For generations of Missouri 4-H Club members, Philip and Lori Gerke of Windsor were inducted into the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame on Aug. 13 at State Fair Community College in Sedalia for their efforts to “Make the best better.”
They were among 54 inductees from 40 counties establishing a legacy totaling 1,594 years of service to 4-H. More than 400 family members and friends attended the 10th annual event.
The Gerkes have been prominent leaders in Pettis County 4-H for more than 30 years. They have both served as club leaders, project leaders, achievement day judges and Pettis County Livestock Committee members. They also served on the Pettis County Extension Council. For the past five years, the Gerkes have hosted 4-H exchange students through the 4-H Labo Exchange program.
The Missouri 4-H Foundation recognizes individuals who have created a legacy of service to 4-H by honoring them with membership in the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame, said Rachel Augustine, associate director of development for the Missouri 4-H Foundation.
“These volunteers have played a vital role in helping our youth develop essential life skills that will empower them to become strong leaders in the 21st-century workforce,” she said. “We are proud to honor their legacy of service to Missouri 4-H.”
The annual event is sponsored by FCS Financial and the Missouri State Fair in partnership with the Missouri 4-H Foundation.
“Our University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth faculty and staff work in partnership with our volunteers to see they have the support needed to empower youth to succeed as future leaders,” said Dr. Ina Metzger Linville, program director, MU Extension 4-H Center for Youth Development. “Dedicated faculty and staff, committed volunteers, and spirited 4-H’ers will continue to learn and grow together to help our youth and communities thrive.”