Louis Gilbreath has been a longtime friend to the 4-H program. Born and raised in east Texas, Gilbreath was an avid 4-H member who eventually attended Texas A&M on a 4-H scholarship. After graduation he became a county extension agent in Texas where he was instrumental in organizing the youth livestock show that is known today as the Southeastern Regional Livestock Show.
Gilbreath first came to Florida when he was hired away from Texas Extension by a cattle ranch in Ocala. He then went on to manage the Camp Ranch, which was on Paynes Prairie. He then took a job with the Norris Cattle Company to manage cattle in St. Augustine. While there he also served as Vice President of a bank. Gilbreath then took a three-year stint running a cattle and timber operation in Belize. At the end of that experience Gilbreath and his family settled in Ocala where he began to buy and sell real estate.
Gilbreath has been an excellent fundraiser for 4-H and has served often as a judge for 4-H activities. He has served as a livestock judge and provides leadership to livestock programs in St. Johns and Marion counties. As President of the Florida Cattleman’s Association and the State Bankers Association, Gilbreath has encouraged many business people to support the 4-H program with time and money.
“Louis has impacted hundreds of 4-H members and their families by securing financial resources to support their participation in many 4-H programs,” said David Dinkins in St. Johns County. “He especially supported efforts in leadership and citizenship development, animal science and forestry.”
For his work supporting 4-H, Gilbreath was recognized with the National 4-H Alumni Award.
Gilbreath served on the St. Johns County 4-H Extension Advisory Committee where he helped secure financial resources and provided numerous educational citizenship programs. He has also served on the Florida 4-H Foundation’s Board of Directors and is an honorary member of the Board.
In addition to his work with 4-H, Gilbreath is a member of the St. Augustine Rotary Club where he is a past president. He has also been involved with the International Student Exchange Program where he provided valuable leadership.