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.