“Without you, we cannot have a 4-H,” said Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension. “This country is great because of volunteers like you.”
State budget cuts will mean fewer 4-H agents, so more volunteers will be needed, Coreil said. “Many parishes are only going to have one agent.”
The 4-H program demonstrates the commitment to youth and the future, he said. “There is nothing more important than what we do with 4-H. There is nothing more important than our kids.”
One of the honorees, Nancy Sarver, of Jefferson Parish, said she benefits from volunteering. “I think I learned more as a volunteer than the children did.”
Another honoree, Carolyn Bordelon, of Avoyelles Parish, said she gained a sense of purpose from 4-H. “We are all put on this earth for a reason, and 4-H is mine.”
Two of the 10 adult 4-H leaders chosen for the national 4-H Hall of Fame, Joan McCrory and Ann Keene, were present at Saturday’s ceremony. National 4-H Hall of Fame nominee Leroy Robbins has been selected, and he will be inducted posthumously later this summer, Coreil said.
The Louisiana 4-H Foundation is raising private funds for a multipurpose center at Camp Grant Walker, Coreil said. “We’re not going to get state construction funds anytime soon, so donations for this project are critically needed.”
Those honored were:
– Nancy Sarver, a volunteer leader for more than 34 years, has played a major role in Jefferson Parish’s 4-H program, working with urban elementary school students. She has worked with students in model rocketry, sewing and cookery contests, and contests for posters and essays. Sarver’s community service projects have included 4-H visits to nursing homes and collecting food, clothing, toys and school supplies for disadvantaged children. She started several programs to promote environmental responsibility. Sarver has been named Teacher of the Year and has won awards for her 4-H leadership.
– Carolyn Bordelon is president of the Avoyelles Parish 4-H Foundation and coordinator of the parish 4-H shooting sports program. An archery instructor and leader on the state level, she has obtained grants from the National Rifle Association and local agencies to buy targets, safety equipment and an enclosed trailer for shooting sports. She is a regular volunteer for all parish 4-H events. She and her husband are rabbit project leaders, helping students groom, feed and show their animals in competition.
– Pat Andrews, of Beauregard Parish, joined 4-H in 1961 as a club member and then became an adult volunteer when her children started 4-H. She assisted youth with small animal projects and helped with transportation to club events, chaperoned trips and helped clubs develop community service projects such as food bank drives. She serves as treasurer of the Beauregard 4-H Foundation.
– Elsie Castille, of St. Martin Parish, has been involved in the parish 4-H program for more than 70 years, starting as a club member during World War II, when she sold war bonds to help 4-H purchase a Liberty Ship. She also planted a 4-H Victory Garden to raise vegetables during wartime. She recruited numerous 4-H volunteers among her contacts from 14 different civic and church organizations and affected the lives of thousands of youth by working tirelessly on numerous 4-H events.
– Jeffrey Faulk is from Vermilion Parish. His work in 4-H as an adult started in 1971, and his children and grandchildren have continued the family 4-H tradition. He drove a school bus to take 4-H members to short course, camps and out-of-state trips. He helped club members with their show animals and obtained funds for the parish 4-H livestock show. He worked to pass a sales tax to fund construction of the parish extension office and activity center. He has been awarded the state 4-H Alumni Award and New Orleans and River Region Outstanding 4-H Leader award.
– Joel Guidry, of Lafayette Parish, volunteers more than 200 hours a year to 4-H. His leadership roles include chairman of the 4-H Horse Advisory Task Force, swine representative on the Advisory Task Force and member of the Acadiana District Livestock Show Board. He played a key role in developing the 4-H Horse Advisory Board, and he has volunteered his time to coordinate horse camps for more than 40 youth. He helped raise more than $4,500 annually for awards. He has served as a volunteer horse-judging coach and coordinated horse judging teams for 10 years. He has assisted with horse quiz bowls and premier exhibitor contests. He received the state 4-H Horse Leader Award.
