National 4-H inducts Hall of Fame member
Jim Rutledge recently was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame for his lifetime achievements and contributions to 4-H. Honored by the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, Rutledge was one of 16 people inducted during the ceremony held near Washington, D.C., at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md.
"NAE4-HA is proud to acknowledge the outstanding 2012 National 4-H Hall of Fame honorees for the passion, dedication, vision and leadership they've shown toward our young people during their many years of service to 4-H," said Debbie Nistler, NAE4-HA president.
According to Jennifer Sirangelo, chief operating officer for the National 4-H Council, the National 4-H Hall of Fame honorees are nominated by their home states, National 4-H Council, NAE4-HA or 4-H Headquarters at USDA based upon their exceptional leadership at the local, state, national and international levels. Rutledge was nominated by both Oregon and Oklahoma.
Rutledge was honored for more than 40 years of professional and volunteer service to the 4-H movement in America. During his career he worked in Wisconsin, Wyoming, Oregon and Oklahoma. He began his career as a county 4-H educator and concluded his full time professional work with 15 years as a State 4-H Program Leader. For the past eight years he has worked part time in support of the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, primarily as the executive director. Rutledge has worked in the State 4-H Office in Stillwater for nearly 19 years.
Rutledge said the highlight of his career has been working with and watching so many outstanding professionals and volunteers develop their own leadership skills. He has received the Distinguished Service and Meritorious Service Awards from the NAE4-HA. In 2006 he received the singularly prestigious American Spirit Award presented by the U.S. Air Force in recognition of a lifetime of public service by an NAE4-HA member. However, Rutledge says, the highest honor for him came from being asked by his peers to serve as chair of the national organization of state 4-H program administrators for three years.
Rutledge was accompanied to the National4-H Hall of Fame Ceremony by his wife Pat McNally and his three sons Ken, Scott and Paul, along with their families.
In July, Rutledge was inducted into the Oklahoma 4-H Hall of Honor where he joins previous winners including Pete Williams, Ray Parker, Wallace Smith, Ira Hollar and B.A. Pratt, all of Stillwater.
The honorees were presented with the National 4-H Hall of Fame Medallion, plaque and memory book during the ceremony. The National 4-H Hall of Fame was established in 2002. For more information, visit www.nae4ha.com/hof.