Terril D. Faul, Merrill, Thomas A. | 7/20/2006 2:30:09 AM
A former Louisiana 4-H leader is among 20 people who will be inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame this fall.
The late W. C. Abbott Sr., former state 4-H leader for Louisiana, was selected for the honor. Information about Abbott, who served Louisiana from 1919 through 1949, will join citations for 185 others who have been inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.
Abbott is the fourth person from Louisiana to be cited – joining retired LSU AgCenter Vice Chancellor and Extension Director Jack Bagent, who received the honor in 2002, Louisiana 4-H program founder Victor Leander Roy Sr., cited in 2004, and former state 4-H specialist Stella Jones, last year’s inductee.
The National 4-H Hall of Fame is a cooperative venture of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, the National 4-H Council and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National 4-H Headquarters. It started in 2002 when 100 people were inducted into the hall of fame in honor of the hundredth anniversary of the 4-H youth development program.
"We are honored these Louisiana leaders have been recognized on a national level," said Dr. Paul Coreil, vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter. "Without years of dedicated leadership from so many people like these who have been honored, our 4-H youth development program wouldn’t be the success it is today."
Abbott was credited with starting a variety of new projects, competitions and other programs that increased 4-H Club enrollment during his 30 years of leadership. Among those, he is credited with introducing 4-H summer camps and with overseeing the building and creation of the original 4-H Camp Grant Walker near Pollock.
"But perhaps the most dramatic episode of Mr. Abbott’s long term of service was the project of selling sufficient war bonds to purchase a Liberty Ship during World War II," said current LSU AgCenter state 4-H leader Terril Faul. "Although the goal of the campaign was set at less than $2 million, a total of more than $3.5 million of bonds was sold by 4-H members in Louisiana. And the Liberty Ship was given the name of ‘Floyd W. Spencer,’ an active rural youth worker during his lifetime."
This year’s hall of fame induction ceremonies will be October 6 during National 4-H Week at the National 4-H Center. Abbott will be represented by family members at the ceremonies, which will honor a total of 20 individuals selected for the National 4-H Hall of Fame this year.