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Volunteer Awards

Volunteer leaders working with children

Recognizing 4-H Volunteers

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Each year, county 4 H programs can nominate two outstanding individual volunteers to receive the 4 H Salute to Excellence Awards. The Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award is given to an individual who has spent 10 or more years as a 4 H volunteer while the Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an individual who has volunteered for 4 H less than 10 years. Four regional winners are chosen in each award category per year and from the four regional winners one state winner is identified. Contact your local 4-H Educator to nominate a 4-H leader in your county today! Nominations are due in October each year.

Previous Award Recipients


2023 State Winners


Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer:

Marilyn Christensen
County: Campbell

This year marks Marilyn’s 30th year of officially being a 4-H leader! From the beginning she has been both a Club and Project Leader, for the 21 Butte Mini 4-H Club. Marilyn helped lead the club to be awarded the Campbell County 4-H Club of the Year for 2023. She has been Cat Superintendent for Campbell County Fair since 1995, and hosts project meetings annually. With her help the Cat Show at Campbell County Fair has doubled in size. She has been a strong supporter of Campbell County 4-H and the Campbell County Fair for more than 30 years and has a love for the community and for youth. Her 4-H educators Kim Fry and Makala Riley say that Marilyn is dedicated to helping others, always has a smile on her face, and sets an example for her family and others. She has been strongly active with the Campbell Count School District, the 4-J PTO, Savageton Homebuilders Club, the Campbell County Wool Growers Auxiliary, and Campbell County Cattle Women.

Volunteer of the Year

Kristi Olsen
County: Campbell

Kristi has been a Campbell County  4-H volunteer for four years as a project volunteer, a Shooting Sports leader, and member of the Campbell County 4-H Council. She has helped score targets at County Shoot, and helped plan County Shoot when one of the superintendents needed an extra hand. Kristi has also started leading the Robotics Program because she saw the need and knew kids that had an interest in that programming. She has served as Campbell County  4-H Council Secretary  and is currently Treasurer. Kristi helps will all the big 4-H events, such as Achievement Night and Chili Bingo, and is a great advocate for the Campbell County 4-H program! Her 4-H educators Kim Fry and Makala Riley say “Kristi is always stepping up to help wherever is needed. She is a positive role model for all Campbell County 4-H members and exemplifies kindness and compassion in everything she does. Kristi shows us how important it is to help youth ignite their sparks by fostering these youth’s interests. Anytime anyone needs something Kristi and family are always the first to lend a hand.” She is the mother of two girls that are very involved in the Campbell County 4-H program, and serves on the Pronghorn Elementary PTO, all while working full-time in an accounting office.

2023 Regional Winners

Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer

Region: Northwest
Kathy Bush

Kathy has been a leader for 33 years in Washakie County both as a club and project leader! She has led the Cake Decorating and Food Preservation projects and was club leader for the Ten Sleep Sage Stompers 4-H Club for 20 years. Kathy has organized the Washakie County 4-H Food Booth, which is the county’s major 4-H fundraiser, for fifteen years. Currently, she is Foods Superintendent for 4-H Foods at the Washakie County Fair and has both organized and cooked for the Junior Livestock Sale dinner. Her 4-H educator Amber Armajo states “Kathy continues to instill good attitudes and determination in every 4-H member she works with, which is very evident in her own children and grandchildren. She is worthy of many rewards for her contributions to the Washakie County 4-H community and the Washakie County community.” Kathy and her family own a ranch and outfitting business in Ten Sleep, and yet her community involvement is and has been strong. She donates her time to the Washakie County Cowbelles and her church, by organizing community activities and events

Region: Southwest
Kristy Wardell

This year Kristy received the Sweetwater County 4-H Horse Lifetime Volunteer award! Kristy is an active member of the Sweetwater County 4-H Council and is currently their President. She is also a volunteer at the Sweetwater County Fair, most recently for the Horse and Shooting Sports project areas. Kristy was instrumental in helping the Sweetwater County Council’s organization this year and has dedicated many years to 4-H as a member, leader, and mentor. She feels 4-H is a vital part of youth development. After 10 active years as a youth member, she became a volunteer leader as soon as she was of age and has been a leader for 40 years. She has been an active volunteer for  the Sweetwater County Fair for more than 22 years. Kristy has served on the county Horse Development and Shooting Sports committees, as well as the State 4-H Horse Advisory Committee and State 4-H Dog Committee. Kristy was the representative for the southwest district to State Leader’s Council for seventeen years. She has a passion for 4-H, youth development, and ensuring that the 4-H program thrives in Sweetwater County. Kristy raises and shows both Quarter Horses and Border Collies. Kristy is sheep foreman for the Thoman Ranch, and owner/operator of Wardell Trucking along with her husband Mike and son Rex.

Region: Northeast
Chris Sorenson

Chris has been the Sheridan County 4-H Swine Superintendent for many years and is highly involved with the Wyotana Grizzlies 4-H Club. His 4-H educator Emily Swinyer says “Chris is one of those guys that it’s just hard not to love. He puts the kids and our program first and will do whatever he can to help them be successful in their Swine projects. He truly upholds the core values of 4-H.” He helps to connect his employer C&B Operations with community service around Sheridan County. Chris is very visible as “that 4-H pig guy”, but also because he is well known for his kindness to others in the community.

