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Washington State University Extension

Hall of Fame 2014

Induction of the 2014 members took place during the State 4-H Forum in Wenatchee on October 17, 2014.
Tom Freeman became involved in 4-H as soon as he could enroll, starting his 4-H career in third grade in Mount Vernon.  Growing up, he had Jersey cattle and pigs as project animals.  Tom moved to Idaho in the eighth grade and continued to participate in 4-H there.  He became a 4-H leader in St. Maries while he finished his senior year of high school so the local youth would have a leader.

Tom has continued to be active in 4-H for many years.  He and his wife Hazel started as leaders in 1968 with the Royal Ranchers 4-H Club of Othello.  Tom’s specialty is dairy and his passion is for teaching youth and enabling them to succeed.  Tom keeps his 4-H club involved in the local community thru Christmas caroling for the firefighters; they keep the local Pioneer Cemetery clean, the Wildlife Refuge has seen their help and the Royal City Park has benefited from his club’s service.

With the loss of Hazel, Tom remains active with his 4-H club and his other commitments, including the Livestock committee at the Grant County Fair and involvement with the Leaders council for Grant/Adams counties.  Tom spent many years as the 4-H Dairy Superintendent for the Adams County Fair and Yakima County Fair but recently passed those responsibilities on.  He can still be found at those fairs, hanging out in the Dairy Barn with his 4-H Club.

Not only has Tom given his time to the 4-H youth community he has also supported it financially.  Tom has been known to be the floor buyer for the Dairy Youth Livestock sale at the Fairs, and gives anonymously to support 4-H youth and their activities.  Tom received the Lee Solum 4-H award for 25 years continuous service in 1991.  In 2011, Tom was the Grant Adams County Leader of the Year.

Tom has six sons,  sixteen grandkids, and six great-grandkids.  He has seen all of his children thru 4-H and their projects, and now he enjoys being a leader for his grandkids.  Tom gives freely of his time, knowledge, and finances to support the needs of others.  For 48 years, he has touched many 4-H lives with caring, kindness and participation.

Judy Richmond moved to Sequim, WA in 1976 with her family.  She was in the feed store and met a mom who said, “You need to join 4-H.”  Judy and her two kids went to a meeting, had fun, and became active.  Judy was assigned to help the club’s kids with record books.  After over thirty-five years, Judy continues to serve as a 4-H volunteer in Clallam County.

Judy has always been willing to try new things.  The kids wanted to try the poultry project and no one in the county was doing poultry.  Judy and another leader said “Let’s try it!  We can learn along with the kids.”  She fondly remembers climbing under the kitchen table to candle their eggs.  When she first became the club horse leader, she knew very little about the 4-H horse project.  Judy learned the project right along with the kids.  Over the years, she has been a leader in many projects, including horses, poultry, dogs, cats, rabbits, swine, rocketry, adventures in family living, foods, food preservation, sewing, wildlife (now called shooting sports and fishing), gardening, arts & crafts, photography, cows, and leadership.

She has been involved in four different clubs; in addition to her club work, Judy has always put extra effort into supporting and promoting the 4-H community as a whole.  Judy has co-chaired the “Kiss the Pig” scholarship fundraiser for twelve years; she also helped organize many other fund raisers that support all aspects of our county 4-H program.  Additionally, Judy has participated in numerous programs showcasing 4-H to the community, such as Wellapalooza, Kids Fest, and Super Saturdays.  When program funding was threatened, Judy helped organize two local marches to help keep our county 4-H program.

Judy has been the horse barn superintendent for over fifteen years, and encouraged horse leaders to become active with all the clubs.  Twelve years ago, Judy was elected Leader’s Council president, and since that time has worked very hard to bring everyone together.  Judy has been selected “Clallam Co-Leader of the Year” three times, and received awards from the Extension office for “Exemplifying the Spirit of 4-H” and “Volunteer Excellence and Outstanding Leadership.”  Judy exemplifies a true “we can do it” attitude.

Curt & Suze Marsh have been involved with 4-H for over 45 years.  Curt joined 4-H because his then-girlfriend Connie Hillman was in 4-H with a rabbit project.  Curt’s first project was a Jersey heifer named Baby Doll.  As a 4-H member, Curt participated in 4-H Dairy Project, 4-H Swine Project and 4-H Builders Club project (a forerunner of the Ambassadors).  In 1967 while attending Yakima Valley Community College, Curt met Suze, and they were married in December.  While Curt was attending college, he volunteered as 4-H Dairy Superintendent at Central Washington State Fair in Yakima.

