Extension Spotlight

              Meet Jennie Hargrove, Iowa 4-H Youth Program Specialist with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. Jennie serves Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Monroe, Ringgold, Wayne, and Union Counties. She provides support to county 4-H staff, trains volunteers, and works to reach new audiences with 4-H.
Hargrove has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family & Consumer Sciences from Iowa State University and is working to complete her Master of Science Degree in Rural Sociology at Auburn University, where she is researching barriers and constraints for Southern agricultural producers looking to adopt a sod-based rotation farming system that includes peanuts and cotton.
Jennie is an alumnus of Madison County 4-H, where she was a nine-year member of the Jefferson Lee Jades 4-H Club. “4-H was a place where I belonged and a place where I could explore my unique interests,” said Hargrove. She was active in the sheep, poultry, rabbit, dog, food & nutrition, woodworking, and sewing project areas. Jennie was active in Madison County’s Youth & 4-H Committee and 4-H Youth Council. She also served two terms on Iowa 4-H’s State Council.
Jennie’s passion for 4-H came full circle when she chose to pursue a career in land-grant Extension. “I always knew I wanted to be an educator,” said Hargrove, “but a school setting was too structured and restrictive. I wanted to teach youth life sills.” Jennie’s first taste of Extension work was in Dallas County, Iowa, where she served as the Summer Programming Assistant for three years. Since then, Jennie has worked as a 4-H County Agent in Lee County (Alabama); 4-H Regional Extension Agent serving Calhoun, Cleburne, & Randolph Counties (Alabama); County Youth Coordinator serving Madison County (Iowa); and now, she serves as a 4-H Youth Program Specialist for Iowa 4-H.
Jennie is passionate about inviting youth to join 4-H. “Kids who participate in 4-H have the opportunity to learn and practice life skills—things as concrete as sewing on a button or making a meal to more abstract concepts like communication, leadership, and civic engagement,” said Hargrove. “4-H offers so many cool experiences, including shooting sports, robotics, national trips, ag-related programs, and opportunities for youth voice and choice.”
Jennie acknowledges 4-H Volunteers are critical to Iowa 4-H. “We couldn’t do half the work we do now if it wasn’t four our incredible volunteers,” said Hargrove. “They are the face of the 4-H organization. Their passion for 4-H youth work is what drives me to do my best. Supporting volunteers and county 4-H staff is the best part of my job!”
Jennie lives in Winterset with her husband, David. David is the director of the Gibson Memorial Library in Creston, Iowa. Together, they have a one year old daughter named Reba. Jennie is housed in the Clarke County Extension Office in Osceola. To learn more about joining 4-H or becoming a volunteer, contact Jennie at hargrove@iastate.edu or call 641-342-3316..                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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