Class Year: 2016-17
“During my years as a leader, my biggest rewards have been watching the young 4-H kids achieve a goal they have been striving to reach. To see the excitement on their face and then see them move on after graduation. Watching them move on in life and seeing that I might have made an impact on them.”
Penny Sween has contributed her efforts to 4-H since she was an Ingham County youth 4-H’er. Today, she has helped create the successful Town N County 4-H Club. In addition to being the club administrative leader, she was the Ingham County rabbit superintendent, 4-H council president and member of the Ingham County 4-H Livestock Committee. Recently, she has joined the 4-H rabbit developmental committee to provide leadership to statewide programs such as the State 4-H Rabbit and Cavy Show, State 4-H Rabbit and Cavy Expo, and the Kettunen Center Workshop that provides training for volunteers and teen leaders in the rabbit and cavy project areas. Sween has developed her own business, alongside her daughter, called Jezuit Rabbitry. Additionally, she is an active member of Michigan State Rabbit Breeders Association and the American Rabbit Breeders Association as well as state and national breed associations and local rabbit organizations. She is a nationally known and respected rabbit judge, achieving the positions of registrar and certified judge. Sween is constantly encouraging youth to explore their passions and interests and to get involved. She has recruited volunteers from all over the state and helped members of her club take part in events such as the Michigan 4-H State Awards program, 4-H National Congress, 4-H Exploration Days and Kettunen Center Workshops just to name a few. She has engaged club members in community service through participation in the local Project Rural Education Day and has been an active role as a primary resource person on the state-level, serving as both a State 4-H Rabbit Show Committee member and content expert and contributor on several 4-H publications.