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Schultz Named 2023 Michigan 4-H Animal Science Youth Sportsperson of the Year

By Autumn Converse

Good sportsmanship is a critical skill for youth. Competitive events and activities provide a great opportunity for youth to learn how to be fair, respectful and gracious – whether they win or lose. Demonstrating good sportsmanship is not just for youth 4-H members: it applies to everyone involved, including volunteers, parents, leaders and others.

The Michigan 4-H Animal Science Sportsperson of the Year Award recognizes one youth member and one adult 4-H leader who exemplify the definition of sportsmanship. The winners of this award have gone above and beyond to lead by example and lend a helping hand to those around them during animal science programs.

In 2023, the youth Michigan 4-H Animal Science Sportsperson of the Year winner is Eve Schultz, a 4-H member in Tuscola County who participates in beef, swine, horse and still projects. Schultz received glowing nominations from several 4-H leaders in her county, as well as from Michigan State University Extension Tuscola County 4-H Program Coordinator Katie Cooper. It is clear that Schultz exemplifies good sportsmanship in all aspects of her 4-H experience.

A theme throughout her nomination letters highlights a specific instance when Schultz demonstrated the ultimate act of good sportsmanship at this year’s beef show in Tuscola County. Because of this selfless act, Schultz was also nominated by the judge of this beef show.

The judge said, “During my time judging this show, a young person made a very honorable impression on me. What I thought was going to be her asking me why she didn’t win, ended up being her thanking me for beating her with another showman. She told me they were good friends and her friend’s ultimate fair goal was to win the showmanship derby. Because her friend placed above her, the friend would have that opportunity.”

The judge continued, “In all my years of judging, I have never had an exhibitor thank me for beating them so someone else could achieve their goals. I share this story during my final drive speeches when I judge shows now because it serves as a great reminder of why 4-H is so special and why it is second to none when it comes to teaching young people about life.”

To be nominated by a judge for such a selfless act speaks volumes to Schultz’s character and the impression she makes on everyone around her. Congratulations, Eve!

In total, 20 youth from across Michigan were nominated for the 2023 Michigan 4-H Animal Science Sportsperson of the Year Award. Each of them deserves recognition for the ways they demonstrated good sportsmanship this year. The nominees were:

  • Stellamia Aerts, Ottawa County
  • Mary Bisard, Oceana County
  • Vaino Boomer, Macomb County
  • Emma Challender, Shiawassee County
  • Landon Chrusciel, Allegan County
  • Danae Covey, Lenawee County
  • Brody Croll, Isabella County
  • Isolde Deal, Muskegon County
  • Emma Hawkins, Shiawassee County
  • Collin Keeslar, St. Joseph County
  • Lily Kettlewell, Sanilac County
  • Piper Koebel, Kent County
  • Jewel Laux, Houghton County
  • Alan Mrva, Shiawassee County
  • JC Oosse, Leelanau County
  • Mateo Rivera, Muskegon County
  • William Rogers, Washtenaw County
  • Hazel Stone, Shiawassee County

The 2023 adult winner of this award is Jennifer Specht, a 4-H leader in Saginaw County.

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