Pasco County resident Maxine Clayton began her 4-H career in 1954 as a club leader.
Unlike many 4-H volunteer club leaders, Clayton was not in 4-H growing up and did not have children of her own. She became a 4-H leader because she was impressed by what the program had to offer to the youth in her community and so she started a club.
As it turns out, Clayton’s 4-Hers weren’t the only ones who gained something through their participation.
“Being a club leader taught me so much patience,” said Clayton. “Not just patience with the kids, but with myself and with the learning process.”
In addition to working as a club leader, throughout the years Clayton has worked as a judge, speaker and organizer with the Pasco County Fair Association.
“While I’m no longer a club leader,” said Clayton. “I try to be a financial supporter as much as I can.”
Each year Clayton shows support by purchasing at least one project animal raised by a 4-H member, and is always willing to assist 4-H when needed.
“I enjoy and take great pleasure helping the youth of Pasco County,” Clayton said. “And 4-H is such a worthwhile organization for youth because it teaches kids citizenship, responsibility and poise. And that’s in addition to the things they are learning through their projects.”
Because of Clayton and her husband’s devoted efforts to 4-H, the Pasco County Agriculture Auditorium was renamed Clayton Hall in their honor. Clayton currently serves as a Pasco County 4-H Foundation member.