Local News

4-H members receive annual awards

The Thayer County 4-H program wrapped up the 2020 4-H year with a virtual awards announcement video Oct. 20. 

Their in-person S’mores & Awards achievement night scheduled for Oct. 18 was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. 

The full results are as follows:

Achievement Applications are four page maximum “story-like” applications where 4-H members describe their significant accomplishments during the past year rather than listing completed projects or events. 4-Hers detail their 4-H experiences, leadership, and community involvement contributions and then reflect how those experiences have sparked interest in careers or future plans. 

These applications have two age divisions. 

The senior division is for students 15 years and older and those applications are eligible to move on to the state level. 

The junior division is 14 and under and those are judged on the county level only. 

Both age divisions have project area honorees and curriculum area winners and earn certificates for those honors at the county level. 

The junior division was judged by the record book committee of the 4-H Council, and the senior division was judged by a neighboring county’s extension office staff.

Senior Division

Animal Science Project Area Honorees

Beef Project: Logan Dick and Lacey Schmidt;

Goat Project: Olivia Brueggemann;

Sheep Project: Alanna Fangmeier;

Swine Project: William Brueggemann;

Rabbit Project: Makinna Peterson; and

Animal Science Curriculum Area Winner: Makinna Peterson. 

Communications and Expressive Arts 

Project Area 


Public Speaking Project: Kara Kniep;

Communications and Expressive Arts Curriculum Area Winner: Kara Kniep

Consumer and Family Science Project 

Area Recognition

Family Lifestyles (Heritage) Project: Kelby Mumm;

Clothing and Textiles: Lacey Schmidt and Alyssa Malchow;

Home Environment: Laiken Mumm; and

Consumer and Family Science Curriculum Area Winner: Kelby Mumm.

Leadership and 


Project Area 


Leadership: Alanna Fangmeier and Walker Dick; 

Leadership and Citizenship Curriculum Area Winner: Walker Dick.

Plant Science Project Area Recognition

Horticulture/Gardening and Florticulture: AnnaMae Howe and Logan Dick; 

Plant Science Curriculum Area Winner: Annamae Howe.

Healthy Lifestyles Project Area Recognition

Foods and Nutrition: Annamae Howe and Alexia Dick;

Healthy Lifestyles Curriculum Area Winner: Alexia Dick.


Education and 

Earth Science Project Area Recognition

Environmental Stewardship: Kara Kniep;

Environmental Education and Earth Science Curriculum Area Winner: Kara Kniep.

Science and 


Project Area 


Wood Science: Laiken Mumm;

Technology and Engineering: Walker Dick and Bryn Kniep; and

Science and Technology Curriculum Area Winner: Laiken Mumm. 

Junior Division

Animal Science 

Project Area Honorees

Beef Project: Ava Kniep, Logan Schmidt and Reese Harms; 

Sheep Project: Taivry Virus; 

Swine Project: Barrett Harms; 

Poultry Project: Laiden Heinrichs, Keirsten Heinrichs, Braxton Peterson, Emma Brueggemann, Riley Farnstrom; 

Rabbit Project: Jacilyne Peterson and Braxton Peterson; 

Horse Project: Keirsten Heinrichs and Sonia Heinrichs; and

Animal Science Curriculum Area Winner: Riley Farnstrom. 

Communications and Expressive Arts 

Project Area 


Photography/Theatre Arts: Alecia Howe;

Public Speaking: Laiden Heinrichs, Ava Kniep and Riley Farnstrom; and

Communications and Expressive Arts Curriculum Area Winner: Riley Farnstrom.

Consumer and Family Science 

Project Area 


Child Care and Human Development: Lauren Dick;

Home Environment: Ella Brueggemann; and

Consumer and Family Science Curriculum Area Winner: Lauren Dick.

Leadership and 


Project Area 


Citizenship: Kaleesha McBride and Ava Brueggemann;

Leadership and Citizenship Curriculum Area Winner: Ava Bruggemann.

