Monday, November 5, 2018

4-H Volunteer of the Year Award Presented at annual Awards Banquet

At the November 3rd Emmet County 4-H Awards Night program, the “2018 4-H Volunteer of The Year ” award was presented to 4-H volunteer Mike Netzky.

Mike began his involvement in 4-H over 3 years ago when he inquired about becoming a leader.  The county leader’s council was excited to have a new club start up, and were very interested in having something so new become a part of the program - a 4-H Racing Pigeon Club.

Mike really enjoys working with young people, providing educational opportunities, teaching about every aspect of pigeon raising, while promoting the mission of 4-H.   He especially enjoys getting the word out about the club and the cool things they are doing.

Since the club was formed, there have been six articles in the local newspaper, a multi-page story in a national pigeon publication featuring every member of the club, and most recently a video presentation on TV 9 & 10's segment on northern living.

Mike encourages his members to participate in county events and to volunteer for jobs at various county programs.  For the past two year’s, he has coordinated a club tent outside of the small animal booth during fairweek.  He had informational handouts, colorful brochures and even pigeons.  They had timed races each day to see who’s pigeons arrived home the fastest.  During this past year’s fairweek, the pigeon releases occurred with a new twist.  For a donation to the club, fair visitors could write out a note that was then carried by the pigeon back to the members’ home.   The 4-H’er took the note and mailed it back to the author with a personal note as to when the note arrived and a hand-written thank you from the club member.  All day, every day - there was a line up at the club tent.  The club members were all great ambassadors for their project and for 4-H.

Whether it’s in club meeting, a competitive event or a club outing, Mike stresses education, safety, personal responsibility and continuous learning, all while having fun and making memories.

Mike is always working in the community spreading the good news of 4-H, interacting with the youth and supporting their efforts and accomplishments.  He is a flag waver for 4-H and is well-deserving of this recognition.

Diane M. Brazier
Emmet County 4-H Program Coordinator

P.S. by Mike: This could not be done without the wonderful parents, kids and 4-H programs.