RARITAN TWP., N.J. — Hunterdon County 4-H leaders gathered on Jan. 16 for the 2020 Volunteer Appreciation Night.

Three volunteers were honored with special awards: Jackie Majorossy received the Farm Credit East Service Award; Mark Brubaker received the 4-H Alumni Award and Sandy Dabb was named Leader of the Year.

Presidents of each 4-H Club were asked to make a salad or bake a pie. The volunteers tasted every dish and voted for their favorites. The best salad by a narrow margin was an orange pecan salad from Fur n’ Feathers and Crafty Cooks’ apple pie took best pie after a tie breaker.

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The 4-H Ambassadors, Lindsey Davis, Rachael Ewing and Leah Urmston presented the awards. Members who represented New Jersey at the 2019 National 4-H Congress did a presentation on their trip. Ryan Mallea, Zachary Majorossy, Cecelia Ossi and Avery Schaefer attended the event in November in Atlanta, Ga.

Christina Piparo also talked about her experience at the Leadership for Life Conference in Ireland.

Special Awards

The Farm Credit Volunteer Service Award

The Farm Credit Volunteer Service Award was presented on behalf of Farm Credit East. Jackie Majorossy has been a part of the 4-H Program for eight years, and always doing something for her club, county or state program. She is the leader of the Creative Kids and has assumed responsibility of Youth Council.  She is superintendent of the Foods Judging and Bake off.  She has planned and taught multiple educational workshops in foods and horticulture. 

Majorossy works hard during fair week maintaining the Ramsburg building, providing service activities for fair goers and putting together the food booth. She is very active with the 4-H Association and assists with the spring and fall antique shows and the Feed Bucket Feud.

On the state level she is active with the State Association where she assists with fundraising. 

4-H Alumni Award

4-H Alumni are very important within the 4-H Program. Alumni understand the busy schedule of a 4-H member because a short time ago they were members themselves.  They understand how the 4-H Program works and how to get our members involved in activities.  Mark Brubaker has had an active role in the Hunterdon County Junior Leaders for nine years.  He organizes many events of the club including the fair soda sales and informing members of upcoming events. 

For the past six years Brubaker has served on the North Jersey Teen Conference Planning committee and has volunteered to chaperone the annual three-day conference which brings teens together from throughout New Jersey for workshops, an opportunity to meet teens from other counties, a dinner dance, motivational program and service project.

Brubaker is also a behind-the-scenes worker at the fair.  He works well with the teens and he encourages them to participate in club activities, he makes their time in Junior Leaders memorable.  The teens enjoy his personality and look up to him.

4-H Leader of Year

Sandy Dabb, of the Fur n’ Feathers was named Leader of the Year.  She has played an active role in the club for more than 10 years.  

Six years ago, she took over leadership of the Fur n’ Feathers.  Throughout her years of service the club has been faced with difficult situations.  Members work hard all year to prepare for the shows at the Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair. However, a few years ago, the club could not bring their poultry to the fair because of an avian influenza epidemic. Fairs across the country banned all bird exhibits to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease. Last year the club was limited on birds due to the shortage of a serum needed for health test that is required by the state.  Through both of these trying years Dabb kept the club together, came up with ideas for the club so that they had things to do at the fair without having live birds to work with.

In addition to Fur n’ Feathers Dabb is also a shooting sports instructor for shotgun.  She has planned and assisted with several trainings so that members can learn to safely participate in shooting sports. 

All active leaders were presented certificates for the years of service through the 2018-19 4-H year:

58 years: Louisa Cole - Hunterdon County Junior Leaders Club, Hunterdon Hoppers Rabbit Club

55 years: Ruth Crommelin - Hunterdon County Sheep Club, 55 years

47 years: Susan Miller - Hunterdon County Sheep Club

31 years: Charlotte Prosics - P.A.W.S. Dog Club

27 years: Lillian Shupe - Centaurs Horse Club; Mary Strauss - Udder Joy Kids Goat Club

26 years: Barri-Lynn Everitt - Round Valley Riders Horse Club; Betty Jane Hunt - Mt. Airy Dairy Club

22 years: Sherrie Peterson - Hunterdon Deadeyes Shooting Sports Club

19 years:  Delia Gardiner - Hunterdon County Drill Team

16 years: Marie Heyduke - Hunterdon Hoppers Rabbit Club

15 years: Matt Peterson - Hunterdon Deadeyes Shooting Sports Club

14 years: Nancy Mendonca - Gregarious Goat Kids Club; Carol Weisenbacher - Youth Council & Community Service

13 years: Kristin Burkhardt - 4 PAWS to Freedom Seeing Eye Club

For more information on the Hunterdon County 4-H program see http://www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/rutgers/4H.htm