Georgia 4-H program could come to an end -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia 4-H program could come to an end

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

COOK COUNTY, GA (WALB) –As part of those deep higher education spending cuts, popular 4-H programs statewide could come to an end.

Doing away with 4-H is part of the proposed cuts. A lot of people aren't happy with it.

This is one of Cook Middle School teacher Jeff McClean's agriculture classes. He says out of the approximately 125 students he teaches, around 80 are 4-Hers. The thought of losing the 4-H program upsets him and the superintendent.

"In Cook County it would be devastating, but statewide it's just really hard for me to comprehend us not having a 4-H program that's been around for a hundred years," said Cook County Schools Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield.

Dr. Rayfield grew up in Alabama and was a member himself later becoming a 4-H agent in Tifton.

"The interview right now we're doing, that's where you learn those skills, public speaking, leadership communication," Dr. Rayfield. "You learn those skills in 4-H."

A seventh grade 4-Her also says getting rid of 4-H is a bad idea.

 "I think it's preposterous really because many people are going to lose jobs and everything," said 4-Her Katlyn Anderson. "It's going to lay off tons of workers and it'll be harder for them to find a job."

A facebook group has been made titled "Stop UGA from cutting 4-H" and gubernatorial candidate Austin Scott is a 4-H advocate. His web page says that the high school graduation rate of 4-Hers is 92 percent.

Many South Georgian grew up with 4-H club programs. They say it has an impact on the economy and on agricultural education.

"You learn so much responsibility you learn about helping others and leadership tons of things like that because 4-H's motto is make the best better," said Anderson.

The Georgia 4-H programs reach more than 156,000 young people each year.

Eliminating all Georgia 4-H programs would cut 116-jobs, including 94 County 4-H agents.

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