New St. James Parish 4-H scholarship honors Kermit Coulon

Randy LaBauve  |  2/9/2017 8:10:29 PM

(02/09/17) LUTCHER, La. – The St. James 4-H Foundation recently donated money to the Louisiana 4-H Foundation to establish the Kermit Coulon Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was made possible through donations of friends and co-workers of the late Coulon.

The money is a pledge to offer a yearly $500 scholarship to a selected St. James Parish high school senior who will be attending LSU. The recipient can choose to study any curriculum, but to qualify for the award, the student must have been a 4-H member.

“Kermit Coulon started as a 4-H agent, then became a county agent and finally became district agent for the cane belt area,” said Kenneth Guidry, county agent for St. James Parish.

“He hired me 35 years ago and expected the best out of all his agents. He wanted our area to shine,” Guidry said.

Coulon developed one of the best-attended area 4-H Junior Leadership Conferences in the state and boasted a strong livestock program. Growing up as a poor farm child in rural Hessmer during the depression, he was very active in 4-H and attributed much of his success to the club.

Coulon attended LSU through the strong promptings of his Avoyelles Parish 4-H agent, who drove him to the university and got him a campus job to pay for tuition. Coulon also played in the Tiger Marching Band.

“Coulon bled purple and gold, but also some green and white, too,” Guidry said, referring to the 4-H colors.

“Mr. Kermit was such an influential person in our community,” said Tammy Matirne, St. James 4-H Foundation president. “It’s very humbling to have a scholarship in his name.”

The St. James 4-H Foundation donation of $17,000 was part of $20,000 pledged to the annual scholarship. The first award will be presented at the Sugarcane Appreciation Banquet this summer.

“This is about collaboration between the state and parish offices,” said Patrick Tuck, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation. “When we free up funds for these type scholarships, we can help 4-H’ers as they move on to the next stage of life.”

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St. James 4-H Foundation members present a $17,000 check to the Louisiana 4‑H Foundation to fund the Kermit Coulon Memorial Scholarship. Pictured from left: Patrick Tuck, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation; Kenneth Guidry, St. James Parish county agent, and Tammy Matirne, St. James 4-H Foundation president. Photo by Randy LaBauve/LSU AgCenter

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Kermit Coulon was a 4-H agent, county agent and district agent for the cane belt area. He expressed his belief that 4-H develops responsible youth who can develop their leadership potential. LSU AgCenter file photo

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