Susie Norz, a Hillsborough resident, has been chosen as one of three recipients for the 2019 Outstanding 4-Hers of Somerset County achievement.
Officials from the 4-H organization said in a statement that “this is one of the greatest honors a 4-H member can receive. Each shared personal experience was recognized by their peers, parents and volunteer leaders.”
4-H is a nationwide network of youth groups who aim to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills through experiential learning programs and a positive youth development approach. The organization has a Youth Development Program, which officials said uses a “learn-by-doing” approach aimed to enable youth to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need to become competent, caring and contributing citizens of the world.
Criteria for selection of this year’s county award included outstanding service in the following areas: demonstration of leadership qualities; personal growth; participation in club, county, state and national events; achievement and attitude; example to others; and contribution to the total program. All were recognized on July 17 during a 4-H Association meeting, as well as a July 24 dinner reception.
4-H officials said that Susie is someone who was born into the county program. She has been a 4-H member for 10 years and is currently enrolled in four clubs: New Centre Dairy; Branchburg Beef Dairy and Livestock; The Utter Club; and Somerset County 4-H Exchange Association. On the county level she has participated in wreath sales, yearbook ad sales and county presentations every year.
On the state level, Susie has been a part of the Junior Breeders Livestock Symposium and an exhibitor in the State Dairy Show. Nationally, she has been a Somerset County 4-H delegate to 4-H Leadership Washington Focus in Washington, DC, the National 4-H Dairy Conference in Madison, WI, and 4-H Leadership For Life in Maynooth, Ireland.
She is also one of a handful of 4-Hers who worked with 4-H staff and volunteers to bring the swine division back to the fair. Officials said that these members engaged in many fundraisers and appeals to various organizations in order to pay for the equipment and enclosures necessary to safely house the pigs at the fair.
Susie took her swine project a step further and organized her club members in a community service project to raise pigs that would be processed for distribution in local food banks. She then continued to raise funds to the equivalent amount of money it would take to purchase, feed and process these animals.
By overseeing the purchase of these animals, providing for their regular care, arranging the processing, and delivering the meat to the food banks, Susie and her club members are providing a luxury not normally seen by clients at area food banks.
The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station-Cooperative Extension. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K-13, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race; religion; color; national origin; ancestry; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity and expression; disability; atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait; marital status; domestic partnership status; military service; veteran status; and any other category protected by law.
Rutgers Cooperative Extension System is funded through a federal, state, and local partnership, with the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture as the federal partner.
For more information about the Somerset County 4-H Program visit the 4-H website at www.4HisTOPS.org.