Hoke Smith Annex University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602 Phone:(706) 542-4H4H Fax: 706-542-4373 firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgia 4-H Foundation 306 Hoke Smith Annex Athens, GA 30622 Phone:(706) 542-8914 Fax: 706-542-4373 JOHNATHON.BARRETT@uga.edu
Rock Eagle 4-H Center 350 Rock Eagle Rd Eatonton, GA 31024 Phone:(706) 484-2894 Fax: (706) 484-2888 email@example.com
303 Hoke Smith Annex University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602-4356 Phone:706-542-8925 Fax: 706-542-4373 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rock Eagle 4-H Center 350 Rock Eagle Road Eatonton, GA 31024 Phone: (706) 484-2817 (M,W,F) Phone: (706) 542-8742 (T,Th) Fax: (706) 484-2888 email@example.com
313 Hoke Smith Annex University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602 Phone:(706) 542-4H4H Fax: 706-542-4373 firstname.lastname@example.org
324 Hoke Smith Annex Athens, GA 30602 Phone: 706-542-9237 Fax: 706-542-4373 email@example.com
331 Hoke Smith Annex – UGA Athens, GA 30602 Phone:706-542-7076 Fax: 706-542-4373 firstname.lastname@example.org
328 Hoke Smith Annex University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602-4356 Phone:706-542-4294 Fax: 706-542-4373 email@example.com
300 Hoke Smith Annex Athens, GA 30622 Phone:(706) 542-8804 Fax: 706-542-4373 firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Georgia 320 Hoke Smith Annex Athens, GA 30622 Phone:706-542-0906 email@example.com
Lee Anna Deal
P.O. Box 8112 Statesboro, Georgia 30460-8112 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hoke Smith Annex University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602 Phone:706-542-4H4H Fax: 706-542-4373 email@example.com
329 Hoke Smith Annex Athens, GA 30622 Phone:(706) 542-4444 Fax: 706-542-4373 firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Georgia Georgia 4-H Foundation 307 Hoke Smith Annex Athens, Georgia 30602 Phone: 706-542-8914 Fax: 706-542-4373 email@example.com
Georgia 4-H 4-H Military Programs Blog 706-542-4444 Laurwalt@uga.edu
Hoke Smith Annex University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602 Phone: (706) 542-4H4H Fax: (706) 542-4373 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hoke Smith Annex University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602 Phone:706-542-4H4H Fax: 706-542-4373 email@example.com
Georgia 4-H Foundation Business Manager 304 Hoke Smith Annex 300 Carlton Street Athens, GA 30602 p: 706-542-8889 firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgia 4-H State Office 333 Hoke Smith Annex Athens, GA 30602 p: 706-542-4444 email@example.com
Hoke Smith Annex University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602 Phone:(706) 542-4H4H Fax: 706-542-4373 firstname.lastname@example.org
UGA Tifton Campus Conf Center 2360 Rainwater Rd Tifton, GA 31793 Phone:229-386-3414 Fax: 229-386-7139 email@example.com
Northeast District Hoke Smith Building Athens, GA 30602 Phone:706 542-2163 Fax: 706 542-1612 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Purcell Bledsoe
CAES Griffin Campus 1109 Experiment Street Flynt Bld, RM 227 Griffin, GA 30223-1797 Phone:770-229-3408 Fax: (770) 233-5562 email@example.com
Georgia 4-H Foundation Hoke Smith Annex University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602 Phone: (706) 542-4H4H firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather K. Shultz
Hoke Smith Annex-UGA Athens, GA 30602 Phone:(706) 542-4H4H Fax: 706-542-4373 email@example.com
350 Rock Eagle Road Eatonton, GA 31024 phone: 706-484-2830 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rock Eagle 4-H Center 350 Rock Eagle Rd Eatonton, GA 31024 706-484-2860 email@example.com
Arch SmithState 4-H Leader / Director of 4-H
Arch D. Smith, II grew up in rural Warren County on a family farm that produced cotton and cattle. In 1977 he received from the University of Georgia his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics.
In 1985 Arch began his career with the Cooperative Extension Service as a county Extension agent in Carroll County, Georgia. While in Carrollton, Arch earned a Master of Public Administration from West Georgia College and State University. Additionally, he has served as Extension 4-H specialist/Rock Eagle 4-H Center coordinator, associate State 4-H leader, Georgia 4-H Foundation Executive Director, interim state 4-H leader, and the eighth state 4-H leader in the 110-year history of the University of Georgia 4-H Program. As state 4-H leader, Arch is responsible for the University of Georgia 4-H Program which serves more than 171,000 young people. He is also responsible for the staff training of Georgia 4-H agents, program assistants, and volunteers and for all personnel and budget issues of the state 4-H office, the five 4-H centers, and the Georgia 4-H Foundation. More than 100 full-time employees and nearly 225 part-time employees serve under his leadership.
