Shiawasee county 4-H volunteer receives MFB 4-H Excellence Ag Award

posted on July 6, 2012 11:26am

Joan SpindlerEAST LANSING, Mich. — Joan Spindler of Owosso was honored as the 2011-12 recipient of the Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award June 21 at the Michigan 4-H Emerald Awards Ceremony at Michigan State University.

The award recognizes outstanding achievements of Michigan 4-H volunteers who have exhibited excellence in youth education and leadership development in the areas of 4-H beef cattle; dairy cattle; goats; horses; horticulture, crops and soils; poultry; rabbits; sheep; swine; and veterinary science.

The 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award is the product of a campaign led by MFB with the Michigan 4-H Foundation to establish an endowment to honor and reward exceptional 4-H leaders with $1,000 grants for 4-H volunteer training, the purchase of supplies or curriculum, or the enhancement of local or statewide 4-H programming.

Spindler elected to allocate the $1,000 4-H program grant to support 4-H horse programs in Shiawassee County.

 A 4-H volunteer leader of Shiawassee County’s Rangers 4-H Club since 1960, Joan Spindler has devoted her life to educating youth and horses. With her leadership, encouragement and teaching, the youth in her club have been guided to not only win awards in the show ring, but to lead successful lives in the agriculture field and many other professions. Spindler excels in developing youth for the future, promoting citizenship and community service and to that end has worked to groom members for leadership positions. Five previous members have returned as Rangers co-leaders and four have gone on to start their own 4-H clubs. Additionally, club members learn horse science, horsemanship and sportsmanship skills. Spindler also promotes statewide 4-H educational opportunities: 4-H Exploration Days, Kettunen Center workshops and state 4-H horse events to the members of her club. They host a horse show fundraiser and organize memorial trail rides to honor a former club member and leader who passed in 2006.

“Most rewarding are all of the lasting friendships I have made over the years,” Spindler said. “And of course, seeing all of the former 4-H members form clubs of their own or become co-leaders with me.”

Spindler was also awarded the Michigan Horse Council Catalyst Award earlier this year for her service to 4-H and the Marion Rigoulot Award in 2001 – an award given to a Shiawassee County 4-H leader who goes above and beyond the call of duty. Spindler and her husband John have four children—Janet, Jeri, Jennifer and John—and raise, train and race Standardbred horses in Michigan and Florida. Joan also enjoys flower gardening and is a member of the Owosso Garden Club.           

4-H Youth Development is the youth-serving program of Michigan State University Extension. More than 185,000 youth are involved each year with the support of 21,000 adults and older teens in all 83 Michigan counties. The Michigan 4-H Foundation is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that acquires, manages and distributes private gifts to support the mission and vision of Michigan 4-H Youth Development.


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