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Three New Board Members Elected at Foundation’s Annual Meeting

The 68th Annual Meeting of the Corporators was held at the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in Westboro on May 9. 2023 featured a slate of speakers from the Foundation and 4-H. This meeting represented the Foundation’s first in-person Annual Meeting in four years. There, the trustees, corporators, and invited guests:

  • Nominated new Trustees and Corporators for the 2023-24 year
  • Heard from Ashley Randle, MDAR Commissioner, Foundation Trustee, and 4-H alumna
  • Saw Steven Borgeson, the President of the Board of Trustees, present the annual Kent Lage Leadership Awards to two deserving graduating seniors, Hannah Swanson and Ella Griswold(link)
  • Enjoyed an inspiring visual presentation from 4-Her Susan Barrows
  • Learned about Massachusetts 4-H’s five-year plan from 4-H Interim Director Meg McDermott
  • The Foundation welcomed new trustees Billy McBride, Associate Director of Athletics – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Amherst College and Jim Hicks, Chief of Police for the Town of Natick, as well as new corporator Kristiana Floss.

Trustees had the opportunity to see animal science and STEM 4-H clubs in action, with several clubs attending and demonstrating their skills, including the Upton Hoofbeats 4-H Club, Sutton Preservationists 4-H Club, Cottontails 4-H Club, Great Scott’s Rabbit & Cavy 4-H Club, and STEM Ambassadors from Holyoke and Springfield.

See you next year!

Giana Biagioni: Leading the Next Generation in Agriculture

In November 2022, Giana Biagioni of Littleton won the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmer & Rancher Collegiate Discussion Meet, earning a $300 prize and qualifying her for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Collegiate Discussion Meet in Jacksonville, FL in March 2023.

As a Farm and Resource Management Major at Central Wyoming College, Giana learned of the state discussion meet from a professor while in class. She volunteered to participate. “I wanted to learn about current issues in the farm industry,” she explained.

The topics for the meet focused on current farming and ranching issues such as climate change and drone technology. Students gave opening statements, analyzed questions, and proposed solutions involving the Farm Bureau.

“Because I’ve grown up doing Visual Presentations and public speaking in 4-H, I didn’t find the discussion meet difficult,” said Giana. “It was fun to interact with other students my age.” Giana has also shown horses at the 4-H and county levels and participated in community service projects as a member of both the Littleton Hack and Tack and the Pepperell Trailblazers clubs.

After college, Giana hopes to pursue cattle ranching and produce beef cows. Another goal is to own a stock contracting company that would raise bulls and horses for rodeos. For now, she looks forward to the Collegiate Discussion Meet. “I am honored to represent Wyoming at the national competition in March,” she said. “I am very excited to discuss the future of agriculture with other young minds.”


Take Action for 4-H Youth!

The Bill that could be Law 

Margaret Turpel

Margaret Turpel from Essex County is a 4-H youth member who has gathered research and reached out to her representatives to file a bill that will put 4-H on equal footing with school sports and clubs. If this bill were passed into law, 4-H students will have the same consideration that student-athletes and club members get when absent for school-authorized activities such as games and field trips. Watch this video of Margaret talking about the bill here.  We are asking you to contact your state representative to be aware of the bill and to sign on as a co-sponsor. Keep reading to learn how you can take action now!

Why is this important? 

Share your story! The 4-H program is a local program that provides national opportunities. It is a research-based experience that includes mentors, hands-on projects, and meaningful leadership opportunities. In 4‑H programs, youth complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and civic engagement in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on leadership roles. Kids experience 4‑H in every county and community in Massachusetts through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4‑H camps. 

Take Action 

The most important outreach for this legislation will come from 4-H youth to their State Representatives. Exercise your ability to advocate and understand the legislative process. The best approach is for youth to personalize the draft letter below and share their projects, career development skills and knowledge gained from the 4-H program.  


To connect with your State Senate and House Representatives click through the link below and type in your home address:   

Also connect with the State Senate and House Representatives that are on the Joint Committee on Education: 

Follow the progress on this bill here:


You can use this draft language for your email or letter and add your own 4-H experience to your Representative:  

Dear Representative ________, 

I am contacting you to request that you co-sponsor House Docket 651 filed on 1/16/23 by Josh Cutler- (Pembroke) Plymouth District 6 and Paul Schmid- (Westport) Bristol District 8. 

If passed, this bill would give students participating in 4-H the same consideration that student-athletes and school club members get when absent for school-authorized activities such as games and field trips. 

Share 1-2 sentences about how the 4-H program has made an impact on you. You can also use some of the information below and edit it to share about the 4-H program.

