Mattson wins state 4-H award

Darlene Mattson of Benton Harbor, at left, accepts her 4-H State Award in Senior Division Companion Animal Science.

EAST LANSING — Darlene Mattson, a 4-H member from the Best Friends 4-H Club in Berrien County, was named the winner of the 2019 Michigan 4-H State Award in Senior Division Companion Animal Science.

The Michigan 4-H State Awards Program took place during 4-H Exploration Days in June at Michigan State University.

The program, which is open to 4-H members ages 13-19, is an opportunity for 4-H’ers to receive recognition while developing their leadership skills and portfolio. The program features a Junior and Senior division in 19 project areas as well as a group award category.

Delegates are invited to participate in the program based on receiving a qualifying score on their application. The application includes a cover letter, resume, 4-H story, and questions that highlight the life skills, project content knowledge, leadership development and civic engagement experiences 4-H members have gained through their 4-H projects.

Up to 12 delegates in the Junior, Senior and Group divisions for each project area were invited to represent their county.

Junior delegates participated in a Junior Leadership Program to help them build their interviewing and communication skills, while Senior and Group delegates competed in interviews.

All delegates attended the recognition event, where they could talk about careers with program donors and MSU Extension Staff.

This year, 80 youth representing 31 counties attended the program as delegates.

Darlene Mattson, the daughter of Herman and Lisa Mattson, has been a 4-H member for 11 years. In addition to her dog project, she participates in expressive arts, clothing and textiles, and archery projects.

She is a team instructor for the Best Friends 4-H Club, a teen instructor for archery in the Straight Shooters 4-H Club, and is one of three teen representatives on the Berrien County 4-H Leaders Association Executive Board.

For more information, or to join 4-H, contact Berrien County MSU Extension 4-H Program Coordinator Kelly Stelter at or 927-5674, ext. 4015.