Michelle Neff, Michigan State University Extension Clare County educator, and Karen Fifield, MSU Extension Montmorency County educator, both received the Michigan Association of Extension 4-H Youth Staff (MAE4-HYS) Distinguished Service Award at the 4-H Spring Conference held May 9–12 at Kettunen Center in Tustin.
The Distinguished Service Award is the highest state honor that 4-H staff can obtain through the MAE4-HYS. The award is given to current MAE4-HYS members who have at least 6 years of employment in Extension 4-H Youth Development, including some statewide involvement in coordinating events, programming or both, and who have proven evidence of positive change resulting from their work.
MAE4-HYS recognized Michelle Neff for her management of the 4-H Club Read Program and her implementation of the CHARACTER COUNTS! curriculum. The association also recognized her service as a Farm Bureau board member, her work with 4-H volunteers on the establishment of a permanent Clare County 4-H Youth Program Endowment fund with the Michigan 4-H Foundation, and her involvement in the formation of the Teen Livestock Committee.
MAE4-HYS also recognized Michelle’s involvement in statewide efforts with the Citizenship, Leadership and Service (CLS) Team’s Teen Leader Project. Currently, her role includes serving as the co-facilitator for the Statewide Academic Success Work Group under the Life Skills Work Team.
Formerly an Extension program associate, Karen Fifield became an Extension educator in the Health and Nutrition Institute on June 1. Since 1998, Karen has served MSU Extension Montmorency County. MAE4-HYS recognized Karen for her work with 4-H including the Sunrise Side 4-H Camp, Achievement Days, 4-H Days at the Mill, 4-H Leadermeet, Open Skate Fun Day and the Montmorency County Fair. MAE4-HYS also recognized Karen’s involvement at the regional level with the animal science committee and in the planning of two livestock judge’s clinics offered in 2010 and 2011.
Karen has been instrumental in promoting healthy food at the 5-county Sunrise Side 4-H Camp, planning and shopping for healthy meals as well as preparing and serving them. At 4-H camp she’s taught kitchen skills, CPR and basic first-aid training. With little or no support staff, she has taken on additional duties in the MSU Extension office with a positive and optimistic attitude.
Congratulations, Michelle and Karen!