Dr. Richard Clark
On February 20-21, the State Extension Advisory Committee met in Chattanooga to provide input into the operation and programming of Tennessee Extension. It was an exciting two days focusing on the topic of “Innovation in Extension”. In other words, how do we as an organization stay relevant in a time of rapid societal change. During that meeting, the members broke into subject matter sub-committees to discuss innovation in more detail.
The 4-H sub-committee was very engaged in this discussion time. I would like to share a few of their ideas.
- Develop a cutting edge digital and printed marketing effort to attract both youth and parents to the program. Also, increase our social media marketing efforts.
- Build a stronger partnership with the National Guard related to STEM programming. They have a STEM Truck which might be used for 4- H science activities
- Emphasize STEM Programs and the tie to Agriculture at the regional and state animal science shows
- Increase coding classes within the area of computer science. Build on the national partnership between Google and National 4-H Council
- Explore Megatronics and an engineering area
- Provide more STEM related camping experience at the county, region, and state levels
- Develop Leadership Institutes at the local, regional, and state level with students that are leaders of high school clubs, sports team captains, and student government officers.
- Explore joint leadership programs for 4-H and FFA
The State 4-H offices at UT and TSU will be looking into these recommendations over the next few months.