Writer: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, firstname.lastname@example.org
Roosevelt County residents Janie Hardin and Fran Welch were among the 10 4-H leaders and supporters inducted into the New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame in July at New Mexico State University. The induction ceremony, which was held during the 4-H State Conference, included individual recognition for the inductees and a breakfast.
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.
"This is the highest honor we have to offer people who have provided support and service to 4-H members in New Mexico," said Rick Richardson, interim department head of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service's 4-H Youth Development Program. "These individuals have given cumulatively more than 210 years of service to the New Mexico 4-H program. Including this group, we have inducted 195 individuals and couples into the hall of fame."
Hardin and Welch were inducted along with the late Jimmie Dee Fox of De Baca County; Martha Sayles of Dona Ana County; the late Elmer Allen of Hidalgo County; Berniece Coriz, Debbie Manzanares and Alma "Skeeter" Schmitz, all of Rio Arriba County; and Timothy and Charla Johnson of Sandoval County.
Hardin, while working at the New Mexico Christian Children's Home, became a leader of the Shooting Stars 4-H Club, and has been involved in the 4-H program from the club level and on through the county, state and national levels during her 20 years of service. There is nothing more important to her than to make the lives of others better.
Her quiet nature and servant's heart allowed her to reach the children at the home, who were not traditional 4-H members, getting them involved in the program. They learned by her example of service and the kind words of encouragement that she always spoke.
To this day, many people affiliated with the Children's Home - from staff and house parents, to kids and volunteers - appreciate the positive influence Hardin has made in their lives. She has been and continues to be a silent influence in the lives of countless children and adults. The impact she has made in the lives of children will continue to ripple for generations to come.
Welch has given her time, talent and energy to the Roosevelt County 4-H program as a volunteer leader for nearly 15 years. Since her own involvement in 4-H as a youth in Chaves County, she has been involved with the fast-paced 4-H adventure. She was involved in both the Valley 4-H Club and the Rodeo and Show Club, starting as a parent and eventually being a club leader for 10 years.
Her involvement in promoting horse-related activities in Roosevelt County, through shows, play days, rodeos and clinics, has helped her county's participation to increase in 4-H horse events statewide.
She spends countless hours planning, preparing and fine-tuning events for the annual horse show hosted by Roosevelt County, where youth from across the state participate.
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