Under Arch’s guidance, the Georgia 4-H centers improved their outreach to Georgia citizens and the 4-H program. Major physical plant improvements and programmatic expansion have been accomplished. In 1997 Arch began emphasizing the need for improvements and expansion of Sutton Dining Hall at Rock Eagle 4-H Center and, as a result, the new dining facility opened in 2009. Arch had the vision to develop plans for the replacement of the 50-year-old cabins at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. The 4-H Foundation began the solicitation of funds; by at the end of 2015, 34 new cabins will have been completed and will be in use. Annually, the five Georgia 4-H centers serve more than 105,000 individuals. With public and private funding, Arch has directed more than $50,000,000 in major improvements, expansions, and additions at Georgia’s 4-H centers.
As executive director of the Georgia 4-H Foundation, Arch gave leadership to improve communication with 4-H alumni and friends. Arch helped direct “The Pledged for Life Campaign” that raised more than $4 million for Georgia 4-H. During his 13 years as executive director of the foundation, private giving increased significantly. By 2007, the Georgia 4-H Foundation had the largest operating budget of any 4-H foundation in the United States. In addition to private giving, the Georgia 4-H Foundation increased funding by increasing its submission of public and private grant proposals in support of Extension work.
Arch is a graduate of the National 4-H Executive Institute for Fund Development and was a member of the 1990 Leadership Georgia class. Arch has served on numerous university and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences committees and holds the faculty rank of senior public service associate at the University of Georgia.
Johnathon BarrettExecutive Director
Johnathon is a native of Georgia, with his family roots here in this state dating back seven generations. His professional career began in the area of business, and moved into the arena of nonprofit management in the late 1990’s. He attributes his professional success and community involvement to having been an active and engaged 4-Her, starting in the fifth grade in his hometown of Perry. He served as a district and state officer, attended National Conference, was a 4-H Senate intern, and worked as a counselor at Camp Burton.
In his role, Johnathon is responsible for the daily management and operation of the Georgia 4-H Foundation which supports the Georgia 4-H programs and five 4-H Centers.
Barrett is a Certified Public Accountant, a graduate of Georgia Southern University, and has had leadership positions in several nonprofit organizations. Before joining the Foundation, he spent fourteen years with Junior Achievement of Georgia as vice-president of statewide operations where he played a significant role in corporate and individual investments as well as coordinating donor stewardship. Johnathon’s partnerships stretch across community groups such as boards of education, economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, and businesses.
Barrett also brings to Georgia 4-H an extensive background as community leader and volunteer. He has served on the boards of directors of organizations such as The Georgia Historical Society, Savannah-Chatham Humane Society, Georgia Family Partnership Connection, The Rotary Club of Savannah, and The Savannah Book Festival. He was a member of the Class of 2008 for Leadership Georgia, was named a “Top 40 under 40” businessperson for Savannah, and received the One Small Voice award for his work as an advocate for children.
Besides being a professional fundraiser, this life-long 4-Her is also an avid fisherman, cook, gardener, and writer. He has two books to his name, his food memoir, Rise & Shine!, along with a culinary anthology entitled Cook & Tell, both published by Mercer University Press.
Melanie BiersmithAssociate State 4-H Leader
Melanie Biersmith serves as the Extension 4-H Specialist for Environmental Education and has since 2008. In this role, she coordinates the Georgia 4-H Environmental Education programs with each of the five 4-H Centers across the state: Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega, Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton, Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island, and Jekyll Island 4-H Center on Jekyll Island. Georgia 4-H’s Environmental Education program is one of the largest providers of residential field studies in the nation, and collectively serves over 44,000 students each year and has served over 1,000,000 students since its inception in 1979. Melanie supports the program in all aspects including curriculum development, hiring new staff, and marketing. She also works to develop and maintain relationships and partnerships with school systems, teachers, administrators, and other educational organizations.
In addition to EE, Melanie is also responsible for coordinating the 4-H Science initiative in Georgia. The 4-H Science movement seeks to develop the next generation of science leaders. As the Georgia liaison, Melanie disseminates information and resources, works with fellow staff members to offer trainings, and communicates Georgia’s successes back to National 4-H. Specific focus areas within the sciences include the expansion of water education programs and robotics.
Previously, from 2003-2008, Melanie served as the 4-H Center Director at the Jekyll Island 4-H Center where she managed all aspects of the daily operations of the center. This included the three program areas of the 4-H Center: 4-H summer camp, the environmental education program, and Tidelands Nature Center. Her responsibilities included hiring and training new staff, database and personnel management, curriculum development, developing and maintaining relationships with visiting groups, and providing high quality programs.