Plant Science 

Project Area 


Horticulture/Gardening and Florticulture: Jacilyne Peterson, Danessa Buckles, and Danica Buckles;

Plant Science Curriculum Area Winner: Jacilyne Peterson.

Healthy Lifestyles Project Area Recognition

Foods & Nutrition: Jacilyne Peterson, Aliecia Howe, Lauren Dick, and Ava Kniep;

Healthy Lifestyles Curriculum Area Winner: Lauren Dick.

Science and 

Technology Project Area Recognition

Technology and Engineering: Aliecia Howe;

Science and Technology Curriculum Area Winner: Aliecia Howe.


The Livestock Record Book awards were designed to motivate exhibitors to keep careful records of their expenses and income for their livestock projects to better understand the business of raising livestock. 

These are also broken into junior and senior age divisions. 

Rosettes were awarded to the top record book keeper in each specie in each age division. 

The winner of each specie will also get first pick of barn space for 2021 since no herdsmanship contest was held in 2020 because of COVID-19 modifications. These awards were judged by the record book committee of the Thayer County 4-H Council.

Senior Division

Beef: Lacey Schmidt

Swine: Reese Harms

Poultry: Makinna Peterson

Rabbit: Makinna Peterson

Horse: Kaylee Jo Reinke

Junior Division

Beef: Braelynn Renz

Sheep: Kohen Guassman and Brayden Gauassman (tie)

Swine: Barrett Harms

Poultry: Braelynn Renz

Rabbit: Jacilyn Peterson

Horse: Braelyn Renz


Active Participation Awards are $50 cash awards given to the top ten most active participants in the Thayer County 4-H program. 

Exhibitors earn points for attending workshops, competing in contests, and volunteering to better the Thayer County 4-H Program. 

The 2020 Active Participation Award winners are: Lacey Schmidt, Riley Farnstrom, Logan Schmidt, Makinna Peterson, Alanna Fangmeier, KayLee Jo Reinke, AnnaMae Howe, Keirsten Heinrichs, Aliecia Howe, and Alexia Dick.


The Nebraska 4-H Diamond Clover Program encourages 4-H youth to engage in a variety of projects and activities that will enable members to acquire the life skills necessary to lead successful lives as a competent, caring and contributing citizens. 

The program’s overall goal is to provide 4-H members a rich and diverse learning experience. This recognition program can be started at any point in the year and is a great way to start getting more involved with 4-H. 

For each of the six levels, the Nebraska 4-H Diamond Clover program provides a list of accomplishments from which 4-H youth choose their goals. 

The application and program is designed at the state level and awarded at the county level. 

The 2020 Diamond Clover Awards are: 

Walker Dick – Level 6 Diamond;

Alexia Dick – Level 5 Emerald;

Lacey Schmidt – Level 5 Emerald;

MaKinna Peterson – Level 5 Emerald;

AnnaMae Howe – Level 4 Sapphire;

Logan Dick – Level 3 Ruby;

Lauren Dick – Level 3 Ruby;

Jacilyn Peterson – Level 3 Ruby;

Logan Schmidt – Level 2 Aquamarine;

Aliecia Howe – Level 2 Aquamarine;

Braxton Peterson – Level 2 Aquamarine;

Riley Farnstrom – Level 2 Aquamarine; and 

Kalesha McBride – Level 2 Aquamarine.


Supreme Market Awards are tabulated after fair because they take into account the animal’s rate of gain, ultrasound score, and show ring placing. 

There was no rate of gain contest for sheep and goats in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Market Hogs do not have a starting weigh in and do not have a rate of gain contest. 

The winner in each species wins an embroidered folding chair to use at future shows and 4-H events.

Market Beef: Ava Kniep;

Market Goat: Alanna Fangmeier;

Market Sheep: Natalie Tietjen; and

Market Swine: Emma Brueggemann.


Bucket Calf awards are also tabulated after fair because the trophies are awarded based on totals from the interview, record book, and live show placing. 

