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4-H Advocate from Wyoming Enters National 4-H Hall of Fame

October 27, 2014
man outdoors in ranch setting looking at binder
Ollie Hill was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

Longtime 4-H advocate Oliver “Ollie” Hill, a former 4-H program administrator for the University of Wyoming, recently was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in recognition of lifetime achievements and dedication to 4-H.

Hill, while in the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was assistant state 4-H leader and, among other duties, later served as director of Ag Development and College Relations. His efforts helped start the State 4-H Foundation and build the Cliff and Martha Hansen Livestock Teaching Arena near Laramie.

Hill attributes his success and impact on the support, patience and encouragement of his family; and continues to believe in the importance of the 4-H program and educating youths.

“It is all about working with so many wonderful kids and to see them grow and mature into today’s citizens,” Hill says. “Volunteer 4-H leaders are the backbone of 4-H and are being supported by their extension agents and educators.”

A 10-year 4-H member during the early 1950s in his hometown of Wiggins, Colo., Hill graduated from Colorado State University in 1963 and began his extension career in his home state. Hill moved from assistant county agent to area 4-H agent, developing a passion for equine science and horsemanship, livestock projects and the education of children and volunteer leaders.

UW hired Hill as assistant state 4-H leader with a focus on agricultural and equine projects along with development of the State 4-H Foundation.

Filling a void in equine science, Hill used his expertise to build a foundation for a statewide 4-H horse program. This knowledge also led to him serving on the National 4-H Development Committee.

Hill applied knowledge from training and conferences to raise millions of dollars that supported the Wyoming State 4-H Foundation, county-based programming and national 4-H events.

Hill became director of Ag Development and College Relations in the then-College of Agriculture. He helped build long-term leaders across the state as director of the Wyoming Leadership, Education and Development program. He also was a driving force to collect funds to create the Cliff and Martha Hansen Livestock Teaching Arena that not only serves UW students, but also hosts statewide events. The 47,500-square-foot arena was dedicated in 1996.

Hill undertook many national and regional 4-H roles during his extension career and, in 1985, worked his way up to serve as president of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

He retired from UW in 1996 and worked for the Wyoming Territorial Prison in Laramie.

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