MANHATTAN, Kan. – A former Jewell County 4-H member is being honored with a 2012 Kansas 4-H Alumni Award. The award, which marks leadership, citizenship and service, will be presented at the 4-H Emerald Circle Banquet May 31 in Manhattan, Kan.
The recipient – Tracy (Bruning) Quackenbush – was selected by an annual statewide nomination and review process, said Deanna Sweat, K-State Research and Extension agent in the Post Rock District’s Mankato Office.
Tracy Quackenbush earned support for the nomination from local 4-H families who spoke highly of her as an excellent representative of a former 4-H member reaching out to today’s youth, Sweat said.
“As a member of the Webber Wide Awake 4-H Club, Tracy was enrolled in numerous 4-H projects, and, while working hard to build and improve her skills, she also made practicing leadership, citizenship and service a priority,” Sweat said.
“She was focused, yet always willing to help and mentor others who were in the project or new to it,” the Extension agent said.
When asked, Quackenbush also gives high marks to all of her 4-H projects, which, in addition to the horse and sheep projects, included photography, clothing (buymanship and the Fashion Revue), and leadership.
She also reported the opportunities to practice leadership and parliamentary procedures as she served in numerous club offices, as a Jewell County 4-H Council member, and with various committees as a plus that has helped her throughout her life.
Quackenbush also credits the youth development organization with helping grow in knowledge about caring for animals, including horses, especially after losing her father to cancer when she was a young girl.
While those who know and work with her note that “she has a way with animals,” Quackenbush shares her love for animals, and particularly horses, by working to create opportunities for youth to grow in the 4-H horse project.
For example, she helped to start the Jewell County Horse Club, and, this year, will celebrate her fifth year as the local horse project leader. Horse Club activities include hosting an annual horse show, volunteering and attending the Nebraska Horse Expo, holding monthly meetings, and weekly riding practice during the spring and summer months.
“I’m happy to help, to interact with youth, and to help them grow,” said Quackenbush, who explained: “Teaching youth to set attainable goals and watching them achieve those goals is what keeps me going.”
Quackenbush focused her early career efforts on the care and breeding of horses, but changed careers to focus on her growing family, including husband, John, and daughters Elizabeth and Adalynn, who are now 4-H members.
She currently works in healthcare, and is highly respected as a caregiver.
Tracy Quackenbush is the daughter of Shareth Bruning and the late Jim Bruning.
More information about the award is available from Deanna Sweat in the Post Rock District Office in Mankato, Kan., (firstname.lastname@example.org, or 785-378-3174) and, the Kansas 4-H State Office.