Moffat County 4-H honors Betty Ann Duzik for 30 years of service
It takes a special kind of patience, dedication and overall commitment to spend 30 years in 4-H not only as a leader, but as a leader in the Cloverbuds room.
For the last 30 years, that’s just what Betty Ann Duzik has done, serving as a 4-H leader for youth of all ages and in the Cloverbuds room, helping lead young members from the ages of 5-7 years old in poultry, leathercraft, market swine, ceramics, decorate your duds, vet science, gardening and outdoor adventures.
Duzik served for the last 30 years with grace in the Cloverbuds room with her late husband, Pat, who passed away earlier this summer. Betty Ann and Pat were quite the leadership team over the last 30 years.
Due to her dedication to 4-H and her passion for teaching, Moffat County 4-H is honoring Betty Ann for her 30 years of service.
“As our 4-H Cloverbud program leader, Betty Ann is the rock and foundation of Moffat County 4-H,” said Jessica Counts, CSU Moffat County Extension Director. “I am always in awe at how effectively she can manage a room of 20-plus 5-7 year olds, plus parents and siblings.
“She runs a well-structured, cohesive and engaging program that gives every family and member a chance to be an integral part of the program. She teaches these youngsters to fulfill responsibilities and contribute to the group, and everyone learns from each other.
“Betty Ann’s leadership is an inspiration to our youth and 4-H parents as well,” Counts added. “Pat and Betty Ann have given so much to help build our 4-H community, and I am so grateful for their contributions.”
Betty Ann’s daughter, Chris Rhyne, has watched her mom serve as a leader in 4-H first-hand for the last 30 years. The one thing that kept bringing Betty Ann back to the role as a leader was that she simply enjoyed working with the young children, Rhyne said.
“She just enjoys it so much,” Rhyne said of her mom. “You can imagine that through her work over the last 30 years that she’s had an impact on a lot of people, who are adults now. She likes seeing the kids grow and mature and become adults.
“She just really enjoys the young kids. She just really enjoys exposing the kids to what 4-H has to offer in all those types of projects and seeing the creativity and the spark in them when they’re learning or doing something that they enjoy.”
Serving 4-H as a Cloverbuds leader can be time consuming and really difficult, especially when dealing with hands-on projects with young children. Former 4-H leader and longtime friend Lori Longwell says that having her children learn under Duzik’s leadership over the years has been a blessing.
“Our whole family – I have 12 children – was blessed by having Betty Ann as a leader,” Longwell said. “Our kids just love her. Her patience is amazing, and her willingness to teach kids and go over things over and over and over again is just amazing; it takes a lot.
“I just want to say thank you so much to her for her perseverance and patience all these years; she’s a wonderful lady.”
Knowing that her mom has meant so much to many in the community over the years, Rhyne said she’s so proud of her for reaching 30 years.
“We’re all just so proud of her,” Rhyne said. “To have the longevity of doing that is hard to find, especially in youth activities. For her to continue to do this after all this time, even when she didn’t have any of her own kids or grandkids in the program…to see her continue to be involved over time deserves to be commended.”
“Pat and Betty Ann are the epitome of what leadership and role models are supposed to be,” said Kacey Green, who had her two children go through the Cloverbuds program. “Both of our boys were touched by their 4-H leadership in leatherwork and small engines. My husband Chad was also greatly influenced throughout his 4-H career by them.
“It’s so amazing to see this type of dedication over multiple generations,” Green added. “Pat will be greatly missed.”
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