Vera J. Wiltse

Class Year: 2004

County: Isabella

Title: 4-H youth agent, Michigan State University Extension

“It was as a 4-H member that I first had the opportunity to travel outside the state of Michigan. I loved it! I have been able to share that interest in traveling, meeting new people and seeing new places with numerous 4-H youth through interstate and international exchange programs every year.”
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For the past 30 years, Vera Wiltse has overseen the care of the Orr Community Building, a former one-room schoolhouse that her 4-H community club converted to a community center. She was co-founder and officer of the Isabella County CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition and has also been instrumental in the development of the Michigan Barn Preservation Network over the past nine years, serving as president for the past five. Wiltse is also the past chairperson of the Isabella County Health and Human Services Collaborative Council, and she developed and taught enrichment classes for the Coleman Community Schools Community Education program. Wiltse has served 4-H and her community diligently as an Isabella County 4-H volunteer leader for the past 33 years and as the Isabella County 4-H agent since 1987. She is a current member of both the Youth Development Area of Expertise and the Global Education State 4-H Program Priority Area teams. Previously, she was a member of the state 4-H programming committees for FOLKPATTERNS and older youth, served as the president of the Michigan Association of Extension 4-H Youth Staff (MAE4-HYS), and taught sessions at various state 4-H workshops and trainings. She received the 1990 MSU Extension John Hannah Award for her work with the Michigan 4-H China Project and has also been recognized with the Michigan and National Distinguished Service awards and the Outstanding Quality Program Award at the National 4-H International Coordinators Conference.