The champion first year bucket calf exhibitor for 2020 is Braelynn Renz and the champion second year bucket calf exhibitor for 2020 is Kayden Kuhlmann.


The 4-H Council also awards special awards to deserving members and volunteers. 

The Alicia Rippe First Year 4-Her Award is given to an outstanding 1st year 4-H member in Thayer County in loving memory of Thayer County 4-H member Alicia Rippe. 

Winners demonstrate a dedication to new learning experiences, exemplary workshop, contest, and fair participation, and strong community service. 

The 2020 winner is Laiden Heinrichs.


The top two Thayer County 4-Hers, usually junior or seniors, who have shown excellence in learning experiences, participation in 4-H activities, and community service earn the Hugo Broeder award. 

The 2020 Hugo Broeder award winner is Kelby Mumm.


The Thayer County 4-H Council awards the meritorious service award each year to an individual or company who demonstrates exemplary service to be a friend and champion of 4-H. Reinke Manufacturing has supported 4-H through food stand support, donation of employee time to assemble the livestock arena’s new bleachers, and gifts of time, energy and materials to improve the livestock barns. 

Employees have also dedicated their time and talents to coaching Thayer County 4-H’s Robotics Program. Reinke Manufacturing is the 2020 Thayer County 4-H Meritorious Service Award Recipient.


The recipient of the Clayton Hergott Legends Award must display exemplary service, determination, and dedication to 4-H.  

They will go above and beyond the duties asked of them by volunteering and helping wherever needed, even in the face of adversity.  

They show grit, determination, and outstanding leadership skills. These qualities are shown and noticed by peers and others. 

The 4-H Council votes on the candidates who are brought to them.  They may be nominated by anyone who submits their name to the 4-H Council or its members. 

The 2020 award winner pitched in to help maintain the horse arena, volunteered time and energy to several fairgrounds projects, and even put himself in harm’s way to take down a wasp nest during the rabbit show at the 2020 fair. 

Russ Reinke is the 2020 Thayer County 4-H Clayton Hergott Legends Award Recipient.


We’d also like to recognize our Thayer County 4-H Clubs and their leaders:

Big Green— Carrie Anderson;

Byron Country Critters — Tara Kuhlmann;

Creative Clovers — Elissa Mumm;

Fantastic 4-H Friends —  Traci Virus;

Hebron Town and Country — Steve & Jana Tietjen;

Little Blue Country Kids — Gina Hudson;

Mind Full of Him — Jennifer Brueggemann;

Oregon Trail Stockman — Ranae Hintz

Outlaws — Britany Renz

This & That 4-H Club — Kelly Howe and Judy Kirchoff;

Spring Creek Boots and Buckles — Holle Evert; and

Willing Hands — Jon and Delinda Mohrmann 


Our 2020 4-H Council members went above and beyond to make sure youth had a successful county fair even with COVID-19 modifications. 

The 2020 council was made up of Tara Kuhlmann, President; Christy Farnstrom, Vice President; Sara Kresser, Treasurer; Todd Fangmeier, Secretary; Wade Heinrichs, Ellen Schmidt, Shawna Peterson, Heather Malchow, and Mark Virus. Kuhlmann and Schmidt will leave the council at the end of 2020 due to term limits, and we appreciate the work they’ve dedicated to make the 4-H program better. 

Our 2020 youth members were Alanna Fangmeier, Makinna Peterson, Lacey Schmidt, Buchannan Tietjen and Traven Virus.


For those interested in joining 4-H and learning about all of the positive youth development opportunities in Thayer County,  youth ages 8-18 can enroll in Nebraska 4-H. 

Youth between the ages of 5 and 7 may also enroll as Clover Kids. 

 There is no fee for officially enrolling as a Nebraska 4-H member, and local extension staff is happy to sit down and help navigate the enrollment process. 

Call 402-768-7212 or email thayer-county@unl.edu to get started.