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Houghton-Keweenaw County local youth wins prestigious 4-H State award

HOUGHTON — Over 70 outstanding Michigan 4-H members from 30+ counties state-wide gathered in a virtual awards ceremony hosted by Michigan State University (MSU) in June to celebrate their accomplishments through the Michigan 4-H State Awards Recognition Program. During the event, 31 youth received Michigan 4-H State Awards in 20 award categories that showcase the diverse array of 4-H knowledge, skills, and experience. State Awards are the highest honor bestowed on Michigan 4-H members.

We are excited to announce that Logan Sandell, a member of the local Houghton County Service 4-H Club was chosen as the awardee in the 2020 Senior Gardening and Horticulture Science category for the 4-H State Awards.

“We congratulate Logan for his accomplishments and contributions to his club, community, country, and world,” says Anne Kretschmann, Houghton-Keweenaw County 4-H Program Coordinator, “he exemplifies a key component of 4-H which is service to his community.”

Through 4-H, Logan has expanded his leadership and service qualities and skills. He is vice-president of the Houghton County Service 4-H Club, whose members strive to have a positive impact on the community and world. The club participates in service projects and volunteer days in the area, many of which involve gardening and horticulture.

Logan’s mastery of horticulture and gardening skills have improved the aesthetics of the community through maintenance and improvement of public spaces, parks such as Kestner Waterfront Park, and school gardens and flower beds. Under Logan’s leadership, the club has also organized invasive species removals, native plant restorations, park trash cleanups, Father’s Day flood cleanups, and more. The club’s emphasis on service and gardening has enabled members to donate vegetables grown in the school garden and greenhouse to the Houghton Elementary School after-school program for use in healthy snacks. The club also hosts an annual plant sale fundraiser, selling transplants that they have grown from seed in the greenhouse.

Logan joins other 4-H State Award winners to become a part of an elite group of 4-H youth who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence.

Hosted by MSU Extension, the awards ceremony was held at the Spartan Stadium on the campus of MSU in East Lansing and attended by 4-H award delegates, their families, 4-H staff members and volunteers, partners, donors, and sponsors. Youth competing for awards were 13-19 years old with 3 or more years of 4-H experience who submitted an application showcasing the learning experiences, knowledge, and skills they’ve acquired through their participation in 4-H, as well as their contributions to their local 4-H programs, clubs, and communities. Submissions were reviewed by a selection committee who determine which members are selected as award delegates. Delegates were invited to participate in one of two additional phases: an interview process for seniors (ages 16-19), in which their skills and experience were further evaluated, or a vigorous leadership program for junior delegates (ages 13-15.)

Awards were made possible by the generous donations of the Michigan 4-H State Award Recognition program sponsors. To learn more about 4-H opportunities in the area please contact the Michigan State University Extension office at (906) 482-5830.

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