Melanie’s degrees, a B.S. in biology from Georgia College and a M.A. in science education from the University of Georgia, have both contributed to work with Georgia 4-H. Additionally, she worked with UGA’s Marine Extension on Skidaway Island for three years and taught high school science in Georgia for two years. She stays in touch with the formal education community as her husband, Andy, is a high school science teacher in Morgan County. Together, they are raising two children.
Sue ChapmanAssociate State 4-H Leader
Dr. Sue Chapman serves as the Associate State 4-H Leader for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. In this capacity, she assists the State 4-H Leader/Director of 4-H in the daily operation of the UGA Extension 4-H program. There are more than 300 full-time and part-time faculty and staff members in Athens and the four 4-H centers in Georgia who support the district and county 4-H faculty and staff members who deliver the 4-H program at the county level.
Sue holds the faculty rank of Senior Public Service Associate at the University of Georgia and is a recipient of the 2014 Walter Barnard Hill Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service and Outreach. She is a trained mediator and group process facilitator. She has experience in developing team-based organizations, implementing quality improvement practices, leading community and economic development efforts, and providing educational programs to diverse groups. Prior to her appointment with Georgia 4-H, she was the operations coordinator with the University of Georgia Archway Partnership for 7 years and state extension coordinator with UGA Cooperative Extension/College of Family and Consumer Sciences for 9 years. During her time at UGA, she has secured and managed over $7 million in community-based grants and contracts. Before her appointment with the University of Georgia, Sue worked for almost 15 years in healthcare education, volunteer management and human resource development. She holds leadership roles in various community and professional organizations.
Sue received a Doctor of Education degree in adult education from the University of Georgia in 1990 and a Master of Science degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Valdosta State University in 1985. She is a Georgia native, currently residing in Barrow County.
Adam BaynesIT Professional Principal
Adam helps provide pc, server, network, and website
support for the State 4-H Office on UGA’s campus and
the five 4-H centers statewide.
He received his Bachelor of Business Administration
degree in Information Systems and Communications
from Georgia College and State University in 1999, and
in 2004 he received a Master of Management Information
Systems degree from Georgia College and State University.
Adam spent several years working in the IT field within the
private sector before joining Georgia 4-H in 2001, with job
responsibilities ranging from AS/400 computer operator to
Adam enjoys spending his spare time with his family,
playing golf, watching sports, and traveling. He resides in
Madison, GA with his wife Jamison, and their son William.
Kasey BozemanExtension Specialist: 4-H Science Programs
Kasey Bozeman serves as the Extension 4-H Specialist for Science and Environmental Education Programs. In this role, she provides leadership to 4-H science programs, to include STEM-related programs for Georgia 4-H. Kasey collaborates with other Georgia 4-H state staff in developing, facilitating, and evaluating 4-H programs, trains and supports county-based faculty in science programming, and creating curricula and training materials to address science content areas.
Kasey coordinates the statewide Georgia 4-H Environmental Education program delivered at all six 4-H facilities. Georgia 4-H’s Environmental Education program is one of the largest providers of residential field studies in the nation, and collectively serves over 43,000 students each year. Since it’s inception in 1979, over 1.2 million participants have been served by the program. Kasey supports the program in all aspects including curriculum development, marketing, and developing partnerships with school systems, teachers, administrators, and other educational organizations.
From 2011-2019, Kasey served as the Liberty County Extension Coordinator and 4-H Youth Development Agent. In this role, she planned, taught, and evaluated educational programs and activities for 4-H youth, including in-school meetings and out-of-school clubs and opportunities. She guided youth in 4-H project work, competitions, leadership, and citizenship development, having multiple youth win state honors in their project and a team win the state land judging competition. Additionally, Kasey has worked as a Child & Youth Specialist for Air Force Reserve Command and a seasonal Environmental Education Instructor at Wahsega 4-H Center.
Kasey earned a B.S. in environmental science from Piedmont College and a M.S. in environmental education from Nova Southeastern University. She is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in curriculum studies from Georgia Southern University. Her favorite learning environments are outdoors, engaging, and fun. In her free time, she enjoys camping, hiking, reading, and crafting.
Courtney BrownExtension Specialist: 4-H Healthy Living Programs
Dr. Courtney Brown serves as the Extension Specialist for
4-H Healthy Living Programs. In this role, she provides direction and vision to 4-H family and consumer sciences programs, events, and contests.
Courtney believes strongly in the 4-H concept of “learning by doing” and began her nutrition education career teaching cooking classes to international students. Courtney coordinated and wrote curricula for the Action Pack Families study, a USDA-funded nutrition and physical activity program in Colquitt County, a partnership between UGA College of Public Health (CPH) and Extension. This child-as-change-agent program was designed to reach students, their families, and the community.
