Idaho’s Linda Webb inducted to National 4-H Hall of Fame

Saturday, October 12 2013


MERIDIAN – Linda Webb of Meridian spent a lifetime participating in the University of Idaho Extension 4-H program, first as a youngster benefitting from the youth development program and later as a professional.

She recently joined a group of 16 4-H advocates as the newest inductees to the National 4-H Hall of Fame. The Oct. 11 ceremony was held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md.

As a girl, Webb was a 10-year 4-H member. She credits the youth development program and the benefits she gained from it with helping her earn a scholarship to the University of Idaho to study home economics.

Webb later served 4-H as a University of Idaho Extension professional for 27 years before retiring in 2008.

After graduating from college, Webb taught high school home economics. She became the UI Extension educator in Valley County, responsible for home economics and 4-H Youth Development in 1980. Her commitment to finding meaningful experiences to help youth grow into productive and capable adults helped boost 4-H enrollment in Valley County by 25 percent.

Webb became the UI 4-H Youth Development Specialist for Volunteer and Leadership Development after earning her doctorate in 1999. She also served as the Executive Director of the Idaho 4 H Endowment Board, which is now Idaho Friends of 4-H.

A Webb-led endowment board campaign increased the endowment fund by $1 million. She continues to serve the board as president since 2010, helping to guide the latest $2 million campaign.

Webb was chair of the development team and co-author and editor for the national Step Up to Leadership curriculum, which shows 4-H members how to develop personal leadership skills. It was one of the first national curricula to focus on youth leadership skills.

With Webb as advisor, Idaho 4-H leaders hosted the Western Regional State Leader’s Forum in Boise where more than 400 adults and youth attended, one of the largest audiences ever for this conference. During Webb’s eight years as advisor to the State Leader’s Forum, more than 1,200 adult and youth volunteers were trained.

Webb led in the development of the formal volunteer screening and child protection policy for Idaho 4 H. She created a county handbook and a corresponding video, “Reporting Child Abuse: Care Enough to Call,” which received a national video production award in 2006.

Webb’s love for 4-H carries on in her retirement as she continues to volunteer as a 4-H club leader and to serve as a judge for the National Salute to Excellence Award. She is active in the University of Idaho Alumni Association, serves as a community volunteer with World Relief, sponsors a family from Afghanistan and was a national park host in Alaska 2010.

4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, serving more than 6 million young people annually with research based programs in leadership, citizenship, communication and life skills. Idaho 4-H Youth Development serves some 36,000 youth with the help of more than 4,000 volunteers. Find more at www.uidaho.edu/extension/4h.