New members join Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame

(11/13/23) POLLACK, La. — The Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame inducted 12 members during a ceremony held Nov. 11 at the Grant Walker 4-H Educational Center.

In remarks during the ceremony, Toby Lepley, LSU AgCenter associate vice president and state youth development program leader, said the 2023 class represents decades of service to the youth in Louisiana.

“The Louisiana 4-H Youth Development Program is thrilled to induct these 12 remarkable individuals into the Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame, in recognition of their exceptional dedication to the 4-H program and the youth of our state,” Lepley said. “These outstanding volunteers and Extension retirees have tirelessly committed themselves to shaping the future of our young leaders, and their contributions deserve our heartfelt appreciation.”

Inductee Vicki Patout helped start the first home-school 4-H program in Vermilion Parish. As a certified public accountant, she also helped the 4-H Foundation with tax returns and has served as a trustee on the foundation board for many years.

“4-H has meant so much to me and my children in that it gave us opportunities especially as a home-school family that we didn’t have outside of the school system, and my children still say today what an impact it has made on them,” Patout said.

Inductee Timothy Williams, an educator in Bienville Parish, has served the 4-H program in his community for 22 years. His nomination form stated that he has worked to create a more diverse, inclusive, equitable and accessible program for Louisiana youth. Williams became involved in 4-H when he was in high school and said 4-H has affected his outlook on life.

“It taught me about community service and giving back,” Williams said. “I do litter pick up. I raise money for the needy. I am involved with kids of course. It connects all of us.”

Inductee Dwight Landreneau had a long career with the LSU AgCenter where his vision helped support the financial health of Louisiana 4-H. Now a public servant, Landreneau said the lessons he learned in 4-H are still with him today.

“I’ve been in 4-H since the fourth grade. I’m a mayor now, and I still use my experiences in 4-H. To get this honor is very special to me,” Landreneau said.

The 12 inductees are:

— James “Thad” Bellow, Ascension Parish.

— The late Miles Brashier, Pointe Coupee Parish.

— Sidney Evans, Natchitoches Parish.

— Michelle Gaspard, Vermilion Parish.

— Dwight Landreneau, State 4-H Office.

— Brad Martin, Lincoln Parish.

— Leslie Cloud Ortiz, Vernon Parish.

— Aledia Parks, Lafourche Parish.

— Vickie Patout, Vermilion Parish.

— Cynthia Behrnes Prather, St. Landry Parish.

— Renette Seguin, Livingston Parish.

— Timothy Williams, Beinville Parish.

Biographies of the inductees are available on the Louisiana 4-H website. The site also includes information on former inductees.

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The 2023 4-H Hall of Fame inductees are, seated, from left, Vicki Patout, Vermilion Parish; Aledia Parks, Lafourche Parish; Cynthia Behrnes Prather, St. Landry Parish, and Dwight Landreneau, State 4-H Office. Standing, from left, Sidney Evans, Natchitoches Parish; Michelle Gaspard, Vermilion Parish; Leslie Cloud Ortiz, Vernon Parish; Renette Seguin, Livingston Parish; Timothy Williams, Beinville Parish; and Phyllis Brashier, accepting on behalf of her late husband, Miles Brashier, Pointe Coupee Parish. Not pictured are James “Thad” Bellow, Ascension Parish, and Brad Martin, Lincoln Parish. Photo by Tobie Blanchard/LSU AgCenter

11/13/2023 6:18:35 PM
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