By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – For her 55 years of devoted volunteer service, Yukon’s Lynda Landrith accepted the 2023 Outstanding Canadian County Citizen Award during the 69th Annual Canadian County Free Fair.
Landrith was presented with a certificate and the winning cookie jar fair entry made by Sunshine OHCE (Oklahoma Home and Community Education) of Mustang.
The announcement highlighted “Family Night” festivities on Aug. 26 at the Canadian County Expo & Event Center, 3001 Jensen Road East.
“I didn’t expect this … it was so surprising,” Landrith said. “Even though I’ve been a 4-H volunteer going on 55 years, it was still very shocking. That is my first love – the 4-H and FFA kids.
“I’m very appreciative that I received this award. I’m super-thrilled to have won it. Of course, my husband is enjoying the cookies.”
Among those congratulating Landrith were Canadian County Extension Office staff and Canadian County Fair Board members, who she called “very, very dear friends.”
Canadian County citizens nominated Landrith for this prestigious honor.
Her name is just as familiar to Canadian County 4-Hers as it is to their parents and grandparents.
“As a regular champion of the 4-H core values, she has been dedicated to engaging youth and cultivating community support,” her nomination letter reads. “In 1974, she upgraded her commitment to 4-H as the Yukon Miller 4-H Club leader and has been instrumental in the growth of the Canadian County 4-H program ever since, especially after 1983 when she took on a pivotal role with the Canadian County Junior Livestock Show.
“Today, she is still actively involved in the Canadian County 4-H Foundation, present at all youth events and is the number one cheerleader to the nearly 400 4-H members in the county she so dearly loves.”
Having been involved in agriculture all her life, Landrith’s children and grandchildren also are active in local 4-H activities. She’s touched so many lives across Canadian County.
“I love all the kids,” she said. “Most FFA kids call me ‘Grammy’, they don’t call me Lynda.”
EARLY START AS VOLUNTEER
A Canadian County native, Landrith graduated in 1968 from Mustang High School. She first became involved with 4-H in 1959 at a time when Mustang did not have an FFA chapter.
As a freshman at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, she then joined the collegiate 4-H program.
“I started volunteering at the Perkins Ranch for Boys,” Landrith related. “That was the start of my volunteerism.”
The Yukon woman has helped over the years at Canadian County’s fairs and youth livestock shows – when she’d clerk the sale for auctioneer Jon Cooper.
The Outstanding Canadian County Citizen Award is the third major honor Landrith has received over the past year.
In March, she became the second inductee into the Canadian County Junior Livestock Show Hall of Fame. The announcement was made at the annual Canadian County Junior Livestock Show, where a scholarship was named for Landrith.
El Reno’s Ted Mittlestaedt was the first inductee and Yukon’s Mac DeVilbiss followed Landrith in the Hall of Fame’s inaugural class.
She previously was named 4-H Lifetime Volunteer of the Year for the western half of Oklahoma.
Landrith retired in July 2016 after working 10 years for Dolese. Soon after, she became a substitute teacher at Yukon Public Schools – a role she continues today.
Her priorities are Yukon’s special education and vocational agriculture students.
Landrith said she “retired” last year from working the Canadian County Fair and livestock competitions – but quickly added she’ll continue to “be there every day” to help.