Former 4-H director, Chuck Lifer, earns top Ohio State honor

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COLUMBUS – Dr. Charles W. Lifer, former state 4-H leader, received Ohio State University’s Distinguished Service Award at the winter commencement March 21.

Lifer is professor emeritus in the university’s department of agricultural education and former director of legislative affairs in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

An Ohio native, he holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in agriculture and extension education from Ohio State.

Started in Monroe County. He began his service to OSU Extension more than 40 years ago as a Monroe County extension agent. Since then, he has become known as an innovator of non-formal educational programs designed to improve the lives of Ohio citizens.

Lifer has been involved with OSU Extension at the county, district, and state levels, and his leadership roles extend to the national and international levels.

Love of 4-H. His particular interest through the years has been 4-H, and he has earned a national reputation for his efforts to improve and expand 4-H programming.

Lifer’s research findings and recommendations have led to a nationwide development of youth programs by the USDA and its Federal Extension Service.

During his 16-year tenure as state leader for 4-H youth development, the program expanded into reaching nearly 150,000 Ohio young people.

Current role. He remains actively involved in public and private fund-raising initiatives at Ohio State, where he has established two 4-H endowment funds. He is himself a major donor and sponsor of the State Leader Room.

He currently serves as program chair and president elect of the Ohio State Ag. Retirees Association and is a member of the OSU Extension Florida Snowbird Association in Sarasota, Fla.

Hall of famer. His honors include induction into the Ohio State 4-H Hall of Fame in 1999 and the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2002.

He has received Distinguished Service Awards from the National Association of Extension Agents and the Ohio Future Farmers of America Association.

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