Rebecca S. Kelley, Moon, Jr., Walter D., Coolman, Denise | 4/28/2005 1:48:23 AM
WINNFIELD – State Rep. Francis Thompson is a strong supporter in the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H program. He’s also one of the Louisiana youth development program’s widely known former participants.
Thompson, D-Delhi, was honored during the Louisiana Political Museum’s 13th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Banquet Saturday night (Jan. 29). And members of the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H program in Winn Parish helped serve dinner to some 350 guests as a community service project.
"4-H is a wonderful program," Thompson said. "It teaches character. You won’t see these kids’ (4-H members) names in the paper or on the news for committing a crime or anything like that, because they won’t. These kids are the best. 4-H teaches them to be the best."
Lindsay Price is a 14-year-old student from Calvin. She moved to Winn Parish from Joplin, Mo., and this is her first year to be in the 4-H program.
"It’s definitely a good experience," Price said. "I’ve learned so much in the short time I’ve been involved with 4-H. We get to do so many things we probably wouldn’t get to do if we weren’t in 4-H."
4-H is an international youth program operated in the United States by the country’s land-grant university system. In Louisiana, it is directed by the LSU AgCenter, which has 4-H agents working with 4-H Clubs across the state.
Terril Faul, division leader for the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H Youth Development program, said 4-H agents develop and execute educational programs and activities that provide youth the opportunity to develop such life skills as self-esteem, community service, citizen responsibility, decision making, organization and social interaction.
In addition, the LSU AgCenter’s network of 4-H faculty is assisted by school teachers and other volunteer leaders across the state, who share their time and talents to help carry out the mission of the 4-H youth development program.
"The 4-H slogan is ‘Learn By Doing,’" Faul explained. "Activities such as the one in Winn Parish help 4-H’ers learn how to be productive citizens in their community, their state and their country."
Winnfield Mayor Deano Thornton said the 4-H’ers played a "significant role" in the Political Museum event.
"They are helping by showcasing our parish to some 350 visitors from all over," Thornton said. "This is an excellent example of the young people in our parish and what we have to offer for the future."
The Winn Parish 4-H’ers were led by LSU AgCenter agents Becky Kelley and Donny Moon. Before the young people went out into the crowd, they were given some tips on table etiquette, but they also were given some tips on relating to people.
"Remember to smile and be friendly," Kelley told them. Then she added that their work as ambassadors for the area would be "really easy. There’s nothing to it."
Moon said the state’s 4-H program really benefits from activities such as the Political Museum’s Banquet.
"This (ceremony and banquet) has helped to give the 4-H program recognition in the community," Moon said. "It has helped people realize what a great program 4-H is."
For more information on the 4-H program – or the other variety of programs offered through the LSU AgCenter – go to www.lsuagcenter.com or contact your parish LSU AgCenter Extension office.