Do you remember being told when younger that the older you get the quicker time goes by? I know that I do. I also was trying to think of items of interest with Bradley County government that may have a correlation with this number and time of year and was instantly reminded of a very valuable part of our local and state government that quietly goes about enriching the lives of many of our residents — 4-H. Those three symbols — a numeral, a dash and a letter — represent professionals who are part of a program that do more each day across a wide segment of our population than many in our community probably ever realize.
This entity is an outreach program of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture that provides research-based solutions and information to the citizens of Tennessee. UT Extension serves the citizens of Bradley County with education programs in the areas of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, Community Resource Development and 4-H Youth Development.
For 100 years, 4-H has been influencing lives for the better; 4-H stands for head, heart, hands and health. It has 6 million young people nationwide and approximately 3,000 school-aged children enrolled in membership in Bradley County as of 2010. If you have children who may be interested in joining or if you have a desire in helping as a volunteer, there is a place for you here to become involved. The Bradley County Extension Office is located at 95 Church St. S.E. in historic downtown Cleveland. The phone number is 423-728-7004 and hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
We have been blessed with staff members devoting not only their expertise, but also some have given decades of their life to helping improve the quality of life of people of all ages and occupations across our great county and state. With an almost limitless wealth of information, the professionals of our Bradley County Agriculture Center are your resource for answers to questions about your soil. They will even help with a soil test of your property to see what nutrients you need to produce a bountiful garden or lush lawn.
How about learning from Extension about starting a food processing business? Or getting home canning ideas on how to not only develop skills, but how to ensure safety for you and your family. Not only are they available to answer questions, but there are complete facilities at our cannery located on Peerless Road for “hands on” instruction and use. The ideal time to cut hay for an ideal harvest is another answer they will find for you.
The 4-H organization is just one segment of this amazing resource that is available for all of our citizens. There are many activities, events and projects available for 4-H youth to actively participate in to help develop and strengthen life skills that are needed to compete in today’s workplace and or agricultural endeavor.
Please take some time this week to contact our Bradley County Extension Service personnel with a question for them to answer and to also let them know that we appreciate their efforts to improve the quality of life for everyone in our region. And if you have a child who may be interested in joining 4-H or you have a desire to volunteer, please call about that as well.
Until next week, may we all take time today to be thankful and to also contribute to the goal of ensuring that Bradley County continues to be Tennessee at its best!