Expanding Horizons and Teaching Work Ethics
Jackson County 4-H volunteer club leader Terri Hardin wears many hats. From working with youth at Golson Elementary School to working on her family ranch in Grand Ridge, Terri is one busy lady! Somehow though she manages to find time to meet with the youth in the Country Bumpkins 4-H Club she started five years ago. The club meets monthly at a community center in Cypress in East Jackson County.
Terri moved to Jackson County from Oxford, Texas in 2005 and is married to Jerry Hardin. They have two daughters and two sons. Daughter Gerri participated in 4-H and FFA and is now pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Art at Florida State University. Daughter Faith is a sophomore at Marianna High School and is also in 4-H and FFA. Son Sheldon is a supervisor at a lumber company and son Tyler manages a recycling facility in Arizona. Terri is also expecting her first grandchild in August.
Terri did not participate in 4-H or FFA growing up. However, since coming to Florida, along with her work with Jackson County 4-H, she has volunteered with the FFA Chapter of Sneads, helped start the Grand Ridge FFA Alumni and served as president for three years. She helped reactivate the Marianna FFA Alumni and currently serves as president.
The youth in Terri’s 4-H club have opportunities to explore any project they want. Their projects range from poultry and livestock production, exhibition and judging to geo caching. Terri also makes sure that her youth know the value of giving back. They do multiple community service projects each year that include tree planting, cleanup of local parks, collecting books and collecting food for local food pantries. Terri and her club contributed clothing for adults and children during Jackson 4-H’s efforts to help victims of Hurricane Irma in 2017.
When asked what drives Terri to do volunteer work 4-H she shared, “The need to help children expand their point of views, hopefully instill good work ethics, get them outdoors, and show them there is a much bigger world out there.”
Terri’s inspiration is the need she sees to help youth and adults who are less fortunate and to improve the community she lives in. Terri’s 4-H volunteer work meets the needs of those who might not have that opportunity otherwise. That much is evident in the number of youth who have been a part of Terri’s 4-H club and their accomplishments.
Terri shared that she has seen evidence of growth and development in the youth she has worked with over the past five years in their maturity, their ability to get along with others and the fact that they have stepped outside their comfort zones by exploring and expanding their fields of interest.
Terri sees the need for 4-H volunteers in her community and schools. She suggests that anyone interested in 4-H consider volunteering at a school to see the needs that young people have and the guidance they need to succeed in today’s world.
Jackson 4-H is fortunate to have Terri working with youth and adults to help “make the best better”!
4-H offers a broad spectrum of projects and activities to serve a variety of interests, skills, and knowledge. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about 4-H, contact your local Extension Office.