Volunteers

The success of 4-H is due to partnerships and teamwork between volunteers and Extension agents. Volunteers are mentors and leaders and are key elements to sustain our motto – “to make the best better.” Volunteers make the best 4-H experiences possible!

Volunteers provide opportunities by:

  • Teaching project subject matter and new skills for youth to gain knowledge, and
  • Providing opportunities and experiences for youth to master skills learned.

With each trained volunteer comes a wealth of knowledge and skills providing a diverse and quality program for youth in the county 4-H program.

Application to be a 4-H Volunteer

As an educational organization, our first responsibility is to offer a safe and nurturing environment for youth we serve. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for youth, volunteers, and agents. To apply to be a 4-H volunteer, please contact your county Extension office.

Development and Training Opportunities

4-H volunteers are always learning and using new concepts and resources to provide fun and educational experiences for youth. There are a number of opportunities for you as a volunteer to learn and continue your development. Your county Extension agent will offer information and advice on learning opportunities. Some of them are:

  • Tennessee 4-H Shooting Sports Program
    • The Tennessee 4-H Shooting Sports Program is a volunteer-led program that teaches life skills through shooting sports. Youth learn safety and shooting techniques in various disciplines. This program is affiliated with National 4-H Shooting Sports. “4-H Certified” means that you are versed in the areas of youth development AND shooting sports. If you want to lead a group of young people in the 4-H Shooting Sports Program, you must become certified through a Tennessee 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor Certification Workshop.
  • National 4-H Volunteer Conference hosted by the Volunteer Conference of Southern States
    • 4-H volunteers from across the country connect during this four-day conference to focus on innovative programs, curriculum for clubs, best practices, networking, and leadership/personal development to support their roles as 4-H volunteers. The event is planned in partnership with volunteers and staff to create a program best suited to volunteer needs. Other highlights include speakers, curricula showcase, focused tracked sessions, and planned engagement in conversations and sharing.

Volunteer Recognition

Tennessee 4-H Youth Development recognizes that volunteers are essential to delivering the mission of our program. The Tennessee 4-H Volunteer Awards and Recognition program provides various opportunities to recognize the many outstanding volunteers that serve in our organization. Learn more about recognition opportunities in Tennessee 4-H below.

Each year, the Tennessee 4‑H program awards two outstanding individual volunteers through the 4‑H Salute to Excellence Award Program. These two award winners are simultaneously nominated for regional (U.S. Southern) and national consideration. 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.


Matthew Hibdon, 2021 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year

Matthew Hibdon has been named the 2021 Tennessee 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year.  A Warren County 4-H alumnus, Matthew serves 4-H youth on the local, state, and national level.  From judging county and regional public speaking contests to reviewing statewide project portfolios to helping clean up a room after a judging contest, Matthew approaches each volunteer role with the same enthusiasm.

Consumer Decision Making is a special project for him since his county team won the national contest at Western National Roundup when they were in high school. When he was a Collegiate 4-H’er, Matthew started volunteering with the contest in Denver and was asked to join the FCS Classic Committee when he completed graduate school. Since 2015, he has served as Chair of the FCS Classic Committee and has served as an event staff coordinator who liaises with other contest superintendents before, during, and after Roundup.


David McDaniel, 2021 4-H Salute to Excellence Outstanding Lifetime Award Recipient

Harold David McDaniel has been named the 2021 recipient of the Tennessee 4-H Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award. David signed up to volunteer for Knox County 4-H in 1970 after he returned home from the Vietnam War. He specifically signed up to assist with the 4-H Horse and Pony Club. He coached horse judging teams, conducted 4-H horse shows, and raised funds for the club. As time passed, he began to volunteer in other 4-H program areas, such as the 4-H poultry club.

David mentors new volunteers to help them find their niche in the program. He is always actively recruiting new volunteers and encourages them to get involved for the “experience of a lifetime.” David is loved and respected by hundreds of 4-H members and their families. He is known for his willingness to serve in any capacity. His children are 4-H alumni and still actively volunteer with Knox County 4-H as does his wife, Jeanette. He is the longest active 4-H volunteer in Knox County serving for 50 years.

This program gives recognition to an outstanding volunteer leader who has served five or more years. Each county may submit one nominee to the region. Each region will select two nominees for state competition. County winners will receive a Charline Hamilton Powell Leader Recognition certificate and the state winner an engraved plaque. Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Kant of Blount County sponsor this recognition. The state winner will receive a trip to National 4-H Congress in Atlanta.

Obtain a nomination form – F 842: Adult Volunteer Leader Recognition Application (PDF) (Word).

Wolters
The 2021 recipient of the Adult Volunteer Leader Award is Dee Wolters from Maury County

In 2021 three outstanding families received the Hale Master 4-H Family Award!

The Hilliard family from Crockett County: Front, Orrey Hilliard; back from left to right, AJ Hilliard, Jack French, Chris Hilliard, April Hiliard, and Jackson Hilliard
The Pierce family from Dickson County: From left to right, Kim, Michael, McKenna, Trace, and Gage
The Taylor family from Madison County: From left to right, Sharon Tubbs, Extension Agent, Diane and Randy Taylor, and Kane Reeves, Extension Agent

The purpose of the Hale Master 4-H Family Recognition is to give deserved recognition to 4-H families at the county, region, and state levels who have shown consistent leadership ability and exceptional participation in all phases of 4-H Club work.

Eligible families must have one member actively involved in 4-H activities on the local and county levels (in such roles as 4-H member, volunteer leader, donor, etc.) and must have been actively involved in 4-H Club work for no less than five years, including the current year.

