Wisconsin 4-H Inducts 10 Into Hall of Fame Laureates

Wisconsin 4-H announced the 2023 & 2024 Hall of Fame Laureates. The classes include volunteers, supporters, and staff who have impacted Wisconsin 4-H. The laureates were honored in a ceremony on April 28, 2024.

The Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to recognize 4-H volunteers, financial supporters, staff, as well as pioneers who made major contributions to the 4-H movement at the local, state, and national levels. The candidates represent 4-H in the broadest sense – people who had an impact on the lives of children, their community, or state through significant contributions of time, energy, or financial resources to 4-H as well as its members.

“We are incredibly grateful to this year’s laureates and the countless hours of service they have provided to the youth of Wisconsin,” says Jessica Jens, Wisconsin 4-H Program Associate Director. “They have supported and inspired a generation of 4-H members to challenge themselves to learn, lead, and contribute to their communities. Their selfless contributions of time, energy, and also talent have created ripples of impact which will continue to positively impact the world around us for years to come.”

Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame – 2023 Laureates:

Gwen Dado

Gwen Dado, a Polk County 4-H volunteer, has spent over 45 years involved with 4-H, as a member, parent, club leader, and also coach. Dado has demonstrated extreme citizenship and also the strong character needed to grow leaders in her roles with 4-H.

Lynn Feldman

Lynn Feldman, from Oneida County, was a volunteer for a number of years. Later she served as the 4-H Youth Development Agent. She more than doubled the County 4-H enrollment and provided access to many opportunities for youth in Oneida County.

Wally Hitt

Wally Hitt was the Marinette County 4-H and Youth Agent for 29 years. He has been recognized for development of the Cloverbud project and also strengthening the infrastructure of the County 4-H program.

Jane Marquardt

Jane Marquardt was a “Jack of all Trades” and a Master of many. During her 24 years at the State 4-H Office as the 4-H Youth Development Office and Budget Manager, Marquardt was recognized for her leadership in technology, staff training as well as willingness to tackle any challenges.

Mike Perkl

Mike Perkl spent 31 years with UW-Extension, 18 of those years as the Clark County 4-H Youth Development Agent. His enthusiasm for people and conservation of natural resources were always evident in his work.  Perkl’s outgoing personality and his encouragement of those he worked with were a signature of his efforts.

Wisconsin 4-H Hall of Fame – 2024 Laureates:

John and Jean Gurtner

Jean and John Gurtner, 4-H volunteers from Barron County with a combined 111 years of 4-H volunteer leadership. John passed away in 2015, but they have made their mark in the Horse project not only at the county level but in the district and state as well.

Bob Traynor

Bob Traynor has been a Pierce County 4-H dairy project leader for 39 years. His impact is most evident through his years as the Pierce Co 4-H Dairy Judging Coach. He has also helped to mold the lives of over 450 young people through judging experiences.

Fred Washa

Fred Washa, Waukesha County 4-H Pioneer leader for 55 years, was an innovator and developer of community-based partnerships in the Muskego community. One of his partnership efforts was the securing of the “Muckey” bus from 1972 to 1992.

Michele Zimmerman

Michele Zimmerman, a 4-H volunteer from Jefferson County. When Jefferson County hosted the State 4-H Dog Show three times and the State Agility Show in 2023, Zimmerman was the Co-chair. She celebrates 49 years as a 4-H Dog Project Leader in 2024 and has been a member of the State 4-H Dog Committee.