Co-op Support for NC 4-H Recognized at Volunteers Conference

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are committed to supporting education initiatives that enhance the learning and development of our state’s youth and partnering with organizations that do the same, especially in rural communities across the state. NC co-ops are longstanding partners with North Carolina 4-H and were recently recognized for their support.

At the 4-H Volunteer Leaders Conference on Saturday Feb. 4, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives was presented with the 4-H Donor Recognition Award for its support of the organization and commitment to helping fulfill the 4-H mission. The Volunteer Leaders Conference is an annual gathering of 4-H volunteers from across the state that come together to participate in interactive workshops and gain knowledge and skills to take back to their local communities. North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives has sponsored the conference for several years.

Accepting the award on behalf of North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives was senior vice president and COO of association services, Nelle Hotchkiss, along with manager of public relations, Chris Nault. In prepared remarks, Hotchkiss thanked NC 4-H for the recognition and the hundreds of volunteers in attendance for their dedication to youth education.

“On behalf of our state’s electric cooperatives, thank you to the North Carolina 4-H Volunteer Leaders Awards Committee for selecting us for this recognition, and thank you to each and every one of you for the work that you do every day for our state’s youth,” Hotchkiss said. “Thank you for the countless hours you devote to inspiring a shared vision and enabling others to act through their service to NC 4-H and NC Cooperative Extension programs. You are molding the leaders of tomorrow and together, our organizations are building a brighter future for all of North Carolina.”

(Left to right) Dr. Claudette Smith, associate administrator, NC A&T Extension, Dan Cook, board chair, NC 4-H Honor Club, Nelle Hotchkiss, senior vice president and COO of association services, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, Chris Nault, manager of public relations, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, Dr. Mike Yoder, associate director of extension and state 4-H program leader, NC 4-H

In addition to annual support of the Volunteer Leaders Conference, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have been proud sponsors of NC 4-H’s Citizenship North Carolina Focus conference for nearly 15 years. This conference gives high school-age 4-H’ers the opportunity to learn about civic engagement, youth advocacy and how to make a difference in their communities.

“North Carolina 4-H and North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have a long history of collaboration, partnership and support. North Carolina 4-H is appreciative of all that North Carolina’s electric cooperatives do to ensure that our young people are learning the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful during and after their time in 4-H,” said Dr. Mike Yoder, associate director of extension and state 4-H program leader. “Providing dynamic and relevant training for our NC 4-H Volunteers is crucial to the success of the North Carolina 4-H program and the positive development of all of our youth.”

About half of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives also directly invest in local 4-H programs in their local communities. Some co-ops contribute funds supporting livestock shows, youth camps, golf tournaments, scholarships and more. Others provide electric safety demonstrations, participate in field days, donate materials for energy efficiency campaigns in the community, have employees serve on advisory committees and support disaster preparedness programs.

4-H is the largest youth development organization in North Carolina and the nation, and N.C. State Extension and Cooperative Extension at North Carolina A&T conduct 4-H programs that allow youth to “learn by doing.” Local 4-H programs in the state serve many of the same rural areas as North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives do, making the partnership between organizations unique and impactful.