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 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 group of 4-H volunteers selected to (1) promote the importance of 4-H volunteerism as an integral part of the Tennessee 4-H Program; (2) to spread the word to volunteers about 4-H volunteer educational opportunities; and (3) to assist with logistics, implementation, and evaluation of State 4-H Congress, State 4-H Roundup, and other state-level events. The current members are:

Greg Hensley – Loudon CountyJunelle Sellers – Knox CountyDee Wolters – Maury County
LaDonna Jones – Robertson CountyKaren Smith – Jefferson 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. 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).

The 2022 recipient of the Adult Volunteer Leader Award is LaDonna Jones from Robertson County

In 2022 three outstanding families received the Hale Master 4-H Family Award!

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)

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.

Karen Smith, 2023 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year

Karen Smith has been named the 2023 Tennessee 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year.  Karen Smith, from Jefferson County, is the epitome of an exceptional 4-H volunteer.  Karen is currently the County 4-H Sewing Project Group volunteer leader and represents the Eastern Region of Tennessee on the 4-H VOLS State Committee.

Karen is active on the County, Regional, State and National level.  She is a very active leader with the Jefferson County 4-H Volunteer Committee. Karen participated in the 2022 National 4-H Volunteer Conference at Rock Eagle in Georgia; and was a co-coordinator for a subsequent State Workshop event that was held five months later.  The event was titled “Volunteer Jam,” and was organized to help bring back ideas from the National event to Tennessee.  Karen came up with the creative, fun name and the colorful graphic for publicity; and, helped to organize 12 volunteer-led workshops for this statewide event in Lebanon, TN.

Dee Wolters, 2023 4-H Salute to Excellence Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer

Dee Wolters has been named the 2023 Tennessee 4-H Salute to Excellence Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer.  In addition, Dee has been named the U.S. Southern Region Winner by National 4-H Council. Dee Wolters has been the glue that has held many Maury County programs together. She leads the Homeschool/Community Club, helps facilitate and conduct Honor Club meetings, leads clubs in the public schools, and helps with nearly every county 4-H event offered.

Beyond volunteering within Maury County, Dee also serves on the State and National level.  As a Central Region representative on the 4-H VOLS State Committee, Dee helps to orchestrate, conduct, and evaluate many state-level 4-H activities. As a member of the Planning Committee for the National 4-H Volunteer Conference at Rock Eagle, Dee has helped conduct the event and has helped Tennessee to have the largest state delegations in 2021 and 2022.

Dee has also been a past recipient of the Tennessee 4-H Adult Volunteer Leader Award, Central Region Friend of 4-H, and attended National 4-H Congress as part of the official delegation.

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
2022Cantrell FamilyDyer
2022Griffis-Blackwell FamilyMadison
2022Walton 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
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

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