Most recently, Courtney served as a postdoctoral research associate in the UGA College of Public Health and the project coordinator for theHealthier Togetherproject. This community-based project is apartnership between Extension and CPH and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control. This community-based project seeks to change policies, systems, and environments to make the healthy choice the easy choice for adults and youth. 4-H youth are an important part of this project and have been involved in creating and maintaining community and school gardens and supporting other nutrition and physical activity interventions through 4-H Healthy Living programming.
Courtney is originally from Lawrenceville, Georgia but now calls Athens home. Courtney is a “Triple-Dawg”, with degrees from the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Her bachelor’s degree is in Dietetics and Consumer Foods. Her master’s and doctorate are both in Foods and Nutrition and she is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
Jeffrey BurkeState 4-H Events and Programs Manager
Jeffrey Burke serves the University of Georgia and Georgia 4-H as the manager for State 4-H Events and Programs. In this position, he is responsible for the execution and evaluation of assigned statewide 4-H events and programs including State 4-H Council, State 4-H Congress, Junior Conference, Fall Forum, and others.
A native of Wrens, Georgia, Jeffrey was an active member of the Jefferson County 4-H Club, serving as a county and district officer. He is an alumnus of Valdosta State University where he received a Master of Public Administration degree as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Before coming to his current position, he served as the 4-H Center Director at Fortson 4-H Center, where he managed all aspects of the daily operations of the center. Additionally, he had the privilege of serving as a County Extension Agent in Emanuel and Sumter Counties. In 2015, he received the Outstanding Young Professional award for Southeast District from the Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents. He is also a member of Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension Honor Society.
Jennifer CantwellAmeriCorps State Coordinator
Program Coordinator III
328 Hoke Smith Annex
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602-4356
Alicia CastleberryBusiness Manager
Jenna DanielExtension Specialist: Grant Development
Jenna Daniel serves as the Extension 4-H Specialist for Grant Development for Georgia 4-H and the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. In this role, she works with county personnel to secure funding through grant opportunities.
A native of Kentucky, Jenna was an active 4-H member growing up raising and showing livestock, competing on livestock, meats and skillathon competitive teams, and serving as the state 4-H President. In 2008, Jenna received her Bachelors of Science in Agriculture with a minor in Business Administration from Western Kentucky University. Following graduation, Jenna was accepted as a teaching assistant in the Masters of Agricultural Leadership Program and obtained her degree in 2010.
Jenna began her career with UGA Extension in 2011 in as the Georgia 4-H Program Assistant. She later shifted into the role of Program Coordinator for the AmeriCorps State Grant. In this role she coordinated a federal grant and supported county 4-H faculty with evaluations. In 2012 Jenna transferred to Northeast District as the Walton County 4-H Agent.
Jenna is married to Buck Daniel, metal fabricator and owner of Daniel Metal Works. They reside in Bogart and are the proud parents of a 4 year old son.
Lee Anna Deal4-H Program Development Coordinator:
Lee Anna Deal is the 4-H Program Development Coordinator serving 39 counties in UGA Extension’s Southeast District. As a PDC, Lee Anna provides training, support,and coaching to the 4-H agents, associates, and program assistants in the counteis located in Southeastern Georgia.
Lee Anna started her 4-H journey like many, in 5th grade with a great experience at Cloverleaf Project Achievement and 4-H Camp. She also showed livestock. She was raised on a farm in Bulloch County, GA and became interested in a career with UGA Extension after an intership wtih Bulloch County Extension. She is an alumna of Georgia Southern University. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Development and a MEd in Higher Education Administration.
Prior to joining the SE District team in December 2015, Lee Anna served as the County Extension 4-H Agent in Bulloch County for 10 years. Her Extension career began in 2001 in Glascock, Warren, & McDuffie Counties. She also served as the 4-H Agent in Effingham County. In 2010, Deal was nominated by her peers to receive the William H. Booth Award winning the distinguished honor among 4-H agents in SE District. In 2015, she recieved the Continuing Excellence Award for the Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents. She has also recieved the Achievement in Service and Distinguished Service Awards from the Georgia and National Associations of Extension Agents. She served as the National Chair of the NAE4-HA Professional Development Committee from 2013-2015. She is also a member of Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension Honor Society.
Lee Anna resides in Statesboro, Georgia with her husband Eric, and their two children Addie and Rylan.
Jason EstepExtension Specialist, 4-H Leadership and Civic Engagement Programs
Jason Estep serves as the Extension Specialist for 4-H Leadership and Citizenship Programs. In this role, he coordinates and offers vision for 4-H civic engagement and leadership programs. He hopes to provide valuable support to the hard-working people of 4-H and Extension throughout the state and is always appreciative of input and suggestions.
