LEXINGTON, Ky. — Two Kentuckians recently became members of the National 4-H Hall of Fame.
Harlene Welch, a 4-H volunteer from Harrison County, was a laureate in the 2021 4-H Hall of Fame class. The late Jim Phelps, former Knott County 4-H youth development agent, was a laureate in the 2020 Hall of Fame class. Both classes were recognized during 2021 in-
The National 4-H Hall of Fame was created in 2002 in honor of the national 4-H centennial. It recognizes
Welch has taught tailoring, sewing, fashion and quilting to more than 2,000 Harrison County 4-H’ers over the past 46 years. Under her guidance, members of the Harrison County 4-H Clothing project have received more championships at the Kentucky State Fair than any other county 4-H Clothing project. Her sewing knowledge and expertise are
She is also very active in Extension Homemakers and currently serves as the treasurer of the Kentucky Extension Homemakers Association.
Welch regularly volunteers more than 1,000 hours each year for extension and serves on councils for extension, 4-H and Extension Homemakers at the county and area levels. She was recognized by Harrison County Extension for her leadership in 2006; in 2008, she earned the Kentucky 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award.
Phelps served as the Knott County 4-H youth development agent for 40 years and was very active in youth programs at the Hindman Settlement School. A native of Appalachia, Phelps served as a UK representative on an economic development initiative that promoted the area’s rich cultural heritage. During this time, the area saw $10 million in infrastructure improvements and the creation of two artisan centers designed to teach the arts and product
Active in 4-H Shooting Sports, he was instrumental in introducing the Hunter’s Safety Education Program to Kentucky 4-H.
From 1999-2012, he served as the historian for both the Kentucky and National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development associations.
Phelps received many honors throughout his career including being named Man of the Year by the Troublesome Creek Times and the Humanitarian Award from the Kentucky Association of County Agriculture Agents and the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of 4-H Agents.
The National 4-H Hall of Fame is viewable online at http://www.4-h-hof.com/.
— Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
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