Each semester, The Ohio State University hosts commencement to present degrees to graduating students. It is a remarkable achievement for all students, but for Doris Huffman it was exceptionally special. At Ohio State’s 2021 winter commencement, Huffman received her master of education in agriscience education, a moment she had been working toward for years.
Huffman always had a strong interest in education, beginning with her high school graduation as class valedictorian. In the early 1980s, once her children were in college, a neighbor encouraged her to continue her education at Ohio State. Huffman remembered, “He said, you ought to go down there and take a couple classes, you’d like it.’ So, I enrolled, got in the pickup truck, and off we went at 7:00 in the morning.”
After completing her bachelor’s degree, Huffman decided to enroll in graduate classes. At the time, there were few women in agriculture, and Huffman was one of the only women in her area. Despite beginning her studies, the vocational agriculture program was undergoing changes, and Huffman did not receive her degree.
In the following years, Huffman was actively involved with Ohio State University Extension, and her academic standing was recently re-evaluated by the university. After completing one final requirement, Huffman met the qualifications to receive her master’s degree.
“I was shocked,” said Huffman. “I want to hang it on my bedroom wall!”
Huffman has always had a passion for learning and education, especially in agriculture. This passion not only influenced her academic career, but also led to a lifetime of involvement with 4-H. As a child, her family owned a farm, and Huffman joined her local 4-H club, because it seemed like fun.
Once Huffman was no longer eligible to be a 4-H member, she served as a 4-H advisor. She taught numerous 4-H members how to cook and sew and assisted in the creation of multiple 4-H clubs in Delaware County. “I’m very, very serious about skill development in young children,” said Huffman. “That’s my cause.” She is also an annual donor to Ohio 4-H.
Many of Huffman’s children and grandchildren have followed in her footsteps. They joined 4-H and ultimately attended Ohio State for their own college education. “My devotion is to vocational education,” Huffman said. “All three of my children went to vocational school before they went to college.”
With the dedication and commitment to educating hundreds of children through 4-H, ensuring her children had the opportunity for a meaningful education, and working toward breaking the stereotype of women in agriculture, Huffman is a great role model for 4-H youth. Congratulations on your degree, Doris!