The ceremony was one of several being held across the state to recognize 100 former members, volunteers and retired LSU AgCenter employees for their outstanding service to the LSU AgCenter’s 4-H program during its centennial celebration.
Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension, said the inductees played a significant role in the development of youths. “We should all emulate what they have done in giving back to their communities.”
He said 225,000 boys and girls are currently involved in the Louisiana 4-H program, which relies heavily on community support and volunteerism.
Steve Linscombe, director of the LSU AgCenter Southwest Region, said today’s 4-H members are outstanding individuals because of their leadership and maturity. “It never ceases to amaze me. It gives me optimism for the future of this country.”
•Stephanie Rodrigue of Cameron Parish, who has been an active 4-H member and volunteer in Lafourche and Cameron parishes. She is the superintendent of the Cameron Parish school system. She serves on the parish 4-H Foundation, 4-H Regional Advisory Committee, and she is an announcer at many 4-H livestock events.
•Sharon Fontenot of Evangeline Parish, who retired from the LSU AgCenter after working with 4-H for 32 years. She remains an active volunteer, serving as 4-H University coach, 4-H Advisory Committee member and event judge.
•Jim Shipp of Evangeline Parish has been associated with 4-H for more than 30 years in a variety of assignments, including program sponsor and camp volunteer. He has been active in livestock programs, and he was instrumental in establishing a shooting sports program in the parish, securing national support and funding.
•Carroll Boudreaux of Iberia Parish, who serves as president of the Iberia Parish 4-H Foundation and was a board member of the state 4-H Foundation. He has helped obtain endowed funds for scholarships, awards and numerous events and activities. He worked as a 4-H livestock volunteer and conducts educational clinics and hosts livestock shows.
•Charles Miller of Iberia Parish started his involvement in 4-H as a member in the 1930s. His career as a 4-H agent began in 1948 and he retired in 1993. He remains an avid 4-H supporter.
•Joe Baronet of Acadia Parish, a former 4-H member, was a livestock leader for more than 43 years and was instrumental in organizing the first annual livestock sale in 1968. He was a key figure in securing support for the Acadia Parish multipurpose facility and extension office.
•Joan McCrory of Acadia Parish has touched the lives of many in Acadia Parish and throughout Louisiana. She has been an outstanding role model in her hometown of Iota. She began her 4-H career as a member in Acadia Parish, and she retired in 2005 as a 4-H youth development professor. She continues to volunteer with the 4-H program, and she has been inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.
•William Thomas Burton of Calcasieu Parish, an avid supporter of the 4-H program, played a vital role in establishing the first livestock show and sale in Southwest Louisiana. His leadership helped pave the way for Burton Coliseum and many scholarships. The Calcasieu Parish staff of the LSU AgCenter represented Burton at Tuesday’s ceremony.
•John C. Guidry of Calcasieu Parish was a friend and volunteer for 4-H for more than 45 years. His work was often behind-the-scenes. He was responsible for working with businesses to support youth by purchasing animals at livestock shows. His wife, Mary Ann Guidry, accepted the award on his behalf.
•Mary McMahon of Calcasieu Parish has been involved in 4-H for more than 35 years. Her work started as a school club leader and evolved into numerous positions at the parish and state levels. She volunteers at statewide environmental camps, coordinating a parish environmental club and serves as a state fishing sports instructor. She was nominated for the National Wildlife Leader Award in 2005.
•Robert Hoffpauir, a former 4-H agent in Jefferson Davis Parish, was a leading force in development of the first parish livestock show. He established a recognition program for outstanding 4-H clubs that continues today. Mary Greene, his daughter, accepted the honor.
•A.J. Brackin, a former 4-H agent in Lafayette Parish, helped establish the first junior leadership program, using older 4-H members as project leaders. After retiring, Brackin continued to support 4-H. He helped establish the Lafayette Parish 4-H Foundation. Outstanding record book winners are recognized with an award named in his honor. His son, Gene Brackin, accepted the award.
•George Fawcett of Lafayette Parish became involved with 4-H as a business recruiter representing the SLEMCO utility for the parish livestock show and sale. His work yielded thousands of dollars worth of advertisements. His continuing love for the lamb project and youth is obvious as he provides the less fortunate with opportunities to participate in 4-H.
•Wayne Gilmore of St. Landry Parish has been an avid 4-H supporter since 1982 when he helped establish the parish 4-H Foundation, serving as chairman for 25 years. He helped fund numerous 4-H programs and has served on the state 4-H Foundation board. He also works with livestock and woodworking projects.
•James Baudoin of Vermilion Parish was hired as a 4-H agent in 1935 to help youth after the Depression. He started working in Vermilion Parish in 1938, and he is credited with starting the 4-H handicraft project. He also established a 4-H safety program for rural youths. A parish award is made annually in his honor, recognizing outstanding senior 4-H members.
•Charles Dill Sr. of Vermilion Parish was a charter member of the parish 4-H Foundation, and he helped the foundation reach its $100,000 goal. He established a parish speech contest. Also, he helped get approval for a statewide tax for build a parish office and livestock facility. He was represented by his son, Charles Dill Jr.
•Virgie Foreman of Vermilion Parish has been an outstanding volunteer for more than 50 years. She was a charter member of the Vermilion 4-H Foundation and served as its adviser. Her contributions helped established scholarships for students majoring in agriculture or home economics.
•Lou Ella Lognion of St. Landry Parish started her work with 4-H as a volunteer and a supportive mother and grandmother. She was an organizational club leader at Port Barre High School. Her interests were clothing, food and nutrition. Her daughter, Yvonne Normand, accepted the award.
•Charles Fuselier of St. Martin Parish is a 4-H alumni and active supporter. He said during his career as sheriff, he seldom encountered a former or current 4-H member in trouble. A parish scholarship was developed in his honor in 2002.
•Conrad Gauthier of St. Martin Parish was one of the most influential 4-H agents in St. Martin Parish during his 25-year career. A scholarship fund was established in 1977 to recognize his accomplishments, benefitting 98 4-H members. His daughter, Mary Francis Gauthier Richard, accepted the award.
•Emma Dell Broussard of St. Mary Parish credits 4-H for what she has achieved in life. She became a 4-H member in 1949, and she remains active with the organization. She serves as a judge for various parish events, and she has been a 4-H camp counselor.
•Raphael “Pookie” Rodriguez of St. Mary Parish has been active in 4-H, volunteering for numerous projects. He was a key figure to establish the St. Mary Parish Fair Association, which has a strong relationship with the 4-H program and livestock projects. His involvement with the program continues with his children and grandchildren.
After the honorees were recognized, Rodriguez told the gathering that 4-H students and leaders were among the first to help Cameron Parish recover from Hurricane Rita. Coreil was among the first to call on her to offer help, and Lafayette 4-H junior leaders provided assistance to displaced students.
“Cameron Parish will never forget what a difference 4-H has made in our recovery,” she said.
Fawcett urged everyone to persuade local businesses to support 4-H. He showed a poster design that will be used by SLEMCO electric to help the 4-H program. He also said more should be done to keep adults active in 4-H even after their children graduate from school.
Editor’s Note: Bruce Schultz is the writer and can be reached at email@example.com.