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San Miguel County couple inducted into New Mexico State University 4-H Hall of Fame

LAS CRUCES - A San Miguel couple is among 15 4-H leaders and supporters who were inducted into the state 4-H Hall of Fame recently at New Mexico State University. An unveiling of new nameplates on the hall of fame plaque followed the ceremony.

Albert and Denise Gonzales receive a plaque from Frank Hodnett, department head of New Mexico State University Extension Service's 4-H youth development, recently while being inducted into the New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame. (NMSU Photo)

The hall of fame, established in 2002, honors 4-H members, volunteer leaders, fair superintendents, advisory board members, 4-H Foundation trustees and former faculty with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service, which administers 4-H statewide.

"These individuals have given cumulatively more than 450 years of service to the New Mexico 4-H Program," said Frank Hodnett, department head of the Extension Service's 4-H youth development. "Including this group of inductees, we have inducted 111 individuals and couples into the hall of fame."

This year's inductees include Albert and Denise Gonzales of San Miguel County; Anita Blanton and the late Bill and Catherine Grandia, all of Bernalillo County; C.J. and Nancy Blackburn, Gene and June Locknane and the late Dorothy Marks, all of Curry County; Norbert McCaw of Eddy County; Don Leonard and Karin Vallo of Sandoval County; Sheila Massey of Hidalgo County; Helen Candelaria and the late Alan Grace of San Juan County; Rose Mary Rosas of Socorro County; and J.M. and Fay Jeffries, and Floyd McAlister, all of Roosevelt County.

Denise and Albert Gonzales are organizational leaders for the Blue Ribbon Wrangler 4-H Club in San Miguel County. They also serve as project leaders and play an active role in the county council.

While serving as leaders for the past eight years, the couple has exhibited outstanding leadership qualities for their club, which has more than 50 members. They have worked with the club to establish scholarships for their graduating seniors and raise money to assist youth in attending statewide events.

"Though they live 55 miles from town, this couple has maintained the club in Las Vegas, sacrificing time and money to keep the club operating effectively and efficiently," Phillip Zuni, NMSU freshman and state 4-H president, said during the induction ceremony. "It has been through the nurturing roles and efforts of Albert and Denise Gonzales that the largest 4-H club in the county has continued working to make the best better by inspiring their members to become leaders."