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JULIE BUNTJER/DAILY GLOBE Nobles County 4-H youth leaders Claire Bents (left), Laura Lorang and Brandon Weidert (right) present Benjamin Cunningham with a framed print of the T-shirt that was sold as a fundraiser for the Cunningham family to help with medical expenses. Proceeds from sales raised nearly $5,000 for the family.

Nobles County 4-H'ers earn recognition

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ADRIAN -- Nearly three months after a car crash south of Worthington left a Round Lake teen fighting for his life in a Sioux Falls, S.D., hospital, Benjamin Cunningham was walking, talking and accepting accolades from his 4-H family during the Nobles County 4-H Achievement Banquet Saturday night in Adrian.

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Cunningham was critically injured in a crash on his way home from the Nobles County Fair on Aug. 15. The Indian Lake Progressives 4-H club member and county 4-H Ambassador spent six weeks in the hospital.

On Saturday, Cunningham was recognized with two of the highest honors given to 4-H'ers -- the 4-H Key Award and the William H. Danforth "I Dare You" award. He was also presented with a framed memento of the T-shirts sold as a 4-H fundraiser for the family, along with a check for nearly $5,000 in T-shirt sale proceeds.

Other 4-H Key Award winners honored Saturday included Kristi Lubben of the Indian Lake Progressives, and Bridget Enninga of the Seward Trail Blazers. Additional "I Dare You" awards were presented to Heidi Enninga of the Seward Trail Blazers and Kristi Lubben of the Indian Lake Progressives.

Bruce and Naomi Lubben were honored as the Friends of 4-H, while New Vision Cooperative received the Business Friend of 4-H award.

A newly established Andrea Ruesch scholarship -- created in memory of the long-time 4-H supporter, former Nobles County 4-H member and former 4-H Extension educator -- was awarded to Bridget Enninga of the Seward Trail Blazers.

Newly elected federation officers were sworn in during the event, and include Bridget Enninga, president; Kristi Lubben, vice-president; Benjamin Cunningham, treasurer; Laura Lorang, secretary; Stephanie Behrens, recreation; and Brandon Weidert, officer-at-large.

Other awards presented include:

4-H record Awards

of Excellence

Claire Bents: Senior food & nutrition, youth leadership

Quinn Bents: Junior creative arts, food & nutrition, photography

Kendrick Bickett: Junior beef, dog, fishing sports

Megan Blanchard: Senior dog, photography, wildlife biology

Duane Christensen: Senior food & nutrition, crop sciences

Grayson Christensen: Junior creative arts

Natalie Cook: Senior plant & soil sciences, performing arts, poultry

Benjamin Cunningham: Senior beef, swine, fishing sports

Alicia Darling: Senior cat, poultry, creative arts, food & nutrition, potatoes

Brianna Darling: Senior food & nutrition, home environment

Jessica Darling: Junior poultry, creative arts, clothes you buy, food & nutrition

Natalie Demuth: Junior creative arts, photography

Abby Drenth: Senior dairy, beef

Derek Drenth: Senior dairy, beef

Carter Lindner: Senior swine, shop

Ben Doeden: Senior dog, goat, creative arts, photography, youth leadership, self-determined

Bryan Doeden: Junior goat, pets, creative arts, food & nutrition, wildlife biology

Ellen Dudley: Senior horse

Mason Ellenbecker: Junior dog

Bridget Enninga: Senior dog, goat, swine, clowning, food & nutrition, citizenship, youth leadership

Heidi Enninga: Senior goat, swine, clowning, food & nutrition, needle arts, citizenship, youth leadership, fruit

Jasmine Fletcher: Senior lawn & landscape, home environment, needle arts

Hunter Foote: Junior entomology

Cody Frodermann: Junior poultry, swine

Andrea Fuerstenberg: Senior food & nutrition

Kyla Fuerstenberg: Junior food & nutrition

Cody Gravenhof: Junior beef, goat

Paige Gravenhof: Senior beef

Sadie Groenewold: Senior beef

Anya Hartzler: Junior dog, rabbit

Megan Hartzler: Junior rabbit

Sara Hartzler: Senior rabbit

Brandon Heidebrink: Senior computer

Sarah Jacobs: Senior swine, quilting, food & nutrition, clothes you buy, youth leadership

Dillon John: Senior shop, performing arts

Dustin John: Junior performing arts

Tanner Kamm: Senior small engine, photography

Amber Kamm: Senior clothes you buy, food & nutrition

Ashley Kingery: Senior dog

Dana Kingery: Senior dog

DJ Lambert: Junior beef

Laura Lorang: Senior photography, veterinary science, horse

Nick Lorang: Senior shop, photography, poultry, horse

Amy Lubben: Senior swine

Hunter Lubben: Junior sheep

Kristi Lubben: Senior beef, sheep

Dillon Pedersen: Senior geospatial, wildlife biology

Nicole Prins: Junior photography, clothes you buy

Brent Reed: Senior horse

Haley Ruesch: Junior horse

Nathan Russell: Junior beef

Alissa Sauer: Senior creative arts, photography, clothes you buy, clothes you make, food & nutrition, food preservation, home environment, quilting, citizenship, youth leadership, self-determined

