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NAE4-HA Life Member Newsletter 

NAE4-HA Conference
November 12-17

In This Issue...

REMEMBER to VOTE for your slate of NAE4-HA Candidates

  • From Your NAE4HA President, Shawn Tiede, NY
  • From Your Life Member Committee Chair, Mary Jean Craig, Idaho
  • Indianapolis NAE4HA Conference Life Member Program Update
  • Indiana – Still time to register! J.W. Marriott, Indianapolis, IN, November 12-16, 2017
  • Next NAE4HA Conference Dates and Locations 
  • From your NAE4HA Archivist, Betty Gottler, Alabama
  • What’s in a Name?
  • Life Members Making a Difference: Dogs Saving Cats, Linda P. Erickson, Oregon
  • Interview with a Life Member - Betty Gottler, Alabama – as told to Tom Davis
  • NAE4-HA Highlights
  • Since retirement………
  • Traveling Retirement’s Highways and Byways – Cruise to Alaska, by Mary Jean Craig, Idaho 
  • So You’re Retired …Now What! Tom Davis, NY

Candidates for NAE4-HA

The Slate of Candidates in which YOU have an opportunity to vote for on October 3rd, can be viewed at http://www.nae4ha.com/2017-board-candidates

Voting for Board Candidates 
Online voting for NAE4-HA offices will following the Business Meeting and open at 3:00 PM Eastern on Tuesday, October 3rd, through Thursday, October 5th at 12:00 PM Eastern.

From Your NAE4HA President, Shawn Tiede, NY

It has been a busy year for NAE4-HA! The Board of Trustees and all of our committees have been working hard on implementing many areas of our strategic plan. One of the newest member services that we will be rolling out is a new member information system. This new system will be introduced in Indianapolis and will offer all of our members better member service through our online systems. We're excited about the opportunities this new system will bring to our members.

Occasionally, I have the good fortune to hear from a Life member or two.  I always consider this a great opportunity to hear from our members that have a lifetime of experience and willingness to share.  We are very fortunate to have an active group of Life members in NAE4-HA.  You provide us with a solid foundation from which to grow our membership and services.  If you ever have questions, comments or concerns please do not hesitate to pass those along to your representative on the NAE4-HA Board of Trustees so we can be sure to discuss and address them.

We're working hard to welcome our NAE4-HA members in Indianapolis!  Please consider joining us if you have not registered already.


From Your Life Member Committee Chair, Mary Jean Craig, Idaho

It has been a busy summer for me, and for most of you, I imagine.  And November has seemed a long time away, but it is now just about 2 months until the 2017 NAE4-HA Conference in Indianapolis.  I hope to see many of you there to participate in the Life Member pinning and Life Member Program.

A number of you returned the response cards from the last two newsletters and we appreciate your response with ideas and suggestions for future stories, seminars, projects, etc.  You should see some of these suggestions being implemented at the conference this year. 

One of the things some of you requested was a list/contact information of life members, or life members in your states.  You can access this information through the NAE4-HA web page, at http://www.nae4ha.com/.  Once you sign in, in the upper right hand corner, click on Member Directory, then click on Advanced Search, set the criteria to membership type, equal, Life Member.  To search for Life Members in your state, click add criteria, then click state, equal, your state.  Currently the directory shows that we have 848 Life Members.  If you do not know how to sign into the web page, have forgotten/never knew your user name/password, or you need to update the information on the web page, send an e-mail to J.J. Meidl execdir@nae4ha.com

Have a good fall!


