The 4-H program in Kentucky turns 100 this year.
Since its inception in 1909, it has provided countless programs for youth. The earliest offerings were in agriculture, but more activities were added over the years including photography, communication, leadership, shooting skills and dog clubs.
By 1939, 4-H programs existed in every county in Kentucky. Last year, 233,423 children participated in 129 different 4-H programs, projects and camps.
As part of the Kentucky 4-H Centennial, each county selected a Hall of Fame nominee to be recognized at a reception at the Kentucky State Fair. LaRue County’s representative was long-time volunteer Winnie Read.
Read was involved in 4-H as a youngster, then began volunteering 45 years ago when her own children joined the Parker’s Grove Club. She has served in many positions on the LaRue County 4-H Council and is the current vice president.
She has served as the volunteer representative on the Kentucky 4-H Volunteer Forum Planning Committee representing District 5, as an area and state 4-H Council representative and as president of the Lincoln Trail Area 4-H Council.
Read is one of several people who will be featured in an October publication “100 years of 4-H” by The LaRue County Herald News.
We are requesting that former members, leaders and agents submit stories and photos from their years in 4-H.
We’ve been provided a scrapbook by 4-H Agent Misty Wilmoth with lots of ideas – and even more memories. Did you know that LaRue County has had four 4-H state officers? They are Howard Ragland, president, 1952; James H. Ragland, president, 1958; Patricia Hager Durham, secretary, 1963; and Jason Heath, treasurer, 1990.
The ’70s were good years for local 4-H members with the McDowell sisters scooping up nearly every award available for cattle showing, the Read brothers winning the tractor driving contests, Doris Jean McDonald winning the 4-H Award of Excellence and the Ragland siblings winning nearly everything else. In the ’90s, Mitchell Perkins was top dog for his unusual poultry exhibit and Beth Matthews was a sheep show champion.
We’re confident others have stories and photos to share about 4-H Camp, activities and friendships.
If you have a suggestion for a story to be prepared by a staff member, call editor Linda Ireland at 358-3118.
The deadline for submissions is noon Sept. 30. Items may be dropped off at The Herald News office at 40 Shawnee Drive, e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 358-4852. Please include name and contact number.