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Georgians inducted into National 4-H Hall of Fame

By Morgan Roan
University of Georgia

Martha Harrison Jones and Tommy Walton, both natives of Georgia, were inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame’s Class of 2004 at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md., March 22.

They were two of the 24 4-H professionals and volunteers selected this year for their contributions to 4-H, a youth development program of land-grant universities with nearly 7 million members.

Jones served in many leadership roles that benefitted the 4-H program. She was a charter member of the Georgia 4-H Club Foundation. She helped lead a campaign that raised more than $3 million to develop Rock Eagle, one of the largest 4-H centers in the world.

In 1963, she received the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Superior Service Award for her work to organize and conduct the first Women’s People-to-People Goodwill Tour to Europe and Russia.

Jones earned a bachelor’s degree from UGA in 1942 and a master’s degree from Cornell in 1954. She held county, district and state positions in the UGA Extension Service for more than 30 years.

Her master’s thesis developed the camping program for the 900 boys and girls who camped at Rock Eagle at that time. Her concept is still the backbone of a camping program that served more than 9,000 4-H members in 2003.

Walton was Georgia’s state 4-H leader from 1954 until he retired in 1976.

He provided the statewide 4-H officer training program to support the 4-H state board of directors and district officers.

The Tommy Walton 4-H Leadership Endowment and Lecture Series honors Walton’s commitment to 4-H leadership. The endowment provides funds to enhance officer training for newly elected district and state officers. The lecture series brings leading personalities to the State 4-H Council program.

Walton became an assistant county agent in Cobb County in 1949. He became an economist in 1951, a community development specialist in 1951 and the state 4-H leader in 1954.

He retired in 1976. But he continued to serve as director of the Georgia 4-H Foundation until 1978. He remained active in the 4-H movement until his death in 1997.

Walton earned a technical degree from Darr Aero Tech, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UGA and a doctorate from Cornell.

The Class of 2004 of the National 4-H Hall of Fame were presented at a March 23 assembly at the USDA headquarters.

The hall of fame was unveiled in 2002 as a 4-H centennial project. For more information, visit the National 4-H Hall of Fame Web site at www.nae4ha.org.

(Morgan Roan is a student writer with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

(Morgan Roan is a student writer with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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