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Kentucky 4-H agents take on national leadership roles

 

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. — 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.