• 73°

Nevins on board as new 4-H youth agent

Reid Nevins was the “right man for the job” after beating out 22other applicants to become the new Youth Agent with the LincolnCounty Cooperative Extension Service.

Nevins, 23, graduated from Mississippi State in December andbegan his new duties May 1. He believes his time working as anintern with the Lowndes County Extension Service was beneficial inseeking the Lincoln County posting.

“That pushed me ahead,” Nevins said of his experience dealingwith the parents, volunteers and children.

He also drew from his childhood and a love of agriculture toearn the position.

Nevins, a native of Hamilton in northeast Mississippi, grew upgrowing corn and cotton and believes the invaluable experience ofhard work can be translated into impacting lives of youngpeople.

“We teach stuff that the school doesn’t offer,” Nevins said. “Alot of kids don’t even know where their food comes from.”

Nevins hopes to change that by utilizing different programs togenerate interest in 4-H.

One such program he hopes will generate interest is the fieldand stream event, a marksmanship competition currently not offeredthrough Lincoln County 4-H. The field and stream event allowsyoungsters to fire rifles, shotguns and bows and arrows attargets.

“It takes a lot of practice and it is very competitive,” Nevinssaid.

Marksmanship skills were more prominent when youth were moreinvolved in an agricultural environment, Nevins said.

“Twenty-five to 40 years ago, all of the kids’ parents grew upon farms. Kids were around farms and grew up on farms,” Nevinssaid. “Nowadays things are moving from a rural setting. It is a wayof life that is dying.”

Although 4-H participants compete showing cows and horses,contestants also give speeches and work to build self confidence,which carries over into all other areas of life.

“It helps them get along well with other people,” Nevins said.”It helps build self esteem.”

Nevins believes his first year will be challenging andrewarding.

“This first year is going to be a learning experience,” he said.”I’ve been out in the county introducing myself to people for thelast couple of weeks. I like working with young people and I likehelping people.”

Nevins will have plenty of opportunity to help youth and toshare a love of agriculture. He will take 4-H club members to the4-H Club Congress on the campus of Mississippi State University inStarkville May 30-June 1.