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Colfax County resident inducted into New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame

Colfax County resident Barbara Arko was among the seven 4-H leaders and supporters inducted into the New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame in July at New Mexico State University. The induction ceremony, which was held during the 4-H State Conference, included individual recognition for the inductees and a reception.

Man and woman, in a white blouse, standing in front of 4-H Hall of Fame sign
Rick Richardson, interim department head of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service's 4-H Youth Development Program, left, presents a plaque to Barbara Arko of Colfax County honoring Arko as a 2012 inductee into the New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

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.

"This is the highest honor we have to offer people who have provided support and service to 4-H members in New Mexico," said Rick Richardson, interim department head of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service's 4-H Youth Development Program. "These individuals have given cumulatively more than 180 years of service to the New Mexico 4-H program. Including this group, we have inducted 186 individuals and couples into the hall of fame."

Arko was inducted along with Geraldine "Gerry" Copeland and Don Umbrage of Bernalillo County; the late Dempse and Virginia Anderson of McKinley County; and the late Willie Glen "Bill" and Edna Vinzant of Roosevelt County.

Arko has been active in Colfax County 4-H for 15 years. She has served as the horse and shooting sports leader. She is instrumental in helping 4-H youth develop horsemanship skills, public speaking skills and citizenship skills with her work with the county queen competition.

As county fair superintendent for the categories of rabbits, poultry and goats, she has worked to get these species included in the junior livestock sale. She has also served as the superintendent for the 4-H indoor exhibits at the Colfax County Fair.

"Barbara has given tirelessly to the 4-H program, assisting with county and district contests and chaperoning youth at statewide events," according to the letter nominating Arko for the hall of fame. "She truly believes in the value of 4-H."