Meet Our 2023 4-H Hall of Fame Inductee

Published: October 16, 2023
Dr. Maurice S. Kramer with former Governor Frank O'Bannon
Dr. Maurice S. Kramer

Full Name: Dr. Maurice S. Kramer

Home/Hometown: Cresco, Iowa

Title:  State 4‑H Director, Assistant Director of Extension

4‑H Resume/Honors:  

1997-Sagamore of the Wabash- Governor of Indiana

1997-Certificate of Recognition-Labo International Exchange Foundation

1996-Certificate of Recognition-Labo International Exchange Foundation

1996-State Distinguished Service Award-Epsilon Sigma Phi

1995-State Distinguished Certificate of Achievement Award-Epsilon Sigma Phi

1995-State Distinguished Service Award-Epsilon Sigma Phi

1995-American Spirit Award-National Association of Extension Agents

1994-Regional Distinguished Service Award-Epsilon Sigma Phi

1994-USDA Group Award for Excellence- United States Dept. of Ag.

1991- Certificate of Meritorious Service- Epsilon Sigma Phi

1979-Distinguished Service to 4‑H-National Association of 4–H Agents

1978-Certificate of Meritorious Service-Epsilon Sigma Phi

1977-Honorary 4‑H Member-Iowa State 4‑H Council


“In 1969, I made the leap of faith and joined the 4‑H program in Iowa, and never looked back. 

“I joined the 4‑H state leadership staff and expanded the Urban 4‑H Program while simultaneously growing the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program. As a result of my involvement, we developed a process to aid 4‑H members to carry out their 4‑H projects. I also coordinated the 4‑H International exchange with 200 Japanese students.

“After 11 years in Iowa, I moved to Pennsylvania as the state 4‑H leader. One of the first things we accomplished was convincing the former Dean of Agriculture to chair the newly created 4‑H foundation board. Within four years the foundation had grown to over $50,000 and was respected statewide. I mentored the staff to obtain academic tenure which improved staff recruitment, and in turn helped make the 4‑H program what it is today.  

“In 1984, I moved to Indiana as state 4‑H leader and Assistant Extension Director and while there I supported faculty to become tenured. Provided a major emphasis at the club level where we visited every county as part of the ‘Say YES to 4‑H’ program. We rewrote 95 percent of all 4‑H project materials to make them more educational. In 1994, I served as the 4‑H International Japanese Exchange leader for the nation.  

“In 1997, after 28 years of leading 4‑H in three states, I made the decision to hand off the baton to the next generation so they could continue to impact young people.”

“A career that made a difference in the lives of thousands of individuals… Thank you for the challenges, ideas and leadership that has meant so much to so many.” 

– Bob Sampson, District Director

Dr. Kramer’s 4‑H Story: 

“Because I had already taught for 6 years in secondary education, I joined 4‑H for several reasons:  One, members were involved because they chose to do so.  Two, they chose the subjects they were interested in. Three, they could proceed at their own pace. Four, family oriented that built relationships.

“4‑H offered me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally and challenged me to continue my formal education. It also allowed me to work with a cadre of professional and volunteer staff who had a passion and dedication for informal education, i.e., 4‑H.

“During my career I emphasized the 4‑H’s, Head, Heart, Health and Hands.  In addition, I added an addendum to the 4‑H motto, ‘Make the best better’ with, ‘To make the rest better.’  It is my belief the program has the potential to continue to reach out to a very diversified audience of young people and adults.

“This recognition implies to me in some small way we were successful in reaching out.  We involved new audiences and added additional educational opportunities for many youth.

“I want to thank all who helped in any way to make this happen.  The total impact of my involvement in the program contributed significantly to who I am today.”