The University of Wisconsin-Extension 4-H Youth Development Program inducted 100 laureates into the brand-new Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame Saturday, November 15. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony was the last statewide event celebrating 100 years of 4-H in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame was established to recognize 4-H volunteers, financial supporters, staff and pioneers who made major contributions to 4-H at the local, state and national levels. The honorees represent 4-H in the broadest sense, according to Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development State Program Director Dale Leidheiser.
“We are inducting volunteers, supporters and UW-Extension employees who had an impact on the lives of children, their community or state through significant contributions of time, energy, or financial resource to 4-H and its members,” Leidheiser says.
Wisconsin 4-H is proud to be represented by Linda Kustka in the 4-H Hall of Fame. Linda’s career started as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica and turned into one as an Extension Educator in 4-H Youth Development. Serving as a Brown County 4-H agent, she implemented summer programs for low-income youth, supported 45 community 4-H clubs and expanded the number of Brown County adult and youth volunteers serving in county leadership roles.
As the State Volunteer/Leadership Development Specialist, Linda provided leadership in strengthening 4-H clubs through development of teaching materials and training for staff and volunteers. She led staff and volunteer committees to create, test, and implement the statewide youth protection system. Linda provided leadership to statewide Communication and Cultural Arts and the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of 4-H. She taught a wide variety of audiences, content on youth/adult partnerships, volunteer and leadership skills, and civic engagement at the state and national level.
Linda now works to improve the lives of people affected by mental illness. She serves as Family Programs Coordinator for the Wisconsin office of the National Alliance of Mental Illness.
Since 1914, Wisconsin 4-H has helped youth grow the leadership, critical thinking and communications skills necessary to be successful in a constantly changing world. Visit the Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame website to learn more about the individuals who supported 100 years of growing Wisconsin leaders.