SIDNEY — A new 4-H youth development educactor has joined the Shelby County Extension office staff.
Jessica Adams joined the staff earlier this month. Before coming to Shelby County, she had served for two years as a program assistant for 4-H and the agriculture and natural resources programs in Miami County. While in Miami County, Adams provided educational opportunities to youth in the areas of gardening, agriculture industry, cooking, financial literacy and workforce development.
Adams will be responsible for training 4-H volunteers and youth. She will deliver programming in quality assurance in addition to school programs throughout the county.
Her ties to the 4-H program goes back to her youth when she was a member of 4-H. You and Your Dog was her favorite project.
“I actually took my parents kitchen scissors and gave my dog a ‘light’ trim before our project judging day.” she said. “Ironically enough my first job when I turned 16 was at a grooming and boarding facility.”
Adams said being involved with 4-H has prepared her for life and her occupation.
“You need to step outside your comfort zone to learn new things and develop skills needed to be successful. If I did not step up to lead the pledges at our clubs meetings, stood behind a microphone to speak in front of a crowd at fair, explore projects areas outside of what I knew I was good at, or participate in project judging I would of never gained the confidence to perform my duties as a student or employee,” said Adams.
While in Miami County, Adams worked specifically with youth taking animal projects.
“I was responsible for coordinating county Skillathons and PAS Show, taught Quality Assurance, and managed the 4HOnline database. I worked closely with the Senior and Junior Fairboard with their fair preparations and provided educational opportunities to youth throughout the county. Even though every county operates differently I can still take what I did and modify to fit the needs of Shelby County,” said Adams.
She’s looking forward to working with the youth, helping them learn, and see them evolve as leaders in their community.
With the COVID-10 pandemic still a main topic around the state, Adams is still working toward a successful Shelby County Junior Fair this year.
“As of right now the current administration has said Junior Fair only however, Shelby County Extension along with the Senior and Junior Fairboard is continuing to plan for a fair that will allow youth the opportunity to showcase their projects,” said Adams.
Adams holds a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from The Ohio State University and currently resides in Miami County with her husband and two daughters. She was a longtime member of the 4-H program in Putnam County as a child.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.