Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Pierce County Places 16 in New State 4-H Hall of Fame

PULLMAN, Wash. — Sixteen present and former Pierce County residents have been inducted into the new Washington State 4-H Hall of Fame.

Inducted were: Earl Otis, 909 7th St. S.W., Puyallup; Cathy Swenson, P.O. Box 131, Kapowsin; Mary Crandal, 4902 64th St. E., Tacoma; Robert Ehrhardt, 1031 E. 54th, Tacoma; Scott Hodgson, Puyallup; Agnes and the late Edwin Kropf, 11422 87th Ave., Puyallup; Bob Leonard, Pierce County; Marlene McCollam, 4915 E. 96th St., Tacoma; Susan Parr, 6120 44th Ave. E., Tacoma; Tom Quann, 8421 Woodland Ave. E., Puyallup; Barbara and Jess “Chip” Taylor, 2226 E. 68th St., Tacoma; Bernadine and the late Howard Young, 9828 32nd E., Puyallup. Also inducted was the late Cal Svinth, formerly of Pierce County.

Throughout his 30-year career as an information specialist with WSU Cooperative Extension, Otis wrote extensively about 4-H, promoting certain new programs, camps, activities, and personalities. Part of his regular “beat” was the State 4-H Fair. Hometown news releases about state 4-H winners went to virtually every newspaper in the state at one time or another.

Conservatively, more than 100,000 words of copy about 4-H were distributed. On five occasions Earl was selected to be part of the “press” team at National 4-H Congress in Chicago. For six years following his retirement, Earl was a State Fairs Commissioner, evaluating local and county fairs throughout the state with heavy emphasis on the 4-H divisions.

Swenson has been a 4-H leader in the clothing project for 32 years. She has been an active Pierce County Fair Board member for over 14 years. For 22 years, she has been involved with the 4-H State Fashion Revue. She also taught clothing construction to high-risk youth at the Tacoma Alternative School. In 1990 Cathy was awarded Pierce County Volunteer of the Year.

Crandal began her association with 4-H as a member in Yuma County, Colorado, in the 1950s. After college, she became a WSU Extension Agent in Clark County, with responsibility for clothing and home furnishings projects in adult and 4-H programs.

She was advisor for several community fairs, assisted with 4-H camps, and worked with the junior leaders.

In 1973, Mary became State 4-H Fair Manager. The State 4-H Fair Horse Show was started under her leadership.

Ehrhardt is a veteran of 30 years as a 4-H leader. He has worked in various science projects, teaching aerospace, gardening, and entomology projects. He was the gardening and entomology superintendent at the Pierce County Fair and volunteered for many years at the State 4-H Fair.

He also served many years as public presentation judge. Bob was a mentor to new 4-H leaders and countless 4-H members. For his dedication to the youth, he was given the Outstanding Pierce County Volunteer award and the Julie M. Martinez Memorial Lifetime Achievement award.

Hodgson worked at WSU for 39 years, retiring in 1989 as a dairy extension agent. He worked with 4-H youth his entire career and continued into retirement, especially with 4-H judging schools. He was the driving force in initiating the Dairy Leaders Training Program and played a key role in establishing the Washington State 4-H Foundation Dairy Endowment Fund.

The fund pays state 4-H dairy winners to attend the three national events.

Hodgson continues as State Campaign Chair for the Dairy Endowment Committee.

Ed and Agnes Kropf farmed all of their lives in Pierce County. Both were involved in 4-H, beginning in the 1940s. They supported local clubs. Ed died in 1981.

Agnes remained involved until 1998. She was active in 4-H through the Pierce County Pomona Grange by supporting the Pierce County 4-H Leader’s banquet and sponsoring a Community Service Award for Pierce County 4-H leaders. She was named a Friend of Pierce County 4-H.

Leonard was a WSU Cooperative Extension agent involved in helping expand the 4-H program to urban areas of Western Washington. He helped initiate the Hilltop Learning Center and worked extensively with the State 4-H Fair.

