John Ussery, a county and regional 4-H partner, was inducted into the Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame March 19 at the Alabama 4-H and Youth Development Center in Columbiana. He was one of 24 inductees honored during special ceremonies at the Alabama 4-H Environmental Science Education Center. Ussery was nominated by Cary Hatcher with the Wiregrass Electric Corporative.
The Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame recognizes individuals and organizations that have had a significant effect on the 4-H Youth Development program, its members and leaders. The Alabama 4-H Club Foundation, Inc., and Alabama 4-H honors, remembers and pays tribute to those who influenced the lives of Alabama youth by their commitment “To Make the Best Better.”
John Ussery was instrumental in contributing to 4-H throughout his career with the Wiregrass Electric from 1956 through 2004. In the early part of his career, he made photographs at 4-H events including cooking competitions, calf shows and demonstrations. He shared these photos with the 4-H groups as well as publishing them in the Wiregrass Electric magazine and newsletters. He was a supporter of the 4-H public speaking contests throughout the area, encouraging other electric cooperatives to participate and sponsor as well.
Throughout the 1990s, Ussery was chairman of the Alabama Cooperative Youth Conference held at the Alabama 4-H Center held in Columbiana. This was a combined effort of cooperatives throughout the state with Alabama 4-H.
“It is time we honored Mr. Ussery,” states Willie Durr, Houston County Extension coordinator. “He was very heavily involved in the 4-H public speaking events, Alabama 4-H Amp Camp and the Youth Cooperative Conference during his professional career. Mr. Ussery worked at the Wiregrass
Electric Cooperative in Hartford as members representative and was very involved with the Troy 4-H District Round-Up.”
Ussery’s career impacted other areas of the community as well as 4-H. He was active in the Greater Geneva County Chamber of Commerce and the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce. He served on the board and as past-treasurer on the Enterprise, Coffee, Geneva County Economic Development Corporation; was a member of the board and past-president of the Southeast Alabama Council for Economic Development; is also a member of the board and past president of the National Peanut Festival, and currently serves as first vice president of the Alabama Fair board of directors.
Before his retirement, Ussery received the Jack Jenkins Cooperative Employee Citizenship Award in 2003 presented by the Alabama Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Lamar Nichols, assistant director for 4-H Youth and Development presented the award to Ussery.