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Hall of Fame 2008

Induction of the 2008 members took place during the State 4-H Forum in Everett on October 17, 2008.
Bonita ElfstromBonita Elfstrom founded the “Tails Up” 4‑H Club in 1971—the first dog project club in Skagit County. In 1974, the Tails Up Club was the first in the county to offer the Guide Dog project. They have also sponsored the county Agility contest and helped organize and run the first few years of the State Dog Bowl contest. Currently, the Tails Up Club is hosting a Canine Good Citizen test, which is an AKC program that is recognized nationwide. Former members of this club have won six Danforth Leadership awards at the county level, six state fair showmanship championships, and three former members have become veterinarians. All of this was accomplished under Bonita’s leadership—which she continues today, offering vet science, photography and leadership projects in addition to the dog project.

Bonita has served in many county positions, including 10 years has a Guide Dog leader; 25 years as Vet Science Program leader, and she has judged county public presentations for more than 30 years. She assisted veterinarians at the Skagit County Fair vet check for 10 years before becoming Coordinator for the next 15 years. Bonita was the Skagit County Dog Superintendent for 25 years—during which time the dog division was awarded the Black and White State Award four times. She has also taught classes at Super Saturday’s and Fabulous Friday’s in the county.

Because of Bonita’s involvement in the county 4-H Leaders’ Council and her work on the new National 4-H Dog curriculum, she was chose not once, but twice, as Leader of the Year in Skagit County.

On the state level, Bonita has served as State Fair Judging Superintendent for 25 years, and she helped design one of the first dog showmanship score sheets as a member of the State Dog Development Committee.


Jean SwiftJean Swift began her involvement in 4-H as a member in Grays Harbor County.  She later became a judge for foods, clothing, public presentations and record books.  After moving to Skagit County in the 1970’s, Jean became Leader of the 4-H Home Ec. Club and was our 4-H Building Superintendent for many years.  She is still the main leader of a large community club that offers 16 different projects, with ten co-leaders.  Jean has held every office on Leaders Council, has served on every committee and chaired several major events, including the State 4-H Forum when it was held in Mt. Vernon.

In the 1980’s, Jean became involved in the cat project, serving as the county 4-H Cat Superintendent for many years, then working on the state Project Development Committee charged with writing new project materials.  She is still a member of that committee, which is currently working on developing a project for small pets.

Jean is also involved on the state level on the Food and Nutrition Committee where she was instrumental in the consolidation of several kitchen activity worksheets and score sheets, and did an extensive revision of the 4-H Food Activity Guidelines.  She also developed a Judges Training Program for foods exhibits and 4-H kitchen activities, which she has presented several times.  She attends State 4-H Forum nearly every year, and often attends Western Region 4-H Forum; frequently presenting workshops at both.

Jean served on the State Fair Board for over eight years.  She was awarded a trip to the National Home Ec. Leader’s Conference in 1983, and in the 1990’s was offered the opportunity to help develop a national 4-H Cat Project curriculum.


Tom and Ann MuchoneyTom and Ann Muchoney have been 4-H volunteers for over 26 years, leading a swine club for most of that time. Their four children grew up in the 4-H swine program, and now their grandchildren are involved. Ann has been the Snohomish County Swine Program leader for the past five years. She has spent time at the Evergreen State Fair moving pigs, and even assisted with a hog calling contest.

Tom has been the Evergreen State Fair Swine Superintendent for the past 23 years, and has judged swine for 11 years—often at his own expense. As a judge, he spends a lot of time helping the 4-H members improve their skills and knowledge in the swine project. For many years Tom and Ann have volunteered at the State Fair. Tom served six years on the State 4-H Fair Board, and is the current State 4-H Fair Swine Superintendent.

Tom and Ann work tirelessly at fairs, both county and state. They give out recipes and promotional items they have purchased from the National Pork Producers; they host an annual pig roast; provide food and beverages for members and volunteers in the swine barn; and they have helped with “Jam Night” and set up lighting for fashion revues. They also help financially by donating trophies at both their county fair and the Enumclaw Spring Youth Fair.

Tom and Ann have both been active in the Snohomish County 4-H Council for more than 20 years. Tom is the current President. They have both received the county Leaders Jacket that is awarded to top leaders by the county’s 4-H membership. They are recipients of the Snohomish County Outstanding Leader and Leader of the Year awards, the prestigious Dept. of Agriculture’s “Black & White” award, and they shared the 2007 Evergreen State Fair Honoree spotlight – an honor well deserved for the many years of dedicated service to the youth of Washington State.


Pat PehlingPat Pehling became a 4-H member in 1961 and stepped right into volunteering in 1979. She has mentored and taught an estimated 10,000 individuals in 4-H since then; and spent most of that time as a leader in the equine program.

Pat has led the Snohomish County 4-H Program volunteers and youth in developing their main fund-raising into a $30-$50,000 treasury each year. She has served as Awards, Policy and Resolution, By-Laws Revision and Record Book Chair through the years. She is our “local expert” on parliamentary procedure. Pat is always willing to step forward and work on the hard issues. In 1999, she led a successful postcard campaign to encourage Snohomish County political leaders to fully fund the 4-H program. She has received numerous county awards, including Leader of the Year and Leader Jacket.

Pat works on the state level in various roles. She served on the original Horse Development Committee, and currently chairs the Equine Advisory Committee.  She has coordinated the State 4-H Horse Bowl for five years and the State 4-H Horse Judging contest for many more years. Pat is a co-author of the Washington State 4-H Horse Bowl Contest Rulebook and the Pacific Northwest 4-H Horse Manual.  She is currently working on the Oregon-Washington 4-H Horse Judging School. In 2001 Pat received the State 4-H Alumni Award.


Jan HillerJan Hiller has been associated with 4-H since the age of 10. In 1958-59 she served as an Iowa State 4-H officer and was active in the Iowa State University Collegiate 4-H Club. She become a county Extension Home Economist after college graduation, and later worked with a rural youth program in Uruguay for four years. She has served in WSU Extension for the past 30 years.

As a Washington State 4-H Youth Development Specialist, Jan has provided leadership to the Food & Nutrition and Clothing & Textiles projects, as well as the WSU Extension Volunteer Development program. She was part of the team that envisioned the Washington 4-H Council; she provided leadership and direction for the State 4-H Forum, and was a key player in the early organization of the 4-H Advisory Board. Through Jan’s leadership, Washington State developed and implemented the first volunteer screening system in the nation. She was also instrumental in the development of a program to train volunteers as “middle managers” to enhance the outreach of 4-H programs.

Jan has received numerous state, regional and national awards due to her commitment to excellence and dedicated work. She has received National Association of Extension 4-H Agents awards for Excellence in Teamwork, Meritorious Service, Communication Educational Technology, Distinguished Service, and Western Regional Communicator; USDA awards for Meritorious Service and 4-H Centennial Program of Excellence; WSU Extension Hall of Champions Excellence Award, and WSU College of Ag Human and Natural Resources Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension.

Jan has been involved in community programs involving her two children; she has served on committees for the Simpson United Methodist Church, Community Action Center and United Way, and she has been involved in the American Association of University Women.

Jan’s values, life choices, and her personal and professional life are the embodiment of the 4-H Pledge.

Washington State University Extension