Your support is important to me and the success of the 4-H program! Youth who participate in 4-H are provided incredible opportunities to put their education in action by participating in local and national trips like National 4-H Conference held annually in Washington, D.C, National 4-H Congress held annually in Atlanta, GA, National 4-H Horse Round Up, 4-H Agriculture Day at the Massachusetts State House, the Eastern States Exposition where they showcase their projects, and so much more.

Thank you! I appreciate your support! 



Wyatt Powers: from 4-H to TEDx

Wyatt Powers

“When I was six years old, we hit the road!”

And so begins Wyatt Powers’ tale of his childhood: traveling around the country in an RV with his mother, who homeschooled him. Wyatt volunteered in several states, visited museums, and attended night sky lectures. Now 19, Wyatt raved about the experience, stating his unconventional childhood enabled him to visit the National Parks and “feel the draft of the Grand Canyon.”

Sometimes, however, Wyatt and his mother stayed put for a while. While living in Massachusetts, Wyatt joined Massachusetts 4-H. He fondly remembers his experiences in the Science Pirates 4-H Club, where he built and launched rockets and learned about human anatomy.

2014 Big E Speech

The Science Pirates also gave Wyatt his start in public speaking, and he delivered his first Visual Presentation about a prehistoric sea creature. Wyatt said he was initially very reluctant to present, but that soon changed, and he gave a Visual Presentation at The Big E.   “I found the joy of sharing what I loved with other people,” he explained. “That inspired me to join Toastmasters.”

His experiences in Toastmasters developed his presentation skills, and a mentor from the organization suggested to apply to give a TEDx talk. In 2022, Wyatt delivered two TED talks to audiences within a month: How RV Schooling Taught Me IQ, EQ, and NQ (Nature Quotient) and a second talk about experiential learning in the National Parks.

TEDx Talk

Currently in his third year at New Mexico Highlands University, Wyatt is studying Organizational Leadership and Public Safety. “I hope to pursue government communications,” said Wyatt.

From the RV and 4-H to the hallowed halls of government? It seems likely for Wyatt.

Take me to the Fair

The Marshfield Fair bustled with activity from August 19th-28th. Plymouth County 4-H showed their dairy cattle, beef cattle, and goats, offering activities for children and families each day of the fair.

4-H also participated in the Big E, held from September 16-October 2. 4-Hers shined in Visual Presentations.

The Berkshire County 4-H Fun Day and Youth Fair celebrated its 80th anniversary this year! Activities included animal demonstrations, dance performances, a craft fair, STEM demonstrations, and a goat milking contest.

Shirley Kane Memorial 4-H Golf Tournament Hits a Hole in One

Pictured from L to R: Kathy Adams, Board Trustee and daughter of Shirley Kane, accepted a plaque in honor of her family from Board of Trustees President Steve Borgeson, Corporator Allan Walker, and Foundation Executive Director Carrie Myers.

The 20th Annual Shirley Kane Memorial 4-H Golf Tournament raised over $60,000 on September 12. This year the tournament celebrated 20 years of raising funds to support 4-H programs across the Commonwealth. To commemorate the day, Steve Borgeson, President of the Board of Trustees, presented a plaque to Trustee Kathy Adams, daughter of Shirley Kane. Golfers enjoyed a challenging course at the Holden Hills Country Club, a raffle, silent auction, and post-tournament barbeque.

The Massachusetts 4-H Foundation Announces New Board Members for 2022-23

The Massachusetts 4-H Foundation’s Board of Trustees has elected three new trustees and one new corporator for the 2022-23 year at its Annual Meeting held on May 10, 2022. Phil Trotter, Lindsey Larson, and Dr. Carey Leckie were elected as trustees, and John Lindquist was elected as a corporator.

Phil Trotter is a retired healthcare executive and built the claims operations department at Multigroup Healthplan (later Harvard Community Health Plan). Phil also held leadership positions at Healthcare Administrative Partners and Dedham Medical Associates. He completed his professional career as the Director of Revenue Cycle at Massachusetts Eye & Ear. Phil has served on the Board of Trustees for the Walker School, Big Brother Big Sister, and Friends of the Council on Aging in Dover. He has a strong interest in advancing opportunities for children in underserved populations throughout Boston.


Lindsey K. Larson works as an Economist in the Agricultural and Food Global Practice of the World Bank. Her interest in sustainable agriculture began in the Massachusetts 4-H Program, where she raised prizewinning dahlias as a member of the Flora, Fauna, and Feathers Club. After graduating with her BA from Dartmouth College, she worked for the National Geographic Society and World Wildlife Fund.

