My early college days, I was on a tennis scholarship to Young Harris College, but when I transferred to UGA my direction was sealed that I would be working in agriculture.
I have been able to coach six state wining livestock judging teams while working as a county agent. I also have been able to coach my girls in softball and basketball so I guess everything has worked out as it should. I truly believe that my life has been forever changed by personally being a part of the youth development club of the University of Georgia, 4-H.
Most folks know that I grew up a 4-H member in Gordon County. The cool thing about working in my home county is that I see former Gordon 4-H’ers everywhere. Also, we have many of our former members serving as UGA volunteer coaches and advisory members.
For the next few moments I would like to give a brief Gordon County Extension 4-H up-date and encourage you to get your young person involved with us today.
Back when I was in the sixth grader, I remember one of the moms encouraging me to join the 4-H livestock judging team. Even though I was showing a steer in the youth livestock exhibitor program, I had not given judging much thought. Little did I know how that decision would change my life forever.
I could go on and on about how being on a 4-H judging team can change your life by teaching real world life skills. You can enhance your public speaking skills, build your self-confidence and learn valuable decision making skills by just being on a judging team.
We have many 4-H judging teams in our county. We currently have livestock, consumer, poultry and dairy judging. We also are going to embark in wildlife judging soon. We offer horse quiz bowl plus we have various shooting sports teams just to name a few. Being on a judging team can teach you teamwork, responsible and dedication to a common cause.
When you are involved in 4-H, it is pretty much a calendar driven season. This means that certain events are going to be at the same time of year. Currently, we are headed into the project achievement time of year.
Now, I know I must have readers that at one time or another competed in a 4-H project area. Back in the day, the young ones went to the old Armurchee High School to compete. I still remember winning first place myself in the Pet Care project with a presentation on rabbits.
Now, our 9-year-olds to 6th graders still go to Floyd County to compete just a different venue. I know that young people have a lot of school obligations, but why not have your young person enhance their public speaking skills in a 4-H project. One of the top fears of adults today is the fear of public speaking. Project Achievement can help a young person get over that fear and build their confidence.
Last week, we mailed out nearly 60 letters to our 7th grade members and older that have displayed an interest in project achievement. I hope the majority of them will follow through and accept the challenge of DPA and go on that weekend trip to Rock Eagle in March 2013 to compete. It may not seem like a big deal to them now, but I guarantee they will come back down the road and say how doing that presentation or competing in performing arts helped them.
I always try to tell folks that 4-H is for everyone. We are a strong agriculture based 4-H county, but we offer so much more. Right now our youth are preparing to “Ring the Bell” for Salvation Army and are collecting toys for children in Kentucky. We hope to be developing our community minded leaders of tomorrow.
Finally, our 4-H staff can be reached at 706-629-8685 and would love to talk about 4-H with you. You can also reach me at email@example.com.