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 Wakelin McNeel in the 4-H Hall of Fame. Spending his childhood outside of Wisconsin Dells canoeing, fishing, hunting, and camping, it is no surprise Ranger Mac’s career led him to conservation education. He got his start in K-12 education before beginning his Extension career in Marathon County.
Ranger Mac worked in Marathon County 4-H, promoting youth nature activities. He was then hired as a professor of agriculture
and forestry Extension agent, focusing on conservation education. This led to Afield with Ranger Mac, a weekly radio program for children that aired for over 21 years and received the 1942 Peabody Award for Best Educational Program. More than half of Wisconsin’s schoolchildren met state requirements for conservation education by listening to Ranger Mac.
After retirement, Ranger Mac dedicated himself to the development of Upham Woods, where there is a cabin in this name.
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.