SDSU Extension 4-H announces the 2018 state 4-H ambassadors | TSLN.com

SDSU Extension 4-H announces the 2018 state 4-H ambassadors

Nathan Linke is a freshman at South Dakota State University and currently serves as President of the 2018 State 4-H Ambassador program. He is one of nineteen South Dakota youth from counties across the state were selected to serve as the 2018 State 4-H Ambassadors. Photos courtesy SDSU Extension

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Nineteen South Dakota youth from counties across the state were selected to serve as the 2018 State 4-H Ambassadors.

"We are excited about the Ambassadors selected and how this program will provide them with enhanced leadership and service opportunities," said Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor who is also co-advisor of the State 4-H Ambassador program along with Amber Erickson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Field Operations Coordinator.

The youth were selected to serve as a State 4-H Ambassador based on an application and interview process.

Developed to expand leadership opportunities for teens, the State 4-H Ambassador program replaces the State 4-H Youth Council, offering more opportunities to South Dakota teens because it is designed to engage youth in leadership development through all four 4-H program priority areas including:

“I served on the Youth Council and loved it, but the one thing I did see that could make it better, was adding diversity. The Youth Council was only focused on planning Teen Leadership Conference. I feel the new format of the State 4-H Ambassador program reaches a broader spectrum of people.”Nathan Linke, president of 2018 state ambassador program

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"I served on the Youth Council and loved it, but the one thing I did see that could make it better, was adding diversity. The Youth Council was only focused on planning Teen Leadership Conference. I feel the new format of the State 4-H Ambassador program reaches a broader spectrum of people," explained Sanborn County 4-H member, Nathan Linke.

Linke is a freshman at South Dakota State University and currently serves as President of the 2018 State 4-H Ambassador program. As an elementary student, his older siblings motivated him to get involved in 4-H and the friends he made through 4-H kept him involved.

"You realize how many people you know, when you can't walk across campus without seeing at least two or three people you recognize – and most of my friends I met through 4-H," said Linke, who made friends from across South Dakota while attending 4-H camps and showing cattle in shows throughout the state.

Linke explained that Ambassadors can still focus on planning Teen Leadership Conference if that is what they are excited about. But, through the new program, if the teens would rather focus on developing leadership skills through projects focused on health and wellness or advocacy they have that option.

In addition to Linke, the 2018 4-H Ambassadors include: Lani Klein, Vice President, Custer County; Emily Foiles, Secretary, Clark County; Taylor McMartin, Treasurer, Turner County; Jessica Kott, Brule County; Cassie Richarz, Hamlin County; Jordan Rusche, Kingsbury County; Laura Bogue, Lincoln County; Tessa Erdmann, Brown County; Kate DeVelder, Clay County; Zoe Harris, Tripp County; Kayla Fischer, Day County; Julia Ebbinga, Turner County; Sydney Hoffman, McCook County; Jayna Sanborn, McPherson County; Danika Gordon, Butte/Lawrence County; Bailey Feistner, Sanborn County; Hailie Stuck, Spink County and Alisha McMartin, Turner County.

This month the State 4-H Ambassadors will share ideas for the customized action plan they will develop together with Erickson or Risner. This action plan will outline leadership milestones they hope to achieve and 4-H activities they will take a leadership role in. During the school-year, the State 4-H Ambassadors will have an opportunity to attend a leadership workshop developed specifically for them.

"The 4-H Ambassador program is another example of how 4-H allows South Dakota youth to explore passions and interests," Risner said.

To learn more about the State 4-H Ambassador program, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at http://www.iGrow.org under the Field Staff icon.

–SDSU Extension