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From the Extension Agent – busy start to 2020

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PICT 11J1 Tearle Lessenden
Tearle Lessenden

Hello, everyone!

I know it has been a month, but that doesn’t mean we have not been busy. You may think it is a slow time of year for 4-H and the Extension office, which is somewhat true. This is the time of year that we are busy planning and getting ready for our fast-paced time of year. 

I have been honored to be the District VI Superintendent for the shooting sports competition later this year. In early January, a meeting was held to start the process of organizing all the plans for the competition. Shooting sports leaders from all the area counties came together to get the ball rolling. I am thankful for these leaders as they help with the workload to make events happen. 

January 25 found Emily Nelson and I traveling to Denver to attend the annual Leadership Development Conference, with Chase Stolzenberger joining us after a wrestling tournament. LDC is a leadership development conference for Colorado 4-H members, ages 14 to 19, to provide educational and challenging experiences that will enable young people to become knowledgeable and skilled in their selected areas. The Keynote speaker was Colorado State University’s Blake Naughton, the new Vice President for Engagement and Extension. He spoke of being a quiet young man while in school, wanted nothing more than to do his work. That changed when he was challenged by a teacher to do something out of his comfort zone, and then attending college 1,500 miles away from home. This helped him to open up while still listening and trying to understand the vast experiences of others. He was a great speaker that used his own life challenges to connect with the 4-H members. 

We also visited the State Capital Building and met with Representatives Holtorf and Pelton. They both expressed the importance of youth development that 4-H brings to young people in the state. We then watched the opening of the House proceeding for the day, in which 4-H members where recognized.

The first week of February was also a busy one with a County 4-H Council and Fair Board meeting to attend. 

February 4, all the southeast area agents in Rocky Ford met with CSU’s new President, Joyce McConnell; Chancellor, Tony Frank, and Vice President for Engagement and Extension, Blake Naughton. They have been visiting offices and agents across the state addressing concerns and needs of not only extension, but also counties. It was great to see the leaders from CSU come out to our rural part of the state and visit with all of us. 

That same weekend found Clayton Nelson and I headed to Larkspur to attend Youth Fest. When we left Eads, the sun was shining, but the further we went, the worse the weather got.  By the time we arrived at Ponderosa Retreat Center there was six inches of snow greeting us.   The weather did not dampen the excitement of youth. This was a great camp. Its theme was “Surviving Leadership.” The workshops where lead by the 4-H State Officer team. It was a great experience for the young 4-H members to realize the possibilities for their future.  

As February ends, I will be very busy. I want to remind members that beef weigh in will be February 28from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Kiowa County Fairgrounds pavilion. 

March 1 is the last day to enroll in 4-H to be eligible to show at the county and state fairs. If you have a child who is interested, you can enroll them at, or call or stop by the office in the Kiowa County Courthouse in Eads and we can help you.