Writer: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, firstname.lastname@example.org
LAS CRUCES - Three Roosevelt County residents are among 15 4-H leaders and supporters who were inducted into the state 4-H Hall of Fame recently at New Mexico State University. An unveiling of new nameplates on the hall of fame plaque followed the ceremony.
The hall of fame, established in 2002, honors 4-H members, volunteer leaders, fair superintendents, advisory board members, 4-H Foundation trustees and former faculty with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service, which administers 4-H statewide.
"These individuals have given cumulatively more than 450 years of service to the New Mexico 4-H Program," said Frank Hodnett, department head of the Extension Service's 4-H youth development. "Including this group of inductees, we have inducted 111 individuals and couples into the hall of fame."
This year's inductees include J.M. and Fay Jeffries, and Floyd McAlister, all of Roosevelt County; Anita Blanton, and the late Bill and Catherine Grandia, all of Bernalillo County; C.J. and Nancy Blackburn, Gene and June Locknane and the late Dorothy Marks, all of Curry County; Norbert McCaw of Eddy County; Don Leonard and Karin Vallo of Sandoval County; Sheila Massey of Hidalgo County; Helen Candelaria and the late Alan Grace of San Juan County; Albert and Denise Gonzales of San Miguel County; and Rose Mary Rosas of Socorro County.
Murry and Fay Jeffries have a long history in Roosevelt County 4-H. Murry served on the Roosevelt County Fair Board for 34 years as livestock superintendent and concurrently as a 4-H leader.
"Throughout that time, as beef projects became increasingly more expensive, Mr. Jeffries managed to increase participation in the beef show with the addition of a breeding beef class," Phillip Zuni, NMSU freshman and state 4-H president, said during the induction ceremony.
Fay Jeffries has also served more than 30 years as a 4-H leader. She saw record books as an important part of any 4-H career and offered encouragement and support to youth in their completion.
Several youth influenced by the Jeffries went on to attend the National 4-H Congress, including their two daughters and granddaughters.
"Several of the youth active under the Jeffries' leadership have gone on to serve as effective 4-H leaders - what better legacy could we ask for," Zuni said.
McAlister has been a life-long resident and contributor to Roosevelt County. There is no doubt that he has had a commitment to the 4-H program. He was an active 4-H member himself and even attended the National 4-H Congress.
"He has dedicated his 21-year career to making Roosevelt County a better place and providing its citizens the most accurate information possible," Zuni said. "He believes in the 4-H program and strives to make sure that it is cared for and managed in a manner that benefits children all across the county."
To accomplish this he does whatever is necessary to make things work - from driving the tractor at the 4-H rodeo to announcing the junior livestock show at the fair.
"When you look at Floyd McAlister's life, you find a man who is dedicated to the 4-H program and supplies the day-to-day support that makes the program successful," Zuni said.
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