Volunteers are a key component “to making the best better.” Volunteers help make the best 4-H experiences possible!

There are many opportunities to volunteer. Explore this website and contact a County Extension Office to find out how to get involved.

4-H Professionals’ resources are found at the bottom of this page

Volunteer Update Newsletter
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View the latest edition of the Volunteer Update Newsletter, which is designed for 4-H Volunteers. You also have the option to subscribe to get the latest news in your email inbox.
Tennessee 4-H Volunteer Handbook
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Interested in learning more about volunteering for Tennessee 4-H? View the Tennessee 4-H Volunteer Handbook to learn more about 4-H in Tennessee.

4-H Volunteer Opportunities

There are many opportunities for 4-H volunteers to serve, learn, and socialize. Here are a few:

4-H VOLS State Committee

The 4-H VOLS State Committee is a leadership group of 4-H volunteers selected to promote the importance of 4-H volunteerism as an integral part of the Tennessee 4-H Program. The current members are:

Janice Del Valle – Obion CountyGreg Hensley – Loudon CountyKaren Smith – Jefferson CountyDee Wolters – Maury County
Lisa Harville – Smith CountyJunelle Sellers – Knox CountyKarla Williamson – Giles County

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.

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. 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).

The 2023 recipient of the Charline Hamilton Powell Award is Karen Smith (left) from Jefferson County, pictured with Grace Powell (Charline’s granddaughter)

In 2023 two outstanding families received the Hale Master 4-H Family Award!

The purpose of the William and Ruth Hale Master 4-H Family Award 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.

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

Each year, the Tennessee 4‑H program awards two outstanding individual volunteers through National 4-H Council’s 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.

Mike Glasgow, 2024 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year and U.S. Southern Region Winner

Mike Glasgow has been named the 2024 Tennessee 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year (Mike has also been declared the U.S. Southern Region winner for this award!). Mike is a dedicated 4-H volunteer in Cheatham County.  Mike is a lead 4-H Rifle Instructor for the county and also serves on the State 4-H Shooting Sports Committee as a Level 2 instructor.  Mike was instrumental in working to secure an NRA grant to obtain much-needed equipment for the county program.  Mike, as a youth, was a very active 4-H member, serving as a camper and a teen leader, and ran the rifle range every year at camp, in addition to being in the 4-H beef project.  Mike has the ability to work, not only with youth, but he is also very good at helping plan and conduct a variety of events.  He continues to serve as a camp volunteer, and works with the county “On My Own” program.  Simply put, he is a huge part of the county and state 4-H program.

Melissa Graf, 2024 4-H Salute to Excellence Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer

Melissa Graf has been named the 2024 Tennessee 4-H Salute to Excellence Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer.  Melissa is a volunteer in Jefferson County where she has served as a horse project group leader. Melissa has volunteered countless hours to prepare youth for horse bowl and hippology competitions since 2013. Melissa has led the county monthly horse project group meetings for 19 years which promoted educational, fellowship and citizenship opportunities for youth. Melissa developed “The Horse Academy” from a course she attended in Kentucky. The youth she has coached and trained have won many competitions and even won more opportunities to compete on a national level.  She empowers youth with life skills through the horse project.

The Brown / Gilliam 4-H Legacy Award was established by George and June Brown of Coffee County to recognize outstanding 4-H families that have demonstrated consistent leadership, service and involvement with the Tennessee 4-H Program over several generations.

The Hilliard Family of Crockett County has been named the 2024 recipient of the Brown / Gilliam Legacy Award.

The Hilliard Family of Crockett County has been named the 2024 recipient of the Brown / Gilliam Legacy Award.

The Hilliard family is a true supporter of the Crockett County 4-H Program. They can regularly be found at almost every 4-H event and contest. Chris and April encourage their boys to be involved, but also encourage other youth to attend events and contests since they work so closely with many of them. Chris, April, and Mr. Jack have all served as judges for public speaking events. They have helped with the local Nursing Home Parade, 4-H Ag Day, judging team trainings, Outdoor Meat Cookery, Honor Club, and multiple service projects.  April serves on the 4-H Advisory committee. Mr. Jack has served as a certified 4-H Shooting Sports volunteer.  He also coordinates an aluminum can drive, and the money collected helps to fund camp scholarships for junior members. AJ and Jackson have been involved in nearly every 4-H event that was offered to them since the start of 4-H. AJ additionally served as a teen leader during his time in 4-H and Jackson currently is an Honor Club officer. The entire family is ready for Orry to get to 4th grade so he can be involved in judging teams and events as well.

Along with all of the assistance they give to the local program, the family has contributed to other events above the county level. Chris and April have both assisted with the Regional Horse Bowl and Hippology Contests. They have all helped with Regional All-Star Fundraisers. Mr. Jack served on the 4-H Volunteer Committee and attended Congress for many years. Both boys have also served on judging teams that advanced to the state contests, including Horse Bowl and Hippology, Consumer Decision Making, and Horse Judging. AJ and Jackson have cumulatively attended Electric Camp, Academic Conference, Congress, Round Up, and several summer camps. AJ also appeared in the National 4-H Council Carla Hall cooking video, attended the National 4-H Healthy Living Summit, and the National 4-H Agriscience conference.

2023Karen SmithJefferson
2022LaDonna JonesRobertson
2021Dee WoltersMaury
2019Amelia SturgillFentress
2018Mitzi Dorris 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
1985Don RoseWashington
2023Steven and Jill Brown FamilySumner
2023Joel and Angelia Sanders FamilyTipton
2022Jerry and Alicia Cantrell FamilyDyer
2022Griffis-Blackwell FamilyMadison
2022Alan and Brooke Walton FamilyTipton
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
2024Mike GlasgowCheathamVolunteer of the Year (U.S. Southern Region Winner)
2024Melissa GrafJeffersonOutstanding Lifetime Volunteer
2023Karen SmithJeffersonVolunteer of the Year
2023Dee WoltersMauryOutstanding Lifetime Volunteer (U.S. Southern Region Winner)
2022Mary GauerkeSumnerVolunteer of the Year
2022Terry HallumDyerOutstanding Lifetime Volunteer
2021Matthew HibdonWarrenVolunteer of the Year
2021David McDanielKnoxOutstanding Lifetime Volunteer
2024Hilliard FamilyCrockett

Resources for 4-H Professionals

Microsoft Teams Site for 4-H Professionals
UTIA Programs for Minors Volunteer Classification Decision Tree
UT Extension Volunteer Toolkit for Professionals