Friday, February 23, 2024

4-H and FFA Leadership Gift


RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina 4-H and North Carolina FFA each received a $45,000 gift to further their mission of developing future leaders in a presentation Feb. 2 at the Southern Farm Show in Raleigh.

The money, presented in the form of a $90,000 check to be shared equally between the two organizations, is the proceeds from Pull for Youth fundraisers organized by AgCarolina Farm Credit and AgSouth Farm Credit. NC State University faculty and staff coordinate programming for each entity.

“We understand the importance of keeping young people engaged in agriculture, and 4-H and FFA are great vehicles to do that,” said Vance Dalton, president and chief executive officer of AgSouth Farm Credit. “We want to support their efforts so that we can keep young people wanting to come back to farming and to our rural communities where they can live and thrive. The other piece is the leadership skills they learn. Agriculture needs a voice, and the leaders that will carry that voice are being trained now through FFA and 4-H. By investing in them, we’re investing in agriculture and investing in our future.”

Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina inaugurated the Pull for Youth fundraisers six years ago. Participants enjoy a day of shooting sporting clays while contributing to the future of agriculture in North Carolina.

“I’m so appreciative of the people who invest in our youth and the future generation,” said Garey Fox, dean of NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). “The investment in youth, the investment in our 4-H and our FFA leaders, is so important. Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in the state of North Carolina. Students want to go into areas where they’re going to be able to make an impact on society. When you look at the need to feed a growing population in North Carolina, agriculture is a career where they can know the impact that they’re having.”

North Carolina 4-H was represented by state president Jo Sundbom from Edgecombe County; member engagement officer Emma Haynes, who lives in Granville County and participates in 4-H in Franklin County; and state reporter Jacob Hanlon from Burke County.

“It means a lot,” said Haynes, who plans to pursue a degree and career in animal science. “Without donor support, we wouldn’t be able to go to events, we wouldn’t be able to grow as leaders. So it’s really beneficial.”

North Carolina FFA was represented by state president Madaline Chandler and vice presidents Sydney Whichard and Hailey Eason. Whichard and Eason are currently CALS students studying agricultural education.

“I think I can speak for FFA and 4-H that we would not be as successful as we are if it wasn’t for the support of partners like Farm Credit,” said Joshua Bledsoe, state agricultural education leader and FFA advisor. “Our job ultimately is to provide life-changing experiences that connect young people to careers in agriculture and Farm Credit helps us do that. Not only do they give financial aid to help us support our mission, they also are involved in a lot of our events. They serve as judges and volunteers. It’s a great partnership that we have with them.”

North Carolina 4-H, coordinated by NC State Extension, serves nearly 200,000 youth in all 100 counties across North Carolina and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for youth between the ages of 5-19. Activities include community and project clubs, special interest programs, school enrichment programs and afterschool programs.

In past years, NC 4-H utilized funds from the Pull for Youth events to renovate the dining hall at Camp Millstone.

“It really helps with the types of programs we can offer, and the number of programs,” said Mike Yoder, 4-H state program leader. “This has been a great partnership. We certainly appreciate all they have done for 4-H.”

North Carolina FFA is made up of 338 chapters and more than 30,000 students from middle school to high school across the state. FFA prepares members for leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Funds from the Pull for Youth events are being used for a new cottage at the North Carolina FFA Center at White Lake in Bladen County.

Discover how you can support 4-H and FFA and help develop the next generation of leaders.

–Simon Gonzalez, N.C. State University

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Betsy's Bash


Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center logo, with a green 4-H clover next to "60th"

You're Invited to Betsy's Bash and the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center!

Friends and Family,

Tickets are available now for the second annual Betsy's Bash! The 2024 Bash will also celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Penn 4-H Center and will be a truly spectacular event that you don't want to miss!

Date: Saturday, May 18th, 2024
Time: 4:00 - 8:00 pm EST
Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center, 804 Cedar Lane, Reidsville NC 27320

This second annual celebration and fundraising event will honor the legacy and impact of Mrs. Betsy Penn and her vision for a 4-H Center focused solely on the health, wellbeing, and education of the youth of North Carolina.

