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Special National 4-H Recognition

Over the decades 4-H at the national level has been the proud recipient of many prestigious awards, given for a wide range of reasons. This compilation describes awards made to the 4-H Office, USDA; National 4-H Service Committee, National 4-H Foundation and National 4-H Council.

The listing is still being added to as the National 4-H History Preservation Program becomes aware of past awards and recognition made through the years. Although incomplete, it nonetheless illustrates the admiration and "thanks" for 4-H - what it stands for... and, what it has accomplished in supporting and strengthening several generations of young people.

In addition, many of the professionals who have been on the national staffs of Extension 4-H, the Council, Foundation, or Service Committee have been recognized by various groups in their own rite and are too numerous to include in this section.

1967 - Office of Civil Defense Honors 4-H

The Office of Civil Defense has awarded a Citation to the 2.75 million 4-H Club members in the United States in recognition of their accomplishments in emergency preparedness.

The Citation reads: "Distinguished Service Citation Awarded to 4-H Clubs of the United States for outstanding leadership and cooperation in the National Civil Defense program."

The Citation was presented at an assembly in the Jefferson Auditorium during 1967 National 4-H Club Week activities. Mrs. Jane F. Hanna, deputy director of civil defense, called attention to two specific 4-H programs designed to increase understanding of the need for and emergency preparedness measures rural families could take in the presentation ceremony. One was the "4-H TV Action Club." The other was the "4-H Community Response Game."

The "4-H TV Action Club" is a series of 10 30-minute television programs on Rural Civil Defense. 4-H members enroll through their local county Extension office. They are given a workbook to be used in conjunction with the TV program. The workbook helps members relate what they learn in the program to their home and family situation. The series has been or is currently being viewed in 35 States with nearly one million boys and girls having been enrolled in the Club. The series was produced by the Michigan State Cooperative Extension Service in cooperation with the Office of Civil Defense and the Federal Extension Service.

The "4-H Community Response Game" teaches family emergency preparedness through the "role-playing" concept. It was developed cooperatively by the Federal Extension Service and Johns Hopkins University. The "Game" simulates a community hit by disaster. Participants assume the roles of citizens with responsibilities for restoring order and vital services. Through lthis, participants experience decision-making vital to a community hit by disaster, learn leadership techniques, and experience the affects of their actions and decisions on their own welfare and on the welfare of their families and community.

The award was accepted on behalf of all 4-H members by a member of the 4-H Report-to-the-Nation team. While many people share in this award, special recognition is due two members of the FES staff who have taken the leadership here: Miss Eleanor Wilson and Mr. Herman Welch.

1983 - Rotary International Recognizes Council

Dr. William Skelton, president, Rotary International, awarded a Presidential Citation to National 4-H Council in recognition of its service to youth. The presentation was made during the Wednesday, November 30, assembly at National 4-H Congress.

The citation pays tribute to Council's "vital contribution to the youth of the world." "By recognizing their achievements, training their leaders, and developing resources for their programs," the citation reads, "the Council helps young people become productive and responsible citizens." In presenting the award, Dr. Skelton, an alumnus of 4-H, noted that Rotary's motto, "Service Above Self," and the motto of 4-H, "to Make the Best Better," complement each other. "We both work to serve people in our communities and around the globe," he said. The citation to National 4-H Council is the seventh awarded by Rotary International worldwide.

1983 - 4-H Recognized for Contribution to Beef Cattle Industry

National 4-H Council was one of 18 organizations honored by the American Angus Association for outstanding contributions to the beef cattle industry. Grant Shrum, president of National 4-H Council, accepted the award in St. Joseph, Missouri during festivities that marked the association's 100th anniversary.

1984 - 4-H Gets National Recognition for Safety

4-H was one of nine national organizations recognized for work in safety programs in Washington, DC, September 10, during a ceremony sponsored by the National Organization on Disability. The event, hosted by Senator Robert Dole (R-KS), and Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole, kicked off a promotional tour to prevent disabling accidents and injuries. James Williamson, Delaware, a 1983 national winner in the 4-H safety program, sponsored by General Motors Foundation, Inc., accepted the award on behalf of 4-H. Diane Eberle, a 4-H'er from Lone Rock, Wisconsin, received one of the three individual safety awards presented by Avon Products, Inc. for exceptional contributions to safety programs. Also present at the ceremonies was British actor David Prowse, who played the role of Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" series. Prowse is special ambassador for the Decade of Disabled Personsk, 1983-1992, as proclaimed by President Reagan.

1984 - 4-H Council Receives USDA Volunteerism Award

On May 9, 1984 as part of National Volunteer Week celebrations, National 4-H Council was one of 20 national organizations honored by the United States Department of Agriculture in a "Salute to Volunteers for Agriculture." In making the presentations in the USDA patio, Secretary of Agriculture John R. Block explained that through the years the Department of Agriculture has relied extensively on volunteers from the private sector to particpate in projects that are keyed to achieving a strong agriculture and to conserving our natural resources. He said, "The response has been tremendous. Thousands of volunteers have contributed millons of work-hours to agriculturally-related projects. From the smallest rural community to the largst city, these volunteers have unselfishly given of their time, their energy, and their talents."

Council's certificate of appreciation was given for its leadership role in working with volunteers from the private sector in support of the Cooperative Extension Service 4-H youth program.

1985 - Kennedy Center Honors National 4-H Council

National 4-H Council President Grant A. Shrum recently accepted a special award from Friends of the Kennedy Center presented to National 4-H Council for encouraging interest in the arts among the young people of America.

"As I accept the award, I am reminded of some very important qualities the Friends of the Kennedy Center and 4-H hold in common," Shrum said. "They are excellence, service, enrichment and responsibility. From the beginning you have given this community, our nation's capital, a new quality of excellence in the performing arts and you have shared it so generously through your service to people and their institutions like 4-H."

Thousands of participants in citizenship and leadership programs at the National 4-H Center have visited the Kennedy Center regularly over the past 10 years.

Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.

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