Cullman County awarded status of 4-H Centennial Youth Initiative County

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Wendy Sack

Photo shows Alabama Extension Associate Director Dr. Paul Brown presenting Cullman County Commissioner Kerry Watson and Garry Marchman and Cullman County Extension Coordinator Tony Glover with a Crystal Clover.

 

CULLMAN – Cullman County's Alabama Extension professionals were recognized for their service to the county’s 4-H program recently, and Cullman County was awarded the status of being a 4-H Centennial Youth Initiative County.

Alabama Extension Associate Director Dr. Paul Brown presented the Cullman County Commission and Cullman County Extension Coordinator Tony Glover with a Crystal Clover and medallions of excellence to each person on Cullman County's 4-H team.

“What do young people need today? How do young people participate in 4-H today?” Those were questions that Brown said the 4-H organization had begun asking itself a few years ago, noting that “things aren’t the same as they were 100 years ago” when we were a mostly agrarian society.

“In 2014, we established the Alabama Youth Centennial Initiative,” Brown said. “We asked each county to put together a county 4-H team to develop a plan of work for the future that would get young people engaged as we move forward.” In addition to developing that plan, teams were tasked with handling membership management, forming adult (advisory) committees and youth councils.

“Here in Cullman County, we have more than 1,500 young people who are card-carrying members of Cullman County 4-H,” Brown proudly proclaimed.

Every county can apply for Centennial Youth Initiative status, which comes with help and support. A huge part of that support for Cullman County is that with CYI status, “we get a full-time 4-H regional extension agent only for Cullman- James Conway. We were sharing him 50-50 with Winston County,” said Glover.

Of the CYI status in general, Glover enthusiastically stated, “This is going to allow us to increase our efforts in 4-H in the county. This will allow us to add some schools. We have schools that are not in, who want to have 4-H. This will allow us to have all of them!”

As County Commissioners Garry Marchman and Kerry Watson came forward to speak, Marchman said, “When I was young, I was a member of our 4-H program. The impact it has in our community, any program like this that teaches our young folks good habits, and the initiatives that are brought and the forward thinking that we have in our state program, it’s going to have a great impact on our county.”

Marchman and Watson, on behalf of the entire Cullman County Commission, presented Glover with an official proclamation. Marchman said, “This proclaims the year of the 4-H Centennial Youth Initiative in Cullman County is 2016. We want you to know how important your role is in our community, and we want to thank you for what you do.”

“We really appreciate the support we get in this county from our commission,” answered Glover. “It allows us to have the program that we have. Many counties don’t have the backing that we have in this county. We are very appreciative.”

Conway also praised the commission, noting that the many facilities that Cullman has, such as the Agriplex and Stony Lonesome, wouldn’t be possible without their support.

In fact, Cullman County 4-H will be taking advantage of Stony Lonesome in August when they host the first-ever Alabama 4-H Mud Run. See details at http://qrne.ws/4hmudrun.

For more information on the 4-H program in Cullman County, visit  http://www.aces.edu/4-H-youth/AL4-H/counties/Cullman.php.

See a full photo gallery at http://qrne.ws/cyi4h.