Bruce Schultz | 4/30/2018 8:21:03 PM
(04/30/18) MANSURA, La. — Twelve new members of the Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame were recognized on April 28 for their years of dedication to youth in the state 4-H program.
Mark Tassin, LSU AgCenter associate vice president and 4-H program leader, said 4-H is able to carry out its mission because of the efforts of parents, volunteers and LSU AgCenter employees. As a result, tens of thousands of youths have been affected. “We probably could be recognizing thousands of people,” he said.
So far, the Hall of Fame includes 220 people since it was started in 2008, Tassin said.
Tassin also announced he will be retiring this summer and will be replaced by Toby Lepley. .
AgCenter 4-H youth development director Janet Fox said the honorees were grateful for the chance to work with students. “We’re thanking these inductees, but they are thanking us for the opportunity. This group definitely exhibits excellence,” she said.
Upon receiving her award, honoree Gwen Broussard, of Vermilion Parish, gave thanks for her 4-H opportunity. “Volunteering has truly made my life complete,” she said.
Deborah Gissel, of Jefferson Parish, said she became a teacher and a 4-H volunteer because of her time in 4-H as a girl. “I feel like I should be giving an award to the 4-H Club,” she said.
Kathy Landry, of St. Mary Parish, said she has fond memories of 4-H. “I can’t begin to tell you how many amazing youths I had the opportunity to work with,” she said.
Sharon Nabours, of Calcasieu Parish, said her granddaughter is about to start 4-H. “I’m ready to start another round and get involved,” she said.
Blue Rolfes, of Lafayette Parish, was recognized for her work in television, telling the public about 4-H. “It’s been my job to tell the public about the amazing, incredible job all of you do,” she said.
Rosanne Williams, widow of honoree David Williams, said her husband loved his career with 4-H. “David always considered it an honor and a privilege to work with the children. He considered it a great honor to work with the children,” she said.
Inductees honored Saturday were:
Andrea Alday, of St. Charles Parish. She has served 4-H for more than 20 years as leader of the St. Charles Parish Junior Leader Club and judge for several parish contests. She has been active in the Louisiana 4-H Volunteer Leader Association, and she established the 4-H Cloverbud Community Club. She continues to actively recruit others to volunteer for 4-H.
Blue Rolfes, of Lafayette Parish, helped 4-H as a newscaster for KLFY-TV. She and her news team at the station received the Epsilon Sigma Phi Friend of Extension Award, and she helped start a career readiness program called KLFYU Teen Reporter, partnering with 4-H to recruit participants. She has received numerous community and professional awards because of her contributions to 4-H.
David Williams, of Livingston Parish, became a faculty member for 4-H youth development, and he used clinics, workshops and field days to train 4-H and FFA members. He was a volunteer at the state level in livestock, leadership and outdoor skills. He received the Louisiana Association of Extension 4-H Agents Distinguished Service Award and Meritorious Service Award and the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service Program Excellence Award.
Brenda Foster McCoy, of Bienville Parish, has led the 4-H Club at Castor High School for more than 20 years. She has been an officer in the Louisiana 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association. She created a livestock club that grew to 75 members and involved her clubs in the Claiborne Electric Energy Day for many years. She has received several awards, including Outstanding Club Leader, Outstanding Parish Livestock Leader and Outstanding Parish Club.
Deborah Gissel, of Jefferson Parish, has been involved in 4-H for 48 years as a member and leader. Her clubs have promoted a variety of projects, including a schoolwide recycling program, field trips to a recycling plant and landfill, collecting stuffed toys for the needy, bundling Christmas trees for wetlands, and obtaining and distributing more than 35,000 cypress and oak seedlings. Her awards have included Good Provider Awards, appreciation awards and outstanding service awards.
Elizabeth Jordan, of Caddo Parish, has been a dedicated volunteer for 36 years. She made 4-H available to home-schooled students and others in schools without 4-H Clubs. She serves on the Caddo Parish Advisory Leadership Council, Caddo Parish Fair Board of Directors and the Caddo Parish 4-H Foundation. Her clubs sponsored the first Clover 5K run.
Gayla Crum, of Concordia Parish, was a club leader for the past 25 years. She has led the junior and high school clubs in the parish. She helped start the first 4-H garden program in the parish and a shooting sports program, serving as instructor for six years. She has been a member of the parish 4-H advisory board for 18 years and was an officer of the parish foundation for 13 years.
Gwen Broussard, of Vermilion Parish, has been a 4-H volunteer for 18 years. She is the 4-H Club organizational leader at three schools. She serves on the livestock advisory board and she is the beef project leader. She is developing a five-year plan to ensure funds are available to continue to run the parish 4-H program. She has won a state adult volunteer leader award, and she was honored at a Vermilion Parish 4-H Achievement Day.
Kathy Landry, of St. Mary Parish, worked as a 4-H agent and later as a volunteer leader at Centerville High School with one of the largest clubs in the parish. She has been a volunteer with the state Food and Fitness Board and the 4-H Healthy Living program. She has chaperoned several events, including summer camp, 4-H University and Food and Fitness Camp. She has been honored with several leadership awards.
Leonard Eisenstein, of St. Martin Parish, was a school club leader in St. Martinville for 23 years. After his retirement in 1990, he continued as a project leader in the sheep project. He is an instructor in 4-H shooting sports and is certified in archery, air pistol and hunting. He coedited a cookbook used by 4-H and the Boy Scouts. He has been a Good Provider contest winner and a Louisiana winner of the R.J. Reynolds Salute to Excellence Award. He made the frame for a 4-H flag that was flown into space in 1985 and is displayed at the Kellogg Hall of the National 4-H Conference Center.
Mary Ann Sagrera, of Acadia Parish, started as a youth development agent in Tangipahoa Parish then moved to Acadia Parish in 1959, working 36 years as an AgCenter home economist. She worked with 4-H Clubs that were recognized as the best 4-H program in the state. Club members dominated Short Course and state records contests. She started a student exchange program that brought Asian youth to Acadia Parish. Her awards include distinguished service awards, the National Association of County Agents team award and the First Mississippi Corporation Award. She continues to serve as a contest judge for sewing, fashion and cooking.
Sharon Nabours, of Calcasieu Parish, is a 4-H volunteer. She has served on the local advisory board and the Louisiana 4-H Foundation Board of Directors. She has volunteered as a chaperone at summer camp and 4-H Short Course, as a leader during Wild Woods Wandering camps and as a club organizational leader. She was sponsor of the Calcasieu Parish Environmental Club, and she has helped with livestock shows at the parish, district and state levels.
A dozen new members for the Louisiana 4-H Hall of Fame were recognized April 28. They were, left to right, front row, Deborah Gissel, of Jefferson Parish; Leonard Eisenstein, of St. Martin Parish; Rosanne Williams, of Livingston Parish for her late husband, David; Gayla Crum, of Concordia Parish; Brenda Foster McCoy, of Bienville Parish; and Mary Ann Sagrera, of Acadia Parish; back row, from left, Andrea Alday, of St. Charles Parish; Blue Rolfes, of Lafayette Parish; Elizabeth Jordan, of Caddo Parish; Kathy Landry, of St. Mary Parish; Gwen Broussard, of Vermilion Parish; and Sharon Nabours, of Calcasieu Parish. Photo by Bruce Schultz/LSU AgCenter