Attorney-at-law Kevin Hyde credits much of his success in his educational pursuits and his professional life with the skills he gained during his time in 4-H from 1973-1981.
"4-H taught me leadership and organizational skills. The skills I learned there directly relate to my professional life as a practicing attorney,” said Hyde. “Additionally, 4-H first gave me the opportunity to speak publicly. That’s a skill I use every day as a lawyer.”
Hyde was a 4-H club member in Gilchrist County for eight years where he served in several leadership roles, including State 4-H Council President (1980-1981). He also received several awards, and achieved first place in the state Public Speaking contest in 1979.
It was in Chicago at National 4-H Congress that Hyde had one of his “life changing” moments with 4-H. “When I attended National Congress in ‘79 it was the first time I had seen 4-H on such a broad scale,” said Hyde. I had been very successful on a state level but it was eye opening for me to go up in my category with so many people who were equal or better than I was. It really put things in perspective for me – made me not get complacent.”
Hyde marvels at how the 4-H program has changed as Florida has become less rural over the years. “When I was a kid, 4-H was much more rural and ag based than it is now,” said Hyde. “Now it has a lot more urban influence, reaching out to a broader array of youth. But the great thing about 4-H is it teaches the same skills today as it did 30 years ago. It teaches the same thing whether it’s a rural or an urban club.”
Hyde remains an active supporter of 4-H. He has been a member of fthe Duval County 4-H Foundation for many years, and even served two terms (1999-2000, 2001-2002) as president of the Florida 4-H Foundation, where he worked tirelessly to raise money and support for 4-H programs. Hyde was instrumental in designing a plan to keep all four 4-H camps open, despite budget cuts within the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Hyde is a partner in Foley and Lardner, a large law firm in Jacksonville, and was named to “Best Lawyers in America”, the legal proffesion’s highest honorary society. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Jacksonville Youth Crisis Center and the Northeast Florida Safety Council. He serves as a deacon in his church.