4-H visiting The Hill for 75 years

As Erin Wilkerson sat across from Mike Williams in his Nashville office, she felt as if she had a voice as a leader of tomorrow. Little did she know that the experiences she had in 4-H, such as this one, would make her a leader of the next generation
She (now Erin Webb) is the leader of a Bioresource Science and Engineering Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and resides in Luttrell, Tennessee, with her husband and two sons. Webb was a Union County Delegate at the Tennessee 4-H State Congress in 1992.


Let Your Swine Shine

Abigail Foust and the Union County judge after the county show.

As the young showmen drive their hogs around the show ring they all intently look at the judge and make every turn smoothly and at the perfect time.
Every showman has their own way of doing things, but each one makes an impression on the judge. The crowd sets on the edge of their seats wondering who will be chosen as the grade champion showman.

Nourish Kids Kicks Off

UT Extension Union County Program Assistant presenting to UC youths about programs at the Union County Farmers Market

Join us on Saturday, May 22, as the Union County Farmers Market kicks off our Nourish Kids program. This will be the second season that the market has partnered with Nourish Knoxville to present this program. Through a grant, Nourish Knoxville has been able to assist markets like ours throughout East Tennessee, providing materials and Produce Bucks making this program possible.

4-H Excels in Preparing Youth to Speak Confidently

Jonathan Tindell, first place winner at the Eastern Region Subregional Public Speaking Contest

The Union County 4-H Public Speaking Contest allows youths to highlight their exceptional presentation abilities in a supportive environment. Youth learn from professionals as well as their fellow 4-H members.

Quarantine: 4-H Style

Savannah Jones and Kennedy Hill

Savannah Jones and Kennedy Hill

While many found quarantine boring, endless, and unprofitable, some people made excellent use of their extra time.
Among these are the Union County 4-H members. In spite of having some events postponed or canceled, many 4-H students stepped up to the plate with enthusiasm. No small thanks to the leadership skills and abilities possessed, the students adapted very well to the online platforms they switched to during quarantine and COVID-19 regulations.


Local student wins regional 4-H public speaking

Kaleb Hanna, Union County 4-Her to attend Western National Roundup

It’s public speaking time in Union County! One of the most exciting 4-H competitions is just around the corner: the 4-H Public Speaking Contest.
This experience really boosts your confidence. Almost everyone has fears of public speaking, but it sure is an excellent way to turn your weakness into strength. Preparing a speech makes you look inward to personal thoughts or ideas that you would like your audience to hear about.

Big Ridge students spend the day in the boots of a farmer

Students of Big Ridge Elementary with Raleigh Korth and Jerry Hurst of StoneHurst Miniature Horses

Wearing overalls, boots and cowboy hats, the students of Big Ridge Elementary ventured out to the green space and found some fun farm activities as part of the 26th Annual Union County Farm Day on Thursday, September 26. The 250 students made their rounds to 17 stations demonstrating and teaching Ag in the Classroom activities led by more than 40 volunteers.
Farm Day is hosted annually by Union County Farm Bureau, which is putting efforts in to teach the youths of the community the importance of agriculture in their daily lives and give them some knowledge to take home.

Poultry Auction Success for 4-Hers

Grand and Reserve Grand Champion winners for the 2019 Union County 4-H Chick Chain Show and Sale, left to right; Travyn Farmer, Dakota Smith, Chloe Lloyd, Mia Effler

The Annual 4-H Chick Chain Show and Sale was held Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at Darrell’s Auction & Livestock.

Union County 4-Her Promotes Dairy Month

Dairy Month Chairperson for Union County, Meradeth Whitley

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.

Farm Fresh Fun at Paulette Elementary School

4-H and FFA member, Keena Witt, assists Paulette Elementary students in learning about Swine in a hands on lesson

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.

Farm Bureau Presents Scholarships

Scholarship recipients left to right: Ethan Dyer, Sawyer Henderson, Zachary Hickman

The May board meeting for Union County Farm Bureau was packed with excitement. Three scholarships were awarded as well as a presentation by State 4-H Council members and Tennessee 4-H Congress attendees.

4-H County Contest Winners

First Place Winners left to right: Meradeth Whitley (6th), Gracie Tindell (5th), Allyson Hanna (11th), Kaleb Hanna (9th), Travis Hanna (7th), and Hayston Henry (5th)

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.

Let Your Swine Shine

Kennedy Hill showing at the State 4-H Hog Show

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.

Valued Partners in Agriculture

Valued Partners in Agriculture

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 Lit

Bobby Hampshire, Individual Winner

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.

4-H is Full Force

Abigail Foust, Grand Champion Senior Level I Showmanship at the Region Show

The Union County 4-H Program is very active in projects and activities providing many opportunities to youth in our area. Heading into the new year, Union County youngsters will be ready to kick off several 4-H events and contests.

4-H Campaigns

Kaylee Venable and Kelsey Holt examine a plastinated cow heart from LMU's anatomy lab.

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.

Extension Gives Back

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.

Decorate the Town

Decorate the Town

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.

4-H at the Fair

4-H at the Fair

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.