Reunion RPCVs Brazil I - Bozeman-Montana #0005 Francis Pressly (920x916) Reunion RPCVs 2002 Boone-NC #0021 img153
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

clip_image002Hometown: Stony Point, NC

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.


Francis Pressly with "4-H Report to the Nation" team presents to President Eisenhower in 1953.

To view another photograph and the information related to this historical event, please click the link shown at the beginning. There are more photographs…at this site: North Carolina State University Historical Archives.


Francis Pressly at the inauguration of a new 4-S Club in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil in 1963.


Francis Pressly with Taiwan representatives at National 4-H Center in the 1970’s.


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.

Francis Pressly

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.

Hall of Fame Francis2Hall of Fame Francis1

Francis Pressly 

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:

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