In his professional career and community activities, John Wright has shown many people the importance of agriculture in daily existence. "Probably one of John's greatest contributions in his life is working with our youth," one of his nominators said. "John started out teaching agriculture in local schools, became a high school principal, and later taught many years at Ball State. ... John has been a positive influence on several generations of youth, and I know of no one more respected than John nor do more humble then John." A 1951 graduate of Purdue's Ag School, Wright went on to earn masters and doctor’s degrees at Doll State University He taught vocational agriculture classes, was an FFA advisor and principal. He worked full time in Career Services at BSU from 1967 to 1991 and part time from 1994 to the present. A state leader for the Purdue Council for the Advancement of Research, Extension and Teaching (P-CARET), Wright co-chaired the committee for legislative contacts and represented the group three times in Washington, D.C. In his P-CARET leadership roles at the county, area and state levels, Wright has been effective at communicating the importance of the Cooperative Extension Service and research to legislators and citizens.
He has been a tireless supporter of 4-H. According to a nominator: "I know he has spent 48 years as a 4-H leader and done a marvelous job mentoring boys and girls into their mature, adult lives." He also served on the fairboard for 1J years, chairing a committee that raised funds to build a 4-H Community Building at the fairgrounds, and chaired the Kiwanis state committee that assists with 4-H Junior Leader Conference. For his unflagging support of Extension programs, Wright was named’ a "Friend of Extension” in 1987.