From the time Fran Castille was a young girl, 4-H has been a part of her life.
She joined 4-H as soon as she was able. As an adult volunteer, Castille has worked tirelessly to help young 4-H’ers enjoy their clubs. Castille has made improving the lives of 4-H members her calling.
For her lifelong commitment to Louisiana 4-H, Castille, of Amite, was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in Chevy Chase, Maryland, in 2018.
“To be following in the footsteps of a lot of great people before me in Louisiana, it truly is a very humbling experience,” Castille said. “I just can’t fathom being selected.”
Castille’s first venture into 4-H was in 1964 when she joined a 4-H Club in rural St. Helena Parish. She began showing Guernsey cows but later focused on leadership opportunities. By the time she graduated from high school, she had been elected to every officer position.
As an adult, she was asked to lead her niece’s local community club. Since that day, she has spent the past 32 years serving as a volunteer leader and has been a positive role model for 4-H youth.
“The best job any volunteer can have is to work with some of the most amazing group of teens,” Castille said. “Through assisting with planning the Junior Leadership Conference and 4-H University, I have learned what youth and adult partnerships are all about.”
Castille is a charter member of the Louisiana 4-H Volunteer Leader Association and has served as president, vice president and past president. She has raised more than $75,000 in donations and in-kind contributions for 4-H causes such as scholarships, 4-H trainings and club grants for supplies and awards.
Castille has served as a judge for cookery contests in her parish and neighboring parishes. She helped chaperone youth trips to Orlando, Florida; San Antonio, Texas; Louisville, Kentucky; and Washington, D.C.; and has also overseen service-learning projects at the parish, regional and state levels.
Honorees at the induction ceremony received a National 4-H Hall of Fame medallion, plaque and memory book.
As the nation’s largest youth organization, 4-H is heavily reliant on volunteers to assist in club activities. Castille is thankful for that opportunity, and she is willing to serve.
Janet Fox, the current department head for LSU AgCenter 4-H Youth Development, said Castille is the model of what a good volunteer should be.
This article appears in the Louisiana 4-H 2019 Annual Report.
Castille, front row, center, celebrates her induction into the Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame at 4-H University.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture