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Extension agent excited for growth

August 20, 2011
By Beth Christian Broschart - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Jennifer Poling loves her position as the Tucker County 4-H Extension agent and says she enjoys getting paid to do what she loves the most.

"I grew up on a farm with animals and garden chores," said Poling. "In college I studied animal science and agricultural law, so my job utilized my education and my background love of agriculture."

Poling joined the Tucker County Extension office in February of this year.

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"This year we have added a new club, the Flanagan Hill Pathfinders," said Poling. "We currently have about 100 4-H members and we are beginning our fall recruitment with the hope of increasing our membership throughout the county."

4-H Camp takes place in July at Camp Kidd, and typically more than half of the county's membership attends.

"This year, 56 members attended county camp, which offered a wonderful program," said Poling. "Everyone had a great time."

Poling said her goals for the year include forming more new clubs, getting together grass and land judging teams, recruiting more members to compete in contests and letting people know more about the 4-H program.

"You do not have to live on a farm, nor do you have to have an animal to be in 4-H," said Poling. "There are plenty of learning activities associated with the 4-H program and projects aside from farming and animals."

Many benefits surround the 4-H program.

"Membership in 4-H helps participants develop leadership skills, builds organizational skills, helps build public speaking skills and gives members the opportunity to learn new skills through completion of projects," said Poling. "4-H is a unique organization as it has a progression of activities for members beginning at age 9 until age 21."

Poling believes the 4-H program in Tucker County is wonderful.

"I am thrilled that so many people volunteer to help with the program," said Poling. "Parents are also really involved with the kids; they are so energetic and excited about the future. There is really no limit to how far this program can go."

Poling and her husband, Roger, live on a 90-acre farm in Barbour County with their daughters, Kelsie and Abby. They grow a garden and can their crops, and they also have cattle and sheep.

"One thing I would like to do is get into tree farming," said Poling. "Peaches and trees are what I would like to try growing."

The Tucker County Fair will be Tuesday through Aug. 27 and will give 4-H'ers an opportunity to showcase their projects.

For more information about the 4-H program in Tucker County, call the office at 304-478-2949.



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