Your $50 event ticket will include a meal, a s'mores dessert, adult beverages, and live music from the Sassafras Bluegrass Band. 

All proceeds from the event will support the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center.

If you would like to support the center by becoming an event sponsor, please refer to our sponsor packet for more information on sponsor levels and benefits.

For questions, please contact the center at 336-349-9445 or by email to Center Director Stacy Burns at

With Gratitude,

Penn's Pals 

Purchase Tickets
Become a Sponsor
Our Website
Invitation to Betsy's Bash with the Center logo that reads "You're Invited. Betsy's Bash & 60th Anniversary Celebration. A celebration & fundraising event in support of the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center. Saturday, May 18th, 2024. Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Center. 4-8pm. 804 Cedar Lane, Reidsville, NC.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Summer Camp Scholarship Opportunity thru State Employee's Credit Union

 2024 Summer Camp Award


Share your Summer Camp Wish for a Chance to Win!

FAT CAT® and Zard® members can enter for a chance to win $500 toward summer camp registration fees. Here's How:

Complete the application form below, and share your child's dream summer camp experience through one of the following ways:

Submit an original drawing that illustrates what they want to do at camp, or

Write of an essay (250 words or less) telling us about their camp dreams. Once the application below has been completed, email the essay or a photo of the drawing with your completed publicity and waiver release form to

Please share the following:

Summer Camp Award


Share your Summer Camp Wish for a Chance to Win!

FAT CAT® and Zard® members can enter for a chance to win $500 toward summer camp registration fees. Here's How:

Complete the application form below, and share your child's dream summer camp experience through one of the following ways:

Submit an original drawing that illustrates what they want to do at camp, or

Write of an essay (250 words or less) telling us about their camp dreams. Once the application below has been completed, email the essay or a photo of the drawing with your completed publicity and waiver release form to

Applications can be found at:

Submissions are limited to one per child

Summer Camp Award

Applications and drawings/essays must be submitted by February 24, 2024.

The child must be enrolled? in a summer camp or enrichment program for Summer 2024. View the Official Cont Rules for FAT CAT and Zard.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Nice to Meet You, My Name is....

    This article was written by our own Jade McNeill, 4-H Program Assistant, for the Robesonian and can be found at as well as on the NC Cooperative Extension website at:  

I would like to introduce myself; my name is Jade McNeill, I am the NEW 4-H Program Assistant with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, and I am so excited to be back in 4-H!

A little bit about myself; I graduated from Appalachian State University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management and a Minor in Commercial Photography.

I have worked from the mountains to the sea, and now I am back working in my hometown. I am excited to bring my skills to this position. I hope to further my education at NC State University so I can gain more knowledge with N.C Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center.

I am a 4-H alum from Robeson County, how cool is that? I have previous work experience in 4-H. I grew up surrounded by agriculture and farm life. One of my favorite 4-H memories as a child would be raising and showing a beef heifer from my family’s farm at the Robeson County Fair. Fun fact – I still have my ribbons from the fair, and they are displayed in my 4-H office! Raising and showing the cow, which I named Fiona, taught me a lot of responsibility at such a young age. My dad and I had to catch the heifer in the pasture; we had to halter break her; then she had to learn to trust us, so I could walk her around. We kept her in a fence at my house. I fed her twice a day and had to clean her pen. I had to walk, train, wash, and brush her. While raising her, I also had to do a project record book. You may be wondering what a project record book is. The 4-H program has a long history of record keeping. In 4-H, young people track their activities, events, skill development, learning experiences, and much more using the 4-H project record book. I showed Fiona in the fair and it was a great experience. I came in 3rd, Fiona came in 3rd, and my Project Record Book came in 1st.

When I was younger, I used to sell blueberries and honey at the Robeson County Farmers Market on the corner of 8th and Elm Street During the summers, I would pick blueberries on a one-acre field, put them in containers and set up at the Farmers Market every Wednesday and Saturday. I did this from the age of 10 to 18. Blueberries and honey helped pay for college and gave me a great appreciation of the farmers market.

