Greetings, San Juan Basin. My name is Greg Felsen and I am the new 4-H youth development extension agent in La Plata County. I am replacing the wonderful commitment to service and community development done by Bob Salzer. I wish to carry on his leadership and love for the youths of this area.
My educational background includes an undergraduate degree in public planning with a land-use emphasis from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree in agricultural education from North Carolina A&T State University.
My practical experience comes from working on farms and community gardens both here in the states and internationally. I am a returned Peace Corps volunteer, where I served from 2005-07 in the country of Lesotho, Africa, as an agriculture adviser and helped create the Global Relief Outreach Foundation (www.grofoundation.org) to aid the people of Lesotho in overcoming extreme poverty.
I am very excited to be working with Colorado State University Extension, La Plata County and our 4-H club leaders and volunteers to foster the next local farmers, ranchers and responsible leaders of our future. It is my intention to provide the most useful and informative educational programs and practical tools for our youths to gain important life skills. In addition, through the La Plata County Children, Youth & Family Master Plan, I look to establish positive opportunities to civically engage all of our youths in serving the community. Always, feel free to communicate and/or join with me as a resource to strengthen and develop the best ways to assist the youths of our community.
Two of my greatest passions in life are agriculture and youth development. The 4-H program provides an avenue to combine these passions. As our world changes and is faced with critical issues affecting our society, it is extremely important that our 4-H programs adapt to prepare our youth for the future. It’s my goal to motivate our youth in the importance of local agriculture and how it can be related to providing solutions to economic, environmental, energy and social issues. This means adding elements to existing 4-H projects and adding new projects for non-traditional 4-H members. I look to share these topics and highlights of exceptional youth in future columns.
I have been overwhelmed by the 4-H community in La Plata County. I would like to personally thank all the members and volunteers for the warm welcome to the Rockies. Your dedication to 4-H and kindness are very inspiring. In addition, I would like to thank all the supporting organizations and businesses that have helped our clubs and programs succeed. Your support is greatly appreciated.
To the youths of La Plata County, I would like to hear from you. I need your help in planning, developing and implementing strong projects and programs. Please come to me with ideas and suggestions for action-oriented approaches in youth development. Let’s work together to make a healthier La Plata County.
FelsenGH@co.laplata.co.us or 382-6463. Greg Felsen is 4-H youth development extension agent for the La Plata County Extension Office.