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Former Extension agent inducted into New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame

The late Elmer Allen, NMSU Cooperative Extension agent in several counties, was among the 10 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 breakfast.

Two men, one in suit, other taller with chops sideburns.
Rick Richardson, interim department head of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service's 4-H Youth Development Program, left, presents a plaque to John Allen of Hidalgo County honoring his uncle, the late Elmer Allen, as a 2013 inductee into the New Mexico 4-H Hall of Fame. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

Allen's great-nephew John Allen accepted the honor for his family during the ceremony.

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 210 years of service to the New Mexico 4-H program. Including this group, we have inducted 195 individuals and couples into the hall of fame."

Allen was inducted along with the late Jimmie Dee Fox of De Baca County; Martha Sayles of Dona Ana County; Berniece Coriz, Debbie Manzanares and Alma "Skeeter" Schmitz, all of Rio Arriba County; Janie Hardin and Fran Welch, both of Roosevelt County; and Timothy and Charla Johnson of Sandoval County.

During his 27-year tenure as an agricultural agent, Allen served in Union, Harding and McKinley counties, as well as in Yuma and Wilcox, Ariz. He worked with numerous 4-H Clubs and county fairs over the years.

In Harding County he is remembered as the Father of the Harding County Fair, Horse Show and Livestock Sale, which he helped establish in the 1950s.

During his service in the late 1960s as the Zuni Pueblo Extension agricultural agent, Allen initiated the Zuni-McKinley County Fair and helped the Zuni Cattle Association and Zuni Sheep Association improve their herd management programs.

He also wrote and contributed to numerous Extension agricultural bulletins that strengthen the research-based knowledge available to 4-H members and the agriculture industry.