Clarence Cunningham, a long-time 4-H volunteer was inducted into the 2015 National 4-H Hall of Fame in October. Cunningham is an Ohio 4-H Foundation board member and alum of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). “I was honored that someone would think that I should even be nominated,” he said.
Cunningham earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in agricultural education from Ohio State, where he taught as a professor for CFAES and for Ohio State University Extension from 1957 to 1988. After his retirement as associate director of Extension, he became a professor emeritus and volunteered with 4-H and the Ohio 4-H Foundation.
“I grew up in a very small rural school, and 4-H was a very significant part of getting me started, and getting me talking in front of groups. I have been pleased to help pay forward.”
Cunningham worked on the steering committee to raise $16.5 million to fund construction of Ohio State’s Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center. He also established an endowment that creates scholarships and 4-H leadership awards.
“I spent a lot of time teaching noncredit and academic programs to 4-H professionals. I think that has been a significant thing — that I had the opportunity to influence the lives of many of our 4-H leaders, not only in Ohio but across the country,” he said. “The pleasure of continuing to see the growth of people I have taught has been very satisfying to me.”