4-H Alberta Volunteers Receive Highest Recognition

Two outstanding Albertans have been recognized for their long-standing contributions to 4-H and their communities.

Minister Carlier with the 2017 4-H Hall of Fame inductees and family.

Linda Gooch, of Arrowwood and Sylvia Mathon, of Innisfail join an elite group of Albertans inducted into the Alberta 4-H Hall of Fame since 1971. Mathon was honoured posthumously.

“4-H Alberta celebrated its centennial year in 2017, and it is an integral part of our province’s rural way of life and our strong agricultural foundation. Congratulations and sincere thanks to this year’s inductees for their outstanding leadership and commitment to 4-H and their communities.”

~Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

The 4-H Hall of Fame recognizes exceptional 4-H leaders for their exemplary service, mentorship and volunteerism. Candidates are nominated by their 4-H peers and are evaluated based on their demonstrated leadership qualities, community references, local volunteer work, and contributions to 4-H and agriculture.

“Being involved in 4-H for nearly 30 years has been so rewarding in itself, but being inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame is truly an honour that I never expected.”

~Linda Gooch, 2017 4-H Hall of Fame inductee

“We are honoured that Sylvia has been inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame. Mom’s passions were family, youth and agriculture. She never needed recognition for her work, but we know that she would be truly touched.”

~Family of Sylvia Mathon, 2017 4-H Hall of Fame inductee

4-H Alberta is the largest youth organization in the province with more than 250,000 alumni. The program teaches leadership, communication and agricultural skills through fun, hands-on experiences.

Backgrounder: Alberta 4-H Hall of Fame

Created in 1971, the 4-H Alberta Hall of Fame has recognized 87 men and women who have significantly contributed to Alberta’s rural youth and agriculture. Each inductee has been a 4-H leader at the local, regional, provincial and national level. They demonstrate outstanding leadership in the program, promote the 4-H motto of “Learn to Do by Doing,” and live out the 4-H pledge of service and commitment to the club, community and country through all activities and levels of organization.

A selection committee of key leaders of the 4-H Council of Alberta, the 4-H Foundation of Alberta and representatives from Agriculture and Forestry’s 4-H Branch evaluate each nominee based on the candidate’s strong personal qualities, as well as their significant contributions to 4-H, agriculture and rural life. For more information, visit 4h.ab.ca.


Linda Gooch

For more than 25 years, Linda has supported and strengthened the 4-H program as a leader and volunteer.

Her 4-H involvement includes, but is not limited to: club leader, district key leader, Calgary Regional 4-H Horse Show volunteer (show chair, assistant show chair), developed guidelines and equipment checklists for both 4-H on Parade (4-H Alberta’s largest show and competition) and Regional Horse Show, and a member of the Provincial Equine Advisory Committee (PEAC).

Linda is also a volunteer member of the Arrowwood Agricultural Society, Stampede Queen competitor mentor, organizing committee member for the Alberta Equestrian Games, riding coach and school teacher.

Described as someone who always puts kids first, Linda has shown over and over again just how dedicated she is to ensuring Alberta youth are given opportunities to learn, have fun and experience success.

Inductee Linda Gooch with MLA Littlewood

Sylvia Mathon

Sylvia, who died in 2016, dedicated more than 20 years as a 4-H parent, leader and volunteer.

Her 4-H involvement included, but was not limited to: project leader of the Rangeland 4-H Beef Club, 4-H Council of Alberta director, president – West Central 4-H Regional Council, and Red Deer District 4-H Council.

A volunteer with the Innisfail District Agricultural Society, Sylvia was also a Westerner Park volunteer, member of the Icelandic Society and the Markerville Good Neighbours Ladies Club. She also volunteered driving local seniors to appointments, banking and grocery shopping.

Sylvia was passionate about working with youth, and through her battle with cancer she often said, “working with kids in 4-H helps keep me going.”