Bill Thurston inducted into Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame
Ashley Junior Farmers 4-H Club Volunteer Advisor Bill Thurston has the distinction of being involved in Delaware County 4-H as a club member and an advisor for more than half of the youth development organization’s life.
In 1902 A. B. Graham started “The Tomato Club” in Clark County, which is considered the birth of 4-H in the United States. By 1910 the distinctive 4-H clover pin had been developed; and by 1912 agricultural clubs forming around the country were called 4-H Clubs.
Delaware County 4-H was developed in 1918. Thurston joined the Ashley 4-H Club in 1940, showed livestock projects at the Ashley Fair until it closed in 1949, served as club president in 1948, and subsequently became an advisor of the Ashley Junior Farmers, the same club as the Ashley 4-H Club, in 1953.
Thurston was one of four inductees into the Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame during the March 9 Ohio 4-H Volunteer Conference Celebration of Volunteers’ at the Columbus Convention Center.
Thurston was recognized for his statewide influence and participation in 4-H dairy activities and the dairy industry, and for guiding club members in the Dairy Quiz Bowl, dairy-judging contests, Spring Dairy Expo, the Ohio State Fair, the Ohio Skill-a-Thon Contest and District 10 shows.
It was noted that Thurston has been an exemplary role model and mentor to hundreds of club members through the 4-H program. Under his direction parliamentary procedure is taught and used at each meeting and public speaking skills are learned by members completing a demonstration on each project; and numerous public service projects continue to be completed by the Ashley Junior Farmers 4-H Club due to good citizenship.
Thurston received a silver bowl for his 60 years as a 4-H advisor; his photograph will hang in the Ohio 4-H Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.
The Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame was initiated in 1977, during the 75th anniversary of 4-H with the enshrinement of A. B. Graham, founder of 4-H in Ohio, and the living charter members of the first 4-H Club.
The purpose of the 4-H Hall of Fame is to recognize individuals who have made significant lifetime contributions of service to the 4-H program and who have also made an important positive impact upon clubs, communities and the Ohio 4-H program.
Most 4-H projects are still livestock oriented, but as the country becomes more urban and less rural, 4-H is changing. Many clubs now focus on health, family life, photography, aerospace science, bicycles, natural resources, safety, horticulture and nutrition.
For additional information on 4-H in general, go to < ohio4h.org >. For specific information on Delaware County 4-H clubs and activities go to < delaware.osu.edu > and click on 4-H Youth Development.