Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fair honors 100 yrs. of 4-H

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There will also be three 4-H exhibits, located at the Fiddler’s Grove Pavilion, the Turner Evans building and the School House telling the storied history of Tennessee 4-H, as well as showcasing 4-H’s expansion from a more rural program to reach more urban and suburban youths.

On Saturday, Aug. 21, at 4 p.m., there will be a reception at the Jordan House where UT Extension officials, former 4-H members, and former extension agents will gather to look back on their times involved in 4-H and celebrate its significance to Wilson County.

Organizers Bates and Kristina McKee urge all former 4-H’ers to register for a collective database of Wilson County and Tennessee 4-H members.   “We are trying to identify as many former 4-H members as possible,” Bates said.

Former members can fill out cards at the 4-H exhibits and reception, or contact the local Extension office directly. You can register by sending an email to Diane Marsh, at dmarsh4@utk.edu or by calling the local 4-H office at 444-9584.

Following the reception, a closing parade will take place Saturday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.  Former 4-H State Leader Ben Powell will lead the procession as the Grand Marshal of the parades. Powell helped expand 4-H to appeal to more than rural youths when he became State Leader in 1981.

Powell started the Tennessee/L.A.B.O. Exchange program, which brought Japanese youths to Tennessee each summer to stay with a 4-H member’s family. Also, the program sent several Tennessee 4-H members to Japan for several weeks in summer during the program’s 10-year run. “It did much to enlighten our 4-H members about the world,” Powell said of the Tennessee/L.A.B.O Exchange.

He noted, “4-H is a way of educating our young people, helping them grow and develop life skills, such as speaking, record-keeping and learning about government.

“Wilson County has a good 4-H program under the leadership of UT Extension.  It would be hard to imagine Wilson County without a 4-H program,” Powell added.

Wilson County’s 4-H program has always been an integral part of the community, with around 3,000 members enrolled today. 

“The strong leaders in 4-H that I had the opportunity to work with encouraged me to stay active in my community,” McKee said. “They taught us life lessons every time we were together.”

Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com. Editor’s Note: See Friday’s edition of The Wilson Post for more on Wilson County 4-H as some local residents share their experiences with the organization.

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