Green Lake — Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development inducted 12 of the state’s most dedicated and influential 4-H educators, volunteers and supporters into the Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame on Nov. 5, at the Green Lake Conference Center.
“Each of the 2016 Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame laureates has transformed the lives of children and families with whom they’ve worked and the communities in which they’ve lived,” said Dale Leidheiser, Program Director of Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development, which is part of the University of Wisconsin-Extension.
The Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame was established to recognize 4-H volunteers, financial supporters, staff and pioneers who made major contributions to the 4-H movement at the local, state and national levels.
The candidates represent 4-H in the broadest sense – people who had an impact on the lives of children, their community or state through significant contributions of time, energy or financial resources to 4-H and its members.
The Hall of Fame preserves Wisconsin’s 4-H history and development while increasing awareness of the Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development program.
Kay Buelke Schroeder, Ozaukee County 4-H Agent
During more than 30 years as a 4-H Youth Development Agent, Kay Buelke Schroeder’s educational programs adapted as the needs of Ozaukee County’s youth and families changed. Kay played an instrumental role in the development of many programs, such as Youth-Adult Partnerships, by involving youth leaders on boards and committees in the Ozaukee County 4-H program to learn decision-making.
Kay was an active collaborator in the community to address youth issues through the Ozaukee County Child Abuse Prevention Public Awareness Committee; the Red Ribbon Campaign, focused on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use prevention and awareness programs; and the county’s 4-H Ambassador Teaching Team program, focused on environmental and character education. She was a co-author for the original and revised statewide Youth Protection Program Curriculum.
Judy Etta, Washington County 4-H Volunteer
Judy Etta has been a 4-H Club leader for 39 years. Judy wholeheartedly believes in “Contribution-Commitment-Positive Impact,” providing leadership, direction, and guidance for youth, community, and country. Judy helped establish the 4-H American Spirit Experience, taking 4-H members from Wisconsin to historic sites in the eastern United States, to increase their knowledge, and appreciation of America’s heritage.
Judy has been a chaperone/coordinator for Citizen Washington Focus, co-chairs the County 4-H Achievement and Recognition Committee and interviews youth for awards, experiences, and scholarships throughout the year. She volunteers at Wisconsin State Fair Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction, benefiting the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, and chairs the Washington County 4-H Trust Fund Board of Directors.
Marvin C. Hanson, 4-H Educator and Director of Upham Woods
The late Marvin C. Hanson committed 27 years of his life to 4-H, starting as a 4-H Agent in Marinette County, (1943-1955), then working as Langlade County Agricultural Agent (1955-1957) before touching many lives as Youth Development Specialist and Director of Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center until retiring in 1970.
Marvin worked to expand and develop the facility, adding the Ihlenfeldt Cabin and bathhouse (1961), residential duplex (1965) and the central lodge (1969). He began leadership training programs for county directors of 4-H camps using Upham Woods and for camp counselors responsible for specific phases of camp programs. These educational programs were supported by the materials he developed and shared with counties that operated their own camps.
Kenneth I. Johnson, Crawford County 4-H & Youth Agent
The late Kenneth I. “Ken” Johnson passionately integrated his life into his career as a 4-H and Youth Agent for 33 years, 20 of them in Crawford County.
Ken’s dedication to the program and his innate ability to build relationships set Ken apart as an extraordinary agent. He approached his work with the idea that the youth are the future of our nation, helping them to truly “make the best better.” He valued and motivated them to see the importance of their role so they did their job in a way that would benefit not only 4-H members, but everyone involved. Through his years as a 4-H agent, Ken’s program efforts, volunteer leadership development, and community involvement were highly respected.
W. Terry Howard, Professor Emeritus, UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science
W. Terry Howard, a distinguished dairy expert, had his interest in the dairy industry piqued as a 4-H’er working on registered Guernsey and Holstein farms his father managed. In his career, he went on to educate and create opportunities for countless 4-H members, producers, and professionals in the dairy industry. His contributions as a researcher, educator, and communicator have been recognized throughout the world.
