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A team of 10 new officers and ambassadors are entering their term as New Mexico’s 4-H state leadership and feeling enthusiastic about serving the organization and their fellow members.

The common desire of the young leaders is to share with other youth the many personal benefits of being a 4-H member, as well as to further develop their own leadership skills.

The group is beginning to plan the three annual state-wide events, as well as hosting virtual workshops during the fall.

Having experienced the first virtual state conference in July, creative ideas are flowing for upcoming virtual events.

“Hopefully, we will be back to in-person events by next summer for the state conference, but meanwhile the team is developing virtual events for the Senior Leadership Retreat in January,” said Cheryl Butterfield, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service state 4-H agent.

Selected during the annual state conference in July, the 2020-21 4-H Leadership Team includes Tatumn O’Toole of Luna County, president; Avery Feldman of Colfax County, vice president; Elida Miller of Dona Ana County, secretary; Austin Rhames of San Juan County, reporter; Kyleigh Kelley of Valencia County, song and recreation leader; and ambassadors Christopher Turner of Santa Fe County, Aimee Coletti of Dona Ana County, Ashlyn Ahlgrim of Valencia County, Cassidy Jimenez of Rio Arriba County and Emily Kitseallyboy of San Juan County.

Serving as the team advisor is Katie Sharpton, NMSU Extension 4-H and family and consumer science agent in McKinley County.

“The officers and ambassadors will do the traditional task of their office, plus we have added a few other responsibilities,” Butterfield said. “The officers will each chair a standing committee and the ambassadors will serve in focus areas.”

O’Toole will chair the election and selection committee for next year’s leadership team.

Feldman will chair the outreach and workshop committee. Miller will chair the service project committee. Rhames will chair the communication committee. Kelley will chair the assemblies committee.

“They will lead the committee members to accomplish the specific task established by the group,” Butterfield said.

Focus areas are a new concept for the ambassadors.

“We asked the ambassador candidates to list three areas they want to promote while serving in the position,” Butterfield said. “They will each develop a plan to promote their focus area and help county agents with workshops when appropriate. We have already had one ambassador help with a virtual baking workshop.”

The ambassador focus areas are livestock by Turner, shooting sports by Coletti, gardening by Ahlgrim, family and consumer science by Jimenez and culture of New Mexico by Kitseallyboy.

Each ambassador is teaming with an officer to present a virtual workshop for 4-H members across the state during the fall. The first was Aug. 31 about livestock presented by Turner and O’Toole.

Being in a leadership role is not new to these 10 youth. Each has served in officer positions in their club and county.

They have also participated in national 4-H events, including National 4-H Congress, Coletti, Ahlgrim, Jimenez and Rhames; Citizenship Washington Focus, Miller, Rhames and Kitseallyboy; National Healthy Living Conference, Jimenez and Turner; and O’Toole at the National 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation; and competitions including Rhames in family, consumer science skill-a-thon at the National Western Roundup.

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