The UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development Program and Florida 4-H Foundation are honored to announce the 2023 inductees to the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame: Betsy Barfield of Jefferson County, Todd Bundy of Gadsden and Leon counties, William ‘Bill’ Hill of Polk and Hernando counties, Larry Middour of Orange County and Christopher Tompkins of Hillsborough County (posthumous).
The induction event will be held Thursday, August 3 at the University of Florida (UF) Reitz Union.
Established in 2002 during the national 4-H centennial year, the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding 4-H alumni, volunteers, professionals and community leaders. Members have made significant contributions to 4-H and their community through accomplishments in the areas of citizenship, leadership, career and character.
Tompkins made a lasting impact on all who knew him. His legacy of leadership at a young age impacted the careers of many fellow 4-H youth.
Warren Brooks, executive director of career, technical and adult education for Hillsborough County Public Schools, shared, “I am not sure if there has ever been a student more decorated than Christopher Tompkins. His drive to succeed I have not witnessed in any other; however, instead of focusing on all his awards, his real impact was his ability to elevate others and encourage them to grow personally.”
Tompkins influenced Brooks’ own evolution from a shy, quiet kid into a 4-H state officer traveling the country, an experience that would impact his own career. This is a common testament from those who knew Tompkins.
As a student at the University of Florida, Tompkins continued to succeed and serve. He became UF’s first Truman Scholar, and in his final year of law school served as UF Student Government president. Tompkins worked with multiple elected officials before opening his own law firm in Brandon. Tompkins passed away in 2005 at age 34 after a battle with leukemia. His legacy is marked by dedicated service, authentic leadership and firm belief in the importance of citizenship and community service.
Special thanks to 2023 hall of fame sponsors Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A. and Friends of the Florida 4-H Foundation. Event and youth sponsorships are available at www.eventbrite.com/e/florida-4-h-hall-of-fame-induction-registration-623709280247.
Nominations for the 2024 inductee class are accepted online at https://give.ifas.ufl.edu/4-h-giving/fl-4-h-foundation/fl4hhof/ now through January 31, 2024. For questions, contact Caylin Hilton at grow4H@ifas.ufl.edu or 352-392-5432.
4-H is the youth development program of the land-grant university system and Cooperative Extension System. 4-H provides hands-on educational experiences for youth ages 5-18 with the objective of developing youth as individuals, and as responsible and productive citizens. In Florida, 4-H is administered by University of Florida/IFAS Extension and Florida A&M University. Learn more at https://florida4h.org/.