Mocksville, NC (July 19, 2019) – Incredibly exciting and creative work can be done when your passions and your day job line align. For Taylor Jenkins, her role as Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development, is a combination of what she loves, what she’s studied and now, what she does day-to-day.
Jenkins grew up in Johnson County, North Carolina where she was an active member of the 4-H horse club and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. She immersed herself into 4-H and competed in all of the equine educational events: horse bowl, hippology, horse judging and team demonstration.
"Personally, 4-H helped me learn to present myself with confidence and poise and to speak in front of a crowd. 4-H gave me opportunities to participate in activities, community service projects, and more that aided me when applying to college,” Jenkins said. “Overall, I was able to become a well-rounded youth, student, and now professional because of what I had the opportunity to experience in 4-H.”
When the time for college came, she moved a little ways down the road, followed the brickyard and attended N.C. State University. In May of 2017, she received her B.S. degree in Animal Science and minors in Agricultural Business Management and Extension Education.
But after four years in the classroom, she ultimately decided that vet school was not the direction she would go, however, she would use her passion for animal science and agriculture in a different way.
Two years later, Taylor married her husband Harrison and moved to his hometown, Statesville, NC. This transition placed Taylor in the optimal position to be integrated into Davie County’s Cooperative Extension and 4-H roles.
Jenkins describes Cooperative Extension as “an incredibly useful and valuable resource for communities". Extension compiles information and research discovered by the land grant universities, N.C. State and NC A&T, into digestible packages for residents, farmers and community members.
"If someone has a question about what kind of flower would grow best in their yard, Cooperative Extension can help. If someone needs help finding quick, easy, and healthy recipes to feed their family, Cooperative Extension can help.”
4-H is the world’s largest youth organization and as an arm of Cooperative Extension, it encompasses curriculum in an array of areas, from STEM to agriculture to life skills and more. As the Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development, her responsibility to Davie County is to provide the 4-H programming for youth in Davie.
"In my 4-H realm, we help develop skills in youth that may not be developed anywhere else. My job is essentially to take the needs of the county in regards to youth development and provide programs and outreach that meet those needs.” Jenkins is already looking ahead and excited about the programs that are on the calendar for the youth in Davie County. “I’m pumped for embryology! That is a program where we partner with 2nd-grade classrooms in the county to learn about the development and hatch chicks!”
Aside from her history with 4-H, her academic expertise in agriculture education or her current role as an Extension Agent, Taylor works alongside her husband and his family on their farm. “We grow corn, soybeans, and wheat, and also operate chicken houses. My husband and I also raise a small Katahdin sheep flock for meat.”
Day in and day out, Taylor is surrounded by agriculture, animals and constantly looking for new ways to dive into what she loves. If you have any questions about 4-H, ideas for programs or opportunities to offer, she asks that you reach out to her via email at email@example.com or phone at 336-753-6100.
"I'm so passionate about 4-H and what it has the power to transform in children! I’m a believer in its value, I’m a product of it myself, and want as many Davie County youth to be able to experience the opportunities 4-H provides.”