MSU Extension Service launches new 4-H center

 

Keri Collins Lewis/MSU Extension Service

 

 

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is launching a new Extension Center for 4-H Youth Development to grow the next generation of leaders.

 

This name change leverages current funding and restructuring of existing positions to allow for greater support and service to Mississippi's young people. 4-H provides nonformal youth development education across the state for 8- to 18-year-olds through programs delivered locally by Extension agents and registered 4-H adult volunteers.

 

"Renaming the office and program furthers our strategic goal of expanding outreach and engagement while adhering to Extension's core values," said Extension Director Gary Jackson. "The center will allow for greater synergy between state and county level faculty and staff and raise 4-H's visibility as a potential partner with other organizations."

 

 

Jackson asked veteran 4-H leader and MSU youth development professor Linda Mitchell to serve as the interim director of the center for up to one year while a national search is conducted.

 

While serving in this position, Mitchell will continue working as regional Extension coordinator in the northeast district. During her career, she has secured numerous grants and developed multiple high-impact programs emphasizing antibullying messages, performance opportunities for 4-H'ers interested in the creative arts, and technology education through community outreach.

 

As a result of this restructuring and to allocate funds for much-needed county agent positions, MSU administrators have opted to change the Extension administrative structure as well. Extension will not fill the associate director position once held by Paula Threadgill, who retired at the end of 2020. Instead, current administrators will assume responsibilities for all programs. Steve Martin will serve as the associate director for county operations. Jackson will continue to lead the Extension Administrative Council.

 

For more information on the MSU Extension Service, visit extension.msstate.edu.

 

 

 

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