A 4-H leader can be empowering and influential to 4-H members by teaching them important life skills through the 4-H program. Being a volunteer 4-H leader takes time and dedication, not only to the 4-H members, but also to the 4-H program.

Loren Kruse and Successful Farming are excited to partner with the Iowa 4-H Foundation to present the second annual Loren Kruse/Successful Farming Outstanding 4-H Leader Award. This award honors an individual who has dedicated time, talents and treasures to ensure that his/her 4-H club members receive the best 4-H experience possible.

"I will always be grateful for the dedicated volunteer leaders and extension professionals who led America’s 4-H programs," Kruse once wrote to 4-H supporters. "The people through 4-H made a difference in my life. They taught me life skills that I use every day."

The nomination parameters are similar to those Loren Kruse was so grateful to receive and benefit from himself:

• A leader who has inspired a 4-H’er to reach potentials beyond those they thought they could achieve on their own merits and

• A leader who has served (or is currently) serving Iowa 4-H’ers.

Nominees must be nominated by a current or former Iowa 4-H’er. Nominations must be submitted to the Iowa 4-H Foundation by Feb. 1. The nominations will be reviewed by a small group of neutral decision-makers, who know and understand the 4-H impact. The individual recipient will be selected by criteria standards and notified no later than June 1.

The recipient of the 2014 Loren Kruse/Successful Farming Outstanding 4-H Leader Award will be recognized at the State 4-H Conference on June 25. The recipient will be awarded with a certificate and $1,000 to utilize in one of the following five ways:

Travel, registration and hotel costs to attend a Volunteer 4-H Leader’s Forum for continued inspiration;

Donated back to his/her club for a specific and defined project;

Donation to his/her county 4-H endowment to support local 4-H youth opportunities;

• Scholarship to a 4-H’er in their county (for that year);

• Donation to the Iowa 4-H Foundation in the name of the honored leader.

"The Loren Kruse/Successful Farming Outstanding 4-H Leader Award is the only ‘permanent’ 4-H leader recognition in the state of Iowa. This prestigious award allows Iowa 4-H leaders to be recognized for their dedication to the Iowa 4-H Youth Program," says Kris Fish Kuhlmann, executive director at the Iowa 4-H Foundation. "These 4-H leaders have inspired young 4-H members to be the best they can through the principles of 4-H. I’m so proud to work with Meredith Corporation and the E. T. Meredith Foundation to provide this deserved accolade."

The nomination application and more information can be found on the foundation’s website at www.iowa4hfoundation.org.