An active member of the Haralson County 4-H program, Jason grew up on Estep Road outside of Buchanan, GA. He served as an officer at the county and district levels. He is a Master 4-H’er in the areas of General Recreation Project Achievement, State Speech Contest, and National 4-H Conference delegate. Jason also served in the 4-H Summer Camping Program for five summers at both Rock Eagle and Burton 4-H Centers, including two summers as counselor leadership and one summer as the State Camping Program Assistant. After graduating from college, he spent a year as an instructor for the Environmental Education Program at Camp Burton.
Jason attended Oxford College and Emory College of Emory University, earning a B.A. in English and Sociology. He also holds a J.D. with Specialization in International Legal Affairs from Cornell Law School. Before coming to his current position, he practiced law with firms in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, DC. He is now delighted to have the opportunity to serve Georgia 4-H, which has been such a positive influence in his life.
Michaela FontaineState 4-H Events Associate
Michaela Fontaine serves as the State 4-H Events Support Associate. Michaela is from Valdosta, GA and has attended Valdosta State University for the past 3 years. She is currently finishing her degree in emergent media and communications online at VSU. Michaela has also served the past four summers as a Georgia 4-H camp counselor on both Jekyll and Tybee Island. Since the 5th grade Michaela has been involved in multiple Georgia 4-H events and activities, including mastering in Family Resource Management at State Congress in 2014. In her free time, Michaela enjoys hiking, bike riding, and anything outdoors! She also enjoys photography and spending time with her cat.
Tracy FowlerDevelopment Associate
Laura Goss4-H Military Camp Coordinator / 4-H Military Liaison
Laura Goss serves as the 4-H Military Camp Coordinator and 4-H Military Liaison for Georgia 4-H and the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. In this role, she works with county and installation personnel to create and deliver resources for 4-H military programs. She works with 4-H leadership to carryout grants and contracts to support national and state efforts for military youth and families.
Laura is a proud alumnus of the Cherokee County 4-H program where she was active for 8 years. Laura received her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Sciences from the University of Georgia. She began her career with UGA Extension in 2008 as a 4-H Camp Counselor and in 2013 worked with a team of professionals as the Lowndes County 4-H Agent. While there, she established new school programs, a Poultry Judging Team, and several recreational leadership activities for the county and district. In 2017, Laura began work as the 4-H Military Camp Coordinator and in 2020 added the role of 4-H Military Liaison role.
Laura is active in her community wherever that may be as she is an Air Force Spouse; as a result, her community is revolving just like the families she serves. She currently serves as a Key Spouse Mentor for a Security Forces Squadron. Laura and her husband, Jared, love the journey of parenthood and take pleasure in experiencing the world with their son Forest.
Keri HobbsExtension Specialist, 4-H Volunteer Development
Keri Gandy Hobbs serves as the Extension 4-H Specialist for Volunteer Development for Georgia 4-H and the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. In this role, she works with county personnel to create and deliver resources for volunteer leadership and management. As a native of South Georgia and proud alumni of the Turner County 4-H program, Keri received her Master of Public Administration from Valdosta State University and Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Georgia. She began her career with UGA Extension in 2007 in Sumter County as the 4-H Agent. While there she built a strong 4-H program with special focus on volunteer development. Through her efforts she became part of the AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) grant project that is now in its 10th year of funding in Georgia 4-H. In 2012, Keri transferred to Northeast District to become the Jackson County 4-H Agent. She became the Jackson County Extension Coordinator in 2014.
Prior to her career in Extension, Keri served as the Exhibit Interpreter Supervisor and was later promoted to Volunteer Resources Manager for Zoo Atlanta where she managed over 275 adult and teen volunteers who donated 28,000 hours annually. Because of her great success at Zoo Atlanta and certification of Volunteer Management from Leadership 101, Keri served with the Academy for Conservation Training where she developed and delivered a volunteer training curriculum at two locations in China to help them prepare for the Olympics in Beijing. Keri is married to Kelby Hobbs, professionally licensed civil engineer with the National Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. They share a love for music and are the proud parents of two sons.
Craven HudsonExtension Specialist, 4-H Shooting Sports
The son of a former Extension home demonstration agent, Craven Hudson grew up in 4-H. Now he is a State 4-H Specialist.
Hudson’s mother—his original 4-H leader—made sure all four of her sons participated in 4-H because she knew they needed to be involved and engaged in their rural community, he said. “There weren’t all these options that we have now,” explained Hudson. “There was 4-H and baseball.”
