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Kentucky 4-H agents take on national leadership roles

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 2:33pm

Contact: Lena Mallory, 270-527-3285; Elijah Wilson, 270-433-7700; Susan Turner, 270-487-5504

Kentucky 4-H agents take on national leadership roles

By Katie Pratt

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Dec. 16, 2014) – A trio of University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service agents recently earned top leadership positions within the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.

Lena Mallory, Susan Turner and Elijah Wilson are all Kentucky 4-H and youth development agents serving on the national association’s board of trustees. Mallory, of Marshall County, was named president-elect of the organization, and Turner, Monroe County, was named a junior director for the Southern Region. Cumberland County’s Elijah Wilson was appointed the chair of the Research and Evaluations Committee.

For Mallory, a Lexington native, 4-H runs in her family. She is a third generation 4-H’er and the daughter of a former 4-H agent. She began serving in a statewide 4-H leadership position when she served as state secretary while a 4-H’er. An agent for 15 years, Mallory has served young people in Graves and Marshall counties.

When she becomes president in 2015, Mallory plans to work toward increasing the involvement of international 4-H professionals, finding ways for the organization to work more efficiently and be more fiscally responsible while meeting the needs of the membership. She also wants to reignite mid-career agents’ passion for membership in the organization and continue to build relationships with National 4-H Council and 4-H National Headquarters. Her position is a 3-year appointment.

Mallory will represent the association and its nearly 3,800 members on the Joint Council of Extension Professionals, an organization that focuses on strengthening the efforts of member organizations and does what each cannot do alone.

A native of Monroe County, Turner has served as the county’s 4-H youth development agent for 16 years.

As a junior regional director, she will serve as liaison between the national association and the agent members in 17 southern states.

She and the other regional directors will be in charge of coordinating the council’s national conference during the next two years. She is also responsible for a quarterly regional newsletter that is sent out to members of the association.

“I firmly believe in the work that extension professionals do and how important it is for us to receive the support and guidance we need,” she said. “Our organization provides that support and guidance for us, and that’s something I wanted to be a part of.”

This is her first national appointment, but she has served Kentucky’s association as vice president and two terms as president.

Wilson, a Green County native, has served Cumberland County as the 4-H agent since 2006. Prior to that, the lifelong 4-H’er was a manager at Lake Cumberland 4-H Camp.

“I became an agent because I enjoy helping people help themselves,” he said. “I like being part of an organization whose mission is to improve the quality of lives of all Kentucky citizens.”

As chair of the Research and Evaluation Committee, Wilson oversees organizational research and The Journal of Youth Development, the organization’s peer-reviewed, scholarly journal.

This begins his second term serving as chair of this group and as a board of trustees member.

Fun ways to make holiday breaks more enjoyable without technology

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 10:37am

Contact: Jennifer Tackett, extension specialist for 4-H youth development

The holidays are a wonderful time for family togetherness, but after a few days, everyone, no matter their age, begins to look for distractions. In a world of smart phones, tablets and laptops, many times our attention turns to technology, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It is possible to keep young people active and engaged without technology.

You can use the holidays as a way to help your family get active. Activities like sledding, snowball fights, building a snowman, shoveling snow and skiing are all great outdoor activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. If snow and cold weather aren’t appealing or no snow is available, you can always get your family active indoors. Possible indoor activities include stretching, dancing and home decorating projects. Trips to the museum, bowling alley, gym or mall can provide a healthy dose of fun, physical activity.

Use the holidays to develop a shared interest with your children. Share one of your favorite hobbies with them. Cook or bake with them and let them choose the recipe and measure the ingredients. If you have children who are craftsy, teach them how to make jewelry, paint, draw characters or make friendship bracelets.

Imagination can also make the time fly by. Some great ways to engage your young person’s imagination is to have them write or act out a play, put on a talent show or build an indoor fort.

Don’t forget to put aside a day or two where you and your family do nothing but read, watch movies, play board games and rest. This can help you and your child feel recharged and ready to return to school and work after the holidays.

For more information on raising productive young people, contact the (COUNTY NAME) Extension office.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.

Cell phones and young people

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 10:34am

Contact: Mark Mains, extension specialist for 4-H youth development and

Technology has advanced at such a rapid pace that our lives are very different than they were even 10 years ago. Responsible technology usage is now a conversation you must have with your child.

Ten years ago, some high school students had cell phones, but in 2010, a Pew study revealed that 58 percent of all 12-year-olds had a cell phone.

While cell phones are an easy way for you to stay in contact with your child, they do come with their own sets of risks. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your child how to wisely and safely use a cell phone before they receive one. Establish rules of when and how the phone should be used and acceptable websites and apps. Remind them to think before they text. While texting may seem more private than social media, pictures and texts can easily be forwarded and put on social media. Insist that they never respond to any texts, friend requests or calls from unknown numbers. Encourage them not to put their cell phone number or password anywhere online.

Review cell phone records for any unknown numbers or late night calls or texts made to your child’s phone. Cell phone providers may offer additional security measures. Contact your provider to learn about any additional protections that they offer.

Age should not determine when your child receives a cell phone; your and your child’s unique situation should. You should consider whether a cell phone is needed to communicate more easily with your child and that your child can use the phone responsibly. Make sure your child understands the rules that come with using a cell phone and the consequences for breaking those rules before they get a phone.

More information on raising healthy, safe kids in a changing world is available at (YOUR COUNTY) Cooperative Extension office.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.