Indianapolis NAE4HA Conference Life Member Program Update – Bryan Metzger, Indiana– Still time to register! J.W. Marriott, Indianapolis, IN, November 12-16, 2017

Your conference committee responsible for Life Member/Retirees & Spouse/Family activities are hard at work making final plans for Indianapolis.  To register go to the conference website: http://www.nae4ha.com/2017-annual-conference A special Life Member Registration rate will again be offered. This fee will include all events and activities that are included in the Full-Time registration rate, excluding the Opening Event and the Awards Banquet. These tickets may be purchased a la carte, if you so choose.  Conference Hotel Rates are based on the room, not the number of people in it. Regular rooms have been priced at $179 + taxes.  The Tuesday afternoon program is a ticketed event. Pre-registration is required.  There are seats still available. PLEASE NOTE that On-site registration for this event will not be possible, due to FAA security requirements ahead of the event.  Here’s our schedule to date:

Monday, November 13:

8:30 – 10:00 a.m. > NAE4-HA Business Meeting

-          Including Life Member Pinning Ceremony and Life Member Awards - If this will be your first conference since retiring, we would like to recognize you and present you with a Life Member pin. 

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. > Keynote Speaker

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. > (90 minutes) Life Member Program [Room 202]           

-          Where is the crossroad between Life Members and State Associations?  You are retired, but maybe you haven’t heard anything from your State Association since you retired.  Is there anything going on in your state for or with Extension retirees?  Come to the Life Member Seminar to learn what kinds of programs some states offer for retirees – tours, classes, weekend get-aways, cruises, lunches with administrators, vintage 4-H lunches, and more.

3:00 – 5:00 p.m. > Life Member Committee Meeting [Room 202]

-          All Life Members and Retirees are invited to attend

Tuesday, November 14:

11a.m. – 5:00 p.m. > Life Member/ Retirees & Spouse / Family event [meet at Room 207] - Tour of the FAA's Indianapolis

-          Regional Air Route Traffic Control Center [ARTCC] near the Indianapolis International Airport, as well as a winery production tour at the nearby Chateau Thomas Winery. Those registered for the LM tour/event should pick-up their box lunch in the Exhibit Hall at 11:00 a.m., and then assemble in Room 207 between 11:00 and 11:45 a.m. to prepare for a 12:00 p.m. bus departure from the hotel. We will communicate this, along with other tour details to the event registrants prior to the conference.  The ARTCC deals with the regional fly-over air traffic, not those landing in Indianapolis. These promise to be both interesting and educational activities.

6:00 p.m. > States Night Out – join in on your state’s plans!

Wednesday, November 15:

7:30 – 9:30 a.m. > Regional Meetings/Breakfast

-          (a ticket for this event will be included in the Life Member registration fee, this year)

11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. > Seminars on Wheels  (select from the Conference offerings, or plan your own)

Plan now to be at “The Crossroads of 4-H” at the J.W. Marriott, in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 12-16, 2017

Bryan Metzger  bmetzger@purdue.edu  

Next NAE4HA Conference Dates and Locations

-          2018 Hyatt Regency, Columbus, Ohio, Oct.7-11

-          2019 Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, WV, Nov. 2-9


From your NAE4HA Archivist, Betty Gottler, Alabama

In three years we will be celebrating the 75th Anniversary of NAE4-HA.  Here is a quick “look-back” at how the name of the Association has changed from the beginning.  This article is from the special 40th Anniversary issue of NEWS & VIEWS in November, 1986.  Enjoy!


What’s in a Name?

In 1946, we were born the National Association of 4-H Club Agents.  Through the years our clover logo and initials have changed to better reflect what we as an association represent.    In 1956 our logo was a gold clover with the initials, N.A.C.C.A. that stood for the National Association of County 4-H Club Agents. 

In 1959, President Peter Martens of New Jersey, reports that Ralph Kirch, the Vice-President from Michigan, proposed opening the membership in the Association to others who did not hold the title of County 4-H Agent.  Mr. Martens recalls this proposal elicited “much heated discussion.”  The idea behind the proposal was to open the membership to extension agents who did primarily 4-H work, but who had titles such as “Assistant County Agricultural Agents”, or “County Home Economist”, etc.  There was much feeling on the Board of Directors that a singular purpose of the Association was to promote the profession of the “County 4-H Agent”, and that the title was significant toward that end.  The Board wanted State Extension Directors and others to recognize the fact that the 4-H Agent profession in its own and not just a stepping stone to the County Agricultural Agent or County Home Economist professions, which Peter Martens reports, “as the situation at that time.”

