Roger Barr of Upper Saddle River, NJ, was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame on October 10 for his lifetime achievements and contributions to 4-H. The former Bergen County agent was honored by the New Jersey 4-H Youth Development Program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension and was one of 14 people inducted during the ceremony at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD.
The National 4-H Hall of Fame honorees are nominated by their home states, National 4-H Council, the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents or 4-H National Headquarters based upon their exceptional leadership at the local, state, national and international levels.
The honorees were presented with National 4-H Hall of Fame medallion, plaque and memory book during the ceremony. The National 4-H Hall of Fame was established in 2002 as part of the Centennial Project of the NAE4-HA in partnership with National 4-H Council and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA. For more information about the National 4-H Hall of Fame event and past recipients, visit www.nae4ha.com/hof.
“The National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) is proud to acknowledge the outstanding 2014 National 4-H Hall of Fame honorees for the passion, dedication, vision and leadership they’ve shown toward our young people during their many years of service to 4-H,” said Pam Van Horn, president, NAE4-HA.
Barr served as the Bergen County 4-H Agent for 26 years before retiring in 1993. His 4-H success was the result of his leadership skills of critical thinking, vision, and communication. His ability to network with other youth serving agencies, gain support from local and county public officials, create innovative educational opportunities and integrate traditional and new audiences brought recognition from State and Local officials. Under the direction of Barr, the Bergen County 4-H Program reached 250 4-H volunteers, 1,500 4-H club members and over 3,000 youth in special interest programming annually.
Barr developed educational materials for the 4-H horse project (adapted for Statewide use) and the rabbit, cavy and small animal projects; organized special interest camps for conservation; and developed the START (Saving Today’s American Resources for Tomorrow) Program that reached over 600 teens from 4-H, Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts. He developed a 4-H Dog Camp which evolved into the State Seeing Eye Dog Camp. The Bergen County 4-H Fair grew from a two-day to a four-day event under Barr’s leadership, providing additional events and activities involving more youth and creating leadership opportunities for 4-H teens. Further examples of his success were the development of the Horseless Horse Program which included the 4-H Horse Leaders Council, the Horse Art Program, clothing and tack exchanges, horse film festival, horse donation program, horse sharing program where horse owners shared their horses with horseless 4-Hers.
He served on the Board of Directors of CAMP-YDP, an inner city youth program in Paterson for 10 years, serving as building chairperson for two years helping to raise $800,000 to build a new youth center to quadruple the number of youth served.
Barr currently volunteers with the Upper Saddle River Historical Society having served as a board member for over 20 years. He also volunteers with the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood for the past 13 years and the Saddle River Valley Lions club for the past 34 years, serving in roles of President twice and in various offices and committee chairs as well as carnival chairperson for three years.
His leadership with local community centers in Hackensack, Englewood and Paterson provided programs for many urban youth which helped change their lives. His involvement with the County Youth Shelter for incarcerated youth was another example of 4-H innovation.
In addition to being a life member of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, Barr continues an active role after his retirement being a consultant to the Bergen County 4-H Program in New Jersey and serving on the Executive Board of the Sarasota County 4-H Foundation in Florida and acting as Chairperson of the Financial Committee.