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K-State Today

October 13, 2021

2021 National 4-H Hall of Fame inducts Daryl Buchholz, former KSRE associate director

Submitted by Wade M. Weber


Daryl Buchholz, Manhattan, was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame on Oct. 12 for his lifetime achievements and contributions to 4-H Youth Development.

Honored by Kansas State University and the Kansas 4-H Youth Development Program, Buchholz was one of 20 people inducted at the ceremony, held at the Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

Please join the K-State community in celebrating Buchholz for his induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, in the K-State Student Union courtyard. Buchholz joins 14 other Kansans in receiving this honor. Refreshments are sponsored by the Kansas State 4-H Youth Development Office.

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 Youth Development Professionals; or the Division of Youth and 4-H, U.S. Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture, based upon their exceptional leadership at the local, state, national and international levels.

"We are proud to honor and recognize the outstanding individuals who are the Class of 2021 laureates for the National 4-H Hall of Fame. These individuals have touched the lives of many people, from 4-H staff and colleagues to thousands of 4-H volunteers and members throughout the nation," said Jeannette Rea Keywood, chair of the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

The honorees were presented with a National 4-H Hall of Fame medallion, plaque and memory book during the ceremony.

Growing up on the plains of South Dakota, Buchholz's family was grounded in faith for guidance and direction and Cooperative Extension for education and learning. His parents encouraged membership with the Belmont Baby Beef 4-H club to enhance his learning experience. As a young person, Buchholz's father embedded the value of a college education and encouraged him to pursue the opportunity. When Buchholz graduated from high school, he went to South Dakota State University, where he became the family's first college graduate, earning a degree in agronomy.

Encouraged by Extension faculty, Buchholz completed his master's degree at Oklahoma State University, followed by a doctorate at Kansas State University in soil fertility. Buchholz began his Extension career in 1980 at the University of Missouri. In 1992, Buchholz joined K-State as the assistant director, Agriculture and Natural Resources and Community Development. While directing the agriculture section, Buchholz served 18 months as the interim 4-H youth development program leader before being named as K-State Research and Extension associate director in 2004. In this position, Buchholz provided leadership for the day-to-day operations of the Kansas Cooperative Extension Service, including overseeing a program that included a workforce of 250 Extension agents, 120 faculty, and more than 500 support staff with an annual budget exceeding $50 million.

A visionary leader in financial sustainability for the Kansas 4-H Department, Buchholz directed the state and area 4-H specialists to create a new stream of non-taxpayer funding to increase operating funds for continuity and continuance of educational programming. Departmental operating funds had been flat since the early 1990s. Under his watchful eye, the specialists created a system to generate new operating funds for more than 30 annual Kansas 4-H events, activities and programs. Since 2004, this fund has raised more than $700,000 new dollars to sustain the Department of Kansas 4-H Youth Development in their goal to deliver innovative experiential educational programming for the more than 75,000 Kansas youth participating in-state events, activities, hands-on training sessions and educational programs.

Buchholz's vision and wisdom led to his selection as the chair of the Extension Committee on Policy, or ECOP, a national leadership committee of the Cooperative Extension Section, or CES, of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Board of Agricultural Assembly. As the governing committee of CES, ECOP works with policy setting, negotiating agreements, defining appropriate roles, establishing program direction, and evaluating program impact at the national level. One of its purposes is to strengthen organizational operations, which includes national 4-H programming. Under Buchholz's leadership, ECOP discussed at length the roles and responsibilities of USDA, ECOP, National 4-H Council and land-grant universities for program delivery. As a result of this foundational, multiagency agreement, roles and responsibilities were identified for each party with respect to the 4-H Youth Development Program with the goal to combine coordination, collaboration, and cooperation to enhance management and communication to reach the 6.5 million 4-H youth across the nation.

Always known for asking the "why" question, Buchholz remained strategic in his vision as a leader guiding Extension agents and specialists in their planning process by encouraging programming to be relevant, sustainable and educational. Buchholz excelled through collaborative pathways to strengthen Extension by developing multistate programming and training; expanding the understanding of diversity by leading a faculty team on a study tour; and encouraging interdisciplinary programing for extending Extension's educational base. He earned ESP's Ruby; Diversity/Multicultural Team, Meritorious and International Service Awards.

"Extension isn't about agriculture, natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, or community development; it's about changing people, communities and society in ways to lift them up to a better place, and to do it in ways that it becomes their own solutions!" Buchholz said

Since retiring in 2017, Buchholz has remained active in the Manhattan community serving as secretary for the Manhattan Sunflower Lions Club, providing guidance at Peace Lutheran Church and golfing with his buddies.

About the National 4-H Hall of Fame: In 2002, the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, National 4-H Council and National 4-H Headquarters at the USDA/National Institute of Food and Agriculture created the National 4-H Hall of Fame during 4-H's centennial year. Learn more at 4-H-hof.com.

About the 4-H Youth Development Program: 4-H is the nation's largest youth development organization, serving more than 6 million young people across America annually with research-based programs in leadership, citizenship, communication and life skills. Learn more at 4-h.org.