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Released: Oct.15, 2021
Buchholz inducted into National 4-H Hall of Fame
‘Visionary’ K-State leader recognized for contributions over three decades
MANHATTAN, Kan. — Daryl Buchholz, a visionary leader of Kansas 4-H and K-State Research and Extension for nearly 30 years, was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame on Oct. 12 in Washington D.C.
The award recognizes volunteers, financial supporters, staff and pioneers who made a significant impact on 4-H at the local, state and national levels.
“One of the lasting impacts of Daryl’s leadership is a significantly greater degree of alignment and collaboration between the Kansas 4-H program and the Kansas 4-H Foundation,” said Jake Worcester, president and CEO of the Kansas 4-H Foundation. “His belief that we are stronger pursuing aligned visions is one of the reasons we have been successful in so many endeavors. His belief in people – that together we can pursue great goals and succeed in reaching them – is an example we should all follow.”
Wade Weber, program leader for Kansas 4-H, said as a leader, Buchholz “demonstrated a relentless belief in people and their abilities to solve any problem and confront any challenge.”
“His roundtable discussions embodied his belief and practice that all ideas were welcome as we work together to make better what is given to us each day.”
Growing up in South Dakota, Buchholz was grounded in faith for guidance and direction, and the Cooperative Extension Service for education and learning. His parents encouraged membership with the Belmont Baby Beef 4-H Club to enhance his learning experience.
Following high school graduation, Buchholz headed to South Dakota State University, where he earned a degree in agronomy, developing a strong interest in translating research into practice.
Encouraged by extension faculty, Buchholz completed his master’s degree at Oklahoma State University and a doctoral degree at Kansas State University. He began his extension career in 1980 at the University of Missouri.
In 1992, Buchholz joined Kansas State University as the assistant director for Agriculture and Natural Resources and Community Development. While directing the agriculture section, he served 18 months as the interim program leader for 4-H Youth Development, before being named associate director for K-State Research and Extension in 2004.
In this position, he provided leadership for the 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.
Throughout his career, he was always in a position where his work directly impacted others. “The most gratifying moments were seeing colleagues, mentees, farmers (and) youth excel and improve their lives because of something I somehow helped them accomplish,” Buchholz said.
One example of his work directly impacting others was when Kansas 4-H was challenged with restricted funding. He encouraged the faculty to look beyond the regular sources of funding and pursue new partnerships, which they were able to do successfully.
Buchholz’s vision and wisdom led to his selection as the chair of the Extension Committee on Policy (ECOP), a national leadership committee of the Cooperative Extension Section of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Board of Agricultural Assembly. Under his leadership, ECOP discussed at length the responsibilities of USDA, ECOP, National 4-H Council and land-grant universities for program delivery.
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. In 2017, Buchholz retired as Associate Director for K-State Research and Extension.
About the Kansas 4-H Foundation: The Kansas 4-H Foundation works with businesses, organizations, individuals and families who share a common desire to support a statewide effort of growing our future leaders. The Foundation is the 501(c)(3) fundraising arm for Kansas 4-H and Rock Springs Ranch.
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. In Kansas at kansas4-h.org.