In 1974, Curt and Suze moved to Friday Harbor, San Jaun County.  There, Curt was a 4-H swine project leader and progressed to Swine Superintendent, Dairy Superintendent, and Farm Machinery Superintendent.  He also served as 4-H Council President, with Suze p roviding back-up.  Sometimes the monthly council meeting were held on the ferry travelling between San Jaun Island and Anacortes and back to Lopez Island.  They did a spell in Lincoln County in 1981, where Curt served as 4-H Swine Program Leader and Swine Superintendent.  In July 1983, Curt found new employment as Walsh Dairy Assistant Farm manager, and they moved their family to Lewis County, Boistfort-Curtis Valley.  Curt and Suze were the official chaperones for the Lewis County 4-H swine exhibitors at the 4-H State Fair in Puyallup in 1985 and for the next eight years.

Curt and Suze have both held office in Lewis County 4-H Council, as president, vice president and area representative.  They have together and separately been on numerous 4-H committees, including Achievement Program, Record Book, Trust Fund, Conflict Resolution, By-laws, Judging, Kouncil Kitchen, Nominating, and Livestock.  They have judged posters and demonstrations, and were Lewis County leaders of the year in 1999.  Both volunteer their services as clerk and Show Ring Announcer at the 4-H swine show during the Washington 4-H State Fair in Puyallup, and are active participants in the Lewis County 4-H Council.  Suze is on the Trust Fund Committee for the Council.  Curt is 4-H council President for 2014 and vice-chairman of the Spring Youth Fair.  Bothe Curt and Suze plan to continue their 4-H and other volunteer work as long as circumstances allow.  Curt & Suze both say “This is what we do and who we are.”

Jim Johnson has served the 4-H youth and volunteers of Pierce and Okanogan counties for over 17 years.  Jim began his 4-H career in Pierce County when his daughters became interested in horses and the whole family joined 4-H.  Although his daughters have long since graduated from the program, Jim remains an avid 4-H volunteer.  He is always there to encourage and support others in the pursuit of self improvement – and FUN!

Jim was highly active within the Pierce County Horse Program.  He served as one of the County Horse Show announcer for more than fifteen years, and announced Horse Shows at the State 4-H Fair in Puyallup for many years.  Jim was a member of the Pierce County 4-H Horse Board for several terms, and he was a member of the Pierce County 4-H Executive Council.  Jim helped spearhead the construction of the Horse arena office and announcers booth at the Pierce County fairground.  When there was a need at the Horse department’s food concession, Jim was there.  Jim took classes for food handling and concessionaire operation, and made menus and trained others to help serve and to cook.  At the State Level, Jim was a volunteer at the State Fair 4-H office for many years, and announced the 4-H State Fair Fashion Show.  Jim has also served as a Food Judge for 4-H at many County and 4-H State Fairs.

Jim has served multiple terms on the WA State 4-H Advisory Board;  he has also served as the State Advisory Board representative to the State 4-H Core Committee and the Equine and Shooting Sports Committees.  Within the Board, Jim has been a member of the Grant & Recognition, Constitution, Fundraiser, Teen and several Ad hock Committees over the years.  Jim is a former WA State 4-H Foundation Trustee, a position he held for many years.

In 2012 Jim moved to Okanogan County where he continued his 4-H service, quickly becoming involved with many county activities, including Head Chef at summer camp, Food Smart program volunteer, Super Saturday participant, helping in the 4-H building during fair, qualifying to volunteer for the 4-H rifle and pistol programs, and announcing at horse shows and at the fair.  In 2013 Jim was re-elected to the WA State 4-H Advisory Board, now representing the NE District.  Jim feels honored to be able to bring the East Side view to the State Advisory Board.

Pam Phelps has been an enrolled Snohomish County 4-H volunteer for more than 43 years.  She began her 4-H career when her children were small; working with horses, then moved on to cats, and finally Natural Science.

As leader of the Kaleidoscope 4-H Club, she is always focusing on education.  Pam has led groups on field trips to Mt. St Helens, the blooming desert of eastern Washington, the Ellensburg Elk Feeding Station, to Sucia Island and Ocean Shores to study marine sciences first hand, many camping trips, river raft rides and canoe trips, boating safety, salmon tours and wildlife identification.

Pam is an active Snohomish County 4-H Council member, serving on numerous committees.  Pam regularly attends the Evergreen State Fair Board Meetings as a representative of the County’s 4-H Council, reporting those proceedings back to the Council.   Pam has been involved in many different aspects of the Evergreen State Fair as well.  She began by assisting the Cat Program at fair, before moving on to become the superintendent of the Natural Sciences & Environmental Stewardship Department.  Pam has had the pleasure of guiding three generations of some families in learning about their environment.  Throughout the year, Pam puts in many extra hours at the fairgrounds helping the staff get ready for each year’s fair.  With a smile, she is always available to help by lending a hand, doing whatever is need.

