Local 4-H Volunteer names as Franklin Graham Award recipient

By Jack Underwood, Staff Writer
Posted 4/29/24

Jess Jordan, a Warren County resident, is the club leader for County Line 4-H.

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Local 4-H Volunteer names as Franklin Graham Award recipient


As part of their National Volunteer Week celebration Missouri 4-H named the recipients of its Franklin Graham Volunteer Leadership Award and the Naomi Crouch 4-H Volunteer Leadership awards. 

One of those recipients was Jess Jordan, a Warren County resident who is the club leader of County Line 4-H. This is the third club that Jordan has led in her time as a 4-H volunteer. 

Before that Jordan was involved in 4-H when she was a child and she has carried that tradition on to her children. She raised steers and did arts and crafts with the organization until she reached eighth grade and transitioned to FFA. 

Now her children have also gone through the 4-H circuit, and she has carried on the dedication she showed as a child volunteering during their 4-H careers. 

“She defines the award, she’s dedicated, not only was she a member growing up, she also has given a lot of time, she’s dedicated many years to serving not only as being a member herself, she also leads by being a project leader for several different projects,” said Jennifer Schneider, who nominated Jordan for the award. 

Jordan had previously worked as a club and project leader at several 4-H clubs and now presides over County Line 4-H where she organizes the club’s events. She said her real focus is trying to help the kids. 

“I just kind of light that fire under the kids that there’s so many other opportunities and to have fun with it all,” Jordan said. “Not everything’s just a competition.”

While she is involved in a number of projects through the 4-H club she leads, she acknowledged that she still has a sweet spot for raising and showing cattle. It remains a part of her daily life working on her family farm. 

Along with the work on the farm and the volunteering she also works part-time at Heggemann Plumbing. 

“More than anything, it kind of comes full cycle too because I showed them (cattle) when I was a kid and then seeing how much heart they have with their own animals that they’ve raised, … I guess just kind of completes it and that’s why I do it,” Jordan said. 

She felt the true value of 4-H programs were the breadth of opportunities they could provide to participating children. Her own kids, Jimmy, 17, Nick, 15, and Kylie, 13, have raised steers but have also branched out into other disciplines like photography and woodworking. 

“There’s so much opportunity and I think it’s not really just for kids in agriculture because there is line dancing, crocheting, there’s small engines,” Jordan said. “You don’t have to show an animal at the fair to be involved.”

Schneider has worked with Jordan at the 4-H clubs in recent years and said they have known each other their “whole lives.” She felt Jordan’s efforts in 4-H volunteering were well above what was expected. 

“She’s humble about it, she’s a quiet leader, she never looks for recognition, so it’s awesome that she’s finally being recognized for all of her hard work and dedication,” Schneider said. 

When the nomination process started Schneider did not tell Jordan that she had put her name in for the award, so the news came as somewhat of a shock to her. Schneider was actually the first one to tell Jordan the news, calling her after she saw the announcement on Facebook. 

“I was kind of having one of those rough days and then she told me and it was very heartwarming,” Jordan said. “I would have never thought I would have gotten it, especially statewide.”

While the County Line 4-H Club just had their last meeting earlier in the month, they will still have something to celebrate for some time. 

“She’s just a great person, she has a good heart and the one thing that stands out to me more than anything is she volunteers for the good of all the kids,” Schneider said. 

Jess Jordan, 4-H, Award