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Search begins for new local 4-H agent

The Ohio State University Extension officials and local leaders are searching for a new Lawrence County 4-H/agriculture extension agent in the wake of Paula Davis’s resignation.

Wednesday, March 29, 2000

The Ohio State University Extension officials and local leaders are searching for a new Lawrence County 4-H/agriculture extension agent in the wake of Paula Davis’s resignation.

They hope to have a new agent in place by mid-May, county 4-H program assistant Debbie Carpenter said.

"The process of finding an agent has begun and everything is going as planned," Mrs. Carpenter said.

"We have great hopes that someone will fill the position soon so there is not a big lapse without an agent," she said.

Ms. Davis left March 15, moving to Florida where her fiance, a wildlife biologist, resides, Mrs. Carpenter said.

"She’s hoping to assume a 4-H agent’s job there," Mrs. Carpenter added.

Acting OSU extension district director Don McFetters met with Lawrence County office staff and county commissioners last week, one of the first steps in hiring a new agent.

OSU officials will screen applicants in mid-April to narrow the field of candidates to three or four qualified individuals, McFetters said.

Those candidates will then visit Lawrence County to appear before a local selection team, he said.

"I think we will get some good applicants," said commissioner Paul Herrell, who will sit on the selection team with the other commissioners.

"I’d like to see us take our time and really select somebody that will work with these kids," Herrell said. "This is a very important position."

Herrell has been involved with 4-H in one way or another since he was 12 years old, and now his granddaughters are in 4-H, he said.

"One’s taking sheep, another is taking hogs, the others are taking steer and rabbits," he added. "And I have another who’s 1 year old. She’s not old enough, but she’ll be there one day."

Herrell said he would like to find an agent who works well with children, knows what an agent’s job means and has an understanding of grant writing.

Several strong candidates have been identified already, Mrs. Carpenter said.

And a new agent is not chosen without a lot of input, she said.

Once the screening process ends, personal interviews are conducted by extension officials in Columbus, Mrs. Carpenter said.

Several of the top candidates will come to Lawrence County April 20 for interviews with the selection team, she said.

The three local extension office staff members, commissioners, representatives of the extension horse, livestock, advisory and 4-H committees, a representative of Family and Children First, Lawrence County Fair Board members and others make up the local selection team.

"What happens when we do it this way is we get input from everyone who might work with the 4-H agent," Mrs. Carpenter said.

The target date to have a new agent in place is May 15, she said.

Local office staff will take care of 4-H club work and county fair preparations until the new agent arrives, she added.