– John Hains, of Acadia Parish, has worked with the parish 4-H program since 1971 as a member, project leader, parent, advisor and foundation member. His six children and grandchildren carry on the 4-H tradition. He has provided his time, personal property and equipment to host and conduct training events for small engines, tractor, bicycle and shooting sports events. He has served as a judge for forestry, poultry, woodworking, electricity and dairy competitions. He was one of the primary organizers of the Acadia Parish 4-H Exchange Program. He has received many 4-H awards, including the Good Provider Award, the 4-H Congress Leader Award, the 4-H Alumni Award and the Attorney General Award, and he has been Acadia Parish Achievement Day honoree.
– Nannie Gardner Hale, of West Carroll Parish, became involved in 4-H in 1948 as a club member. As an adult, Hale has remained active in 4-H as an organizational leader, livestock show volunteer, workshop presenter, chaperone, photographer and demonstration day judge. Her 4-H clubs were known for their community service projects related to nursing home visits, litter cleanup, food and clothing drives, tree planting and cystic fibrosis bike-a-thons. Her club members prepared exhibits for fairs and festivals. She was on the 4-H Foundation Board and parish advisory committee for 20 years. She received state awards including the Good Provider Leader Award, 4-H Alumni Award and National 4-H Congress Leader Award.
– C.L. Keene, of Madison Parish, was a 4-H volunteer in his parish and statewide from 1976-2007, working with youth in outdoor skills and livestock. Keene attended the Southern Region Leadership Forum for more than 25 years, and his love of the outdoors promoted his involvement in the outdoor skills program, including the first camp that led to the development of Wild Woods Wanderings. He worked with other parents in the parish livestock program and was a key figure at establishing the Louisiana Junior Cattlemen’s Association. He was the 1996 Volunteer of the Year for the Louisiana State Fair. The 2009 Ag Expo and the 2011 Northeast Louisiana Livestock Show were dedicated to him.
– Lola Potier, of Vermilion Parish, has been involved in 4-H for more than 56 years, starting in 1955 as a member. She has been a volunteer leader and member of the parish 4-H Foundation and Advisory Committee. As a 4-H leader at E. Broussard Elementary, Potier’s club was the top fourth-to-sixth-grade club in the parish, and it won numerous state awards for community service. She continues to volunteer at Vermilion Parish 4-H Achievement Day and manage the exhibit contest. She designed a database program to record more than 800 exhibits entries. She received the 4-H Alumni Award, the state Friend of 4-H award and the 4-H Club Congress Leader Award. In 1998, the Vermilion Achievement Day was dedicated to her. She was also named Teacher of the Year in Vermilion Parish.
– Charles Severance, of East Baton Rouge Parish, began his 4-H career as a student in South Carolina. He won the state electrification program and attended 4-H Congress in Chicago to receive a scholarship at Clemson University. After graduation, he worked for the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service for 39 years as a specialist in electric programs. He also served as the East Baton Rouge 4-H leader and on the 4-H Foundation Board and advisory committee. The Charles E. Severance Endowed Scholarship was established in 2009 for Biological and Agricultural Engineering at LSU.
In 1954, Severance married Winifred Loudon from Zachary. Winifred is also a state 4-H champion and she won a trip to the National 4-H Congress in Chicago for her baking.
– Robbie Wintz Tomeny, of St. John the Baptist Parish, served as a 4-H organizer, project leader and home economics teacher from 1960-1998 at East St. John High School. She conducted a variety of programs, including an ethnic food program, relay games and style shows. She helped short course participants with sewing. She served as a teacher at leader training sessions, a judge for various contests and a member of various state and regional advisory boards. She was recognized with several awards, including the New Orleans and River Region Outstanding 4-H Leadership Award, the state 4-H Alumni Award and the 4-H Good Provider Leader Award. She has been named Teacher of the Year, and her food class received a second-place national award for an innovative food and cooking program.