Now he’s much farther from his original Red Bank Community 4-H Club and is honored to be leading a new group of more than 184,000 of Georgia’s youth.
Hudson comes to the University of Georgia Extension and Georgia 4-H from North Carolina State University where he served as the executive assistant to the director of Cooperative Extension. He also held the position of executive director of development for 4-H and family and consumer sciences in the NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He brings more than 25 years of Extension experience to the peach state.
“Craven’s background as a county Extension agent and knowledge of fund development and organizational skills will help Georgia 4-H continue to be among the best 4-H programs in the United States,” said State 4-H Leader Arch Smith.
Hudson earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry and wildlife from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a master’s degree in forestry from NC State. He is currently working on a doctorate of education at NC State.
He is excited about the impact he can have on Georgia’s largest youth development organization.
“4-H is a phenomenal part of Extension and it’s the part that can transform the future,” he said. “It helps kids gain exceptional leadership and citizenship skills. Certainly all the other parts are important,but I am excited about being able to focus on what we can do so that our youth can become citzen-leaders. From this administrative role I want to do the most good for our state and nation.”
Hudson’s first goals are to garner more adult volunteer leaders to align with the state’s growing population and increase retention of Cloverleaf 4-H’ers (fifth- through sixth-graders).
He is excited to see the size and scope of Georgia 4-H’s summer camping program.
“We know so many amazing things happen at residential camps,” he said. “The research is pretty strong about what happens when a kid is in that kind of atmosphere and Georgia does it at a high level.”
When asked about moving to the peach state, Hudson said he hasn’t met a stranger yet. “Folks in North Carolina think they’ve got hospitality but I’ve experienced real hospitality in Georgia,” he answered. “And that’s the truth.”
Beth JarrettBusiness Manager
Beth Jarrett serves as the Business Manager for the Georgia 4-H Foundation. Ms. Jarrett has over 30 years of experience in business operations, small business start-ups, financial management, marketing, and business process development. She has worked in a variety of industries including architectural and design services, manufacturing, engineering, and technology.
As the Business Manager for the Georgia 4-H Foundation, she oversees the daily financial transactions, project and financial reporting, account reconciliations for both internally and externally held funds, records management, and audit preparation.
Beth holds a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the University of Georgia, and was pleased to have the opportunity to serve as a co-founder and volunteer for the Jackson County 4-H Robotics Team 4189, in the role of business and marketing mentor.
In her free time, Beth enjoys acrylic painting, yoga, hiking, travel, and spending time with family and friends.
Gracie KuyrkendallState 4-H Events Coordinator
Gracie Kuyrkendall serves as the state 4-H Events Coordinator for Georgia 4-H. In this role, Gracie is responsible for assisting in the planning and coordinating of a wide range of events including the Music Education Matters Summit, Step Up and Lead, Ambassador Training Summit, Weekend in the Classic City, and the Georgia Junior National Livestock Banquet.
Gracie was a Heard County 4-H’er in Franklin, Georgia and was actively involved in her county club. She was a member of Clovers and Company and served as a district and state officer as well as serving on the Georgia 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees. Gracie was a summer camp counselor and leadership counselor at Rock Eagle for four years and spent a fifth summer with Georgia 4-H at Camp Jekyll. She has a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communication from the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and is currently on her way to becoming a double dawg by pursuing a master’s degree in Agricultural and Environmental Education. Before stepping into her current role, Gracie was an admissions counselor for UGA’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. She is also a board member for the Georgia 4-H Counselor Alumni.
Mandy MarableExtension Specialist: 4-H Curriculum and Staff Development
Mandy Burgess Marable serves the State 4-H faculty as Extension Specialist for Curriculum and Staff Development. She joined the State 4-H faculty in 2002. Prior to her appointment as Extension 4-H Specialist, she spent her early career working as a special education coordinator and teacher at Holsenbeck Elementary in Barrow County.
In her role as Extension Specialist, Mandy supports 4-H County Extension Agents by garnering curricula and materials to reach students through 4-H programming. She is also charged with enhancing Georgia 4-H’s long-standing relationship with Georgia’s school systems as we continue to work to be a partner in public education. Mandy coordinates the collective effort of the State 4-H staff to provide staff development for County Extension faculty in the areas of youth development, new agent training, partnerships with public schools, lesson development and curricula implementation, and collaborates with colleagues from around the university, state, and nation to ensure Georgia’s agents have access to the latest staff development materials. Also, Mandy serves as faculty liaison to the State 4-H Advisory committe and 4-H State Afterschool contact.
Mandy is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Masters in Education and also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mercer University where she graduated with cum laude honors. She had the privilege of growing up in the small community of Washington, Georgia where she was actively involved as a Wilkes County 4-H’er and received the outstanding senior 4-H’er award accompanied by the Mitchell Willingham scholarship. Mandy went on to serve four summers in the Georgia 4-H camping program with two summers in leadership positions. She was recognized as a Honorary Master 4-H’er in 1994.