Lindsey earned both her Master’s of Environmental Management and MBA from Yale University. She worked in sustainable finance before joining the World Bank in 2019. Lindsey is a Social Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Jacobs Foundation, Lindsey serves on the Board of Restore Mass Ave, the Board of Advisors of the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, and the Grants Advisory Committee of the We Mean Business Coalition.


Dr. Carey Leckie OT, OTD, OTR, CHT is an Occupational Therapist/Certified Hand Therapist currently employed as an associate academic fieldwork coordinator at Springfield College. As the leader of the K-9 Wizards 4-H Dog Club, she works with youth aged 5-19 to foster skills in leadership, public speaking, and emotional intelligence, while providing opportunities for members to improve dog knowledge and skills with their canine partners.



John Lindquist lives in Upton and is the owner of Lindquist Electric. He and his wife also run Town Line Farm, where they sell grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, pork and lamb, seasonal
vegetables, and local products such as milk, honey, and maple syrup. A longtime supporter of the
Shirley Kane Memorial Golf Tournament, he loves 4-H and is happy to join as a Corporator.



The Massachusetts 4-H Foundation Names Carrie Myers as Its New Executive Director

The Massachusetts 4-H Foundation appointed Carrie Myers to serve as its Executive Director, effective January 3, 2022. Myers brings over 20 years of experience in fundraising and delivering programs to youth development organizations. Most recently, she served as Director of Advancement for the North Carolina Outward Bound School where she led and consolidated the development, communications, sales, and marketing teams. She designed and implemented a comprehensive, results-oriented advancement plan. Myers previously held leadership positions with the Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont Council and the YMCA of Greater Toledo. She has also consulted with various organizations with a focus on strategic planning and professionalizing their fundraising programs.

Steve Borgeson, President of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, commented, “We are thrilled to have Carrie join the Foundation. She has deep fundraising and program experience with mission-driven nonprofits. Carrie will, among other things, reorganize and rejuvenate the Foundation’s fundraising efforts and advance the Foundation’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion both at the Board level and in the 4-H youth development programs the Foundation helps to fund.”

Borgeson continued: “I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the excellent work of the Board’s Executive Director Search Committee led by Trustees Erika Prahl and Ashley Randle, as well as the team of Jodi Dowling and Mimi Brunelle from TSNE MissionWorks who guided us through the search, hiring, and onboarding process with great skill and patience.

Myers, who holds a B.S. from the University of Mount Union and an M.Ed. from the University of Toledo, is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). She will lead an accomplished staff of three with the goal of redesigning and refocusing the Foundation’s advancement program. She noted: “I am pleased to join the Foundation at this pivotal

point in its history and to work with the Foundation’s Trustees and Staff and the 4-H leadership and educators at UMass Extension. I look forward to strengthening the annual giving program, creating new relationships with funding sources, forging innovative partnerships, and growing the $8.9 million endowment.

Myers added, “I am excited to play an integral role in growing and enhancing the Foundation’s commitment to support young people through helping to fund a variety of inclusive, accessible programs. I am impressed that 4-H has developed a broad base of experiential learning curricula on topics ranging from the traditional animal and agricultural sciences to climate change, food safety, global food security, sustainable living, and STEM programs in robotics and coding.”

Established in 1955, the Massachusetts 4-H Foundation’s mission is to enrich and advance 4-H youth development programs throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 4-H is America’s largest youth development organization open to all young people ages 5 through 18. The organization empowers young people to be confident, resilient, and curious participants and leaders in the active work of life.

Following her Vision

4-H Alumna Lindsey Larson shares her experiences working at the World Bank

Many years ago, 4-H alumna Lindsey Larson came to the realization that it was important to promote the dignity of farmers. This belief drew her to a successful career in conservation and sustainable finance, in which people make investments with the intention of generating positive social and environmental impact along with a financial return, such as by promoting farming.

Lindsey’s experience eventually led her to the World Bank, where she works as an Economist in the Agriculture and Food Global Practice, connecting the concepts of healthy economy, healthy planet, and healthy people.  This past summer, Lindsey met with 4-H members and staff via Zoom as part of Massachusetts 4-H’s Career Exploration series.

The World Bank was founded in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference following World War II, Lindsey explained to the Zoom attendees.  As the largest development bank in the world, the World Bank works today to alleviate global poverty and promote shared prosperity throughout the world.

In her unit that manages $20 billion in projects worldwide, Lindsey works on two major initiatives. Through the Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration Impact Program, she supports projects that promote sustainable production of food and commodities such as coffee, cocoa, corn, and others.  She also leads an initiative called “Enabling the Business of Agriculture,” which analyzes how “friendly” countries are to their farmers and ranks them accordingly.