In 1960, under Ralph Kirchs’ leadership, the change in the Association policy was made to open the membership.  However the change in name didn’t occur until 1966.  In 1967, the gold clover with the initials, N.A.E.A. finally appeared and stood for, The National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.  Then in 1968, the clover was changed again and it became green with white H’s for stationery and publications, but remained gold for jewelry.  The initials included 4-H to N.A.E.4-HA.  Now the initials are being questioned again.  When the Association began everyone was an agent – either an Agricultural Agent, Home Demonstration Agent, or Club Agent.  With time come changes and mixing of roles.  Agents worked on a team and shared responsibilities and titles changed.  Some agents were even so lucky as to carry the title of “Agent in Charge” for a while.  It wasn’t funny to get a letter addressed “Charged Agent” as it was usually from an irate person.  Needless to say that title went to the wayside and County Director or Program Leader replaced it quickly.  Other states dropped “agents” completely and have used the title “advisors”.  Plus “Program Coordinators” and specialty agents have been added, who may still have some responsibilities with the 4-H programs.  Presently we are a melting pot of many titles, and does the term “agent” fit all the professionals within the association today?  The question is there.  It might be time to discuss it again.  No one likes change, but history shows it hasn’t hurt us so far.  In fact, it has helped us.  Some of our greatest growth occurred after the 1961 change.

What’s in a name?  Sometimes a lot.  One thing for sure, NAE4-HA is a PROUD ONE!


Life Members Making a Difference: Dogs Saving Cats, Linda P. Erickson, Oregon

In 1992 my husband Paul and I, and a few close friends, had a momentous two-week safari in Kenya.  Among all the wondrous encounters on that trip, the cheetahs stood out.  Late one afternoon we witnessed a playful cheetah cub and mom.  While parked during another game-viewing drive, two cheetahs actually jumped on the hood and then on the cab over the driver of Paul’s open Land Rover. Later, we learned from our driver that cheetahs are the mildest-mannered of the big African cats. 

Back home, we also learned that the cheetah is the most endangered of the big African cats and that’s when we decided to get involved to help save this magnificent species.  After both of us retired we became involved with the Oregon chapter of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), eventually leading the organization for several years. 

In 2006 we traveled to Otjiwrongo, Namibia, in Southwest Africa, to volunteer for a month at the CCF World Headquarters Research and Education Center.  We lived on the 100,000-acre facility in a rondavel, a traditional one-room circular African dwelling with a conical thatched roof and a path to a communal bathhouse.

Farmer and community education is the primary focus of the CCF integrated livestock and predator management program to reduce the human-wildlife conflict.  Before CCF was founded by Dr. Laurie Marker in Namibia in 1990, farmers were indiscriminately shooting cheetahs they saw on their farms.  During a practical week-long residential workshop at the CCF Headquarters, farmers learn the many causes of livestock losses besides cheetahs and how to reduce these losses.  

Paul and I were fortunate to be there during one of the week-long residential farmer education programs, and assisted the instructor during the “hands-on” portions.  This is where the farmers learn about cheetahs and other predators and how to reduce losses to their herds.  After this experience farmers were much more likely to pick up the phone to call CCF to live-trap a problem cheetah, instead of picking up their rifle.

One of the primary ways to reduce livestock losses is by using dogs to become livestock guardians of the herds.  On the CCF demonstration farm, we breed Anatolian Shepherds and Kangal dogs.  The puppies grow up next to the goats and sheep.  Taking care of the dogs and feeding the puppies was another one of our volunteer duties.

After being weaned at about eight weeks, the puppies are placed on communal farms for the farmers that have completed our week-long residential farmer education program.  The dogs become fierce protectors of their herds.  This successful program of “Dogs Saving the Cats” has cut predation dramatically, reducing the human-wildlife conflict to a manageable level.

Studies have indicated that worldwide, only 7,000 cheetahs are estimated to remain in the wild, with about 3,000 in Namibia.  Largely due to the efforts of Dr. Laurie Marker and the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Namibia is now the only nation where wild cheetah numbers have stabilized and may be starting to increase.

