2019 4-H HOUSE DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD
Since 2009 the 4-H House Alumni Association has presented the 4-H House Distinguished Alumni Award to one of our outstanding alumni to recognize contributions she has made to her community, her profession, her sorority and /or her university. Winners of this award are an example and a source of pride for all members of the 4-H House sisterhood.
The 2019 4-H House Distinguished Alumni Award is Holly Spangler.
Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than 20 years, beginning her career with Prairie Farmer before graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in agricultural communications. As editor of Prairie Farmer magazine, she brings meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage, including a variety of agronomic, financial and issue-oriented stories. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine, and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at seven magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt.
An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. She was named Master Writer in 2005; in 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and has received the top writing award for editorial opinion for three consecutive years. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.
Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans, and beef cattle on 2,300 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents, and their three children, Jenna, Nathan and Caroline.
Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul, and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district and are active in their church’s youth and music ministries.