Local Icon Honored By Missouri 4-H Hall Of Fame

The 2022 Missouri State Fair will always be a special one for 4-H volunteer Anita Campell. Besides taking three of her grandchildren to show goats, chickens and rabbits, and watching them give demonstrations in the State Fair 4-H building, Campbell was honored to be named to the 2022 Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame in a ceremony Saturday, Aug. 20 at State Fair Community College. 
Campbell has served in a multitude of roles with Missouri 4-H over the last 36 years, including as leader of the All-Arounder’s 4-H club, as a project leader and a volunteer and board member with the Benton County Fair. She also serves on the Benton County 4-H Council. 
All five of Campbell’s children were active in 4-H and Campbell got involved once again when her grandchildren became active in the organization.
Campbell first was introduced to the 4-H organization when looking for an activity for her oldest child. 
“We lived on a farm and we sometimes had calves that the mama couldn’t take and my husband would bring home bucket calves. It was a natural thing to make that into my children’s 4-H project. I taught photography as a high school journalism teacher and so I also taught photography to kids in the club as a project leader. As my kids got involved in other areas, I would take on different project leader positions and we would learn things together,” Campbell said.
Anita, along with her husband Bob, own and operate Campbell Family Farms in Warsaw and Fristoe. Campbell retired from teaching English, speech and journalism at WHS after 32 years. She also was an adjunct instructor at State Fair Community College for 15 years. She continues to report the news for the Benton County Enterprise and often publicizes community 4-H projects and events. She has a strong passion for 4-H and all it has to offer the youth of the community. 
“When my granddaughter became old enough for 4-H, I thought, since I was retired, I could be a project leader again. I had been out of it long enough that I had kind of forgotten how much work it was. I know they always need volunteers in 4-H,”  Campbell said. After a year, the club leader stepped down and asked Campbell to take over as club leader temporarily. That was six years ago. 
“I have just continued because I want to keep the club going to give all my grandchildren the opportunity to be in 4-H,” she said.
Campbell said 4-H provided many opportunities and benefits for her children, but one of the most important skills they developed was the ability to speak well in public. 
“I insisted on my children giving demonstrations on the county level and the state level as well as entering the public speaking contest and running for offices on the county level. This was most beneficial to my children and now my grandchildren because they became good at public speaking. That has helped them in their careers and in job interviews. All five of them have said that working on public speaking has been beneficial to their careers,” Campbelll said. “There are a lot of good things in 4-H, but that is the one I felt was most beneficial, learning to become confident speaking in public.”
Campbell was one of 34 inductees from across the state honored. 
“I personally would like to thank Anita for all of her contributions to 4-H for the past 36 years and in all of the different roles she has held,” said Benton County 4-H Youth Specialist Elaine Anderson.