The main purpose of this webpage is to gather information and make it available to those looking for Peace Corps groups and its projects. This one is especially dedicated the to the first Peace Corps Project to Brazil, organized by the National 4-H Clubs Center in Chevy Chase, MD, from January 1962 to December 1963.
|Since 1982 we have celebrated many group reunions around the the United States and Puerto Rico: twice at the National 4-H Clubs Center in Washington, D.C.; Bozeman, Montana, Auburn, Alabama; Valle Crucis, North Carolina, Colorado and New Jersey. Our most recent reunion was held at the National 4-H Clubs Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland to commemorate our fiftieth anniversary along with the Peace Corps Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration in Washington, DC., September 2011.
|The following information was taken from The National 4-H Hall of Fame website:
W. Francis Pressly
Director of Domestic & International Programs, National 4-H Council
Nominated by: National 4-H Council
Major 4-H Accomplishments:
Iredell Co. 4-H member. National 4-H Congress, Report to the Nation team, and Thomas E. Wilson Citizenship Award scholarship recipient. Led National 4-H Foundation Brazil 4-S Peace Corps Project. Director of 4-H International Programs and later Managing Director of Programs, National 4-H Council.
NC 4-H Leadership Award, 1949; 4-H Public Speaking Award, 1949; Southern Region 4-H Dairy Production Winner, 1946. IFYE Fellowship, 1957-58. NC 4-H Hall of Fame, 2009. IFYE Association Meritorious Service Award, 2004. NC 4-H Development Fund Board of Directors and Executive Committee, 1987-89. NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award, 1981. Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, 2011.
Francis Pressly established his excellence early as an Iredell County 4-H member. He won numerous state project awards, attended National 4-H Congress, served on the Report to the Nation team, and was a Thomas E. Wilson Citizenship Award scholarship recipient. Motivated by his 4-H successes, Pressly extended his skills and development impact to NC 4-H, then Italy, Brazil and the world. Pressly was 4-H Agent in Davidson County and helped transition 4-H Clubs to community based settings. From 1962 to 1984 he devoted his talents to the National 4-H Foundation/Council, where his international interests firmly established him as a recognized authority on youth programming.
Beginning in 1962, Pressly led the National 4-H Foundation Brazil 4-S Peace Corps Project for the expansion of rural youth clubs. Its success motivated Peace Corps to fund similar projects in other countries. In 1965, Pressly became Director of 4-H International Programs overseeing 4-H international exchanges, development and training projects. He helped initiate the Youth Development Project in seven countries and was the prime force behind the Young Agricultural Specialist Exchange Program with the Soviet Union. He was later named Managing Director of Programs, covering both domestic and international programs. After retirement, he and his wife Sibyl restored and operated the Mast Farm Inn, Valle Crucis, NC.
For many who grow up in 4-H, the life skills learned influence everything they go on to do. You take those lessons, that personal growth, that broadened perspective and apply it to your career. Any difference I may have made was in some way shaped by my experience in 4-H. 4-H for me, like for so many others, was the beginning of everything. It was the door to the rest of my life.
|INDUCTION TO THE NATIONAL 4-H HALL OF FAME|
Inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame, October 7, 2011 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md.
The following is the message read at the induction ceremony in behalf of the 4-H Brazil Peace Corps Project Volunteers who served under his guidance from 1962 to 1964.
National 4-H Hall of Fame Presentation
On behalf of the Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Brazil under the leadership of the National 4-H organization, we take pride in adding our congratulations to Mr. Francis Pressly as he is inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.
Although we were inspired, passionate, and eager volunteers, we are all too aware of the critical role that Francis, as Director of the 4-H Club Peace Corps Project, played in our success and in our contribution to Brazil. He and the National 4-H Foundation provided us a model, a vision, and a structure to engage in youth development education, while honoring the need for freedom and latitude for each volunteer team to implement a program geared to the needs of the local communities. What a success!
Francis represents the best of true leaders. He was courageous when necessary, humble and modest to a fault, gracious and understanding in his approach, and steadfast in his commitment to our goal and to our wellbeing. He was our mentor, our hero, and our friend. It is an understatement to say that our lives were changed forever by this kind, caring, and inspiring leader. By mirroring his model, we were able to change our own lives and the lives of others, both in Brazil and throughout the world, wherever we lived. What a legacy!
