Lifetime 4-H’er and former State Leader Dalton Proctor named to National 4-H Hall of Fame

Dalton Proctor
Dalton Proctor

Dr. Dalton Proctor, former State 4-H leader in North Carolina, was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in an October ceremony in Chevy Chase, Md. The Hall of Fame honors 4-H volunteers, supporters, staff members and pioneers who have made a significant contribution to 4-H at local, state or national levels.

Active in 4-H since the age of 10, Proctor held several leadership positions in the organization, culminating in his tenure as state program leader from 1984 until his retirement in 1995.

As state program leader, Proctor shaped a North Carolina 4-H curriculum model called Cooperative Curriculum Systems that was adopted throughout the Southeast. He was instrumental in the development of the Eastern 4-H Environmental Center, and he expanded 4-H international programs, including the International 4-H Youth Exchange and programs with Costa Rica and Japan.

“Dalton Proctor is the embodiment of all that 4-H stands for,” said Dr. Marshall Stewart, 4-H state program leader. “He dedicated his life to the organization and raised it to new levels through effective and compassionate leadership. We are so proud of him for achieving this tremendous honor.”

Proctor also was an active fundraiser for the organization. Under his leadership, North Carolina 4-H brought in the largest one-day non-corporate gift in the National Campaign for 4-H. Proctor oversaw creation of the annual 4-H gala, which, to date, has raised more than $1.7 million for North Carolina 4-H programs. He and his wife also established the Dalton and Ruby Proctor Endowment and serve as National 4-H Heritage Club charter members.

In 1984, Proctor received the Outstanding Extension Leadership Award from North Carolina Cooperative Extension, and in 1988, he won the Chief Engineer Award from the National 4-H Council. A U.S. Army veteran who retired as a lieutenant colonel after 28 years of service, Proctor received the U.S. Air Force American Spirit Award in 1987 from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, as well as the organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 1995.

A Wilson native, Proctor is an alumnus of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: He holds a 1956 bachelor’s degree in animal science, and he also earned his 1969 master’s degree in adult education from N.C. State. He received his 1974 doctoral degree in adult and continuing education from Virginia Tech.

Proctor, who resides in Cary, called the Hall of Fame award “the highlight of my career … the ultimate recognition.”

— Suzanne Stanard

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