Kenneth S. “Mac” McMullen first became involved in 4-H as a youngster in Madison County. His club membership was just the beginning of what would become a life-long relationship with the 4-H program.
Mac became a faculty member with the Florida Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Florida. He worked as a county extension agent in Taylor and Jefferson counties, and as an extension soil conservation specialist for the state of Florida. He ultimately became the district extension director for 23 Florida counties.
During his time with extension, Mac recruited and enlisted all the 4-H agents in his district to work with the 4-H program. He developed county, district and state livestock, dairy and poultry shows. He was instrumental in the planning and development of 4-H Camp Cloverleaf in the 1950’s and worked with the development of the 4-H program in central Florida for more than 35 years.
“Mr. Mac,” as he was known, was a fixture at various 4-H activities, shows, fairs and events,” said Albert F. Cribbett. “He was in great demand as a judge, and his words of encouragement to participants helped relieve some of their tension.”
The 4-H program helped keep “Mr. Mac” young. “Participating in the many 4-H events and activities of his district, as well as state level programs, served as a reenergizing fountain for Mac,” said Cribbett.
“I’ve witnessed on many occasions a special twinkle in his eyes followed by a smile that would come over his face as he watched a 4-H member or group perform beyond their expectations,” said Cribbett. “Mr. Mac genuinely enjoyed participating in 4-H activities and his interaction with 4-H members, leaders and agents.”
McMullen inspired many 4-H’ers to continue their education, and in several cases, young people he worked with went on to become county extension agents. Keeping in touch with what was happening in 4-H was a high priority on his professional agenda.
First and foremost McMullen was a devoted friend, advisor and supporter to all who served and participated in 4-H in his district. He was a mentor and role model for many youth and adults through the years. He contributed greatly to the growth of 4-H and the development of the state’s citrus, livestock and horticultural industries.