Tonia Zeiler honored with Missouri 4-H volunteer leadership award

  • Published: Friday, April 15, 2022

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 17-23, the Missouri 4-H Foundation is presenting Tonia Zeiler, of Lafayette County, with the 2022 Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award for 13 years of service and support to 4-H.

“We are honored to recognize Tonia Zeiler for her outstanding efforts on behalf of Lafayette County 4-H,” said Rachel Augustine, director of the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

Recipients of the Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award may select a 4-H club or county program to receive a $250 award in their honor. Zeiler chose the Napoleon Cloverleaf 4-H Club.

Q: How did you first become involved with 4-H?

A: I first became involved with 4-H when my children joined. We love 4-H as a family, participating in so many events where we could all attend. We also had several projects overlap with our two boys—taking advantage of family time and building fond memories.

Q: Why do you think 4-H is important for young people?

A: 4-H is so important for young people because of the skills they gain. Through the process of completing their projects, they learn how to manage their time and money. They also learn how to communicate as they interact with project leaders and fair judges. The confidence they develop speaking in front of strangers is so important as they move into their higher education and career phases of life.

Q: What made you want to become a 4-H volunteer?

A: I became a 4-H volunteer at first to share my talents with other 4-H kids, like many other volunteers were sharing with my boys. Eventually that led to leading our club and working at the county level with the youth leadership team. I’ve met so many fantastic young leaders and have been honored to be a small part of their lives.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a 4-H volunteer?

A: The most rewarding part of volunteering is seeing quiet, shy kids grow and gain confidence in their ability to lead a project team or serve as an officer in their club.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to give back to 4-H?

A: Talk to your club or county leader. There are so many opportunities to bring your talent and time to this program. The rewards are so immense as you see kids grow and gain confidence.


The Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award is presented annually to volunteers and organizations for devoting their time and talents to MU Extension’s 4-H youth development program. The award is named in honor of Naomi Crouch, a native of Plattsburg, Mo., who was a 4-H volunteer and Missouri 4-H Foundation trustee for more than 20 years.

About Missouri 4-H

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

About the Missouri 4-H Foundation

The Missouri 4-H Foundation is the private resource partner of the University of Missouri Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development. For more than 70 years, the foundation has secured and managed funds for Missouri 4-H, providing higher education scholarships, recognizing 4-H volunteers and supporting the work of MU Extension 4-H. Learn more at

Photo available:
Tonia Zeiler, a recipient of the 2022 Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership Award from the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

Writer: Chris Willow Schomaker

Media Contact

Rachel Augustine