Paula Bodenhamer is first-ever Ozark Countian to receive highest statewide 4-H award

Dora 4-H Leader Paula Bodenhamer, left, receives the Frank Graham Leadership Award for her 17 years of dedication with the Dora 4-H club. Bodenhamer is pictured here with Ozark County MU Extension Council Chair Tate Stehle.

Ozark County’s Paula Bodenhamer, leader of the Dora 4-H club, received the 4-H Frank Graham Leadership Award this spring. 

The Frank Graham Leadership Award is the highest honor Missouri 4-H bestows upon its volunteers. The award was created to recognize exemplary 4-H volunteers for their hard work and dedication to Missouri’s youth. Bodenhamer is the first and only 4-H volunteer to receive the award from Ozark County.

Bodenhamer has been leading the Dora 4-H program for the past 17 years because she wanted the younger siblings of her FFA students to have an opportunity to participate in agriculture. She has found over the years that the 4-H program has given her an opportunity to work with a younger age of student she doesn’t normally get to work with as a high school agriculture teacher. And she says she really enjoys it working with the younger-aged children.

“Paula is a huge asset to our Ozark County 4-H program,” said Ozark County Youth Specialist Dr. Krista Tate. “With her livestock knowledge, her program is topnotch and her members learn life skills they can utilize as adults.” 

Bodenhamer was one of 60 volunteers recognized statewide for her commitment and leadership to the University of Missouri Extension 4-H Youth Development program. The 4-H program is part of the University of Missouri Extension and is publicly-supported by county, state and federal governments as well as private resources. 4-H is available to all Missouri youth, providing a variety of projects youth can participate in. 

“The 4-H volunteer winners embody the spirit of 4-H and what it really means to be a true leader,” said Missouri 4-H Director Lupita Fabregas. “We have deep gratitude for their commitment to serve as mentors, teachers, and guides for our youth as they find their spark.”

For more information regarding 4-H opportunities in Ozark County, contact the Ozark County MU Extension office at 417-679-3525 or email Dr. Krista Tate at 

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423