests in Denver, Colo.
Rice’s connection to 4-H dates back to her youth, when she spent eight years as a member. She showed horses and beef cows, and participated in static projects.
In 2013, she and her family received the Benson County Friend of 4-H Award.