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OZARK, Ala.—A t a recent Dale County Commission meeting, Alabama Extension professionals from Dale County were recognized for their outstanding service to the county’s 4-H program. Dale County is one of six counties in Alabama to recently be designated as a Centennial Youth Initiative county.


Dr. Paul Brown, Alabama Extension associate director, presented the Dale County Extension team with a Crystal Clover which recognizes Dale County as a Centennial Youth Initiative county.


“These Extension professionals have been incredibly dedicated in their work with 4-H youth in Dale County, and it is inspiring,” said Brown. “They have accomplished a lot this year, and I am confident that they will do so for years to come.”


In addition to the designation as a CYI county and the presentation of a Crystal Clover, Dale County has also been provided with a full-time Regional Extension Agent who will continue to work with the 4-H programming. The funding for a 4-H Foundation Regional Extension Agent is made possible through the Alabama 4-H Club Foundation.


Andrew Thompson, who previously served as the Regional Extension Agent for Dale and Pike counties, will now will serve as the full time 4-H Foundation Agent for Dale County.


“Obtaining the CYI designation has better equipped us to go out and reach many more youth through 4-H and youth development,” said Thomas Agee, Dale County Extension Coordinator. “We have to remain relevant to youth and if we do this, there will be a huge positive impact on the youth in Dale County.”


The Centennial Youth Initiative (CYI) is committed to developing 4-H programs in order to increase access so that more youth can participate in the program, and to enhance the learning experiences that are available to youth in Alabama.


The award is based on the following standards of excellence in Alabama 4-H programming:


Forming a unified Alabama 4-H team and program

Utilizing consistent research-based curriculum resources

Diversifying delivery modes tailored to today's youth

Promoting plan-of-work development and teamwork at all levels

Aligning staff and position assignments to support program resources and delivery modes

“We have strived to meet all of these standards within our 4-H program and will continue to do so,” said Agee. “We have 619 youth enrolled in 4-H and we specifically have focused on tailoring our delivery modes to those members so that 4-H is relevant and important to them.”


“There is great potential for the growth of 4-H in Dale County, and I look forward to using my time as the 4-H Foundation Agent to implement more in-school 4-H clubs and special interest clubs including archery and Wildlife Habitat Education,” said Thompson. “There is no limit to the benefits that 4-H is able to offer youth, and I am confident in the fact that every youth is capable of finding at least one area of interest within the diverse programming areas of 4-H.”


Pictured above are left to right  Paul Brown, Mark Blankenship--Dale County Commission Chairman and Thomas Agee.