In a significant recognition of her outstanding contributions to her community, 19-year-old Katie Collins of Charlotte, Tennessee, has been named one of the winners of the prestigious 2024 4-H Youth in Action Awards, sponsored by Bayer. Ms. Collins has been honored for her dedicated efforts in creating career opportunities in agriculture for diverse and rural youth in her locality.
Raised on a dairy farm, Katie Collins embarked on her journey as a 4-H leader when she was elected as the president of the Charlotte Elementary fourth-grade 4-H Club. Over the years, she has amassed hundreds of hours of leadership training and volunteered extensively in dairy-related activities. Her advocacy led to the expansion of the Tennessee 4-H program, both locally and at the state level.
As the 4-H Honor President, Ms. Collins collaborated with her 4-H agent to develop and execute the “See Yourself in Ag” program. This initiative is designed to introduce young individuals, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, to the world of agriculture and its career prospects. The program emphasizes qualities such as hard work, resilience, and individuality while offering participants insights into the science and economics of agriculture.
The “See Yourself in Ag” program reached 672 4-H’ers through 12 project trips, exposing them to four farmers and eight different industries within the agricultural sector. Impressively, 53 percent of the participants were female, and 68 percent were young people of color.
Reflecting on her journey, Ms. Collins, the 2024 Youth in Action Award Winner, expressed, “Growing up as a mixed-race girl in a rural community, I often felt judged or like I didn’t quite fit in. From my very first club meeting more than 10 years ago, 4-H has given me a sense of belonging and an outlet to be my true self. It’s been so rewarding to help expand 4-H’s life-changing opportunities to even more young people by introducing them to the world of agriculture.”
Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Ms. Collins aims to graduate with a degree in agriculture business and a minor in international agriculture and natural resources.
Dr. Jacqueline (Jackie) Applegate, President of Bayer Crop Science North America, expressed pride in sponsoring the 4-H Youth in Action Awards, highlighting the importance of nurturing youth leadership and providing platforms like 4-H for young individuals to reach their full potential. She also commended the other three 2024 Youth in Action Award winners: Harold “Reed” Marcum of McAlster, Oklahoma; Amiyah Elam of Waycross, Georgia; and Avani Rai of Bloomington, Illinois.
Launched in 2010, the 4-H Youth in Action Awards recognize 4-H’ers who leverage their knowledge gained from 4-H experiences to make a lasting impact in their communities. As a national winner, Ms. Collins will receive a $5,000 higher education scholarship and gain opportunities to share her story nationally, develop professional skills, and network with prominent 4-H alumni.
These awards were announced during National 4-H Week, held from October 1 to 7, as a part of the celebration of the remarkable achievements of young individuals who embody a commitment to service, a love for their communities, and a passion for leadership.
Jill Bramble, President & CEO of the National 4-H Council, applauded the accomplishments of Katie Collins and her fellow award recipients, emphasizing the role of 4-H programs in nurturing leadership and empowering young people to drive positive change within their communities.
For further information on the 18th annual Touch A Truck event and the 10th annual Fly-In, please contact the Dickson Parks and Recreation Department at 615-446-1721. For additional details on the 4-H Youth in Action Awards and to view profiles of the other winners from across the nation, visit www.4-h.org/youthinaction.
4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, empowers confident young people who are prepared for careers and life. 4-H programs, available to nearly six million young people across the U.S., foster critical life skills through hands-on experiences. Supported by the Cooperative Extension System and USDA, 4-H serves every county and parish in the U.S., collaborating with over 110 public universities and more than 3,000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4-H partners with independent programs to empower one million youth in 50 countries. The research-backed 4-H experience cultivates young individuals who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities, make healthier choices, engage in civic activities, and participate in STEM programs.
Learn more about 4-H at 4-H.org and follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Bayer is a global enterprise specializing in the Life Science sectors of health care and agriculture. The company’s products and services aim to enhance people’s quality of life while contributing to their well-being. Bayer is committed to sustainable development principles and upholds its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2015, Bayer employed approximately 117,000 individuals and achieved sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, with research and development expenses reaching EUR 4.3 billion. These figures include the high-tech polymers business, which was spun off as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For further information, visit www.bayer.com/.