The Brown / Gilliam 4-H Family Legacy Award was recently presented for the first time to a family in Loudon County.
“It’s quite an honor,” said John Goddard, University of Tennessee extension agent and family member. “I was a 4-She myself growing up.”
The Goddard / Johnson family of Loudon and Hawkins counties have been involved in 4-H for several generations, said Amy Fellhoelter, UT extension officer and 4-H youth development officer. She made the nomination for the State Prize.
“What a legacy,” Fellhoelter said. “When you think of 4-H in County Loudon, you have to think of this family. “
The award honors 4-H families in Tennessee who have demonstrated continued leadership, service and involvement in 4-H at the county, region and state levels over generations .
The Goddard / Johnson family represents four generations of 4-H commitment. Their 4-H legacy began in Hawkins County with Hugh Johnson, whose first memory of 4-H is at Camp 4-H in the 1940s. His wife, Delores, got involved as a volunteer leader of the 4-H when their daughters Paige, Whitney and Kristi joined 4-H.
“Delores has continued to be involved as a volunteer at the county, region and state levels over the years,” according to a statement announcing the award. “All three of their daughters have been State and National Laureates in their project areas and have participated in numerous speech, demonstration and breeding competitions. In addition, their daughters have taken on many regional and state leadership roles. Each of their daughters has also been active in the 4-H program as adults.
Whitney was on the Mississippi State 4-H staff, working with the Operation Military Kids program.
The Goddard branch of the family began when Paige Johnson married John Goddard. John is a familiar face in Loudon County, where he served as a UT Extension Officer for over 30 years.
“During his time here, he coached many teams of 4-H judges who competed and won at state and national levels,” the statement said. “He has taught countless 4-H members how to raise livestock and taught thousands of 4-H members what it takes to deliver a winning 4-H speech and demonstration. Paige Johnson Goddard was a volunteer leader of 4-H for 40 years, most of those years in Loudon County. Their children Greer and Gage were both very active in 4-H here in County Loudon. Both have received numerous 4-H accolades at the county, region and state levels for their project work, expertise in a-thon skills, judging team experiences and roles. leadership. Granddaughter Gemma Majors is currently a 4-H Cloverbud who has competed in 4-H Cow Buddies and Pee-Wee Sheep classes. She can’t wait to become a full-fledged 4-H when she’s old enough.
The family made an indelible impression on the state’s 4-H program but especially in Loudon and Hawkins counties.
“Their legacy is reflected in the many 4-H’ers whose lives they have touched while striving to help young people reach their full potential,” the statement said.
The world’s largest youth organization, 4-H is over 100 years old with 26 project areas.
“Our job is to develop young adults,” said Fellhoelter.
In Loudon County, 4-H serves approximately 3,000 students in grades 4 through 12 in a typical year.