The Master 4-H Family application and one letter of recommendation from one county Extension agent for the applicant’s home county must be submitted for each entrant. No family may be recognized two consecutive years on the county level. A family may receive the state recognition only one time.

Obtain a nomination form – F 840: Adult Volunteer Leader Recognition Application (PDF) (Word)

YearNameCounty
2021Dee WoltersMaury
2019Amelia SturgillFentress
2018Mitzi Dorrs KingRobertson
2017​​​Missy BeasleySumner
​2016​Karen Franklin​Rutherford
2015Hunter MantoothRobertson
2014​Barbara Stewart​Williamson
2013Tina PassmanHenry
2012Denise RoutzahnRobertson
2011Elaine LovelaceFayette
2010Rebekah LemleyRobertson
2009Namoi RigginsRobertson
2008Greg HensleyLoudon
2007Marissa LemleyRobertson
2006Linda HarrisCampbell
2005Donna MorrisHamblen
2004Becky NicholsBedford
2003Mary Lee LemleyRobertson
2002Mary MantoothRobertson
2001Hazel BratcherMeigs
2000Nora StrasserMarshall
2000Linda VanzantGiles
1999Ann RossiDavidson
1998Sherrill TealCoffee
1997Nancy GrieveCampbell
1996Reva JohnsonSumner
1996Kris BeardBlount
1995Wanda WilliamsLincoln
1994Sally SmithDavidson
1993Lou GoinsCannon
1992Cindy DelvinDavidson
1991Pat MartinBedford
1990Delores JohnsonHawkins
1989Sue WelchLincoln
1988Carol EdwardsDavidson
1986Kay JamesRobertson
1984Don RoseWashington
YearNameCounty
2021Chris and April Hilliard FamilyCrockett
2021Michael and Kim Pierce FamilyDickson
2021Randy and Diane Taylor FamilyMadison
2020Patrick and Laura Fritz FamilyTipton
2020Tim and LaDonna Jones FamilyRobertson
2019​Dan and Tammie Browning Family​Sevier
​2019​Mark and Nancy Shedden Family​Knox  
​2018Kelly and Teressa McDonald Family​Madison
2018Laura and John Whitfield FamilySullivan
2017​Craig and Missy Beasley Family​Sumner
2017​​William and Ting Steptoe Family​Sullivan
​2016​Nolan and Jean Blick Family​Robertson
​2016​Steve and Beverly Walker FamilyMacon
2016​​Roger and Rose Moore​​ Family​McNairy
2015​​Matt & Barbara Stewart Family​Williamson
​2015​​Jim & JoAnn Pope FamilyLoudon
2014Lewis & Bethany Betterton FamilyPutnam
2014Tim & Dee Wolters FamilyMaury
2013Michael & Mary Ann Mills FamilyCoffee
2013Alan & Judy Cobb FamilyRobertson
2012Jimmy & Janice Jackson FamilyKnox
2012Mark & Carol McBride FamilyCoffee
2011Brent & Linda Willis FamilyCoffee
2010​Vitto & Lisa Raffo FamilyMarshall
2009David & Jane Doan FamilySullivan
2009Dale & Denise Woods FamilyCoffee
2008Greg & Debbie Hensley FamilyLoudon
2008Wayne & Debbie McDonald FamilyPutnam
2007Mark & Lagene Lee FamilyRutherford
2006Frank & Susan Fitzgerald FamilyMacon
2005John & Mary Mantooth FamilyRobertson
2005David & Debbie Bates FamilyHickman
2004Jimmy & Mary Lee Lemley FamilyRobertson
2004George & June Brown FamilyCoffee
2003Joyce & David Britton FamilyWarren
2003Roger & Sandra Elder FamilyBlount
2002Neal & Deborah Pillion FamilyMeigs
2002J.W. & Dorothy Locker FamilyGiles
2001Robert & Margaret Elliott FamilyRobertson
2001Ronnie & Sherrill Teal FamilyCoffee
2000Leonard & Naomi Riggins FamilyRobertson
2000Tom & Becky Brown FamilyCoffee
1999Jimmy & Jane Johnson FamilyShelby
1999Charlie & Glenda Johnson FamilySevier
1998Hugh Kyle & Delores Johnson FamilyHawkins
1998Charles & Joy Gleghorn FamilyLincoln
1997Norman & Becky Lee FamilyMonroe
1997Carol Smotherman Campbell FamilyRutherford
1996Jim & Pat Murphey FamilyMcNairy
1995Tom & Sandra Fortune FamilyJohnson
1995John & Fay Rosson FamilyDavidson
1994Steve & Donna Willis FamilyCoffee
1994Gershon & Joyce Klotwog FamilyDavidson
1993Robert & Wanda Luneack FamilyCoffee
1993Hank & Cindy Delvin FamilyDavidson
1992Cordell & Sally Smith FamilyDavidson
1992Ben T. Powell FamilyKnox
1992Darrell & Lou Goins FamilyCannon
1990Richard & Sherry Shadden FamilyWashington
1989Brenda Oliver FamilyTrousdale
1987Sam & Ina Ruth Hart FamilyBledsoe
1987Eddie & Linda Coleman FamilyHenderson
1986Dennis & Lucy Oldham FamilyTrousdale
1986Phillip & Sue Welch FamilyLincoln
1986Mike & Mary Coward FamilyShelby
1985William & Mary Hart FamilyWashington
1985Fred Willis FamilyCoffee
1984Laughlin & Berry Ann Youree FamilyRutherford
1983Caron & Kris Beard FamilyBlount
1983Talley FamilyDavidson
1983Bill & Ruth Hale FamilyBradley

4-H Volunteer Resources for 4-H Professionals