Contact: Maridith Geuder
STARKVILLE, Miss.--As the 4-H program celebrates 100 years of service that began, in part, in Mississippi, the president of Mississippi State is being named to the National 4-H Council board of trustees.
Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong is joining some 30 land-grant university representatives, youth members and corporate executives who guide both national and state youth programs designed to foster citizenship, healthy living, and involvement in science, engineering and technology.
"Dr. Foglesong is an outstanding leader who possesses the enthusiasm necessary to advance the 4-H youth development movement," said Anthony Tansimore, chairman of the Chevy Chase, Md.-based board.
Vance H. Watson, MSU vice president for agriculture, forestry and veterinary medicine, said that Foglesong's appointment brings the 4-H movement full circle. "It's fitting that our president should become engaged at the national level, since the first federal dollars invested in 4-H were invested right here in Mississippi," he observed.
The well-known program had its genesis with "corn clubs" established around 1907 in Mississippi by educator W.H. Smith, who went on to become the fifth president of then-Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College, MSU's original name. Smith led A&M from 1916-20.
Watson said investment of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the clubs marked the first time the federal government had been involved in youth programs.
"We're very pleased that 100 years later the 4-H program in our state is alive and well, serving more than 100,000 Mississippi youth this year," Watson said.
Nationally, 4-H now enrolls more than 6.5 million participants ages 7-19.
Foglesong, a graduate of West Virginia University and a retired four-star Air Force general, also is the president and executive director of the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation, a non-profit organization operating to identify the next generation of leaders in Appalachia. Additionally, he serves as a director of Massey Energy, one of the nation's largest coal producers, and Michael Baker Corp., an international energy and engineering firm.
Donald T. Floyd Jr., national 4-H Council president and chief executive officer, also praised Foglesong's "remarkable accomplishments and passion" for enriching the lives of youth.
"'Doc' Foglesong is an invaluable addition to our board of trustees," Floyd said. "We are honored to have him join us."
For more information about 4-H, visit www.fourhcouncil.edu.
For more information about Mississippi State University, see http://www.msstate.edu/.