Lincoln, Neb. — Third-generation 4-Her Abby Durheim has bled green since she first joined her local 4-H club in Virginia when she was 9.
She started showing livestock, sheep and hogs, which she continued throughout her entire 4-H career. In high school, she became involved in the leadership development side of 4-H, serving in state and national roles.
When she decided to attend college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Durheim, now a senior studying agricultural and environmental sciences communication searched for ways that 4-H could remain a strong part of her life. She met with a group of Nebraska 4-H program leaders and was offered a job with the Nebraska 4-H Foundation as a Foundation Relations Intern in January 2018.
Now, she is taking her involvement in 4-H to a new level; Durheim has been selected to serve on the National 4-H Council Youth Advisory Committee.
“4-H has been something that was so integral in my development as a leader and individual, what it meant to me, how I saw the world, and how I sought out opportunities and different things,” Durheim said.
Durheim brings unique perspective of different regions and programs to the role, thanks to her ties to Nebraska and Virginia 4-H. Family members who are involved with 4-H in Ohio have given her a glimpse into the world of 4-H there, as well.
“The coolest part about my appointment to this committee is that I have strong ties to two states and a third set of ties to another state,” Durheim said.
Through 4-H, Durheim has made friends around the world and has learned about herself and her own values. Her fondest memory of making friends from across the nation was when she traveled to Rome in October 2019 to serve on the United States 4-H Program at the 46th Committee on World Food Security at the Food and Agriculture Organization. This opportunity allowed her to engage in conversations about global foods systems. The conversations, networking, and life-long friends she met on the trip made it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
One of Durheim’s strongest relationships, however, is close to home. Her already strong relationship with her father has become even stronger through 4-H, as he has supported her and pushed her to try new things.
Durheim views her appointment to the National 4-H Council Youth Advisory Committee as a way to give back to an organization that has invested in her, and she knows she will be getting a lot out of it, as well. She’ll have the opportunity to work with young adults who are equally passionate about 4-H but have had different experiences.
“It makes me so excited and so proud to be a part of an organization that cares that much about youth development,” Durheim said.
Kathleen Lodl, UNL associate extension dean and state 4-H program leader, said she was excited to have Durheim as a national advocate.
“Nebraska 4-H is thrilled that Abby has been selected for this leadership role,” Lodl said. “Not only will her voice allow Nebraska to be heard on national issues, this will also be an opportunity for Abby to expand her skills and network with leaders across the country.”