Emmy Award Winning Broadcast Journalist
Lisa Sylvester is the cut-in news anchor and correspondent for The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. Sylvester also reports for a series on family focused topics and has contributed to pieces including: supermarket bargain-hunting; a profile of a working mom, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA); and, a special look inside the First Lady’s White House garden with White House chef Sam Kass. Previously, Sylvester served as the Washington-based correspondent for Lou Dobbs Tonight.
Sylvester joined CNN in 2004 from ABC, where she had worked since 2000. At ABC, she served as a Washington, D.C., general correspondent and a correspondent for the network’s Weekend News.
Earlier in her career, Sylvester worked as a reporter for KTVI-TV in St. Louis and WMBD-TV in Peoria, Ill. She also served as a reporter for WKRN-TV in Nashville, Tenn., where in 1997 she won an Emmy and an Associated Press award for a report on “Tornado Survival.”
Sylvester has received multiple awards throughout her career, including the 2004 Business Emmy Award for the "Exporting America” series. She also played a key role in the coverage which earned the network a Peabody Award in 2002 and an Emmy award in 2001 for coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Sylvester earned a degree in international economics from Georgetown University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Tractor Supply Company (TSC) and 4-H share common values, and the belief that the way to improve local communities is by investing in the young people that live in them.
TSC stores have been investing in 4-H locally for many years, but in 2010, a national partnership with National 4-H Council was launched that has already surpassed raising more than $2,000,000 for local 4-H programs in more than 1,000-plus unique communities across America. Through semi-annual in-store Paper Clover fundraisers hosted across all TSC stores every fall and spring, a portion of proceeds from reusable bag sales, proceeds from Dumor Show Feed which supports 4-H animal science learning activities, and sponsorship of premier events like National 4-H Congress, TSC is helping fund the various ways that millions of 4-H young people are learning life skills, citizenship and leadership qualities, and ultimately emerging as the future leaders of America. Their unceasing commitment and that of each their thousands of team members makes TSC a corporate pioneer of youth development and is why we are so proud to honor them with the 2013 4-H Corporate Leadership Award.
Many 4-H members and families are TSC customers, and so many TSC team members either grew up in 4-H or are involved in 4-H today. Mr. Gregory A. Sandfort, has been the President of TSC since February 2009 and its Chief Executive Officer since January 1, 2013. Under his leadership, the TSC/4-H relationship has contributed to the growth in the resources that National 4-H Council has been able to make available to local 4-H communities nation-wide. These natural connections and the way that TSC’s corporate values: development, teamwork, initiative, honesty and integrity mirror the values in 4-H is what makes our partnership so strong. The company’s mission is To work hard, have fun, and make money by providing legendary service and great products at everyday low prices, and just as TSC puts all of its effort toward delivering on that promise, they continue to deliver on the promise of helping millions of 4-H young people make a difference in their communities today, and become the innovative, skilled workforce of tomorrow.
Known worldwide for her work in the design of humane animal handling facilities and working with families dealing with autism, Dr. Temple Grandin is this year's Distinguished Alumni Medallion winner. Dr. Grandin is a New Hampshire 4-H alumna, where she was involved with the 4-H horse project. Horses and the 4-H horse project were a refuge from the teasing and bullying she experienced as an autistic child.
Her first research in animal handling was a result of her work as an assistant 4-H leader for beef and lamb projects. This research project on the importance of proper animal handling procedures started her on the path to her notable career as an author, animal handling facility designer, and sought after public speaker. In 2010, HBO also produced a biographical movie about her accomplishments.
Dr. Grandin says: "Young people need to be exposed to agriculture in order for them to become interested in it. 4-H is an ideal way to expose children and teenagers to agriculture.I know a number of students who had no background in agriculture and they found out that they enjoyed working with livestock when they had an opportunity to do it. Young people need to have opportunities to work with animals. Middle school is an excellent time to get students involved in agriculture and other specialized careers. 4-H is a good position to expose young children to agriculture. Students need to learn that there is more to life than video games."
Elisabeth D. Willis is a junior in high school, born and raised in Pittsburg County,Oklahoma. She has been an Oklahoma 4‑H'er since the age of five. In 2009, she applied and was selected to serve as a Oklahoma State 4-H Ambassador and is currently serving in her fourth year in this role. Her service has included travel to various places including Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia.
Elisabeth is being honored with the Youth In Action award for her service learning project, which has raised $10,000 for the Therapeutic Equestrian Association of McAlester (TEAM). TEAM is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping youth and adults with disabilities access equine therapy. Many of the volunteers who make TEAM possible are present or past 4-H members and their parents. Elisabeth helped establish a local TEAM 4-H club to raise awareness of the program, as well as hosting an annual music festival, all profits of which go directly to TEAM.
Elisabeth says, "4-H has impacted my life in so many ways. It has not only provided me with leadership development but also service learning project opportunities. Being so active in 4-H as well as other organizations has challenged my life in an abundant way. I have learned through past 4-H experiences that with help from others, I am not alone."
In addition to her involvement in 4-H, Elisabeth also plays basketball and is an active church member. Her future goals are to attend a bible college for at least one year and then to attend Southwestern Christian University, majoring in Sports Therapy.