Harrison named 2017 Franklinton Citizen of the Year

Published 12:59 am Friday, June 8, 2018

Longtime LSU Ag Center county agent Henry Harrison was named as the 2017 Franklinton Citizen of the Year on Monday.
Previous Citizens of the Year surprised Harrison at his home Monday afternoon to tell him the news personally. Fittingly, Harrison had just finished working in his watermelon patch and gardens when he learned he had been named the winner.
“It’s just an honor,” Harrison said. “There are so many other wonderful people in this community who deserve it, as well.”
Past Citizens of the Year voted on the award earlier in the day, at the D.A. Varnado Store Museum annex.
One of the people who nominated Harrison spoke glowingly of his service in a nomination letter.
“He always would go beyond the call of duty of his title as ‘County Agent,’ particularly by his compassion toward the elderly,” the letter writer wrote. “He would often visit the elderly and give them advice and assistance with growing plants and vegetables.
“He has and continues to serve the citizens of our area in many ways and certainly is deserving as being named the Citizen of the Year.”
Harrison originally worked at the LSU Ag Center for 40 years (from 1972-2012) as the county agent and parish chairman. He returned upon request in 2014, to serve in the same position part-time.
In addition to his usual Ag Center duties, Harrison also is a Master Gardener instructor and contributes agricultural advice columns to local newspapers including The Daily News.
Harrison has also been heavily involved in the Washington Parish Free Fair, serving as the Agriculture Building chairman. He was the “Mystery Person” at the fair in 1997.
“This is such a wonderful feeling,” Harrison said. “It just feels like real acceptance in the community. It’s not about what you do, it’s about the people you meet and help along the way.”
Some of Harrison’s other civic duties and volunteer efforts include: member of the Washington Parish State Park Steering Committee, member of the Washington Industrial Development Foundation (past and current president), member of the Washington Men’s Club, member of the Washington Parish Tourism Commission, and member and past president of the Kiwanis Club.
Harrison is a member of Winan United Methodist Church, serving in the choir, Sunday School member, past Sunday School superintendent, Broad of Trustees, United Methodist Men’s Group, Cemetery Committee and Scholarship Committee.
The date and place of a public ceremony to honor Harrison will be announced in the coming weeks.

Mary Jo Poole gives a hug to Henry Harrison as past Citizens of the Year look on.

The Rev. Stanley Statham applauds as Henry Harrison receives a handshake from Wayne Kuhn.