James R. Helt inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame


Ohio 4-H youth development is honored to recognize Jim Helt, the newest member of the National 4-H Hall of Fame. Helt was inducted into the 2023 class in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 9 at the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals annual conference.

Helt is the retired state 4-H program leader for Ohio State University Extension at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Helt was recognized for his 47 years of service to 4-H, both in Ohio and the country. From his start as a 4-H agent in Hamilton and Pickaway counties, Helt’s lifetime of work had an enormous impact on youth and 4-H professionals.

“Jim’s passion for positive youth development led to unparalleled learning and leadership opportunities,” said Kirk Bloir, state 4-H leader and assistant director, OSU Extension.

Following his retirement, Helt served as a development officer for CFAES and the Ohio 4-H Foundation board of trustees. Under his leadership, $30 million was raised for scholarships, endowment funds, and other youth opportunities. He was integral to the fundraising campaign to build the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on Ohio State’s Columbus campus.

Helt has also been inducted into the Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame, Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame, the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame and is the recipient of OSU Extension’s Meritorious Service Award.

The National 4-H Hall of Fame was established in 2002 as a partnership of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, National 4-H Council, 4-H National Headquarters, and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  

CFAES News Team
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Sally McClaskey