Even though much has been accomplished for this magnificent species, cheetahs are still facing multiple issues including the illegal pet trade and continuing loss of habitat.  To learn more go to our website, www.cheetah.org.

The Cheetah conservation fund is all about “hands-on” learning – right up my alley in putting my 4-H and Extension chops to work, helping to save a species.


Interview with a Life Member -  Betty Gottler, Alabama – as told to Tom Davis

One could say that Betty was destined to develop a long history with 4-H.   Her mother was an Extension agent and met her dad at a research station program.  Both of them had been 4-H members in counties about 200 miles apart.  Betty and her two brothers were 4-H members in St. Benedict’s School 4-H Club and Elberta Community 4-H Club.  Mom and Dad were leaders of both clubs.  Club projects, state projects, fairs, community parades and service projects seemed to take all of their time.  All three children went to National 4-H Congress in Chicago in Achievement.  (Mom had gone many years before.)

When asked what her most satisfying projects in 4-H were Betty thought that foods, sewing, public speaking (She was the 1st state winner in public speaking), gardening, financial management, and breads were big for her.  Her favorite was yeast breads particularly because she grew up with it….mom and dad had a big influence on her love for baking.

Betty said they always visited the Baldwin County Extension office when they went to the county seat.  Found in the basement of the Post Office, it was a delightful place to explore and made them feel like they were at home.  As Betty put it, “Extension was always in our blood.”

At the beginning of her 4-H Educator Career she moved to Morgan County, AL (in a cattle trailer as she recalls) on November 15, 1974 after receiving her MAT degree from the University of Montevallo.  Starting during the holidays gave her time to go through files, plan for programs and wonder if she had made the correct decision to come to north Alabama.  Today, 40 years later, she emphatically says yes to that!    Even though Betty worked foralmost 30 years in Morgan County she’ll tell you that she didn’t come to stay!  Right from the very beginning everyone was very friendly, helped her move in, and made her feel at home.   She was even being invited to family reunions.  While in Morgan County they averaged 75 clubs with 4500 youth enrolled each year.   There were lots of state and national winners; camps and service projects; volunteers and teachers with many parents helping out.   She was involved in many different projects such as food and clothing, but she also branched out into areas like poultry and electricity.   After identifying a local need she started an environmental club at the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge by recruiting to rangers to be leaders. This club hosted the Centennial Celebration and won a national award from NAE4-HA.

When Extension in Alabama restructured to a regional staff model Betty served in this role with Cherokee, DeKalb, Jackson, Madison and Marshall counties providing volunteer training, program planning, regional council work and county support for 3 years.

Alabama celebrated their 4-H Centennial in 2009.  Betty was asked to come to the State 4-H Office in 2008 to support the celebration.  She also had the responsibility of the State 4-H Awards Program (judges, schedule, awards, etc.).  After the Centennial she planned citizenship and leadership programs.  Retirement came on May 31, 2012.


NAE4-HA Highlights

In 1976 Betty received a survey on professional development from someone working on a educational doctorate.  In that survey was the question about NAE4-HA.   She had never heard of the organization.  It didn’t take her long to ask questions and decide that she wanted to be involved.  An organizational committee was formed which approached Alabama Extension Administration about the possibility of forming a state association.  Two years later they had their  constitution and by-laws!

The Alabama Extension 4-H Association was formed in 1979.  Betty was a Charter Member and served as their third president.  She attended her first national meeting in 1978 in Atlanta and has not missed a meeting since.  She noted the importance and value of taking what she learned at the national meetings back to her state. 

One of Betty’s highlights with NAE4HA has been her involvement with the Editorial Committee of the 4-H Stories from the Heart.  With the first volume she really enjoyed connecting with a lot of 4-Hers and volunteers as they told their stories.  Now as she works with the committee on volume 2 she is enjoying reconnecting with other Life Members, current educators on their heart warming, sometimes funny, sometimes tear jerker stories. The stories that tug at your heart were the ones that Betty found to be the most memorable. 

Betty has served our association over the years in a wide number of ways.  She has been the editor of our NEWS & VIEWS, chaired a national conference, served on our 50th Anniversary Committee and continues to work on the Editorial Committee of the 4-H Stories from the Heart.