Terry studied dairy nutrition and served on the faculty in Dairy Science as an Extension state specialist for nearly 30 years. He was an innovator and leader in introducing computer technology as a tool for education, communication, and dairy herd management. In his outreach efforts, he was both an advocate for dairy youth and a role model for a generation of young people interested in pursuing dairy industry careers.
Jerry Lang, Wood County 4-H Leader
For five decades, Jerry Lang has worked tirelessly at the club, county, and state levels with remarkable passion and dedication to engage 4-H members in Wood County 4-H Drama and Dairy programs.
Jerry spearheaded Creative Arts Day, an event for 4-H youth to perform and gain confidence and poise in front of an audience. What started out as a handful of performers 40 years ago has resulted in one of the largest 4-H performing arts festivals in the state, with well over 400 youth participating in some level of competition in the arts.
For more than 35 years, Jerry has been and continues as the Wood County Dairy chaperone for the state fair, dairy superintendent, and a member of the junior fair board.
Bob Leopold, Sauk County 4-H Volunteer
Bob Leopold joined the Hiawatha 4-H Club in Green County as a shy youth whose parents wanted him to gain confidence and meet other kids. Bob said he benefited most from 4-H in learning to stand up and speak in front of people and being able to help younger members learn.
These 4-H life skills laid the foundation for his career as a teacher and a principal. Bob’s teaching career spanned 33 years, mostly in the Reedsburg School District. Outside of school, Bob maintained ownership of registered cattle and made them available as managerial project animals to 4-H youth who did not own show cattle. He chaperoned State Fair Dairy Youth for 20 years and was Sauk County Fair Dairy Superintendent for 25 years. He also chaperoned youth at Upham Woods and Washington Focus. Bob has officiated as a county fair judge for dairy, goats, youth leadership, and exploring.
Jerry and Janice Micke, Clark County 4-H Volunteers
Jerry and the late Janice Micke generously gave their time to 4-H and their community for nearly 40 years while raising Suffolk sheep on their family farm. Jerry started a “managerial” project for youth who were unable to purchase a lamb to show or were logistically unable to raise a lamb at their residence.
Jan, who passed away January 31, was general leader of the North Fork 4-H Club and enthusiastically taught youth how to sew, crochet, grow houseplants, work with ceramics, and other craft projects. She organized the baking contest for area 4-H members.
Melanie Miller, Sauk and Dunn County 4-H Agent, 4-H Specialist
From 1978-2011, Melanie Miller loyally served Wisconsin 4-H in a variety of roles, driving thousands of miles around the state with a license plate reading “WI 4H.” This plate proudly displayed Mel’s support and lifetime belief in the 4-H program’s potential to benefit youth and families.
Miller served the UW-Extension for 32 years as a County 4-H Agent in Sauk and Dunn Counties before joining the state staff as a 4-H Specialist in 1990. There, she collaborated with the Colleges of Agriculture at the UW-Madison, River Falls, and Platteville.
Rosanne M. Schleif, Price County 4-H Educator
Rosanne Schleif served as the Price County 4-H Youth Development Educator for nearly 23 years, contributing her determination and vision through leadership development and training at the state and local levels.
Rosanne taught in Wisconsin and Minnesota schools for 12 years before beginning her career with 4-H in 1989. She promoted 4-H as the vehicle for providing opportunities that allowed all involved to reach their highest potential. Rosanne nurtured a vibrant 4-H leader group and engaged adult and youth leaders as supportive partners.
Karen Stamm Binder, Milwaukee County 4-H & Youth Agent
4-H and Youth Agent Karen Stamm Binder wholeheartedly committed her career to serving urban youth and communities through non-traditional programming in Milwaukee County.
Karen intrepidly expanded traditional 4-H programming with pioneering urban programs. By cooperating with the Milwaukee County summer job program for low-income youth, she helped train, support, and supervise 32 teens to teach foods and clothing projects at eight inner-city locations, serving nearly 300 youth each summer.
Karen also developed a pilot program for Marquette University nursing students to take a community experience nutrition course that included teaching foods and nutrition at a housing project.