May Heart of 4-H Volunteer Award — Rick Waldren

Rick Waldren
Rick Waldren

Lancaster County 4-H is proud to announce Rick Waldren of Lincoln as winner of the May “Heart of 4-H Award” in recognition of outstanding volunteer service.

For about 15 years, he has volunteered to drive 430 miles round-trip to a hatchery in Iowa to get the fertilized eggs used in the Lancaster County 4-H Embryology School Enrichment Program. Embryology allows third graders to witness baby chicks hatching in their classrooms. Rick makes three trips annually to coincide with the three spring Embryology sessions in schools and on EGG Cam. He is a member of Lincoln Northeast Kiwanis club, which helped establish the program in 1975 and continues to support the program. Last year, 3,784 students in 216 classrooms at 62 schools participated!

“I like volunteering because the 3rd graders involved in the Embryology Program have active learning activities about embryo development, genetic traits and poultry reproduction,” Rick says. “For many students, this is the first time they experience seeing a developing embryo. Also, for many, this is the first time they experience life and death. Although it’s the 3rd grade classes that monitor the incubation process; when the chicks begin hatching, the entire school gets excited and many other students come to see the baby chicks.”

Rick has previously judged 4-H crop projects at several county fairs in the area and at the Nebraska State Fair.