Youth Impact Award
Agriculture leaders awarded for inspiring youth
Award will help support and grow agriculture youth programs.
We are excited to announce the 2018 Youth Impact Award winners: Richard Peters, Oklahoma and Debbie Grusenmeyer, New York.
“It is inspiring to learn about the dedication and passion our agriculture leaders put into working with youth,” says Stefanie Fieck, house brands manager for Milk Products. “We know the future of agriculture is in great hands thanks to the efforts of these incredible mentors.”
The Sav-A-Caf® Youth Impact Award annually recognizes mentors who inspire youth to be passionate about animal agriculture.
Peters has a passion for poultry, fueling his mission to educate youth. As a local poultry club leader, he emphasizes the importance of good health practices, strict biosecurity standards and high-quality breeding. Peters also works with youth to host poultry shows and events, and coordinates an annual chick giveaway.
“I take a hands-on approach to all of our events and activities,” says Peters. “Along with the excitement of showing their birds, the juniors are taught showmanship skills which involves public speaking and pushes them to think on their feet.”
Peters has expanded his poultry club from membership in two counties to now reach statewide. He’s also helped grow the club’s poultry show to youth participation from 15 states, in addition to including more than 600 chicks in the club’s annual giveaway.
“My biggest reward comes from seeing kids become successful,” says Peters. “And realizing that hard work, determination and good sound reasoning will almost always yield positive results.”
Peters’ poultry program will receive a $2,000 award and a Sav-A-Chick® product package for winning the Sav-A-Caf® Youth Impact Award. He plans to use the award to update equipment, improve show awards and grow the annual chick giveaway.
Second Place: Debbie Grusenmeyer, Ithaca, N.Y.
Grusenmeyer leads the way for New York dairy youth by developing, coordinating and implementing programs. She serves as the PRO-DAIRY youth specialist and statewide 4-H dairy programmer. The cornerstone of her program is Junior DAIRY LEADER, founded in 2000 for youth, ages 16-19, with an interest in exploring dairy careers.
“This program not only gives youth an opportunity to explore different careers in the dairy field, but it also helps them build personal and professional skills,” says Grusenmeyer. “It’s amazing to see how much youth grow from being pushed out of their comfort zones.”
Grusenmeyer will receive a $500 award and select Sav-A-Caf® products to support her program for receiving second place.
“We are honored to recognize these outstanding agriculture leaders who are making an impact on today’s youth,” says Fieck. “We continue to be impressed by the quality of applicants we receive for this award and look forward to seeing next year’s candidates.”