FARGO, N.D. — Rick Jorgenson of Devils Lake, N.D., is North Dakota’s Outstanding Lifetime 4-H Volunteer for 2019.
He received the award during the North Dakota 4-H Foundation’s annual Awards and Donor Recognition Luncheon in Fargo.
Jorgenson, a retired insurance adjuster, has dedicated thousands of hours to 4-H, including more than 500 hours per year to the Ramsey County 4-H shooting sports program.
“Because of Rick, we run a top-notch air rifle program that is full to capacity and has students wanting additional instruction in the discipline,” says Cindy Olson, 4-H program assistant in Ramsey County. “He has turned our air rifle program into the premier air rifle program in the state.”
Jorgenson also has shared his expertise and helped volunteers start an air rifle program in other counties.
In addition to teaching youth the air rifle fundamentals, he instills in them the concepts of respect, responsibility, patience, persistence and sportsmanship. In turn, the youth with whom he works obviously have the utmost respect for him as a person and coach, says Olson, who nominated Jorgenson for the volunteer award.
“I was one of Rick’s students for several years and I can’t begin to tell you what he did for me as a shooter,” says Brandon Alexander of Ramsey County, who was the 2017 national 4-H air rifle champion.
“Rick has a way of connecting to the kids really well,” Alexander adds. “He always teaches us in a way we can understand, and he pushes us further than we think we can go.”
Jorgenson began working with Ramsey County’s air rifle program in 2005, when it started, and he became its leader. He also has assumed leadership for the state 4-H air rifle match. In addition, he has attended national training to be a state trainer and holds training at least once a year to certify and recertify air rifle instructors for the state 4-H program.
“This is no small undertaking as he recruits enough 4-H air rifle instructors to assist in running the match to make it a safe learning environment during the event,” Olson says.
“Adult volunteers are the heart of North Dakota State University Extension’s 4-H youth development program,” says Rachelle Vettern, leadership and volunteer development specialist with NDSU Extension’s 4-H Center for 4-H Youth Development. “Volunteers like Rick Jorgenson help 4-H youth gain learning and leadership skills as they prepare for careers and engage in communities.”
— NDSU Agriculture Communication
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