Warren Schmidt first became acquainted with 4-H while growing up in Wisconsin. He joined 4-H in 1930 and active in his 4-H club for several years.
After graduating from Wisconsin University (where he was a member of the Collegiate 4-H Club), Schmidt joined the Extension staff at Ohio State University, where he was involved with 4-H leader training and 4-H Camps. He also shared his expertise in environmental education and volunteer development while working as an extension agent at the University of Connecticut before joining the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
His involvement with 4-H spanned the United States and even the globe. In 1950-51, he coordinated the “Open House for 4-H Leaders of the World.” From 1952-1964 he served as the director of international programs at the National 4-H Foundation. He was also involved with the International 4-H Farm Youth Exchange Program that fostered understanding and education between nations and young people.
Schmidt worked with extension and 4-H until his retirement in the late 1970s. At that time he was working as Senior Officer (Youth Programs) of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy. Upon returning to the United States, Schmidt wasted no time in getting involved with 4-H in Collier County.
It was in his “retirement” – that Schmidt became involved with the Collier County 4-H program.
“Warren was a tremendous help in planning and implementing 4-H volunteer training and teen recreational leadership training,” said Linda Denning, retired Collier County 4-H agent. “In addition he chaired our 4-H county-wide coordinating committee and served on the 4-H Foundation Board. He brought his worldwide experience to Collier County and made us aware of 4-H programs throughout the world through a ‘4-H Around the World’ slide program which he designed and presented locally.”
4-H was more than just a career path for Schmidt. It was his passion.
“I have devoted my whole life to 4-H,” said Schmidt. “I believe strongly in all that 4-H has to offer youth, adults, communities and our world. I strongly support learning by doing, citizenship, leadership and strengthening the quality of life for all.”
Schmidt remains active in his community in other ways as well. He’s an active member of the AARP, his local Alzheimer’s Support Group, the Great Decisions Discussion Group and the Tamiami Tale Tellers.