The National Association of Extension 4-H Agents recognized several Virginia 4-H youth development professionals and Virginia Tech staff, at its recent annual meeting in Seattle.

“The men and women who are engaged in Virginia 4-H youth development throughout the Commonwealth do a fantastic job,” said Robert Ray Meadows, director of the 4-H youth development program. “The honors to these individuals by the national organization show the high quality of programming that Virginia Cooperative Extension offers.”

Those honored were:

==> Billie Jean Elmer of Surry County, Va., received a citation for Achievement in Service. Elmer was honored for her work in residential and day camping; in-school and after-school programming; a livestock program; and character education programs that include "Pursuing Victory with Honor," which emphasizes character education in sports.

==> Mary Elizabeth Williams of Clarke County, Va., received a citation for Achievement in Service. Williams was cited for increasing the 4-H enrollment in Clarke County by 50 percent by broadening the in-school program, the livestock program, and working with volunteers to start new clubs. Her efforts to promote leadership have been successful as youth with whom she worked have increasingly become involved at county, state, and national levels.

==> Leslie R. Prillaman, an agent in Roanoke, Va., received the Virginia Distinguished Service Award. Prillaman provides the horse ownership project experience for local children and horseless horse show for non-owners. She developed a Share-the-Fun program in a professional show that involves teens in its production. She worked with Roanoke City Police Department to establish a 4-H DARE Camp. Her community clubs and school enrichment programs reach 34,000 youth.

==> Ruth Wallace, an agent in Buckingham County, received the Virginia Distinguished Service Award. Wallace has provided leadership to the 4-H program over the last 10 years. Her areas of emphasis have been after-school programming, contest areas, and summer 4-H camps. Working with dedicated volunteers, she has developed an outstanding adventure program, which includes at-risk audiences.

==> Clyde F. Jackson, state project director of the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk program in Fairfax, Va., received the Virginia Meritorious Service Award. His work involved facilitating community and leadership development sessions for limited resource audiences. He was cited for reaching underserved youth audiences by linking 4-H programs with children of deployed National Guard and Army Reserve units through the Operation Military Kids Initiative. Jackson also was elected president-elect of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

The Virginia 4-H Virtual Forest was honored as the outstanding educational project in the National Communicator Awards, as well as the top Southern Regional Educational projects. The 4-H Virtual Forest is an interactive, web-based learning experience that introduces forest management concepts to youth aged 9 through 13 years. Team members are ==> Dan Goerlich, agriculture and natural resources agent from Halifax County, Va.,

==> Jason Fisher, 4-H youth development agent from Halifax County

==> Joseph Hunnings, 4-H youth development specialist from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

==> Jeff Kirwan, extension specialist and associate professor in the College of Natural Resources, Virginia Tech;

==> Carl Estes, instructional technologist, Virginia Tech

==> Elaine Oliver, web designer, Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources Information Technology, Virginia Tech;

==> Jim Willis, Natural Resources and Forestry, Virginia Tech;

==> Gabrielle Amos Minnich, producer-director, Visual and Broadcast Communications, Virginia Tech;

==> Joshua Napier, video producer, Visual and Broadcast Communications, Virginia Tech

==> Karen Cronin, retired producer, Visual and Broadcast Communications, Virginia Tech

==> Lex Bruce, evaluation specialist.