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Former Roosevelt County Extension agent, wife inducted into New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame

  • By Jane Moorman
  • 505-249-0527
  • jmoorman@nmsu.edu
  • Jul 27, 2012
Two men and a lady, in a brown dress, standing in front of the New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame sign.
Former residents of Roosevelt County, the late Willie Glen "Bill" and Edna Vinzant were among the seven 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 reception.

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 180 years of service to the New Mexico 4-H program. Including this group, we have inducted 186 individuals and couples into the hall of fame."

The Vinzants were inducted along with Geraldine "Gerry" Copeland and Don Umbrage of Bernalillo County; the late Dempse and Virginia Anderson of McKinley County; and Barbara Arko of Colfax County.

The Vinzants' involvement with 4-H began when they were in their youth. Bill joined his first club in 1911, and his 4-H career continued as county Extension agent in Harding County until 1934 and then in Roosevelt County until his retirement in 1964. Edna's first involvement with 4-H was as a member of the Tomato Canning 4-H Club.

Through the years the couple enjoyed working with the youth and adults in both Harding and Roosevelt counties. They actively promoted leadership activities at the club, district, state and national level. The couple was instrumental in establishing the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds and Scott Able 4-H Camp.

They introduced their two children and six grandchildren to the 4-H program. The Vinzant family has been active in 4-H for four generations with the couple's three eldest great-grandchildren now in the program.

"Bill and Edna lived and practiced what they learned as 4-H members, leaders and agents in the Extension Service," according to the letter nominating the Vinzants for the hall of fame. "As pioneers in the state's program they are deserving of a place in the New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame."

Accepting the honor for the family were current Roosevelt County Extension agents Connie Moyers, home economist and county program director, and Patrick Kircher, agricultural agent.