“It’s an honor being honored for what you were supposed to be doing,” Jack Dillard, of Caddo Parish, told the crowd of more than 150 people. “What are we living for besides kids?”
Another inductee, David Saucier, of Bienville Parish, said his work in 4-H has been a fulfilling experience.
“It became an extension of the family,” Saucier said. “4-H members enrich you.”
Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension, said 4-H has changed to reflect the changes in youth, but the organization’s core values remain intact to guide youngsters with responsibility, work ethic and character.
“We’ve got to find the interests to get to that child,” he said.
Coreil said 240,000 Louisiana students are in 4-H, and the number is increasing because school principals recognize the organization’s value.
“They know that 4-H lets you do things you will not be able to do in an academic setting,” Coreil said.
He said volunteers will be asked to do even more to help 4-H programs because of pending budget cuts to higher education. “There will be a reduction in programs and a reduction in people.”
So far, 124 people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Their photographs and biographical sketches are part of a Hall of Fame exhibit at the museum.
Coreil said the museum has exceeded expectations since its opening last year.
“The museum is second to none in the U.S.,” Coreil said.
Also at the ceremony, Mary Lee Dixon, of Ascension Parish, and Brent Scallan, of Marksville, were honored for their contributions and help for the museum project.
Hall of Fame inductees were: Dr. Katherine Beier, of Ascension Parish; Sharon Chatagnier, of Terrebonne Parish; Anne Chauvin, of Lafayette Parish.; Jack Dillard, of Caddo Parish; Stanley J. Lamendola, of East Baton Rouge Parish; Alice LeJeune, of Rapides Parish; Denver T. Loupe, of East Baton Rouge Parish; Johnny L. May, of DeSoto Parish; Mamie McMillion, of St. Charles Parish; David Saucier, of Bienville Parish; Albert H. Steinbach (deceased), of East Baton Rouge Parish; and Otis J. Stelly Sr. (deceased), of Vermilion Parish.