photo of hall of fame member
  • Okeechobee County
  • Livestock Judging, Beef, Swine
  • Volunteer
  • Inducted 2006
Gladys Freeman with her family at the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2006.

Gladys Freeman

A 4-H club leader employs animal projects to inspire youth

Freeman formed the first chartered 4-H club in Okeechobee County in 1968.  She was instrumental in creating a livestock show and sale so members would have a way to exhibit their projects and be recognized.

She was already a 4-H club leader when Kent Price arrived in Okeechobee County in 1971 to work as an extension agent. “Mrs. Freeman has excelled in all categories. At 80+ she is still very involved and active with 4-H’ers,” said Price.

She was active in commercial and registered beef production, sheep production, and co-owner and operator of livestock markets in Okeechobee and Sebring. She was also a feed distributor and oil distributor. She set up and provided animals for livestock judging practices. Through her program, she has helped members develop reasoning and speaking skills, as well as selection skills.    

“My interest and involvement in 4-H has influenced me to continue learning and improving in order to be a better mentor to the members, help them with advice about their projects, and encourage them to develop their potentials to the fullest, while becoming good, responsible citizens,” says Freeman.

Freeman takes her volunteer role with 4-H seriously. “I have always felt that I should be the best role model I could be as a leader for the members to follow,” said Freeman. “I believe 4-H has the greatest lifelong influence on young people of any youth organization in the nation.”

She served on the Florida State Fair Beef Breeding, Steer Show and Scholarship committees for several years.  She also served as Secretary and Treasurer of the Okeechobee Livestock Show.  Freeman is a co-owner and operator of livestock auction markets in Okeechobee and Sebring.   

Freeman has received numerous awards for her work including: Service and Leadership Awards from the Florida Limousin Breeders Association, the Florida Cattlemen Association Premier Bull Awards (1976-1977, 1979-1980), nominated for Florida Woman of the Year in Agriculture.

“4-H has the greatest lifelong influence on young people of any youth organization.”

Gladys Freeman