Writer: Aspen Lyon
LAS CRUCES – Twenty-three 4-H leaders and supporters were inducted into the state 4-H Hall of Fame Dec. 13 at New Mexico State University.
This year's inductees are Joy Best of Elida, Martha Bond of Carrizozo, Frances Chambliss of Portales, Donald and Cooky Dean of Carlsbad, Sue Decker of La Plata, Bobby Ann Dictson of Las Cruces, Cathy Jacobs of La Plata, Robert and Elizabeth Johnson of San Ysidro, Bob and Corky Kasten of Bayard, Dan and Mary Liesner of Las Cruces, Ray and Joyce Litherland of Las Vegas, John and Lilly Pritchard of Albuquerque, Jesse and Ann Rayroux of Carlsbad, Deanna Brady Thornton of Alamogordo, and Gene and Barbara Thornton of Lamy.
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.
Best was the Extension Home Economist in Roosevelt County for 20 years. She helped many 4-Hers polish their contest skills and win trips to the National 4-H Congress. Best initiated the New Mexico Beef Ambassador Program competition and was involved in getting sponsorship for the State 4-H Consumer Decision Making competition.
Bond began volunteering as a 4-H leader 17 years ago. She is a leader for creative arts and home economics projects in Lincoln County and has taught Home Economics, Kindergarten and special education in the public school system.
Under Chambliss's leadership the Roosevelt County Valley 4-H Club was active in county and state 4-H events. She helped many members win trips as delegates to the National 4-H Congress and saw several become Extension Agents and 4-H leaders. Chambliss was a club leader for more than 20 years.
The Deans were leaders of the Standpipe 4-H Club for more than 15 years and helped with the Eddy County fair for more than 20 years. They were role models for 4-Hers and helped with projects including baking, sewing, livestock and leadership. The Deans continue to serve 4-H by judging county fairs, supporting the Scott Able 4-H Camp and promoting 4-H.
Decker has been a 4-H leader in San Juan County for 18 years. Her specialty is the beef project and she helped develop the breeding beef show at the county fair. She is also a professional artist and cake decorator. Decker has been the organizational leader for the La Plata Blue Ribbon 4-H Club for 10 years.
Dictson of Dona Ana County served many years as a 4-H leader, raised her kids in 4-H, and supported her husband, who was a Cooperative Extension Agent. She is a member of the New Mexico 4-H Foundation Board and has been chair of the Jesse Holloway Memorial 4-H Foundation Golf Scramble for the past three years. She established a scholarship in her father's name to be awarded to deserving 4-H members.
For 15 years Jacobs has been instrumental in developing San Juan County's local 4-H program. She developed a special interest horse group, the Hoofbeat Gang, and formed the Pooch Patrol Dog Group, which includes 103 members. She is also a rabbit expert in the county. Jacobs won the 2005 President's Volunteer Service Award for 4,000 hours of volunteer service.
For 28 years the Johnsons donations have included everything from helping host art workshops to building trails for horse activities. They have donated animals to the livestock scramble and established a buyer's club. Their dedication to the 4-H program has also helped find rodeo livestock for the annual rodeo and bring the first petting zoo to the Sandoval County Fair.
4-H functions of Corky and the late Bob Kasten included helping with concession stands and dances, as well as judging trips and contests. In 2000, they were recognized by the Grant County Chamber of Commerce for their commitment to the community through involvement with youth organizations for over 20 years. Bob passed away March 25, 2003 and was inducted into the Western New Mexico University School of Education Hall of Fame in May of 2004.
Dan Liesner of Dona Ana County served as County Program Director and Extension Agent in Lincoln, Otero and Eddy Counties and later became the Southeast District Extension Director. Mary Liesner, his wife, worked as a 4-H mom and teacher. She served as a club and 4-H leader for over 20 years. Both continue to support 4-H by serving on the New Mexico 4-H Foundation Board.
The Litherlands have contributed almost $100,000 to 4-H youth, the San Miguel county fair and other events. They have been supporters of the county fair for more than 25 years. Many youth have attended college as a result of their generosity.
John and Lilly Pritchard of Bernalillo County have served as management for the 4-H indoor exhibits at the New Mexico State Fair for 25 years. Lilly has promoted 4-H to the State Fair Management of Commissioners, as well as solicited sponsors. John has served as a judge for the engineering exhibit each year. He has also assisted with revising the 4-H welding and rocketry projects.
Jesse and Ann Rayroux have been a part of Eddy County 4-H for 50 years. Jesse has been involved in 4-H since the 1930s and was a founding member of the local fair board. Ann, a club leader, helped rewrite 4-H project books, started a sewing club in her daughters school and introduced many children to 4-H. The Rayroux family received the City of Carlsbad Crawford Pioneer Award for 2005 for their contributions to the community.
For more than 30 years, Deanna Brady Thornton has owned the Scott Able 4-H Camp. Thousands of 4-H children have attended this camp for an outdoor mountain experience. She is a member of the Otero Fair Board and the Southern New Mexico 4-H Club Foundation. During her time in 4-H, she has been a member, a leader and treasurer for the Otero Fair.
For almost 20 years Gene and Barbara Thornton have been contributing to 4-H. They donate to the local buyer's club, buy animals from the junior livestock sale, serve as record book judges, donate to the Kids, Cows and More educational program, and allow their ranch to be used for shooting sports training and contests. In 2003, the Santa Fe County 4-H Council awarded them the Meritorious Award for their support.
© 2013 New Mexico State University Board of Regents
NMSU - All About Discovery!