County to meet new 4-H extension agent

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 9, 2000

The county’s extension advisory committee recommended Ms.

Tuesday, May 09, 2000

The county’s extension advisory committee recommended Ms. Murphy last week after interviewing her and one other candidate, committee member and county commissioner Paul Herrell said.

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The Ohio State University Extension officials offered her the job based on the local recommendation, Herrell said.

"She has been around here most of her life," Herrell said, adding that Ms. Murphy grew up in Lawrence County. "I can remember when she was in 4-H. I think she will do a great job for our kids."

Ms. Murphy currently serves as Athens County 4-H agent.

She said she looks forward to working with Lawrence County’s 4-H members and advisers soon.

The 4-H mission is one of youth development, which comes through helping kids become capable, caring and contributing citizens in society, she said.

"It made me, gave me direction in life and shaped my goals."

Now, Ms. Murphy said she wants to bring those personal experiences back home.

Ms. Murphy grew up in South Point with her mother and father, Jane and Lawrence Murphy.

Before she was a teenager, she brought home a little bottle lamb that sparked her interest in agriculture, she said.

The family soon moved to a farm five miles north of Ironton on Ohio 141, which became known around the area as Sheep Farm Hill, Ms. Murphy said.

She kept up with local 4-H for about 11 years while her parents served as club advisers.

Ms. Murphy graduated from Dawson-Bryant High School then entered The Ohio State University where "4-H decided my major," she said.

The future agent earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science and agricultural education in 1988.

At first, Ms. Murphy wanted to work in the agriculture research field, but that career didn’t win out over her love of the 4-H program, she said.

"I’ve always felt strongly about 4-H," she said. "I could never see myself doing anything else now."

She became the Athens County 4-H agent in 1997. Ms. Murphy also served on Ohio Beef Council and in several other state commodity groups.

"You know, there’s a time in your life when you want to go home," she said about her move back to Lawrence County.

Once here, Ms. Murphy wants to let clubs and the public know that 4-H is not an out-of-date organization.

There are plenty of projects for any subject, or extension leaders can help develop something new for a club member to enjoy, she said.

"4-H makes good leaders, teaches you to communicate and to make good decisions, and shows there is a future for you "

Ms. Murphy’s task during her first few weeks on the job will be organizing volunteers, she said.

"You can’t run a successful program without volunteers, and my job is to provide them with what they need," she said.

Then, it’s on to 4-H camp and the Lawrence County Fair in July.

Ms. Murphy also is pursuing her master’s degree in human and community resources and development, formerly called agricultural education.