Janis Johnson Ritchie
Janis Johnson Ritchie is being inducted into the 2015 Eastern Idaho Agriculture Hall of Fame for her contributions to the dairy industry and for promoting agriculture in Idaho.
Ritchie has spent her entire life living or working on a farm and promoting agriculture. She grew up on the family farm going on to graduate from Ricks College and Utah State University with a degree in zoology and secondary education at a time when females were discouraged from majoring in agriculture.
Married to Brent W. Ritchie, the couple moved to the farm in 1981 where Janis helped coordinate the milking and the chores of their six children. All of the children, along with their parents, were active in 4-H and FFA programs. She milked the cows twice daily until the herd was sold in 2008.
Elected to the Board of United Dairymen of Idaho in 1986, Ritchie served as a director for 22 years. Most of those years she was secretary for the board and was elected to the Idaho Dairy Hall of Fame. She still serves as youth coordinator for 4-H and FFA programs funded by UDI.
Ritchie is currently in her 47th year as a 4-H leader. In addition to teaching dairy each of those years, she has taught field crops, forestry, farm improvement, plant science, veterinary science, and entomology. She has received the Idaho 4-H Leaders’ District IV Distinguished Service award and the Idaho Excellence in Agriculture Educator Award. In 2014 she was recognized as Madison County Farm Bureau Woman of the Year.