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South Dakota 4-H Makes Selection of 2019-20 State 4-H Ambassadors

September 27, 2019

BROOKINGS, S.D. - During the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, South Dakota 4-H selected 23 teens from across the state to serve as the 2019-2020 State 4-H Ambassador team.

“We are so excited to welcome this impressive group of teens to the team this year. There is a lot of passion for 4-H and a desire to see it succeed and grow,” said Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor and State 4-H Ambassador Program Co-Advisor. “These teens will not only help us to increase the impact of 4-H, but also to help market the 4-H program. They will have a variety of opportunities to grow in both their leadership and career readiness skills.”

Youth were selected to serve as State 4-H Ambassadors based on an application and interview process. During the interviews, industry professionals assisted co-advisors Risner and Amber Erickson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Field Operations Coordinator, in making the final decision. The process also provided teens continued networking opportunities with potential employers and industry leaders.

“I was inspired to apply to be a State 4-H Ambassador, as I saw it as an opportunity to grow as a leader, I was inspired to use the opportunity to encourage younger members and to pass on the joy of 4-H to generations to come.”

— Hannah Frost, Minnehaha County 4-H member and newly elected 2019-20 State 4-H Leadership Ambassador

Frost said that through her involvement in youth-in-action events, such as special foods, public presentations and consumer decision making, she has gained valuable life and leadership skills.

“The most impactful thing I have gained from 4-H is confidence and the ability to speak out by using my voice,” said Frost. “I have learned how to use my voice to encourage my peers and speak out for positive change. 4-H has truly shaped me into the person I have become.”

Developed to expand leadership opportunities for teens, the State 4-H Ambassador program offers unique opportunities to South Dakota teens, because it is designed to engage youth in hands-on leadership development through all four 4-H program priority areas including:

  1. Agriculture 
  2. Health & Wellness
  3. Leadership
  4. Science 

Additionally, teens have the opportunity to serve on either the marketing or Teen Leadership Conference committees. The marketing committee will continue to build promotion and awareness efforts of the 4-H program, while gaining valuable life skills in the areas of marketing and communications. The Teen Leadership Conference committee will work closely with Risner and Erickson to plan and implement the 2020 Teen Leadership Conference , all while gaining event planning experience.

Teens selected to serve for the 2019-2020 term include:

  • Kate DeVelder, Clay County
  • Brianna Duerre, Day County
  • Julia Ebbinga, Turner County
  • Tessa Erdmann, Brown County
  • Kayla Fischer, Day County
  • Hannah Frost, Minnehaha County
  • Danika Gordon, Butte/Lawrence Counties
  • Matea Gordon, Butte/Lawrence Counties
  • Grant Gubrud, Deuel County
  • William Karels, Grant County
  • Elisabeth Kluin, Minnehaha County
  • ReAnna Kotalik, Bon Homme County
  • Jessica Kott, Brule County
  • Matthew Marrs, Butte/Lawrence Counties
  • Alisha McMartin, Turner County
  • Teagan Miller, Day County
  • Hayden Niles, Day County
  • Jessemy Sharp, Brown County 
  • Isaac Sousa, Grant County
  • Taylor Storbakken, Marshall County
  • Hailie Stuck, Spink County
  • Logan Tlam, Davison County
  • Colton Wicks, Lake County