From cows to robotics, Mark Boshnack has written about topics dear to Otsego County 4-H volunteers, and the organization will name him a “Friend of 4-H” at its annual luncheon in Oneonta on Saturday, an official said.
Boshnack, who retired last year from The Daily Star, helped spread the word about 4-H programs in many articles, said Patti Zellmer, Otsego County 4-H program leader.
“A lot of people don’t realize that 4H is an important part of youth development in Otsego County,” Zellmer said Thursday. Boshnack’s articles told the public about the goals and accomplishments of the programs by interviewing club leaders and members, she said.
“I appreciated his coverage of this program — and overall, of 4-H,” Zellmer said. Otsego County 4-H will have its annual volunteer luncheon at Brooks’ House of Bar-B-Q in Oneonta at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. State Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, will be the featured speaker.
Boshnack, whose beats were agriculture and public schools, joined The Daily Star in 2000. He said covering Otsego County 4-H activities was possible because of Zellmer’s diligence and the cooperation of many group leaders and, of course, the students involved.
“I am honored to be receiving recognition from an organization I have long admired,” said Boshnack, of Oneonta.
“I covered 4-H as part of my beat as a reporter but first saw the value of the program when raising two children in Franklin,” he said. “Not only did I see the impact the activities had on them, but I also helped the local group with programming for a brief time.”
Seward will present Boshnack with a special Certificate of Recognition from the state Senate.
“Over the years, Mark has helped spotlight the many winning attributes of 4-H,” Seward said. “Certainly his work inspired a reader or two to inquire about 4-H, take part in a 4-H event, or become a member.”
The Otsego County 4-H is part of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties. Zellmer said Otsego County 4-H has about 150 adult volunteers and more than 300 youth members.
On Saturday, about 35 club and committee leaders will be recognized, she said.
Amy Proskine, leader of the Gilbertsville Dairy 4-H Club, will be honored for 15 years of service, Zellmer said.
To be recognized for 25 years of service will be Celine Francisco, whose club formerly was Laurens Lady Bugs 4-H Club and who now serves on the Consumer Science Committee, and Sue Mott, a volunteer with the Wells Bridge Sunny Hollow Saddlers.
Seward, a past member of 4-H named a “Distinguished 4-H Alumnus” in 2013, will speak about leadership and the role 4-H played in his life.
“The ideals I learned while a 4-H member helped give birth to my interest in public service and continue to foster my passion each and every day,” he said. “The leadership and life skills taught through the 4-H program provide a sound foundation no matter what you do in later life.”
Denise Richardson, staff writer, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 441-7213. Follow her at @DS_DeniseR on Twitter.