Farmers can often be vulnerable, relying on unpredictable harvests as their primary source of income, Lindsey explained. Farmers who want to transition to new, sustainable production practices often face large, upfront investments. While farmers in developing countries can get loans, the interest rates are often sky-high.

The World Bank develops solutions to reduce the uncertainties of the farming profession by addressing systemic risks (for example, creating insurance for crops ruined by bad weather) and focusing on ways to reduce costs in financing smallholder farms. These efforts support commercial banks in offering loans to farmers at reasonable rates.

According to Lindsey, the World Bank also supports access to data, such as statistics for weather monitoring. “There are increasingly better tools today, which lead to better data, which should lead to better decisions,” explained Lindsey.

Working toward such important goals can come with tricky moments. “It’s really difficult work,” explained Lindsey. “You may have a goal that seems simple and altruistic, but when you get into the weeds of these projects, things come up that you never thought of.” Much of the World Bank’s initiatives, said Lindsey, succeed by changing behavior in developing countries. “You have to get the right decisionmaker’s interest captured,” noted Angelica Paredes, 4-H Educator.

Lindsey’s decisions took root in her childhood, when she was an enthusiastic member of the Flora, Fauna and Feathers Club in Topsfield. She spent about 8 years in 4-H, showing Heritage breeds of poultry and growing up to 200 dahlias per year. In addition to wonderful memories, 4-H provided Lindsey with attributes that would serve her in good stead throughout her life, including confidence in her passions, as well as leadership and interpersonal skills. “4-H left me with a lot of lifelong skills and an appreciation for the natural world.”Lindsey urged 4-Hers to keep an open mind by listening and learning from others. She recommended they seek help from potential mentors. “Send emails asking for informational interviews and develop relationships,” advised Lindsey. “You never know where that connection might lead. Say yes to every opportunity, and build your network.”

Most importantly, Lindsey encouraged the young people to dream big about their future vocations, as she once did. “Think about your vision for the world…I’ve always been interested in agriculture due to the environmental impact, and to promote the value of human dignity. The decisions I make in my job make a huge difference toward those things.”


4-H Warms the Heart

4-H Educator Cathy Acampora is pictured with 4-Hers April, Mary and Anna, delivering their packages to MaryAnn Mendes, Volunteer Coordinator at Father Bill’s & Mainspring.

Part of 4-H includes empowering youth to make their communities better. So when Cathy Acampora, Administrative Assistant in the Plymouth County office, saw a need to help the homeless in Fall 2020, she didn’t hesitate to help.  This is how “4-H Warms the Heart,” a program that involved Plymouth County 4-Hers in making nearly 900 packages of warm winter items for the homeless, was born.

The name “4-H Warms the Heart” originated from the featured body part in the 4-H pledge of Head/Heart/Hands/Health. The gloves in the package will warm the recipients’ hands, but the kindness will warm their hearts, said Cathy.

The ambitious project involved more than 60 4-H youth from 16 different 4-H clubs in 10 different towns. Cathy directed the kids to wrap either fleece scarves and blankets into packages with gloves, socks, lotions, or kids’ crafts, tied up with a ribbon and accompanied by a warm note.  She also made approximately 150 similar packages herself.

The packages eventually warmed guests at Bethesda House, Conway House, Friends of the Homeless of South Shore, Otis Air Force Base, L Street Mission, and several other organizations that support the homeless.

Cathy was amazed at the youths’ generosity. “We actually had kids that did 40-50 scarf sets on their own,” she said. “We had kids who really went above and beyond.”

The project made a significant impact on the participating 4-Hers. Cathy asked the youth who had contributed the most packages to also assist in delivering them to those in need. “I wanted them to see part of the process so they could see their effect on people and how appreciative the recipients were.”

The idea certainly worked. Caroline, 18, and a member of Weir the Ponies Club in Hingham, enjoyed the service project. “It was really rewarding, it was really fun, and we were all really happy to do it.  It was incredible seeing all the (filled) bags together,” continued Caroline. “Everyone who received the packages was very happy to get them… was great helping those in need.”

Samantha, age 11 and a member of the Spirit Fingers Craft Club, also found the experience gratifying. “It was fun to make the packages because I knew I was doing something good. I made three boxes,” she said.  Leigh, Samantha’s mother, commented, “The project was a good way to kick off the virtual 4-H season.”

All the materials for the packages, including fleece, gloves, socks, ribbons and cardstock, were donated by Joann Fabrics, a longtime partner of the National 4-H Council.

“This partnership is a gift to so many,” said Cathy. “Our local store in Plymouth is so generous, and when we told them what we were doing with the fleece, they were so thrilled.” Cathy would like to repeat the project, if she can once again secure materials.

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