Hillsborough County

County Extension Director, Hillsborough County 4-H Foundation Charter Member,


Inducted 2013



accept his hall of fame medallion



Michael McKinney



Mike McKinney always knew what he wanted to do with his life; so much so that when he was 5 years old he was recorded telling a department store Santa Claus that he wanted to be a County Agent when he grew up. 

Mike was raised in the city, but enjoyed long summer visits on his Grandparents farm in northwestern Indianapolis, Indiana.  Those visits always included a trip to the County Fair to watch his cousins show their 4-H cattle.  He was hooked!

When Mike was nine years old his dream of becoming a 4-H member came true when his Grandfather gave him a baby Holstein calf for his 4-H project.  That was the beginning of a lifetime journey in 4-H.  Mike is a 4-H Alumnus, a 4-H Volunteer, a 4-H Parent, 36 year Extension career educator and currently continues to be extremely active in the Hillsborough County 4-H Foundation.

Professional History and Highlights:

1969-1986   Purdue University (Indiana) Cooperative Extension Service:
4-H Agent: Rush County, Indiana; 4-H Coordinator: Elkhart County, Indiana
County Director: Fountain County, Indiana


>First to implement the 4-H Interstate Exchange Program in two counties.
>Recognized for developing county based 4-H project curriculum.
>First to initiate and implement a 4-H Club for disabled adults.
>Recognized for 4-H camping and teen leadership programs.
>Pioneered the Women in Agriculture program in Indiana.
>Recognized for innovative programming in youth and adult programs.
>First to establish the suicide hotline for farmers during the farm crisis.
>Recognized for promoting and implementing bi-state Extension   participation (Indiana/Michigan) and (Indiana/Illinois).

1986-2005: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service:
County Extension Director, Hillsborough County
Public Policy Educator, Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County 4-H Foundation Charter Member

Highlights:  (Professional Accomplishments)
>25 Year Commendation from the National Association of 4-H Agents.
>Served three years on the National NAE4-H Board of Directors.
>Received the Florida and National Distinguished Service Award from the
National Association of Extension Agricultural Agents (NAEAA).
>Received the Florida, Regional, and National Distinguished Service Award
From Epsilon Sigma Phi.
>Served as Southern Region Vice President and National Board Member for     Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP).
> Served as National Public Policy Committee Chair for ESP.
>Named the Nation’s top Public Policy Educator by the National Public Policy Committee of Land Grant Universities.
> Named Florida Extension Retiree of the Year by Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP).

Other Commitments to 4-H:
>Charter member of the Hillsborough County 4-H Foundation:
Past President, Secretary, Finance Committee Chair, Fundraising Chair.
          >Assisted UF 4-H Dean in developing the organizational structure for the
University of Florida 4-H Youth Development Advisory Council (YDAC).
>Endowed a 4-H Scholarship at his alma mater, Murray State University.

Community Volunteer:
>Past President of the League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County.
>Charter and current member of the Hillsborough County Fair.

Since his retirement in 2005, Mike continues his commitment to Extension education through consulting around the country on Empowering and Motivating Extension Advisory Councils.  His most important activity is volunteering with the Hillsborough County 4-H Foundation through the annual County Fair 4-H barbecue, the annual 4-H strawberry U-Pick that includes strawberries for the disadvantaged, raising funds for the county 4-H camping program, helping coordinate the annual 4-H awards luncheon, handling the Foundation’s monthly minutes and our preparation of our newsletter. Mike’s 4-H journey has taken 60 years and is still going strong!