Arkansas 4-H honors Hall of Fame inductee, teen leaders (2024)

June 7, 2024

By Tracy Courage
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast facts:

  • Zachary Gardner of Washington County, Jack Berryhill from Hot Spring County honored as Arkansas 4-H Hall of Fame finalists
  • 50 youth named 4-H Teen Stars for achievements and contributions to 4-H and community
  • Teen Leader Conference brings together 100-plus 4-H members for leadership training

(979 words)

(Newsrooms, with photos)

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas 4-H recognized a new crop of young leaders, naming 50 new Teen Stars and inducting one into the Arkansas 4-H Hall of Fame.

Arkansas 4-H honors Hall of Fame inductee, teen leaders (1)

WINNER —Zach Gardner of Fayetteville is the 2024 Arkansas 4-H Hall of Fame inductee. (Division of Agriculture photo)

The honors were bestowed June 5 during the Arkansas 4-H Teen Leader Conference that brought 143 teenagers from across the state to the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center for leadership development this week.

The three-day conference is open to 4-H members ages 14-19 and prepares teens for leadership and service responsibilities in their local clubs and counties.

Hall of Fame

Zach Gardner, 18, of Fayetteville, was inducted into the Arkansas 4-H Hall of Fame, an award given to one 4-H member each year who demonstrates high achievement, commitment and service.

“Zach represents the highest level of achievement in Arkansas 4-H,” said Debbie Nistler, assistant vice president for 4-H & Youth Development for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “He has developed life skills that will continue to serve him well as an engaged member of his community. We are so excited to see him succeed in his next adventure."

Gardner has been a member of Washington County 4-H member for 13 years, and leadership is one of his project areas. He served as an Arkansas 4-H state officer from 2022-2023 and has represented Arkansas 4-H at National 4-H Congress in Atlanta and at Citizenship Washington Focus in Washington, D.C.

More than 1,000 hours of his community service has involved veterans. He volunteers at Fayetteville National Cemetery where he serves on the advisory board and has participated in the National Wreaths Across America project. He is a VA Hospital teen volunteer and has helped with the National Salute to Veterans on Valentine’s Day for eight years. During the pandemic, when visitors were not allowed inside the hospital, Gardner organized car parades through the hospital parking lots.

Gardner has been a leader not just in 4-H but also in scouting, sports and his community.

He attained his Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts and served two years as captain of his high school’s lacrosse team. He served on U.S. Senator John Boozman’s Congressional Youth Leadership Cabinet, attended Boys State, and served on the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Teen Leadership Council.

Gardner credits his mom, Jana, with getting him involved with 4-H at age 5.

“I’ve been in 4-H forever and have had many leaders who I’ve looked up to,” Gardner said, after receiving his award. “To be recognized as one feels like a full-circle moment.”

Gardner recently graduated from Fayetteville High School in the top 1 percent of his class. He will attend the University of Arkansas this fall to pursue a degree in finance and later plans to go to law school.

“4-H has shown me success is not based on winning elections, competitions or awards, but instead results from the process and steps along the way that help me understand who I am, what I believe, and what I am capable of,” he said. “4-H has motivated me to serve others, live my life with purpose, and use my time, talents and abilities to make a difference.”

Jack Berryhill of Hot Spring County was also recognized as a Hall of Fame finalist. Berryhill served as the Arkansas 4-H state president from 2022-2023 and has held numerous leadership roles as a Teen Star and 4-H Ambassador. His project areas include foods and nutrition, animal science and leadership, which he is most passionate about.

“It’s about understanding others, what they’re working toward, and then how to work together to achieve a common goal,” he said.

Teen Stars

Arkansas 4-H recognizes members for outstanding achievement in their projects and activities, leadership and community service with the Teen Star recognition.

To be a Teen Star, 4-H members must be at least 14 years old and have proven success in their project work.

"Our Teen Stars have worked very hard to earn this award,” Nistler said. “They are a wonderful reflection of the years of service, record books and project experiences. I am so excited to see them grow even more in our program."

This year’s 50 Teen Stars were selected from hundreds of applicants and represent 20 counties. The recognition paves the way for them to move into higher positions of leadership as 4-H Ambassadors, who can then run for state officer positions.

The 2024 Teen Stars include:Benton County — Kayley Ashlee, Noah Darnell, Garrett Haley, Lilyan Lubbess, Bailey Malone, Emma Millsap, Graceyn More, Belvia Powers, Lucas Rea and Lillian Swarengin

Carroll County — Kaitlyn Armer, Katelyn Rexwinkle and Dalton Warner

Clark County — Daniel Jackson, Emilie Taylor andBlakely Thompson

Craighead County— Justin Morris

Faulkner County — Chloe Parish

Grant County—Miley McGinley and Aubrey Ottens

Greene County— Joseph Haywood and Leona Hickman

Hot Spring County— Amanda Berryhill

Independence County— Logan Wiltrout

Logan County— Alyssa Mills and Emily ReddyMadison County— Jade Emitt

Miller County— Carlie Keahey

Monroe County— Gracie Delk

Pope County — Aaron Nuckols

Pulaski County— Lillian Reynolds and Trusten Reynolds

Saline County — Lily Brosi

Sevier County— Charlie Collins, Nick Diaz, Raegan Frachiseur, John Moe, Monica Rivas, Chip Stamps, Katie Williamson and Evan Wolcott

Stone County— Addison KennonWashington County— Joshua Bailey, Makyla Cox, Catelyn Stearman and Yahya Sridjajamerta

White County— Hannah Gaskin, Lynnlee Morrison, DeLylia Sanderlin and James Shourd

Arkansas 4-H is the youth development program conducted by the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. It offers programs for youth ages 5-19 in every county in Arkansas.

To learn about Arkansas 4-H, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Arkansas 4-H online athttp://uaex.uada.edu/4h-youth/.

Follow us on X and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uada.edu. Follow on X at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on X at @AgInArk.

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. The Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact:
Tracy Courage
Director of Communications-Extension
U of A System Division of Agriculture
501-658-2044

Arkansas 4-H honors Hall of Fame inductee, teen leaders (2024)
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