Five residents of Santa Cruz County were among 76 people inducted last month into the Arizona 4-H Hall of Fame during the organization’s Centennial Celebration in Maricopa, south of Phoenix.
They were Bob and Mary Bowman, Grace Townsend Wystrach, Patty Holbrook Oliver and Dr. Richard Schorr. The Hall of Fame honors 4-H volunteers, donors, former University of Arizona Extension professionals and staff employees and others who have made an impact on the 4-H program by contributing their time, energy and financial resources.
It all began 100 years ago when in 1913, a volunteer leader, George T. Peabody organized a Boy’s Cotton Club in Chandler. Soon, 12 cotton, corn, and grain sorghum clubs were organized. Canning, swine, and poultry clubs were organized in 1915, and they became known as 4-H Clubs in the early 1930s. The concept of a youth development program founded on the values of strengthening the head, heart, hands and health of each member spread across the state and has reached millions of children.
Following the Centennial Celebration, the participants gathered to re-enact a large 4-H Clover that was last photographed in 1939. The clover is the national symbol of 4-H, with each leaf representing one of the four H’s.
(Eric Larsen is a 4-H Youth Development Agent for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Pima County. He works with youth and adult volunteers in large and small livestock projects.)