• Drachen Koester.
    Drachen Koester.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – National 4-H Council announced that Drachen Koester, of St. Louis, is a runner-up for the 2021 4-H Youth in Action Pillar Award for Agriculture. Koester is recognized nationally for his commitment to educating youths about the importance of native bees.

Koester’s passion for native bees and the importance of pollination grew when he was chosen as a state teen leader for the Ag Innovators Experience. After attending a national training to learn about bees, Koester discovered a passion for teaching and a better understanding of the natural world. Koester used his training to teach 17 other teens about native bees and empowered them to educate others in their communities. Through 41 events statewide, Koester and the leaders he trained taught 1,121 youths about native bees.

Koester says his 4-H experience inspired him to pursue a career in agricultural education. He is currently an intern with the St. Louis County 4-H program to lead teen programming. As a 4-H member for eight years, Koester was involved in 4-H Robotics, Science Matters, Ag Innovators and Healthy Habits. Koester was also a leader in his Science Matters groups, which addressed community issues, and he attended the National Youth Summit on Agri-Science three times.

The 4-H Youth in Action Awards, sponsored in part by Bayer, began in 2010 to recognize 4-H’ers who have overcome challenges and used the knowledge they gained in 4-H to create a lasting impact in their communities. To learn more about the 4-H Youth in Action program, visit

About Missouri 4-H

More than 55,000 members strong, Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow – making a real difference in their community, country and world. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information, visit

Photo available for this release:
Drachen Koester, runner-up for the 2021 4-H Youth in Action Pillar Award for Agriculture.