During her career Mandy has been afforded several recognitions to include Holsenbeck Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2000, Barrow County Superintendent’s Council, Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents Outstanding New Agent-State Staff, Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents Achievement in Service Award, Distinguished Service Award for Contributions to the National 4-H Cooperative Curriculum System, and she is a Past President for Georgia’s Alpha Beta Chapter for Epsilon Sigma Phi.
Mandy is actively involved in her community serving in various leadership roles for Antioch Christian Church, past board member and recording secretary for Extra Special People, Inc., past board member for Georgia 4-H Counselor Alumni, past member of Athens Junior Women’s Club, Parent Volunteer for Friendship Presbyterian Preschool and Colham Ferry Elementary School, and an active Alpha Gamma Delta Alumna.
Mandy is married to Brent W. Marable and shares his passion for Agriculture as he serves as Plant Licensing Manager for the Plant Variety Program for The University of Georgia Research Foundation. The Marable’s reside in Brent’s hometown of Watkinsville and are the proud parents of two very busy boys!
Melinda Miller4-H Program Development Coordinator:
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.
Al Parker4-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.
Lori Purcell Bledsoe4-H Program Development Coordinator:
4-H Program Development Coordinator
Lori Purcell Bledsoe serves the State 4-H faculty as 4-H Program Development Coordinator in Northwest District. She joined the State 4-H faculty in 2002. Prior to her appointment as the PDC, she was the 4-H Agent in Rockdale County for five years and was a high school science teacher.
In her role as PDC, Lori supports 4-H County Extension Agents by providing staff development for County Extension faculty in the areas of youth development, new agent training, partnerships with public schools, lesson development and curricula implementation, and program development. Lori also coordinates all district and state events for Northwest District including four project achievement competitions, Junior Conference, and Fall Forum.
Lori is a “triple dawg” graduate of the University of Georgia with a Doctorate of Education, Masters of Agricultural Extension, and a Bachelors of Science. Lori was very active while in college at UGA where she served as President of her sorority, Delta Gamma, and was voted one of the 10 Outstanding Graduating Greeks in 1994. Lori grew up in Lovejoy, Georgia, where her parents still live today. She was an active participant in Henry County 4-H where she served as a county and district officer. Lori went on to serve five summers in the Georgia 4-H camping program with three summers in leadership positions. She was recognized as an Honorary Master 4-H’er in 1997.
During her career Lori has been afforded several recognitions to include Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents Outstanding New Agent, Achievement in Service Award, and Distinguished Service Award. She was also the Outstanding New Professional for Epsilon Sigma Phi. Lori created several programs in Rockdale County where she was recognized on a regional and national level by the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. Lori served as President of the Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents in 2005-2006 and was the 2010-2011 National Association for Extension 4-H Agent’s President . She served on the steering committee for the National 4-H Headquarters National Learning Priorities and helped create the Essential Elements Curriculum.
Lori and her husband, Dennis reside in Jackson, Georgia. They are the proud parents of Luke, born in 2007 and Eli, born in 2010 and Lori enjoys being the step-mother to a soccer loving boy, Jacob.
Libby ShepherdDevelopment Coordinator
Libby Shepherd serves as the Development Coordinator for the Georgia 4-H Foundation. In this role, she works to secure private funding that supports Georgia 4-H programming.
An active Walton County 4-H’er, she mastered in the Dairy and Milk Science project in 2004. Libby also showed registered Jersey dairy cattle and participated in other 4-H activities such as Dairy Quiz Bowl and Target Sports. In 2011, she received her undergraduate degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Georgia. Following graduation, Libby had the privilege of working as a graduate assistant for the Georgia 4-H Foundation while pursuing her Masters of Agricultural Leadership, which she received in 2013.
Previously, Libby worked in higher education fundraising for Georgia College and State University and most recently the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.
Libby is married to Alec Shepherd, CAES Business Analyst for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Business Office. They reside in Athens, Georgia with their two dogs.
Heather K. ShultzExtension Specialist: Livestock and Equine Programs
Heather K. Shultz, joined the Georgia 4-H State Staff Team in December of 2002. Heather was extremely active in the 4-H and FFA programs in California primarily by raising and exhibiting Angus Cattle with her family. In 1998, Heather graduated from the University of California, Fresno where she obtained her degree in Agriculture Communications. At Fresno State, she was the student chairperson for the Red Wave Classic, Steer and Heifer Prospect Show, student chairperson for the Red Wave Classic, Steer, Lamb and Hog Prospect Sale and was a member of the Livestock Judging Team. Heather also was a member of the National Junior Angus Board, where she served as the Communication Chairman.