Anna Sauer: Senior clothes you make, senior food & nutrition, senior food preservation, senior home environment, senior quilting, citizenship, youth leadership, senior flower gardening

Megan Sauer: Senior clothes you buy, senior clothes you make, senior food & nutrition, senior food preservation, senior home environment, senior quilting, senior entomology, citizenship, youth leadership, senior flower gardening, senior self-determined

Morgan Sauer: Senior horseless horse, senior clothes you buy, senior food & nutrition, senior food preservation, senior home Environment, senior quilting, senior flower gardening, senior self-determined

Craig Soderholm: Senior swine

Deron Soderholm: Senior swine

Joseph Springman: Senior beef, senior sheep

Shelby Springman: Senior sheep

Laeela Steinmetz: Senior dog

Kalani Steinmetz: Senior clothes you make

Mackenzie Wagner: Junior sheep, junior beef

Mitchell Wagner: Junior sheep, junior beef

Brandon Weidert: Youth leadership, senior horse, senior dairy, senior beef

Cole Weidert: Junior creative arts, junior dairy

Special awards

Huntsinger Memorial Secretary Awards: Mackenzie Wagner, Grand Prairie Rockets, and Genna Putnam, Indian Lake Progressives.

Treasurer Awards: Haley Baumhoefner, Seward Trail Blazers; and Cody Frodermann, Graham Lake Braves.

Scrapbook Awards: Haley & Lexy Ruesch, Indian Lake Progressives; and Jacie Lowe and Andy Lira, Ocheda Beavers.

Young Achievers: Blaine Doeden and Emily Zemler, Elk Tip Toppers; Isaac Williams, Graham Lake Braves; Dakota John and Christian Weidert, Grand Prairie Rockets; Jillian Bosma, Jalyn Lubben and Lexy Ruesch, Indian Lake Progressives; and Nicole Sauer, Seward Trail Blazers.

Nobles County 4-H Scholarship: Alissa Sauer, Elk Tip Toppers; and Duane Christians, Elk Tip Toppers.

Ten Completed Years of 4-H Work: Ellen Dudley, Mitchell Gravenhof, Ashly Kingery, Alissa Sauer, Joseph Springman and Shelby Springman, Elk Tip Toppers; Daniel Versluis, Paul Duerr, Sara Hartzler and Kassandra Wilkening, Graham Lake Braves; Benjamin Cunningham and Kristi Lubben, Indian Lake Progressives; Stephanie Behrens, Okabena Bees; and Bridget Enninga, Seward Trail Blazers.

4-H Graduates: Anna Sauer and Craig Soderholm, Elk Tip Toppers; Lane Gehl, Graham Lake Braves; Derek Drenth, Justin Weidert and Katlin Wiertsema, Grand Prairie Rockets; Kristen Dierks, Indian Lake Progressives; Sarah Jacobs, Okabena Bees; Sadie Groenewold and Amber Kamm, Rushmore Central Hustlers; and Michael Hulstein, Seward Trail Blazers.

Youth Leadership awards

Achievement: Alissa Sauer, Elk Tip Toppers; Claire Bents and Sarah Jacobs, Okabena Bees, and Bridget Enninga, Seward Trail Blazers.

Citizenship: Anna Sauer and Megan Sauer, Elk Tip Toppers; Bridget Enninga and Heidi Enninga, Seward Trail Blazers.

Leadership: Alissa Sauer, Elk Tip Toppers; Benjamin Cunningham and Kristi Lubben, Indian Lake Progressives; and Bridget Enninga, Seward Trail Blazers.

Green Clover: Claire Bents, Okabena Bees; and Megan Sauer, Elk Tip Toppers.

Outstanding Beginning Youth Leaders in Club: Ben Doeden and Morgan Sauer, Elk Tip Toppers; Brandon Weidert, Grand Prairie Rockets; Jasmine Fletcher, Austin Kamm and Tanner Kamm, Rushmore Central Hustlers

Outstanding Youth Leaders in Local Club: Alissa Sauer and Megan Sauer, Elk Tip Toppers; Benjamin Cunningham and Kristi Lubben, Indian Lake Progressives; Claire Bents, Okabena Bees; Sadie Groenewold and Amber Kamm, Rushmore Central Hustlers; Bridget Enninga and Heidi Enninga, Seward Trail Blazers.

Outstanding County Ambassadors: Benjamin Cunningham and Kristi Lubben, Indian Lake Progressives; Brandon Weidert, Grand Prairie Rockets; Bridget Enninga and Heidi Enninga, Seward Trail Blazers.

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Julie Buntjer
Julie Buntjer joined the Daily Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington and graduate of Worthington High School, then-Worthington Community College and South Dakota State University, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. At the Daily Globe, Julie covers the agricultural beat, as well as Nobles County government, watersheds, community news and feature stories. In her spare time, she enjoys needlework (cross-stitch and hardanger embroidery), reading, travel, fishing and spending time with family. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at www.farmbleat.areavoices.com.
(507) 376-7330
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