A Louisiana man will be posthumously inducted in the National 4-H Hall of Fame in Chevy Chase, Md. Leroy Robbins, from East Baton Rouge Parish, is one of 16 inductees this year. He passed away in 2006.
The National 4-H Hall of Fame was established in 2002. Each state submits one person for nomination, and up to 20 are selected each year for induction. Past Louisiana inductees include Jack Bagent, V.L. Roy, Stella Jones, W.C. Abbott, Sr., Joan McCrory, C.J. Naquin, Tom Scott, Anne Keene and Kellett Hathorn.
Robbins, who graduated from high school at 15 years of age and college at 19, received nine U.S. patents for his work in chemical engineering. He had a passion for volunteer work and served 50 years as a 4-H volunteer, according to Mark Tassin, director of the LSU AgCenter 4-H and youth program.
Robbins was instrumental in 4-H development in the Baton Rouge area. He conducted workshops in woodwork, electricity, forestry, safety and livestock. He sponsored sheep projects in East Baton Rouge and other surrounding parishes. Robbins also hatched chicks for 4-H members to participate in poultry projects and helped students raise championship-quality animals. Because of his time dedicated to 4-H members, the Robbins home was dubbed the “Robbins Roost,” Tassin said.
Robbins assisted in organizing the East Baton Rouge Parish 4-H Foundation, the first 4-H foundation in Louisiana. Robbins served as an original board member and later as president for the foundation.
Robbins believed that giving to those less fortunate was an essential part of being part of a community, Tassin said. Through 4-H projects, members made toys and repaired bicycles for special-needs children.
While Robbins was active in 4-H, he found time to serve in Kiwanis and was president of the Exxon retirees club. He and his wife raised nine children and hosted 4-H exchange students from other states and Japan.