The LSU AgCenter honored Beryl Ford and Cindy Gillespie, along with 10 other adults recently for their service to the Louisiana 4-H youth development program.
The awards were presented during a banquet on the first day of 4-H University – a gathering of 4-H’ers from across Louisiana that brings them to Baton Rouge for three-days of competition, educational activities and entertainment.
 “Our 4-H program makes a difference in the lives of young people across Louisiana,” said LSU AgCenter Vice Chancellor Paul Coreil. “But it wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of volunteers, the support of school superintendents and the members of our faculty and staff who go above and beyond the call of duty.
 “We’re glad to be able to recognize a few of those outstanding individuals with these awards each year,” he continued.
 Ford and Gillespie were presented the 2009 4-H Alumni awards, which recognize former 4-H Club members for continuing to be active with the youth development program.
As the daughter of a county agent, Ford had the opportunity to participate in all aspects of 4-H. Then as she progressed through being an educator, mom and now grandmother, she continued to support the 4-H program in Vernon Parish. She has worked with Character Counts!, served on the 4-H livestock and overall 4-H Advisory committees, served as a judge for various contest and now supports the program as she serves on the Vernon Parish School Board. Ford said she is a true believer in that 4-H teaches the necessary life skills that all youth need to be successful.
 Gillespie grew up in Pennsylvania where she participated in 4-H through community clubs. Through her years as an educator and a school principal and school superintendent, she continued to support 4-H by welcoming it into schools, supporting new programs and even funding for camps, equipment and an educational trailer.
Although Gillespie has now retired, she promises to continue to support 4-H as a judge and on the 4-H Advisory Committee.