I am married to my best friend Lucas, and we have two beautiful children together. Family means the world to me. I love traveling, exploring new places, and photography. I hope to teach a photography program in the future.

My goals for my position are to gain more 4-H members, come up with new programs, and learn what the community would like for the youth. So if you read this article, I challenge you to email me with your thoughts and ideas. I am here for the youth and community.

I will be concentrating on 4-H Clubs and county programs. If you are interested in 4-H Clubs, programs, or volunteering please reach out to me, I will be glad to assist you!

For more information, contact Wendy Maynor, Extension 4-H Youth Development Program Assistant, at 910-671-3276, by Email at, or visit our website at

NC State University and N.C. A&T State University are collectively committed to positive action to secure equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, and veteran status. NC State, N.C. A&T, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension is a strategic partnership of NC State Extension, The Cooperative Extension Program at N.C. A&T State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), and local government partners statewide. Extension delivers research-based education and technology from NC State and N.C. A&T that enriches the lives, land, and economy of North Carolinians. Extension professionals in all 100 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee provide educational programs specializing in agriculture, youth, communities, health, and the environment.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

4-H Embryology and Butterfly Bonanza


It's that time of year for our second and third grade teachers.  That time where little chickens get to hatch and butterflies will come out of their cocoons announcing spring and a fun way to learn about life cycles.  Life cycles is a second and third grade curriculum that 4-H offers in the school system each year.  Please note due to limitations on curriculum it is open to the first 27 that sign up.  Also note we will be offering two rounds of the curriculum:  Round 1 is March 4-April 4 and Round 2 is April 15-May 15.  You are more than welcome to do both but we ask that you sign up to do one curriculum during round 1 and other other during round 2 to give the optimum number of classrooms this opportunity.

  How this works is that we will train the teachers to implement the curriculum and how to use the equipment.  We will loan you what you need and supplement with our juried research based experiential curriculum and daily videos.  We will have as much fun as you are willing to have with this curriculum and your students will remember the experience for a lifetime.

You can register using the links below or by going to our 4-H app under programs and signing up there.  Our 4-H app is a free download from your app store.  Just search for 4-H Now! and download our clover.  When you open the app you can click on Robeson County 4-H and have everything 4-H at your fingertips.

Dates:  Round 1-March 4-April 4

Round 2-April 15-May 15

Teacher training for both curriculum March 4 at 4pm via Zoom

Registration link for Embryology:

Registration link for Butterfly Bonanza:

If you have questions about this project please feel free to call myself or Jade McNeill at (910) 671-3276.  You can also email us at or  

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

4-H Clubs


Folks 2024 is going wild and our 4-H club leaders are finishing up paperwork and getting ready to rock and roll with this year's meetings.

Our first 4-H club of 2024 meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 27 starting at 6:30 pm.  This will be the organizational meeting for Young Leaders 4-H Club.  Members will meet to set their calendar, talk about officers, and have an activity.  If you are a member or interested in becoming a member of this club please attend their club meeting on February 27.  You can register on our app under programs or by clicking on this link:

We will have registration information soon for Dirty Rascals Jr. Master Gardeners and Titans 4-H Club.  So check back to the blog soon.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Training Opportunity for 4-H Adult Volunteers and Advisory Members


NC Cooperative Extension has created a new tool for folks working closely with Extension, such as our advisory members and volunteers to gain an overview of Extenion's Civil Rights Responsibilities.

We are asking you to join us for one of two possible training options. The first will be virtual via Zoom, led by our own County Extension Director, Mac Malloy on February 13 from 7-7:30pm. The second option will be a hybrid option, led by our 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent, Shea Ann DeJarnette, from 12:15-12:45 at the NC Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center office (455 Caton Road, Lumberton, NC 28360) or via Zoom. Feel free to grab your lunch and join us as we review these new and important materials.

This training is free and highly encouraged for all Extension Advisory and volunteers.  To register you can go to our app under programs or click on this link: