In 2002, during the National 4-H celebration of 100 years of service, Ann Barr was one of 100 people inducted into the first National 4-H Hall of Fame. Barr, nominated by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, was the state 4-H program leader for girls from 1951 to 1984. Barr served on 4-H congress committees 33 times and as chair six times. She also worked from 1984 to 1994 with National 4-H Council and National 4-H Congress.
Barr, an Auburn native, finished college at the University of Montevallo with a degree in nutrition and wanted to work in dietetics, but was unable to afford the fifth year of the program. She joined the service during World War II, serving in North Africa and Italy. After returning to the United States, she applied for a job with the Extension System. She began her career as an assistant home demonstration agent in Talladega County, Alabama, assigned to the 4-H Club program. It was in that assignment that she realized how much she enjoyed working with young people. She was later transferred to a state staff position but was able to continue working with youth programs.
Barr worked for the state for 33 years until she retired in 1984. However, her service to 4-H was far from over. After only one week of retirement, she was contacted by the National 4-H council in Washington, D.C. and began working as a consultant chairing a variety of programs and committees, a post she held for eight years.
Ann Barr was indeed the spirit of Alabama 4-H, but her commitment to 4-H went far beyond the state’s borders. For almost a half a century, Barr unselfishly shared her breadth of knowledge, great wisdom, many skills and kind spirit with thousands of people. She was instrumental in the development of and educational programming for the 4-H Youth Development Center in Alabama.
As quoted in the National Partner-in-4-H Award citation, “Ann exemplifies the character, initiative, and ideals that 4-H develops in young people and serves as an excellent role model for both young people and adults. Countless numbers of people have had tremendous educational opportunities and personal growth experiences because Ann chose Extension work as her lifelong career.”