Since retirement………

In retirement Betty moved back to her original county and became involved in community and church activities to say “thank you” to all those who had “helped out” when she called on them.  She also volunteers for the Hartselle Fine Arts Center, answering the phone and hosting events including a state water color art show.  Betty is involved with the St. Vincent de Paul Society at her church serving to “help people where they are”.    Betty does home visits for the needy providing advice on managing their homes, food and finances.  She helps with the Society’s food pantry and those who need assistance with utilities, rent, medicine as well as other needs.  She found that all those home visits she made with the nutrition and financial management programs during her Extension career helped her greatly with this.

Betty noted that “of course I say yes whenever Extension and 4-H call”.  A year after her retirement, the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, Inc. asked her to serve as Program Committee chair.  They are currently administrating innovation grants across Alabama through the Foundation.

Well, NAE4Ha called again…this time when James Phelps retired as NAE4-HA Historian Betty was interested.  After her appointment she took to moving NAE4HA’s files from National Council in Chevy Chase, MD to Jackson’s Mill 4-H Camp, WV.  Betty has already made 3 trips to Jackson’s Mill on behalf of the Association to organize the file cabinets and boxes of our Association’s history.  This spring Betty will go back to Jackson’s Mill to get more in order.  She is looking to scan a lot of the history so that it can be digitized into a searchable format.

For fun Betty travels……..British Heritage Tour, Mediterranean Cruise,  Panama Canal Cruise.  This year in May/June she is going to Italy including a Vatican visit…2018 … Alaska

Betty speaks so highly of 4-H….one of her favorite quotes is: “Nothing you ever do for children is ever wasted."  (Garrison Keillor).  She also said that, “My years in Extension 4-H started long before I had a paying job. 4-H opened worlds I never knew existed. I'm thankful for each child, and their family, that crossed my path and the adventures we conquered.  I continue to work "To Make the Best Better."


Traveling Retirement’s Highways and Byways – Cruise to Alaska, by Mary Jean Craig, Idaho

I have been privileged to go on two cruises to Alaska, 1999 and 2011, both on the Holland America Line.  And both were wonderful adventures.

In September 1999, my father and I took the combination land and cruise trip that originated in Fairbanks and ended in Vancouver, cruising on a one way trip through the Inland Passage.  The land portion included a visit to a Gold Dredge for some gold panning, a trip on the Riverboat Discovery, and a train trip on the McKinley Explorer to Denali National Park, where we stayed overnight.  In Denali we took a bus trip out into the park to view the wildlife and scenery.  We saw a lot of animals, moose, beaver, caribou, Dall sheep, but no bears, and no view of Mt. McKinley (it was clouded over at the only spot where it was visible from the trip)!  The next day we again boarded the McKinley Explorer and headed to Anchorage.  On that portion of the trip, we were able to catch glimpses of Mt. McKinley, something very few tourists ever get to see!  The fall colors were beautiful and the views from the train were breathtaking.  We spent the night in Anchorage, toured the city the next day, then traveled by bus to Seward to join the cruise portion of the trip.  A word of caution – do not pack your passport or birth certificate in your checked luggage - they check them as you board!

Life aboard the ship was wonderful!  There were delicious meals, delightful evening programs, interesting tours of the ship, and beautiful art.  We cruised through Prince William Sound and College Fjord, then into the open waters of the Pacific before entering Glacier Bay.  The water was rough and we were delayed getting into Glacier Bay, but that delay allowed us to view John Hopkins Inlet, the first cruise ship of the season that had been allowed in there because the Harbor Seals were pupping.  The glacier was a beautiful brilliant blue and we were able to view the seal pups on the icebergs -they looked like large brown slugs slipping in and out of the water in the distance!

Our ports of call included Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Vancouver.  In Sitka, we learned about the Russian history in Alaska.  In Juneau, we visited the capitol and rode the Mount Roberts Tramway.  In Ketchikan, we visited the Saxman Native Village and learned about the Tlingit culture and totem carvers.  We disembarked in Vancouver after viewing a beautiful sunrise.  It was a wonderful trip, very relaxing and interesting.