Upon graduating from Fresno State, Heather went on to serve as the Event Coordinator (Livestock and Equine) at the California State Fair and Exposition in Sacramento, California. During the five years in this position, Heather oversaw both large and small animal exhibitions coordinated the Residue Testing Program, DNA Program and Quality Assurance and Ethics Training Program for exhibitors.
Heather has the opportunity to serve Georgia 4-H as the Program Coordinator I, Livestock Programs. She works diligently with the University of Georgia, Animal and Dairy Science Department and Georgia FFA to offer livestock programs throughout the state of Georgia. She conducts all area and state livestock events, coordinates the Residue Testing Program with the Department of Agriculture for the Georgia Junior National Livestock Show and the Georgia National Fair.
Currently, Heather resides in Jefferson with her husband Todd and their two daughters. When they are not busy at a livestock event, the Shultz Family likes to work on their future farm that is in Madison County.
Michele SvobodaFiscal Affairs Manager
Michele Svoboda serves as the Georgia 4-H Fiscal Affairs Manager. In this role, she assists the State 4-H Leader and two Assistant 4-H Leaders by providing oversight of financial activity and business management functions as they relate to Georgia 4-H, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and the University of Georgia.
In December of 1994, after graduating from Gwinnett Technical College, Michele began working at the University of Georgia. During the earlier part of her career, she worked in the Procurement Office, Department of Child and Family Development and Extension Plant Pathology. In January 2003, Michele transferred to the CAES Business Office accepting the position of Sr. Budget Analyst. The knowledge and relationships that Michele gained while working in the CAES Business Office prepared her tremendously for her role of lead Business Manager with Georgia 4-H, originally taken in April 2009. In 2014, Michele left Georgia 4-H for another opportunity with the State Botanical Garden but soon returned to Georgia 4-H as the Business Manager for the Georgia 4-H Foundation. Now back in the lead Business Manager position for Georgia 4-H, she brings with her the knowledge and experience from every department that connected her to Georgia 4-H.
Michele enjoys spending time with family, camping and traveling. She lives in Statham, GA with her husband Bill and two cats. Michele has a daughter that lives in Vancouver Canada and a son that lives in Homer GA. She also has one grandson and two granddaughters.
Steve WalkerIT Associate Director
Steve coordinates 4-H IT planning and staff activities for the State 4-H Office on UGA’s campus and the five 4-H centers statewide as well as data management for 4-H statewide.
He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from Auburn University in 1988. In 1992, Steve received his MBA from Georgia College and State University, and in 1996 he received a Master of Management Information Systems from GC&SU. Prior to coming to work for The University of Georgia 4-H Program in April of 1998, he had been a faculty member at Georgia College and State University since 1993.
Steve is an avid water skier and former Georgia State Men’s Jump Record Holder. Steve was a professional water ski show performer in Italy, Germany, Japan, and the US. He has two children.
Charlie WurstExtension Specialist, 4-H Summer Camping Programs
Charlie Wurst joined the State 4-H Staff in Georgia as Camping and Natural Resources Specialist on July 1, 2006. This marked a homecoming of sorts for Charlie, who was an active 4-H Club member for eight years in Lincoln County; a Georgia 4-H camp counselor and collegiate 4-H’er while attending the University of Georgia; State 4-H Staff program assistant; and, an active 4-H volunteer leader, serving as advisor for the UGA Collegiate 4-H Club and president of the Georgia 4-H Volunteer Leaders’ Association.
Charlie received his A.B.J. (Journalism) from the University of Georgia in 1985, and, following his stint in the State 4-H Office, went to work for U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, serving as an aide in the senator’s Atlanta office and as North Georgia Field Representative. Charlie stayed connected to UGA after his time in Sen. Nunn’s office by joining the Development office at the University, spending eight years as Director of Development for the School of Law and almost five years as a Regional Director for Principal and Major Gifts.
Charlie remains a true believer in 4-H, and not just because it is his job. “I believe 4-H is one of the very best pathways to success available to our youth, and 4-H camping offers many children their first opportunity to experience a bigger world than they have known previously. “4-H camping helps young people develop emotional intelligence through activities that cannot be conventionally taught but must be experienced.”
Charlie is married to a former 4-H’er and 4-H camp counselor (whom he met at Rock Eagle 4-H Center), has a daughter, 12, who is a 4-H’er, and a daughter, 9, who wants to be a 4-H’er. Time away from work is mostly spent with his family or reading about, watching or even playing some kind of sport. He lives in Athens and is an active member of Tuckston United Methodist Church and the Athens Area Walk to Emmaus community.