Bowers Farm Manager, Kate Bell, Wins 4-H Award
The Bowers Farm Manager, Katheryn (Kate) Bell, received the Oakland County 4-H Volunteer award at the 2023 Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Awards at Michigan State University. Bell was excited to win this honor, especially as the only recipient of the award in all of Oakland County, and stated, "My greatest reward while being a 4-H leader is seeing a child go from unsure and nervous, to brave and confident."
Bell has volunteered with 4-H since 2017, and has taken on administrative and leadership roles over the years. One of Bell’s greatest accomplishments within the club was during the Covid-19 pandemic. To engage and educate youth while in-person activities were on hold, Bell worked with the Bowers Farm staff to make animal care training videos, which allowed the club’s 100+ members to care for their animals at the farm without overlapping with one another. Even post-pandemic, the videos continue to be useful training tools. Bell is also one of the creators of the Bowers School Farm's Helpful Hands program, which oversees young people as they educate the local community about agriculture with proper animal interactions.
Bell humbly stated, “This award would not be possible without the team and community I have the honor to work with! It truly takes a village."
While the 4-H leadership role was passed to others after the shift to becoming the Bowers Farm Manager, Bell continues to be involved as a 4-H parent, advocating for agriculture and youth education. Bell is an educator and leader who guides with passion and shows genuine interest in and commitment to young people. Steadfastly encouraging them to keep exploring their ideas and building on their understanding, passion, and leadership skills, Bell clearly was the perfect candidate for this award.
4-H is a non-profit organization that seeks to use the head, heart, hands, and health to promote positive youth development, facilitate learning, and engage youth in the work of their community through the Cooperative Extension Service to enhance the quality of life.