July 11, 2012Having been without an educator of its own for months, the Crawford County Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service office now has two.
Carol Judd began June 25 as the Health and Human Services/4-H Youth Development educator. Then, a week later, Kayla Lemley started in her position as the 4-H Youth Development/Agriculture and Natural Resources educator.
Judd is no stranger to the area, living just north in Orange County. Plus, her son, Andrew, graduated from Crawford County Junior-Senior High School.
For Lemley, however, the job required about an eight-hour move. She said Crawford County reminds her a lot of her home county in northern West Virginia, located between Ohio and southeastern Pennsylvania.
"I love the area. The area's very close to West Virginia. The hills aren't quite as big, but still pretty close," she said, adding she already was somewhat familiar with the region, having visited a cousin who lives in Louisville.
Judd's background is in teaching, having earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in early childhood education.
"I think I've figured it up, and I've covered the gamut between 18 to 20 months old all the way up to some adult education with kids 52 or so," she joked.
Judd added that she comes from a 4-H background. Not only was she a 17-year leader and 10-year member, but her mom was a leader for 25 years and her dad served on the 4-H Council.
"So, I (have) lots of 4-H background and just truly love the (4-H) motto, 'Learning by doing,' and that's always how I taught in my classrooms," she said.
Judd said she hopes to make or, in some cases, rebuild connections within the county. That means developing committees to help grow the population, providing food, nutrition, health, wellness and child development education.
"All of these things, I think, can be accomplished through the 4-H system," she said, adding she also wants to further develop the home economics program and have more of a presence in the school system.
"I really want to grow 4-H'ers," Judd said. "So, I'm really interested in doing some programming with the area preschools, after-care programs. I'd like to hook up with the libraries."
She said she is a believer in making learning fun through hands-on activities.
"If you make it fun and interesting, they are going to remember," she said.
Lemley, who complimented her bachelor's degree in agriculture extension education with a master's degree in agriculture last December, said that while Judd deals with the health and human services aspect of the office and she deals with the agriculture component, their goals are similar.
"We both have to deal with the adult spectrum as well as sharing the 4-H program," Lemley said. "It's education no matter which way you look at it.
"I know, right now, especially with the drought and that sort of thing, the main goal is to work with the farmers, work with the local Master Gardener program, those sort of things, to make sure they understand what's going on, that they are doing the correct steps, not only to take care of crop and everything this year, but to realize that what they do this year is going to affect next year," she said.
Lemley said to be effective, she needs to have a good working relationship with people in the county.
"My overall goal is just to really get to know people, to get to know the problems that are occurring and to address those," she said.
Both Lemley and Judd plan to be at the Crawford County 4-H Fair at the 4-H Community Park south of Marengo throughout the week. In addition, both were scheduled to participate in a "Meet the Educators" event Monday evening.
The Crawford County Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service office is located at 306 Oak Hill Circle in English. To contact Judd or Lemley, call 338-2352.