Mary Jean Craig ’68 couldn’t wait to join 4-H. Her mother and a friend started a pre-4-H club that got her interested, and Craig squeaked into the local fair with a sewing project. After 60 years of involvement in the organization, she knows it was worth it.
Craig, who lives in Moscow, Idaho, was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame last October for her lifetime achievements and contributions.
After 11 years in the club, Craig continued as a member of the “Crimson Clovers” collegiate 4-H chapter at WSU and then as a volunteer leader. She became an extension professional in Idaho in 1980, and eventually joined the state 4-H staff at the University of Idaho. She developed a statewide “Know Your Government” conference in 1988 for eighth- and ninth-grade students.
Craig says that conference was one of her proudest achievements, taking kids to Boise to see the legislature in action, hold mock committee meetings, and build leadership skills. “It was so heartwarming to see how these kids developed confidence, and then become 4-H leaders and student body officers.”
On the national level, Craig served on the planning committees for National 4-H Congress, National 4-H Conference, and Citizenship Washington Focus. To help preserve the history of the organization, she created an electronic database of Idaho participants in state, regional, and national events.
She was instrumental in the creation of the National 4-H Hall of Fame and is still an active member on that committee. Recognizing the success of the national version, Craig also helped start the Idaho 4-H Hall of Fame.
Craig retired in 2010, but continues volunteering. Her family was recognized as one of the 4-H Centennial Families with 138 years of service to the program.