This past March, Pam was honored by being named the 2014 Evergreen State Fair Honoree.  The annual honor recognizes individuals or families who have contributed significant personal time and energy toward the improvement and betterment of the fair.  Pam has long since received her Snohomish County 4-H Leaders Jacket, awarded to leaders by the county’s 4-H membership.  In 1998 she was named Snohomish County 4-H Leader of the Year.

Over her long 4-H association, she has been involved with countless fair activities and programs.  Her many hours of service demonstrates her deep dedication to the welfare of the Evergreen State Fair and the 4-H Program.  Asked why she has spent so much time, money, and effort into 4-H, Pam responds “I do it for the kids”.  The Snohomish County 4-H Program would not be the same without Pam Phelps.

Kathy VanBuskirk is a 42 year 4-H volunteer and continues to be a vital part of the program.  Kathy’s start in 4-H came in 1971, before her children were even born, joining here first club, “Skyline Riders 4-H Club,” where she “helped out” the area kids to ensure that their first experiences with a horse were positive.  It was with this first club where she fell in love with 4-H – and those kids.  Volunteering at the 1972 Fair, Kathy was pregnant with her first son, who was born the night the fair closed.  Kathy soon started her first 4-H club, “Horse Around Riders,” which quickly grew to about thirty kids who shared a collection of backyard ponies and worked hardest at creating lasting memories with an emphasis on learning-by-doing.

Kathy has been, and continues to be, a vital part of the 4-H program in many ways.  At County Fair, she has served as Fair Announcer, Fair Stall Registration, and Show Office Registration, all for at least twenty years.  As Fair Office Personnel, she is present in the Horse Arena Office for all ten days of Fair, posted at “Kathy’s window,” where she addresses questions, calms nerves, wipes tears, and gives pep talks – and that’s just for the parents!  For 4-H youths, she is the steadfast answer lady, who seems to know everything.

At State 4-H Fair, Kathy tracks placing of members to determine State Equine Exhibit participants and assists in the registration process.  She assists in the annual State 4-H Horse Judging Contest, and has spent over thirty years with the Fund Raising (Tack Sale) Committee, as Committee Member and a Tack Sale Supervisor.  Kathy has also served many years on the Rules Committee and Show Committee, and is a very regular attendee at the Monthly Horse Program meetings.  Kathy’s honors at the 4-H County level include the Impact Award, the County Outstanding Leader Award, and County Horse Program Volunteer of the month several times over the past ten years.  Washington State 4-H can credit Kathy for helping provide the volunteer bedrock to an incredibly large and diverse horse program

It was horses and kids that attracted Kathy to 4-H 42 years ago – and that has not changed.  Kathy will tell you of the countless people she has met through 4-H – and the many who have become lifelong friends.  Her greatest reward now is the second generation youth – those kids from the 1970’s who are now parents themselves, trusting 4-H to create the same great memories they enjoyed as kids.

Linda (Savitz) McCanna became a 4-H member in 1962 as a member in the Singing Spurs 4-H Club.  She took part in Horses, Knitting, and Teen Leadership.  In 1968, she became a project leader for the horse, horseless horseman, clothing, dogs, cooking, crafts, and teen leadership, activities she still involved with to this day.  Linda has a love for children that truly shows in the life she lives.  While being a 4-H volunteer, Linda has taught at the local elementary school for thirty-seven years, helping educate a good part of Chewelah and the surrounding area’s children.

Linda and her husband Jerry (also a 4-H leader) have raised three of their own 4-H kids.  For her, 4-H has been a large part of her and her families’ life – and still is!  Over the years, she housed 4-H’ers horses at her own place, feeding them at her own expense; hauling kids and animals to shows and fairs was just part of being a 4-H leader.

Linda is Stevens County Public Presentation Project Leader. taking on this role in 1991.  Over the last twenty-three years, Linda has helped change policies on Public Presentation in Stevens County.  Linda has served as a chaperone for State Fair, State Judging teams, and at 4-H Conference.  Linda has also served on the Stevens County Leaders’ Council.  Stevens County recognized Linda in 1995 as Stevens County Outstanding 4-H Leader of the Year.  Linda was employed at the Stevens County Extension Office in the summer of 1969 when the very first 4-H agent was hired, and has worked with all of the 4-H County Extension staff in Stevens County.  She has taught classes at Stevens County Sensational Saturday, Leaders Banquets, leaders training, and at club meetings.

When it came time to write her Master’s Thesis, she choose the topic of 4-H Public Presentations.  Her research showed that 4-H Public Presentations work can and does have a positive impact on children’s self-esteem.  Inspired by her 4-H Leader mother before her, public presentations have been a passion throughout her 4-H Career.  Coaching 4-H members through club, county, state, and national presentations have been her greatest challenges and pleasures, the core of her 4-H life.   In her 52 year involvement in 4-H, she has contributed countless hours of dedication to 4-Hers!