Every year a new group of youth are elected and selected to provide leadership within the 4-H program. These leaders range from the ages of 14 to 18 years old and come from across New Mexico. They offer a diverse set of experiences that they share with younger youth in their communities.
“The youth involved at the leadership team’s club and county 4-H programs are impacted by seeing the opportunities that are available to them as well,” said Cheryl Butterfield, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service state 4-H agent.
This year’s New Mexico State 4-H Leadership Team include Christopher Turner of Santa Fe County, president; Gavin Morrow of Union County, vice president; Kyleigh Kelley of Valencia County, secretary; Cassidy Jimenez of Rio Arriba County, reporter; Alex Singer of Otero County, song and recreation leader; Jenna Lopez of Quay County, leadership ambassador; and Addison Ullom of Santa Fe County, livestock ambassador.
After almost two years of virtual programming, 4-H has started returning to in-person programming following COVID-19 state protocol. Some aspects of planning and programming have stayed virtual, such as 4-H promotional videos and monthly team zoom meetings.
“Being back in person has been much needed and energizing for both the youth and adults,” Butterfield said.
These leaders, along with the rest of the 4-H program, are responsible for planning and executing a variety of events for 4-H youth across the state including programs, workshops, sessions, community service, retreats and more. They also provide for their local communities by serving as 4-H advocates. Youth leaders are required to attend a trip for team training, as well as partake in various other year-round training, events and requests from counties throughout the state. The State 4-H Leadership Team encourages 4-H youth to take that initiative and run for leadership positions at all levels themselves.
4-H youth interested in New Mexico State 4-H Leadership Team positions must complete an application with an essay and references as well as give a presentation in front of a panel of judges. Judges will then certify applicants running for office and select applicants running for ambassador.
“Serving on the New Mexico State 4-H Leadership Team provides an opportunity for youth to further develop leadership skills and experience new leadership opportunities,” Butterfield said.
For more information on the 4-H program, leadership positions and how to apply, visit https://aces.nmsu.edu/4h/state-youth-leadership.html.