Melinda Miller is the 4-H Program Development Coordinator serving 41 counties in UGA Extension's Southwest District. As a PDC, Melinda provides training, support and coaching to the 4-H agents, associates and program assistants in the counties located in middle Georgia beginning at Peach and Houston Counties, west to the Alabama line and south to the Florida line along the I-75 corridor. Southwest District is mostly rural with strong agricultural row crop and vegetable production at its economic core. Many counties have very active 4-H youth livestock programs with exhibitors showing pigs, goats, cattle and sheep. Most counties also boast accomplished 4-H SAFE (Shooting Awareness Fun Education) programs with solid particiation in modified trap, archery, air pistol, trap and skeet and BB team events. County 4-H faculty and staff in SW District offer a variety of issue based programming in agricultural awareness and healthy living, communication and leadership. 4-H programs in SW maintain strong partnerships with public, private and homeschool educational systems.
Melinda is a product of the Georgia 4-H program starting her 4-H journey like most, in 5th grade with a great experience at Cloverleaf Project Achievement. She was raised on a farm in Lowndes County and became a Master 4-H'er in the Conservation of Natural Resources Project and served as a SW District Senior Board member and State 4-H Officer. She is an alumna of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia, and earned both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications and Master of Science in Sociology from Valdosta State University.
Prior to joining the SW District team in August 2012, Melinda served as the County Extension Coordinator and 4-H Extension Agent in Lowndes County for 12 years. Her Extension career began in 1999 at Moody AFB in Lowndes County. In her role as the Youth Collaboration Project Coordinator, she led one of three fully funded grant programs in the nation supporting the start up of 4-H on USAF installations. Serving military families is one of many highlights of her Extension career. In 2008, Miller was nominated by her peers to receive the William H. Booth Award winning the distinguished honor among 4-H agents in SW District and the state of Georgia. She has also received the Achievement in Service and Distinguished Service Awards from the Georgia and National Associations of Extension 4-H Agents. She is a member of Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension Honor Society and the Georgia and National Associations of County Agricultural Agents.
Melinda resides in Valdosta, Georgia, with her husband Tony Miller, an active 4-H volunteer, and their two children Janey and Jon Jon who also enjoy being active 4-H members.