James R. Helt

James R. Helt has served OSU Extension for 46 years in many ways, however his most meaningful contributions have been to the 4-H Youth Development program and "making the best better."

Jim served as the Assistant Director for 4-H Youth Development from 1989-1993, when he retired. During his leadership as the assistant director, 4-H membership increased from 166,000 to 205,000 members. He initiated the first Inner City 4-H programs in Cincinnati, the first "Youth-at-Risk" 4-H programs in Circleville, trained more than 2,100 volunteers in six years with a 4-H Volunteer Advisory training package that he initiated and developed, and developed and conducted the first area 4-H Horse Clinic that continues to be a popular program.

Since his retirement, Jim has been one of the most active supporters for Ohio 4-H International Programs and 4-H Teen Leadership programs. He currently serves as a Development Officer for the College of FAES and was an integral part of the fundraising efforts for the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Youth Development Center. In fact, the center-top deck was named in his honor.

He has served as president of the Ohio Cooperative Extension Agents Association, Ohio Extension Professors Association and Epsilon Sigma Phi, as well as Gamma Sigma Delta. Jim has been inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame and the Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame.

Jim and his wife Marlene live in Mt. Gilead. They have two children, Randy and Alan.