Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame

Eric and Louise Cates Jr.

Butler County 4-H Volunteers

Inducted March 19, 2013

Eric and Louise Cates Jr. are longtime outstanding leaders in Extension and 4-H programs. They are recognized as leaders in Butler County and their community at large. They were always willing to serve on committees in 4-H and Extension for more than 22 years.

As manager of ASCS in Butler County, Eric became involved in 4-H fundraising. Louise came to the Extension office almost weekly to assist with programs. She was active in the Home Demonstration Council and her local club. Their four children were active in 4-H. Two of the children, Jean and Eric Ill, were 4-H state winners and attended National 4-H Congress in Chicago.

Ralph Thompson states, “In my 22 years in Butler County, we had more than 60 state 4-H winners. We could not have been this successful without outstanding volunteer leaders. The Cates family was tops when it came to leaders in our 4-H program.

“In my years as a 4-H agent, more than 95 percent of the businesses were sponsors of our 4-H program,” says Thompson. “Eric Cates involvement for more than 50 years in the Greenville Kiwanis Club helped with getting that funding.”

The Cates family are members of the First United Methodist Church in Fort Deposit. Eric served as chairman of the board, lay speaker, and was a Sunday school teacher for many years. Louise was active in the women’s program at the church.

“A couple from Greenville was at my house recently,” says Thompson. “They said ‘when you think of the Cates family, you think of 4-H and Extension.”‘

Nominated by Ralph Thompson, Extension employee (retired)