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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


Faces of Ohio 4-H

Lynn Elfner

Each month we highlight an Ohio 4-H alum. They have amazing stories to share, from their personal experience in 4-H to how they have given back to the program. This month we feature Lynn E. Elfner, a newly-elected member of the Ohio 4-H Foundation Board and alum from Delaware County.

If you happen to spot a 4-H license plate reading “Greene,” you’ll know you are driving behind Lynn Elfner, a 4-H alum from Delaware County and the newest member of the Ohio 4-H Foundation Board. 

“More than any other organization, 4-H helped develop my personal and group interrelation skills, meeting management skills, and communication skills, as well as content knowledge in natural resources,” said Elfner. Those skills stayed with him through his early career as a conservation teacher at 4-H Camp Palmer and middle school science teacher in Mt. Orab. A Master’s degree from The Ohio State University followed his teaching career and led to the next job he held for more than 40 years. 

As the CEO of the Ohio Academy of Science, Elfner worked tirelessly to promote science collaborations with state agencies, businesses, educators and legislators. Many also benefitted from numerous initiatives he implemented including the Ohio Environmental Science Scholarship program, strong women in science efforts and expansion of State Science Day for thousands of young Ohioans. Following years of work, Elfner was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Ohio Northern University.

His impact on Ohio 4-H was most notable in 2008, when he convinced the General Assembly to provide $700,000 for a joint venture between the Ohio Academy of Science and 4-H. Nine new STEM 4-H clubs were created to inspire the next generation of scientist through hands-on learning.

“In addition to providing annual financial support to the foundation, I plan to assure a legacy gift from my estate,” he remarked. Lynn Elfner's 4-H license plate reading "Greene."

And that “Greene” license plate? Those personalized plates are a salute to Elfner’s 4-H roots and a tribute to the Greeneview 4-H Conservation Club where he was a charter member in the sixth grade.