Creating a legacy by contributing to Louisiana’s youth

Among the decades-old bunkhouses 4-H’ers have called home for one week each year is a beautiful new structure that can hold a whole week’s worth of campers.  

In 2015, The Ellis S. Martin Pavilion added 10,000 square feet of multipurpose indoor space for campers — the perfect shelter when those afternoon summer showers pop up.

The building was made possible largely by RoyOMartin, a company recently named the 2018 Louisiana 4-H Legacy Award honoree.

“Starting with my grandfather, Roy O. Martin Sr., we’ve been involved in 4-H and Louisiana agriculture for 95 years,” said Jonathan Martin, chief executive officer of RoyOMartin.

Martin accepted the award at the 4-H University Donor Recognition and Awards Banquet at Lod Cook Alumni Center on June 19.

RoyOMartin is the brand name of Martin Companies LLC, a group of family-owned companies. The corporation owns 570,000 acres of Louisiana timberland, making it one of the largest private landowners in the South.

“The legacy award is intended for donors who have supported us over a long time,” said Patrick Tuck, executive director of the Louisiana 4-H Foundation. “RoyOMartin’s support is more than just financial.”

Tuck noted that RoyOMartin was instrumental in helping get additional donors to complete the pavilion, which Tuck said is more than just a camp building. It also has become an in-demand conference space for the LSU AgCenter.

“Because we are in the forest products industry, we gladly support the youth of our state to get involved in agriculture in whatever form they may, and we’re just honored that we could make this donation,” Martin said.

The company also donated 18 acres of land for the camp.

This is the second Louisiana 4-H Foundation Legacy Award. Previous awards were made in 2017 to the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation and Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company.

Tuck noted that the Louisiana 4-H Legacy Award honorees are woven into the life and culture of Louisiana 4-H.

“They're right there beside us in our school and community gardens, at camp, in our fundraising efforts and leadership development programs serving the most urgent needs of our communities and families,” he said.

Written by: Tobie Blanchard