Article written by 4-Her Meradeth Whitley
When the Union County UT 4-H Extension office called and asked if I would like to be the June Dairy Month Chairperson, my first question was, “What is that?” I did not know anything about June Dairy Month, and I knew very little about dairy.
Article written by 4-Her Meradeth Whitley
Agriculture partners joined forces in a pleasurable and educational event for Paulette Elementary School students on May 15. This was the 25th Annual Farm Day hosted in Union County. The event is hosted at one of the county’s five elementary schools each year, in rotation, so that every student in the county gets at least one attendance.
Union County 4-H meets monthly with youth in classrooms providing a lesson as well as announcements and upcoming 4-H contest information. During November and December, students are presented with opportunities to participate in the public speaking and poster contests. Many students research, prepare, and practice speeches for their respective in class competitions. At the time of their final presentations, the top speeches are awarded a blue ribbon and participants are invited to speak at the countywide event, held annually in January.
On January 10-12, the 2019 Tennessee State Junior Swine Show was hosted in Murfreesboro, TN. The show was held in conjunction with the Tennessee Pork Producers Association annual meeting. Union County was represented well at the state show. In addition to individual hog show classes, youth competed in showmanship, skillathon, and the ultrasound carcass class.
Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Commissioner of Agriculture, Jai Templeton, Deputy Commissioner Tom Womack and Assistant Commissioner, Administration & Grants Larry Maxwell recently visited Seven Springs Farm to Table and The Winery at Seven Springs Farm. Commissioner Templeton was able to view first-hand how much help their valued partnership through the Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program and the Tennessee Agriculture Enterprise Grant has been to Seven Springs Farm.
Union County is a beautiful place to live and visit during any season, but this winter was even more sparkling than expected. The Light Up Union County Event, hosted by partnership UT Extension and Union County Chamber of Commerce, generated twenty three divine holiday light displays. The contest was split into three categories this year including Individual, Organization, and Commercial Business. A Facebook poll was conducted, running about two weeks, for each category.
Our 4-Hers are an active group of youth vested in the community. Currently, Tennessee 4-H Foundation has launched a Friends and Family Campaign to provide county 4-H clubs with an opportunity to grow funds, gain new support, and increase awareness of 4-H. Union County joined the movement and is looking to raise funds towards a goal to grow the county’s established endowment fund. This trust provides a quarterly payout to be applied to educational 4-H programs as well as camp and conference scholarships, right here in Union County for years to come.
The true spirit of the season is giving and doing for others with no expectation of return. The simple act of kindness can work magic on a person’s heart. Gifts are not always in the form of an item but more so in the love that it takes to make or volunteer to do something. Being oriented in service learning, this season UT Extension Union County groups are in a giving spirit.
The cool air is wisping through Union County as November peeps around the corner. With the cool air and festivities surrounding the town, excitement for the upcoming holidays begins. As lights are strewn up in window seals and trees become aglow, the county will glisten with Christmas spirit. Opportunities will arise for a car ride through town with the family, Christmas carols on the radio and hot peppermint cocoa in hand to gaze at the town through the frosty windows and admire the holiday decorations.
It is tradition to ring in autumn with trips to the fairs across East Tennessee, especially as a 4-Her. This year the Tennessee Valley Fair was held from September 7-16 with much participation from Union County 4-Her’s. On Thursday the 13th, Union County sent two teams of 4-H members to the Kerr Building to bake biscuits for fair goers all the whilst learning themselves, cooking together, kitchen safety, mannerisms, and more. The teams were assisted by volunteer leader Elizabeth Tindell as well as a few parents who stayed to help as needed.
It is common knowledge that 4-H is a club for kids to learn valuable skills and get their hands dirty. This summer, fifteen Union County 4-Hers were busy carrying water, cleaning cages, and gathering eggs as they indulged in the 2018 Poultry Project. They each received twenty chicks in early March and raised the birds from one day old to young laying hens at twenty six weeks old.
It is the time of year when we are counting down days until Christmas, finalizing shopping lists, spreading tinsel, and tying bows. As quickly as December sneaks up, June peaks around the corner. As we transition from snowflakes to sunshine, Union County 4-H is preparing for the upcoming 2018 4-H Camp! This December we have a special stocking stuffer that would be the perfect surprise for that special child, grandchild, niece or nephew that has it all.