Region: Southeast
Sheala Roof

Sheala has been a Laramie County 4-H volunteer for 40 years! She is passionate about keeping 4-H alive in her community. Currently, she is a Sewing project leader and Club Leader for the Helpful Hands 4-H Club. When the need arises, she also helps with the Horse project and the Crochet project. Sheala has taken part in the State Leadership Conference and was in integral part of the planning committee for the Reignite 4-H Conference in Laramie County this year. Sheala is open to changing dynamics, but still maintains the structure and traditions of 4-H. She recruits both youth members and volunteer leaders at any opportunity. Sheala is also an Open Class Superintendent for Crafts at the Laramie County Fair.

Volunteer of the Year

Region: Northwest
Dan Holloway

Dan is a Shooting Sports leader and has both chaperoned and coached youth for the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championships, as well as the Wyoming Shooting Sports awards trip to Raton! He enjoys meeting leaders and members across the state and nationally. Dan travels to State Shoot every year, coaching and cheering for all the counties participants. His 4-H educator Gretchen Gasvoda-Kelso says “Dan is a quiet leader that is passionate about youth being successful. He advocates for the county shooting sports program, trying to provide the best opportunities for our youth. He communicates needs of supplies and brainstorms to make the program stronger. Dan recruits’ youth, and encourages participation at local, state, and national levels. He is a humble volunteer that is so talented and gifted.” He dedicates every Wednesday afternoon and evening from March through July to Archery practice and assists with other disciplines when he is needed. Dan is an active Search and Rescue member for Big Horn County, which is one of the tope trained in the state thanks to Dan’s leadership and dedication. He is also a gifted photographer, capturing many 4-H memories and providing clinics when asked.

Region: Northeast
Jeff Hinton

Jeff is the Vice President of the Sheridan County 4-H Council. As a Shooting Sports project leader, he donates many hours to practices three nights a week from January through July. His 4-H educator Emily Swinyer says “Jeff is level-headed and dedicated to 4-H. Members feel connected with him and that he really wants them to succeed. His background as an educator makes him perfectly suited to work with youth in an instructional setting. You don’t find leaders like Jeff every quarter century, he truly is an asset” Jeff has attended the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championships for several years as a coach to guide and support the Wyoming 4-H Team. His role as 4-H Shooting Sports Liaison with the Sheridan County Sportsman’s Association gives him the edge with large financial supporters in the region through supporting outdoor education and land stewardship. As an elementary school teacher, he knows many members and their families.

Region: Southwest
Jim Wasseen II

With 5 years of service with 4-H, Jim Wasseen is a leader for the Sweetwater County 4-H Shooting Sports club. The Sweetwater Count extension office 4-H personnel state “Without Jim, shooting sports practices would not flow smoothly and practices go as well as they do. Jim ensures all members have fun at practices and helps keep them safe. He makes sure all needs of the Sweetwater County 4-H members are met at practices through teaching, listening, and giving back through his expertise. Jim is one of the most loved leaders in shooting sports and is often looked up to by our members. County Shoot would not happen without Jim’s efforts, time, and dedication to the Shooting Sports program.” Jim hosts an annual Hunter Education Course for Sweetwater County 4-H Shooting Sports members, and his members have a very high pass rate. He is passionate about the outdoors and is an excellent Outdoor Skills leader. Jim is a team player, always giving 100%. Jim also volunteers through his church Synod and is President of his church council. He helps with Game and Fish Hunter’s Education classes, and the fisheries and habitat biology survey crews and other field studies in his free time.

Region: Southeast
Chad Haley

Chad is currently the President of the Laramie County 4-H Shooting Sports Committee, and the coach for Laramie County west side Archery. He also is a Range Commander at State Shoot for the Junior Archery line. Chad sacrifices two nights a week to coach archery during the Shooting Sports season. Laramie County 4-H educator Kristi Nagy states ”A few years ago, our air rifle program was struggling to find space to practice. Chad was instrumental in helping to have the counties shooting range opened for 4-H youth on a day the range is closed to the public. 4-H coaches are given a swipe badge to enter the locked facility, and youth have limited access to the live fire range. Chad's passion and dedication to our program helped make this change possible. Chad's dedication to youth in Laramie County is amazing. Thanks so much for your dedication to our youth.” Chad is willing to market and advertise the Laramie County 4-H Shooting Sports program, and actively recruits volunteer coaches and youth wherever he goes. He has a gregarious personality and people flock to him due to his friendly and helpful nature. Chad is heavily involved in the First Hunt Foundation as a mentor, assisting them in becoming successful hunters. He is also involved in the Inspire a Kid Camp through the Wyldlife Fund; where youth learn western conservation lessons, leadership development, and numerous outdoor activities.



State 4-H Volunteer's Awards Ceremonies

Contact Us

Wyoming State 4-H Office

1000 E. University Ave. Dept. 3354

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307)766-5170

Fax: (307)766-3998

Email: 4h@uwyo.edu

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