Suffolk 4-H alum gives conference keynote address

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Special to the News-Herald

Ramon Williamson, who grew up in Suffolk, is a 4-H success story.

"He started his public speaking career as a member of a 4-H club in Suffolk when he was 9 years old," said Robert Ray Meadows, director of the state 4-H program.  "Now he is a successful motivational speaker and life coach. So Virginia Cooperative Extension invited him to be the keynote speaker at the annual conference."


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"Fan Panton, retired 4-H youth development agent at Suffolk, directed the 4-H program here at Suffolk when Ramon was a youngster," said Dianette Ferguson, current 4-H youth development agent in Suffolk. "Ramon participated in public speaking and other projects as a club member. He was active in 4-H for many years. He was named an All Star, the highest honor for 4-H'ers and was elected vice-president of the 4-H Congress Cabinet, the group of members who help plan the 4-H Congress."

Last week, Williamson gave the keynote address on "Six Simple Things That Can Change Your Life" at the 2005 Virginia Extension Service Association/Virginia Cooperative Extension Conference. It was a statewide meeting bringing together extension agents and administrators to learn about managing and improving the organization.  Extension is the connection to Virginia's land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University.  It helps people improve their lives by providing research-based educational resources through a network of on-campus and local Extension offices and educators. 4-H is the youth development program of Virginia Cooperative Extension.

"It is wonderful to see 4-H'ers succeed in their profession to the point they can come back and teach us," Meadows said.

"4-H is a grand organization," Williamson said. "It gives young people a place where they get opportunities to develop character, where they are in situations in which they see excellence being modeled.

"4-H not only fosters character development and teaches values, but it also give youth the opportunity to learn to work with people and work as a team," he said.

Williamson operates Ramon Williamson Worldwide and is the author of "Six Simple Things That Can Change Your Life." He and his wife have four children and live at Clarke County.