Our TN 4-H Program

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Dr. Dwight LOveday

The past couple of weeks I have traveled a good deal in regard to the 4-H program. The first was the Tennessee Extension Advisory committee and then the Southern Region Program Leadrship Network (SR-PLN). These meetings and interactions with people have given me insight into some areas.

First, there are a lot of good 4-H educational programs being conducted. Even though we may do programming differently, opportunities are plentiful for youth engaged in 4-H. Most southern region states have active programs in civic engagement, healthy living and science. Several, also, have educational programs in careers and workforce readiness.

Secondly, we enjoy a very good working relationship with TSU. This does not appear to be the case with several of the 1862/1890 schools. We are fortunate to have a “Tennessee 4-H” program and not a separated, fragmented or competing programs. A cooperative effort builds a stronger, more unified program where ultimately the Tennessee 4-H’er is the real benefactor!

Lastly, 4-H is still unknown to some people. Although 4-H is much more than the traditional programs, some have the impression as a “farming” club (actually, last night on the plane!). Even at the Advisory Committee, we heard “I didn’t know 4-H did that”. Getting our message out is still one of our challenges.