Former WSU Extension dean named to 4-H hall of fame

Tate-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Michael J. Tate, the former dean of Washington State University Extension and just-retired chief diversity officer and human development professor, will be inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame on Oct. 10 for his lifetime achievements and contributions.

4-H is a federally supported nonprofit youth development program administered nationwide through land-grant universities.

Nominated by the Michigan 4-H program, where he worked for 26 years before coming to WSU in 1998, Tate will be one of 14 people inducted at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md.

Honorees are recognized for excellence in citizenship, leadership, character and career accomplishments.

“These individuals have touched the lives of many people, from 4-H staff and colleagues to thousands of 4-H volunteers and members throughout the nation,” said Jeannette Rea Keywood, chair of the hall of fame.

In 2002, Tate assumed a part-time appointment as chief education advisor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), splitting his time between WSU Extension and Washington, D.C. In the past decade, he has served WSU as vice president of equity and diversity and of student affairs, and as federal American with Disabilities Act coordinator.

Tate built a reputation in Michigan for embracing the land-grant philosophy of extending university knowledge to people and their communities, moving ideas from conception to implementation.

He has worked to provide opportunities for youth and to bridge the gaps of understanding and acceptance across differences. In 1997, he served as a delegate for U.S. President Bill Clinton’s Summit for America’s Future.

In Washington state, he was a founding board member for the Ruckelshaus Center, an organization dedicated to finding agreement and developing policies pertaining to areas such as sustainable development, environment, natural resources and agriculture.

His awards include the USDA Superior Service Award and National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Distinguished Service Award.

See a WSU video of Tate talking about his 4-H service at