Moffat County 4-H names Diane Calim, Nikki Mowdy Outstanding 4-H Leaders of the Year
When it comes to lending a helping hand to the members of 4-H, no leaders have shown more dedication in recent years than Diane Calim and Nikki Mowdy, the winners of the 2020 Outstanding 4-H Leader awards, presented by the CSU Moffat County Extension Office.
Calim has served as a dog leader for 18 years, helping develop close relationships with students and their dogs. Mowdy is relatively new to the role of 4-H leader, having served the last three years as a rabbit and poultry leader.
“Diane is very, very consistent with the kids and dedicated to what she offers,” said Jessica Counts, the CSU Extension Moffat County Director. “She offers weekly meetings for the kids and spends a ton of one-on-one time with the members and their dogs. She’s really just a master of her trade.”
Calim has been involved in 4-H dating back to the 1980s. Winning the 4-H Leader of the Year award is something she says is an honor, knowing all the work she’s put in over the years.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Calim said. “If I have one or two kids that want to learn what I know, and I can pass that onto them and help them form a lifelong bond with their dog, that’s worth the world.”
Calim has always had dogs and trained her own over the years. Getting the chance to pass along her knowledge and help students of all ages continues to drive her all these years later.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the way she could meet with her project members, Calim remained committed to seeing the job through in 2020, setting up special one-on-one training sessions with 4-Hers, helping prepare them for the 2020 Moffat County Fair.
“We can’t say enough about Diane,” Counts added. “She just made sure she was there for the kids this year and is just so incredibly dedicated and passionate about what she does. The families involved just absolutely love her. She’s made for doing what she does for 4-H.”
For Mowdy, she stepped in to fill a large hole a few years ago, taking over the rabbit and poultry program for 4-H. Mowdy had a tough job in 2020, due to the setbacks from COVID-19.
Much like everyone in 4-H this year, Mowdy couldn’t meet directly with her students until July due to restrictions. That put a time crunch on things leading up to the 2020 Moffat County Fair, but Mowdy stepped up in a big way, making sure everyone was set up for success.
“She has a lot of the same qualities as Diane, honestly,” Counts said. “She made sure the kids had everything that they needed, and she did a great deal in the small animal barn to make sure it was set up and ready to go for the fair.
“She really took the leadership role head-on this year, and we really needed that in the small animal barn this year,” Counts added.
In just her third year in a leadership role, Mowdy said she was thrilled to be named an Outstanding 4-H Leader this year.
“It’s just an absolute honor; it really is,” Mowdy said. “There are so many wonderful leaders in our community, so to be picked for this award…I really don’t know that I have the words to describe what this means.”
As a leader in 4-H, Mowdy has always tried to get her hands on the latest learning materials to help her students succeed, but 2020 was a real challenge for those in the rabbit and small poultry program.
“Working with animals, it’s all hands on, so it was a really difficult year not being able to meet in person early in the year,” Mowdy said. “The positive thing out of this year was that it opened up a whole new way of learning.”
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