You are here: Home / Users / / 4-H volunteer leader awarded regional recognition

Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

4-H volunteer leader awarded regional recognition

STILLWATER, Okla. – A volunteer 4-H leader in Dewey County is being recognized once again for her dedication to the 4-H Youth Development program.

Donna Peoples, who has served as a volunteer leader in Vici, Oklahoma, for almost nine years, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year Award for the Southern Region. She is now a finalist for the Salute to Excellence National Volunteer Award. Last July she was named the Oklahoma 4-H Volunteer Leader of the Year. The award is available to individuals who have been volunteer leaders for less than 10 years.

“Donna falls into a wonderful category of other volunteer leaders from our state who have been named Southern Region winners,” said Karla Knoepfli, assistant Extension specialist, volunteer and leadership development in the State 4-H Office at Oklahoma State University.

Although she did not grow up as a 4-H’er, Peoples certainly has made a difference in the Oklahoma 4-H Program as an adult.

“I’m truly honored and humbled to be receiving additional recognition,” Peoples said. “I feel I have probably gained as much from the 4-H members and their families as I have been given. The kids are top-notch because the parents are working to instill important life-skills that also are at the foundation of our 4-H programs.”

Peoples said her children joined 4-H because she felt it would be a good activity for her homeschooling family. After a year, the leader stepped down and Peoples became a co-leader.

“A friend and I shared the responsibilities,” she said. “Then she needed to step down, so even though it was way out of my comfort zone, I took the job.”

She has served as a leader for both the Vici junior and senior 4-H clubs during her volunteer career and has been a mentor for the junior club volunteer leader.

“Donna is always eager to do whatever needs done for the 4-H program,” said Jean Bailey, OSU Cooperative Extension 4-H educator in Dewey County. “She keeps saying she hasn’t done that much, but she has. She’s one of the best quality, hardest working volunteers I’ve worked with in the 13 years I’ve served as an Extension educator.”

Aside from being a volunteer leader, Peoples has been involved in many areas of the Dewey County 4-H Program. She assists with the robotics project club and was instrumental in designing and developing the Dewey County Fair Jamboree. She also helps with the Fairest of the Fair Contest, Dewey County Food Showdown and the consumer judging contest. She also is actively involved on the district and state levels in activities such as record book judging and various camps to Share-the-Fun and serving as a chaperone for various events and activities.

“I enjoy helping the kids and watching them in their accomplishments and becoming what they didn’t think they could be,” Peoples said. “It’s been a privilege to watch my children and other people’s children, and even myself, learn, grow and accomplish things that were thought to be beyond our reach. 4-H is a great stepping stone for life and life skills and I wish more would take advantage of the opportunities.”

Austin Ladd is a member of the Vici 4-H Club and said Peoples has enhanced his 4-H experiences.

“Mrs. Peoples provides me with strong moral support, always giving me the advice that I really needed to hear,” Ladd said. “The 4-H members in her club love it when we have our monthly

meetings because she makes them so fun and productive. I know that without Mrs. Peoples I wouldn’t have had the experiences that I have had.”

Despite that her children are nearly grown, Peoples said she plans to continue her support of the 4-H program.

“I hope to be able to continue supporting the local programs because this is our future and it’s our responsibility to do our part and never give up. Being a volunteer leader is fun, challenging, rewarding, exhausting and worth everything I have ever put into it,” she said. “I have truly enjoyed watching my children and their friends grown and mature into fine young men and women who exhibit the life skills that will carry them through their future.”



Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures.  This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; phone 405-744-5371; email: has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

Trisha Gedon
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
Oklahoma State University
136 Agriculture North
Stillwater, OK  74078
405-744-3625 (phone)
405-744-5739 (fax)

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078