BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Somerset County 4-H Leader Judy Hennessy was among four people recognized for their efforts and dedication,

Hennessy was awarded the 4-H Outstanding Volunteer Award on July 18, during a 4-H Association meeting, as well as a dinner reception on July 25.

Hennessy, formerly from Pluckemin, N.J. has been with the 4-H program for a total of 46 years. Her involvement began in 1972 as the club leader of her son’s Prep club. In 1976, when her son was old enough for standard clubs, Hennessy became the leader of the Chaps and Spurs 4-H Horse Club. When old enough to be a 4-Her, her daughter joined as well. To this day, Chaps N Spurs is the only horse club in Somerset that has both a Prep and Standard Club Division. In 1988, the Hennessy family moved to Virginia.

The family moved back to New Jersey in 1992, where Hennessy resumed leadership of the 4-H Chaps and Spurs Club. Today, her daughter rides Morgan horses in California and her son is an Equine Transportation Specialist; trucking horses all over the country with his own company. Even though Hennessy recently moved to Pennsylvania, she is still a very active and involved club leader and member of the Somerset County 4-H Association. During the year, she runs the club, the qualifying shows and is present at every 4-H Association function and fundraiser.

On the state level, Hennessy coaches the State 4-H Hippology team to prepare them for regional and national competitions in New England and Kentucky. She is the original and only State 4-H Hippology Coach since the event started at Eastern National 4-H Round Up 15 years ago. She is at every state 4-H horse event either helping to score, set up or just add moral support. In 2016, Hennessy was recognized by the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board as the Horse Person of the Year and received this recognition from the Secretary of Agriculture, Doug Fisher.

When asked what she enjoys most about 4-H, Judy said, "I love to watch my members grow, develop, and learn. It is so exciting to help them mature into fine young adults."

The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station-Cooperative Extension. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K-13, on an age-appropriate basis.

For more information about the Somerset County 4-H Program visit

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