In May 2011, the Western Regional Leaders’ Forum, hosted by Washington State, took place on a cruise from Seattle to Alaska and back to Seattle.  This time the entire 7 day cruise was on board the ship.  Forum workshops were held during the days when we were cruising through the Inside Passage.  Ports of call were Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria.  Highlights included a visit to the Mendenhall Glacier, sighting whales in the Inside Passage, a visit to a wonderful quilt shop specializing in Alaskan themed fabric, more visits to historical sites, and a collision with an iceberg, which dented the hull of the ship as we were visiting Hubbard Glacier.  After an inspection, we were cleared to continue the cruise.  This was a relaxing fun trip with several hundred fellow 4-H leaders and professionals.  A word of caution – pay attention to the instructions about using hand sanitizer and ways to avoid contracting norovirus.  

Cruising is a fun way to travel.  The price includes your meals and lodging.  There are excursions available for any interest and the scenery is breathtaking!


So You’re Retired …Now What!  Tom Davis, NY

Some retirees have a plan in place…..some don’t!  One of my favorite sayings is, “Life is what happens to you while you’ve made other plans!”   That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan for a wonderful retirement. Here’s advise I’ve found from two reliable sources (US News and World Report & MarketWatch.com).  I’m sure you’ve all seen many of these before, but I hope maybe one or two will stir something within you.  While I can say “yes” that I’ve done some of these…..there’s a lot I still have to work on….a lot I have to learn.   If I learned anything during my 4-H work career and even in retirement ….. is that my best source of advice has come from my fellow 4-H colleagues.


  • Take a “bridge year” to decompress after what we all know to be a hectic career.  This can also be helpful at different times during your retirement not just at the beginning.
  • Volunteer (4-H Educators know all about that!  I am amazed at the volunteer experiences I hear from Lifers)
  • Get a Job!  (34% of workers envision continuing to work in some capacity) Perhaps you can scale back to part time, take on consulting or seasonal work, or otherwise find a work schedule that also offers plenty of time for leisure pursuits.
  • Take up a sport, exercise
  • Get a hobby, learn something new…or do more of something you have a current passion for
  • Start a business (12% of working America would like to start a business in retirement)
  • Make friends who are a different age than you (they’ll keep your brain engaged and might introduce you to something new!)
  • Travel! While you’re working, a desire to see the world must be fit into carefully hoarded vacation days. Retirees have more freedom to travel during off-peak and more affordable times of the year, and to stay as long as they want to. About half (49 percent) of current workers are planning on extensive travel in retirement. Another 40 percent of individuals hope to make frequent trips a part of their retirement years.
  • Camp for adults: there is a lot of them out there: golf, science, food and wine. Many of the colleges we are affiliated with have excellent opportunities.
  • Go south for the winter: most of us in the Northeast want out of the snow and cold!  Maybe it means going west not south….or if you love skiing…maybe you spend time/move to an area where you can do more of that.
  • Spend more time with friends and family. The most popular retirement ambition is to be with loved ones. The majority of workers (59%) hope to spend more time with relatives and friends during their retirement years, HSBC found.
  • Improve your home. Retirees can save money by tackling home improvement projects themselves. You can also get some exercise and beautify your home by taking up gardening, and maybe even grow some organic things to eat. Some 36% of workers plan to take on home improvement or gardening projects in retirement.
  • Write a book: we had to do so many different things in this 4-H job…….and have developed so many different skills…why not share them!

I wish you all happiness and good health in your own retirements…..you’ve certainly earned it!


-          10 Things to do in Retirement, US News & World Report, Emily Brandon, 3/1/2013

-          10 of the Best Things to do in Retirement, www.marketwatch.com, 4/9/13

This edition of e-news was brought to you by the 2016-2017 NAE4-HA Board of Directors
Editor – Tom Davis, Life Member

National Association of Extension 4-H Agents
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(919)232-0112 / execdir@nae4ha.com

National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals


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