Alumni, supporters honored for service to La. 4-H

Mark Tassin, Merrill, Thomas A.  |  6/20/2008 2:47:26 AM

News Release Distributed 06/19/08

BATON ROUGE – Ten adults were recognized for their contributions to the Louisiana 4-H program during an awards banquet and other ceremonies this week as part of the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H University program on the LSU campus.

The adults were honored during a banquet Tuesday (June 19) before the opening session for 4-H U. Some of them also were recognized during subsequent assemblies of the more than 1,500 young people attending the three-day event.

The adults honored included four 4-H alumni who continue to show active support of the youth development program, two school superintendents, two professors on the LSU AgCenter faculty and two secretaries from LSU AgCenter offices.

“Without the outstanding dedication and support of the volunteer leaders, school superintendents and our own faculty and staff, we wouldn’t be able to serve the number of young people we have involved in our 4-H youth development program across Louisiana,” said Dr. Paul Coreil, vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter. “It is always great to be able to recognize some of those who have put forth so much effort to make 4-H Clubs the best they can be.”

4-H is the youth development and outreach program of the nation’s land-grant universities and is operated across Louisiana by the LSU AgCenter. The youth program’s overriding mission is to help young people develop skills and knowledge that will benefit them and their communities throughout their lives.

Those honored as State 4-H Alumni Winners were Brittany Fox Gleason, formerly of Vernon Parish; JoAnn Hullum, Ascension Parish; Belinda Krumtum, Bossier Parish; and Shannon Lipsey, Concordia Parish.

Parish school superintendents recognized for their outstanding support of 4-H were Kay Easley of Red River Parish and Dr. Amy Westbrook of St. Helena Parish.

The LSU AgCenter also recognized four of its own for exceptional service to 4-H. Those awards went to secretaries Sandra Dubea of Avoyelles Parish and Sandra White of Sabine, as well as faculty members Dr. Mike McCormick and Dr. Tim Showalter.

Gleason now lives near Laurel, Miss where she teaches high school history. But she previously was a 4-H member in Vernon Parish and then an active volunteer leader for the program there while serving as a teacher in the parish.

Hullum is a 4-H alumnus from Pennsylvania, where she excelled in plant science demonstrations and served as national officer in the National Junior Horticulture Association for several years. After moving here, she has worked in the Ascension Parish 4-H program for the past 10 years.

Krumtrum has been involved as a 4-H volunteer leader since the beginning of her teaching career in 1994. She says 4-H was always her passion as a youth, and now since she’s been volunteering she’s discovered it is her passion as an adult.

Lipsey has dedicated her life to helping youth and goes beyond the call of duty to do just that. She said her membership in 4-H taught her lifelong skills, so she’s now serving as an adult leader, as well as having three children who are active 4-H members.

Easley built a career of more than 25 years in education before she took that experience to a new height when she became superintendent of Red River Parish schools in 2000. Throughout her eight years in that post, officials say there is no one more supportive of 4-H than her and that she also participates in many 4-H meetings and events when her schedule allows.

Westbrook has been the superintendent in St. Helena Parish for the past two years, and she is described as a dedicated and true friend of 4-H. In one example, after saying all school-related clubs in the parish had to show their academic merit, Westbrook became such a fan of 4-H that she required all parish students to join the organization and paid their dues out of her own pocket.

Dubea has been the 4-H Secretary in Avoyelles parish for 33 years. Her coworkers say she is a central force in getting the work done for that area’s 4-H program – looking ahead toward deadlines, watching for changes in contests and projects and, in general, just keeping them all rolling along.

White is credited to providing guidance, leadership and a listening ear to 4-H agents in Sabine Parish for the past 21 years, as well as being present at all 4-H activities to help keep entries, judges and contest results organized and on track.

McCormick, who conducted dairy cattle research for the LSU AgCenter for 17 years before becoming resident coordinator of the Southeast Research Station in 2002, also works with extension educational programs in the area. Among those, he is credited with cooperating in making the Florida Parishes 4-H Shooting Sports an extremely successful program for the youth and their families.

Schowalter has been professor and head of the LSU AgCenter’s Department of Entomology since 2003. In addition to his research and administrative duties, Schowalter also is in charge of the entomology section at AgMagic educational event and is credited with an amazing amount of dedication and enthusiasm in making it successful.


Mark Tassin at (225) 578-2196 or 
Tom Merrill at (225) 578-2263 or

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