McCollam began her 4-H involvement as a club and project leader for the Hoofbeats 4-H Club. She was a member of the Pierce County 4-H Council, where she was the treasurer for many years.

On the county level, McCollam became a judge for public presentations and educational displays, as well as a trainer for both future judges and the 4-H members in those areas. She was also record book judge. Presently she is the bookkeeper for the State 4-H Fair Board Trustees, and has been a judge and animal project superintendent of educational displays at the State 4-H Fair for about 20 years. In 1991, Marlene was awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Award for Pierce County.

Parr started her 4-H career as a member in Clatsop County, Oregon. She was active in beef, dairy, and a variety of other projects. She won several state awards and represented Oregon at national 4-H events.

In 1964 Parr was an International Foreign Youth Exchange delegate to the Philippines. She still keeps in contact with her host families.

Now in her 31st year as main club leader of Pierce County’s Valley 4-H Club, Parr remains actively involved in her 50-member community club. She serves as project leader for clothing, needlework, food preservation, and family living.

Parr is needlework superintendent at the fair, and helps her teenage 4-H members coordinate the County 4-H Fashion Revue and Sewing Expo Fashion Show. She is a clothing and textile advisor, and family living representative to the County 4-H Leader’s Council.

On three occasions Parr has guided groups of Valley 4-H families to Washington D.C. and has twice chaperoned delegations to National 4-H Congress.

Quann was acting state 4-H leader and 4-H specialist for seven years. In the mid-1980s he was acting Executive Director of the Washington State 4-H Foundation, which he helped found and served as secretary. As a Trustee of the 4-H Foundation, he served from 1987-97 and from 2000 to present.

Barbara and Chip Taylor have been 4-H leaders for 27 years. When the State 4-H Fair could no longer support the 4-H Dog Bowl, Chip worked with the Washington State 4-H office to keep the activity going. He currently serves on the 4-H Council Executive Board and has served on the board at various other times during the past 27 years. He is a dog obedience leader, a fitting & showing judge, and a county and state public presentations judge.

Barbara is a main club leader, and a county and state public presentation judge. She has served on the Pierce County 4-H Council Executive Board, chaired the Pierce County Fund Raising Show, and worked as dog department superintendent at the Pierce County Fair.

Barbara and Chip have given the extra time needed to help kids with cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, and other physical challenges to participate in the 4-H program. They use their own money to send members from the inner city to dog shows that the kids might otherwise not be able to attend.

Howard gave 40 years of leadership to the Pierce County 4-H program before his death in 1998.

Bernadine is about to receive her 39-year pin. Bernadine has been an active member of the Pierce County Fair Board and Leaders Council. She has worked as swine superintendent at the county and state fairs.

In 1996, Bernadine received the first ever Julia Martinez Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award in Pierce County for giving over 45 years of service to county youth.

Svinth served as WSU Cooperative Extension director from 1957 until his retirement in 1965. Prior positions with WSU included extension agent in King and Thurston counties and county agent leader in Pullman. He then served in the Federal Extension Service in Washington D.C. and the Extension Point 4 Program in India, before returning to Washington State.

He was a very strong supporter of the 4-H program throughout his career. Following his retirement, he served as a consultant to the Ford Foundation programs in Pakistan, and in Grant County for the Yakima Indian Nation.

Induction of the first one hundred people was announced at a State 4-H Forum in Ocean Shores. The hall of fame was created as part of the 4-H centennial celebration.

More than 93,500 Washington youths are enrolled in 4-H programs; over 20,300 are enrolled in 1,733 clubs. Another 73,000 participate in a variety of other 4-H activities, such as the school enrichment program, day camps and overnight camping.

More than 10,300 adult volunteers support 4-H, which is Washington State University Cooperative Extension’s informal, educational program for today’s young people. The program combines the cooperative efforts of youth, volunteer leaders, WSU faculty, federal, state, and local governments, and businesses.

– 30 –

FOR LOCAL INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL:
(253) 798-7160, Theresa Reda Martinez, 4-H Agent, or
Nancy Baskett, 4-H Program Assistant