Name: Annette Brown
Current Position Title: Region 8 4-H Youth Development Program Specialist
Hometown: Shenandoah, Iowa
Education Background: B.S. from Iowa State University in Adult and Secondary Family and Consumer Sciences Education; M.S. from Iowa State University in Family Studies
Past Work experiences: Student teaching in Nome, Family and Consumer Sciences teacher in Forest City and Lake Mills Iowa
Hobbies/Interests: spending time with daughters’ and their activities, supporting Iowa 4-H Camp
Your Ultimate Goal in working with 4-H: My ultimate goal is to help youth have many opportunities to learn and experience the variety of what 4-H has to offer so they will develop leadership, citizenship, communication, and personal life management skills as well as gain knowledge in the areas they choose to explore.
Annette was a 6 year 4-H’er in the Tarkio Blue Belles 4-H Club in Page County, Iowa (where 4-H originated), and enjoyed project areas like Dairy Cattle, Clothing, Home Improvement, Food & Nutrition, Leadership, and Child Development. She worked at the Montgomery County Extension office for 4 summers while a student at Iowa State University which gave her a basis for wanting a career in Extension.
When discussing Annette’s favorite part of her job she told me that she loves the variety and flexibility that Extension offers. There are so many youth development opportunities to encourage youth to be involved in, and she loves teaching in the non-formal learning environment that 4-H Extension programs are based upon. She said, “I enjoy facilitating Challenge and leadership building activities. I also have a passion for the Iowa 4-H Camping Center and try to get youth and families to experience what the camp offers. I have had many opportunities to grow personally and professionally because Extension is about education. The greatest rewards are seeing young people become involved and to see them grow through their 4-H experiences. Equally rewarding is the value of the volunteers that dedicate their time and talents to guide youth through 4-H.”
Annette enjoys the 4-H Camping center because it is nearby in Boone County where she tries to get as many people to go to the camp as she can through leading a junior 4-H Camp for the counties she serves. “My daughters have grown to love the camp as well, we enjoy going to family camps and they enjoy attending camps every summer”, Annette told me.
What does 4-H mean to Annette? It means a life building and changing experience for youth that helps them develop skills they will use in the present as well as into the future.