His influence over us and interest in us has not waned over the years, as he has been instrumental in bringing us together time and time again for reunions — making arrangements, communicating, and handling logistics. What a gift!
We also commend him on his choice of his wife Sibyl to stand by his side. She has added immeasurable support and wisdom to him and to us. What a prize!
We are so proud of Francis, and we are delighted to offer our gratitude and thanks to him in celebration of his selection into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.
Thank you, Francis, and congratulations! Well done, sir, well done.
|INDUCTION INTO THE NORTH CAROLINA 4-H HALL OF FAME – CLASS OF 2009|
Francis Pressly was an outstanding Iredell County 4-H Club Member. He won numerous State Projects, attended National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Conference, and served as NC 4-H Vice President. Pressly worked as Assistant County Agent in Davidson County from 1958-1962 and helped transition 4-H Clubs to community based settings. From 1962-1984, Pressly worked for National 4-H Foundation (National 4-H Council). He helped establish the Southern Region Leaders’ Forum and coordinated the IFYE program, National 4-H Congress, and Citizenship Short Course (Citizenship – Washington Focus). Pressly also served on the Board and Executive Committee of the NC 4-H Development Fund.
|This information is was taken from the North Carolina 4-H website:
The following article was originally posted in waisworld.org, permission was granted by our fellow RPCV David Fleischer to have it posted here.
David Fleischer writes:
Some had been "IFYEs"–had participated in the International Farm Youth Exchange program and spent six months living on a farm in a foreign country. I had been a 4-H club member in Columbia County in upstate New York and worked on several projects–dairy calf, chickens, sheep, gardening, and reforestation. I was recruited by my county 4-H club agent in mid-1961 and dropped out of Antioch College in December 1961 to join the training group.
The National 4-H Club Foundation had been contracted to administer our group in Brazil. The Foundation had a very good relationship with the Brazilian national rural extension service (ABCAR) and that was the "foot in the [Brazilian] door" to get Peace Corps into Brazil. This happened in some other countries. For example, in Senegal, the UAW (United Auto Workers) had a very good relationship with labor unions there and so was hired as the contractor for the first Peace Corps project in that country–to train local auto mechanics.
JE comments: Outstanding reminisces from David Fleischer. I had often wondered what circumstances led David to choose a career in Brazil. David, together with Richard Hancock, were Peace Corps pioneers–truly one of the brightest spots in International Relations during the tension-filled 1960s.
Welcome to this mean of communication that will allow us to be informed about our activities. You will have the opportunity to comment to every post of this blog. We hope you can participate and let us know your views, concerns and opinions.
These two pictures represent the volunteers during their initial training phase at the National 4-H Center in Washington, D.C. The second group was known as the Mail Order Brides (MOBs), there were needed to complete the original group.
Brazil I Peace Corps Volunteers worked in teams of one man and one woman.
“These volunteers were requested by the Brazil Agricultural Extension Service (ABCAR), to provide needed manpower in this field. Basically an agricultural country, Brazil does not suffer for a lack of potential 4-S Club members. The main problem is finding adequately trained agricultural and home economics personnel to work with the agricultural extension service which supervises 4-S work.” W. Francis Pressly, Project Director, 1964.
We are getting close to our 50th Anniversary even thou we are about four years away, but the time passes very fast and we should be prepare to plan our reunion activities. The Peace Corps 50th Anniversary is in 2011 and our in 2012.
There is a chance our group – Brazil I and MOBs will meet at the 4-H Club Center in Washington, DC, some time in 2011 o 2012. Let make it happen.
The training began on January 2, 1962 at the National 4-H Center in Washington, D.C. It took from four to six weeks to provide the first phase of the training which included many subjects: leadership, agriculture and home economics, history and culture of Brazil, Portuguese language and others. The had the opportunity to visit the Capitol Building invited by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The second phase took place at the Peace Corps Training Center in the mountains of Puerto Rico. There the group continue with their training in Portuguese language, physical conditioning, survival skills and emotional control. Also an internship at the local Agriculture Extension Service offices was provided to get a feel of the type of service the volunteers will encounter in Brazil.
The last phase took place mostly at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro from April to June.