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Booker new agent for 4H, Family and Consumer Sciences

By Staff, 10/4/17 2:21 PM

SHELBI BOOKER 002

PRESCOTT – Shelbi Booker is the new County Extension Agent for 4-H Family and Consumer Sciences.

The 2012 graduate of Prescott High School earned her degree in agriculture science from Southern Arkansas University where her focus was on animal science. After graduation, she got a job in Little Rock, but wanted to come back home.

Darren Neal, county agent, gave her a call letting her know there was a position open in the Prescott office. She applied and the rest, as it’s said, is history as she was hired. Booker said there’s more to 4-H than just the agriculture side. She said there are four clubs locally and her goal is to strengthen these clubs while working to add more.

Booker visits the Prescott and Nevada school districts on a weekly basis working with students on different projects. She talked about how students 10 and 11 years old are now working with robotics and discuss gear ratio the way others talk about statistics from athletic teams. I didn’t think I’d like teaching, but I do. I enjoy going to the schools.”

This job, Booker said, popped up at the right time as she was ready to return home, having decided life in Little Rock wasn’t for her. “I’d been looking for several months.” She said she understands how it’s hard for some to come from city life to a small town. “I can see it being hard for some coming here. A lot of people in extension take jobs and stay at them until they can get closer to home. I was lucky this came open when it did.”

One of Booker’s goals with 4-H is to do more with the science and technology side of things, getting the members more involved with things like robotics and coding. However, she pointed out, one of the problems is finding club leaders to help guide and teach the members in these areas. She also wants to increase the scope of 4-H and include such clubs and programs as public speaking, leadership and citizenship, acknowledging these are taught in school, but adding schools are limited in what they can do. Booker said it’s important for young people to know about citizenship and public service and what it means to get involved and give back to the community.

“I’d like for 4-H to do more in community service and have more of a presence; let people know 4-H exists. It helps being in a club,” she continued, “as you get experience working with people. Young people today need more socialization and to see other walks of life. Some are sheltered and need to broaden their horizons.”

At this time, she said, the 4-H has livestock and craft clubs, but more clubs are needed, which means more leaders are needed as well. Booker wants the new clubs to offer more life skills to the members. Most of the clubs, she added, meet once a month, and all are required to meet a minimum of six times a year. One problem is getting young people to come to meetings.

“I want to show young people there’s a world out there and they’re not tied to one place. In coming back, I many not know everyone, but I know someone in their family and they probably know someone in mine. Even when I was in Little Rock, Prescott was still home. I’m here for good. This is where I want to be.”

Booker is the daughter of Corinna and Jerry Booker. She has 36-acres and one Charlais cow, planning on expanding her “herd”, which will likely be primarily made up of Angus cattle, but always with a smattering of Charlais. She also has a dog and cat.

 

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