Abigail George, Collin Weltzien, Katelyn Abts, Deanna Wiersgalla, Briar Putz and Lavander Plank were awarded as the 2017 Buffalo County 4-H scholarship recipients. The $500 and $250 scholarships will be presented at each graduation ceremony or scholarship banquet on behalf of the Buffalo County 4-H Leaders’ Association. The scholarships are set aside for a select number of graduating Buffalo County 4-H members who excel in citizenship, leadership and community service. George, Weltzien, Abts, Wiersgalla, Putz and Plank also completed a resume and interview process to earn a scholarship.
Deanna Wiersgalla is a 4-H youth leader in the Golden Hornets 4-H club and the daughter of Cara Lee and Gary Wiersgalla. She was selected for a scholarship for her outstanding accomplishments in leadership for service-learning initiatives. She received the Wisconsin 4-H Key Award, the top honor in the state for a 4-H member, as well as was the first youth recipient of the Buffalo County Community Servant Award in 2016. She is an active role model at the Cochrane- Fountain City 4-H Afterschool program and also mentors younger members in her 4-H club. Deanna is also engaged in many other youth development initiatives in Buffalo County at school and throughout her community. Wiersgalla will graduate from Cochrane-Fountain City School District in May and will attend UW-River Falls for Agriculture Education this fall.
Abigail George is a member of the Hilltop Climbers 4-H club and will graduate from Mondovi High School in May. Abby is the daughter of Doug and Patty George. In her time as President of the Buffalo County 4-H Youth Leaders Council, George has worked with many young people her local 4-H club to strengthen learning through service experiences. Abby has also taught over a hundred young people in Buffalo County about sustainable agriculture as a state-selected Ag Innovator Experience youth leader. She also received the Wisconsin 4-H Key Award, the top honor in the state for a 4-H member, and encourage 4-H members at the Mondovi Community Youth Center. Additionally, George is committed to youth development and integrates her 4-H learning experiences into her multiple roles in her school, community and throughout Buffalo County. George will be attending the University of Wisconsin – River Falls for Agri-Business.
Collin Weltzien is a member of the Glencoe Hustlers 4-H club and will graduate from Arcadia High School in May. Collin is the son of Karen and Keith Weltzien. Weltzien will be attending UW-River Falls for Agricultural Business or Dairy Science. Collin has been an integral youth leader in his community 4-H club and with younger 4-H members. Collin also traveled on the service-learning travel experience to Hawaii and led community service efforts at home in Buffalo County.
Lavander Plank will graduate from Cochrane-Fountain City High School this spring as an active member of the Golden Hornets 4-H club. Lavander is the daughter of Janell Plank and granddaughter of Sandy Plank. Plank was an integral youth representative and officer on the Friends of Buffalo County 4-H trust board, an organization that works to maintain and secure long-term financial support for Buffalo County 4-H programs.
Katelyn Abts is a member of the Hill & Hollow 4-H club and is a senior at Cochrane-Fountain City High School. Katelyn is the daughter of Bruce and Lisa Abts. While Katelyn has contributed much to her community club, her favorite 4-H memory and greatest impact comes from being a camp counselor at 4-H Camp Kinnissippewa for three years. Katelyn was also traveled on several 4-H travel experiences including several service-learning ones across the nation. After graduation, Abts plans to attend Winona State University for secondary education.
Briar Putz is currently the President of the Golden Hornets 4-H club and is the son of Teri and Brian Putz. Putz will graduate from Cochrane-Fountain City School District in May. During his time in 4-H, Briar was engaged in many community service experiences and participated in the educational travel experience out West celebrating the 100 years of the National Parks.