Arch Smith

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.

Sue Chapman, Ed.D.

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.

Melanie Biersmith

Melanie Biersmith serves as Associate State 4-H Leader and has since 2018.  In this role, she is responsible for the operation of the 4-H facilities across Georgia: 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, Georgia 4-H at Camp Jekyll, and 4-H Tidelands Nature Center on Jekyll Island.  She also provides leadership to the residential programs that operate out of the 4-H facilities including the 4-H Environmental Education program and the 4-H summer camping program.

She holds the faculty rank of Senior Public Service Associate at the University of Georgia and is a recipient of the 2017 Walter Barnard Hill Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service and Outreach.  She has also been recognized as Facilitator of the Year for three environmental education curricula: Project WET (2002), Project WILD (2017), and Project Learning Tree (2019).

She started her career with UGA Extension on Jekyll Island in 2003.  She first served as 4-H Environmental Education Coordinator and then 4-H Center Director.  In 2008, she transitioned to the state 4-H staff where she served as Extension 4-H Specialist for Science and Environmental Education until 2018.

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 is a high school science teacher in Morgan County. Together, they are raising two children.

Adam Baynes

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
network administration.

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.

Johnathon Barrett

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.

Lori Bledsoe, Ed.D.

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.

Kasey Bozeman

Kasey Bozeman serves as the Extension 4-H Specialist for Science Programs with Georgia 4-H. Kasey develops, implements, and evaluates state-level 4-H science programs, including Mission Make-It: The Georgia 4-H Engineering Challenge, the Georgia 4-H Technology Summit, STEM Ambassadors, Pollinator Ambassadors, and Wildlife Ambassadors.  Additionally, Kasey trains and supports county-based faculty in science programming and creating curricula and other materials to address science and STEM programs.  Kasey also serves as the Lead State Advisor to National 4-H Council’s Tech Changemakers program, providing content and technical assistance to 1862 institutions implementing the project.

From 2011-2019, Kasey served as the Liberty County Extension Coordinator and 4-H Youth Development Agent. In this role, she planned and taught 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 Brown, Ph.D.

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.