Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama may know him as the Ambassador at Large to Combat Trafficking in Persons, but Story County fairgoers remember Luis C. deBaca as “Louie,” a Huxley teenager in Wranglers and a cowboy hat, who was never afraid of a microphone during Family Fun Day activities at Christy Hall, the fairgrounds or Inspiration Night at Gates Hall in Nevada.
In the early 1980s, 4-H’er Louie de Baca was known for mixing traditional activities for a farm boy with other endeavors such as stained glass and baking. So, when the chance came up to take the biennial trip to Washington D.C., de Baca jumped at the chance.
On the Washington Citizenship trip, Story County 4-H’ers met club members from other states, studied the legislative process and toured monuments, memorials and museums. In meetings with Iowa’s Congressional delegation, Louie represented the group and presented the Representatives and Senators with a handcrafted stained glass 4-H emblem. In an exhibit for the Story County Fair that summer, he declared a goal: to work someday in Washington, D.C. Luis C. deBaca soon accomplished that goal.
“4-H teaches us to state our goals what we did, and what we learned from each project,” says C.deBaca. “This simple management process has served me in school, as a civil rights prosecutor and now as a diplomat. Whenever I have to convene a working group or give a policy speech, I draw on the things that my 4-H leaders and County Extension staff taught me.”
Ambassador C. deBaca credits much of his success back to his 4-H background and growing up with the Story County Extension Service, and often refers back to it while assessing development projects in countries around the world.