4-H Program Development Coordinator
Al is a member of the State 4-H Faculty serving as the 4-H Program Development Coordinator for Northeast District. Al joined State Staff in November 2009. Previously, he was a 4-H agent for 12 years serving in Fannin, Union, Towns, Rabun, Baldwin, Greene and Putnam Counties. Before joining Extension, he had a successful career in radio broadcasting.
His 4-H career began in the fifth grade in Wilkinson County. He attended District Project Achievement eight years and State 4-H Congress four years in the Poultry Project. He became an active 4-H Volunteer in 1991 and served as Vice-President, President-Elect and President of the Georgia 4-H Volunteer Leader Association. Al is the only person to ever step down as President of G4-HVLA to become a 4-H Agent.
Al graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Journalism from Georgia College and State University in 1990. After serving as a 4-H volunteer leader for several years, he decided to return to school to meet the qualifications to become a 4-H Agent. In 1997, he graduated from the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences with a Master of Agriculture Extension Education. In 1998, he began his Extension career.
While serving in Putnam County, he was responsible for the development of an Experiential Learning Garden that has received numerous awards and grants totaling more than $200,000.00. The garden is used for 4-H club meetings, an After-School Junior Master Gardener Club, and by teachers and their students everyday. He also worked with school officials to require all 4th – 8th grade students in Putnam County to participate in the project achievement process. Over 600 students participated in County Project Achievement and over 125 youth competed at District Project Achievement each year. This process has been credited with increasing 8th grade Writing Assessment scores. A video of this success has been created and was distributed to Boards of Education statewide.
During his Extension career, Al has received many awards from his peers including National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Distinguished Service Award and the JCPenney Excellence in After-school Programming Award. He was elected to serve as Vice-President of the Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents in 2008. The position was a four-year responsibility that included President-Elect, President, and Past-President. He served as Chairperson for the NAE4-HA Entertainment Committee for the national meeting held in Atlanta in 2007. He served as Chairperson for the GAE4-HA Oceans of Fun Committee for six years. OOF provides classes and workshops to the children of school officials attending the annual Georgia Association of Educational Leadership Conference each summer on Jekyll Island.
Al is married to Joan Parker and they live in Eatonton, Georgia. They have five children: Eryn, Kari, Brent, Katy and Jenna.