New 4-H agent looks forward to adding programs

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 1, 2016

By Jessica Resor

For the Salisbury Post 

With the recent addition of two agents, the Rowan County Cooperative Extension is once again fully staffed. Morgan Watts, the new livestock and row crops Extension agent, began in May. Matthew McClellan, the new 4-H agent, joined the office in the middle of June.

McClellan is an experienced agent and comes to Rowan County from Louisiana Cooperative Extension. McClellan’s hometown is Gates City, Va. He attended Virginia Tech where he received his bachelor of science degree in agronomy. McClellan decided to go out West to see firsthand the large scale farming operations he had learned about through his degree.

Once there, he decided to continue his education at Montana State University to earn his master of science degree in science education. He moved from Montana to South Louisiana to work in Cooperative Extension there. After working in Louisiana for five years, McClellan came to North Carolina Cooperative Extension in part to be closer to family. He has a wife and three children.

McClellan knew he wanted to be an extension agent while in college. Initially, he started as an agricultural extension agent. He enjoyed shooting, hiking and camping. He realized that, through 4-H, he would be able to do all of those activities as part of his job and share the experiences and knowledge with youth. McClellan has been in extension work for 11 years.

He sees a great amount of potential in Rowan County’s 4-H program. His goals for the county include both expanding the existing activities and clubs and creating new ones. He looks forward to getting involved with the school system. McClellan plans to see more outdoor sports and shooting teams such as archery, rifling and shotgun. He would also like to see a junior leader program established in the county and gain more interest in attending 4-H camp.

In McClellan’s first two weeks, he has been familiarizing himself with the area and assisting with 4-H Summer Fun programs. For the remainder of the summer, McClellan will be focused on 4-H Congress, camp and the 4-H Summer Fun.

McClellan is eager to meet the families in Rowan County. He emphasizes that 4-H is open to all youth and there are many opportunities to those who are interested in 4-H. McClellan says, “It is not just cows and cooking. It is everything from camping to ATV safety to robotics.”

The remainder of the summer’s 4-H Summer Fun program is a testimony to that diversity. In July alone, classes will be offered for children on topics such as cake decorating, paracording, mosaic garden art, farmers and the environment, and birds, bees and butterflies.

Anyone interested in registering for these programs should come by the Rowan County Cooperative Extension Office at 2727 Old Concord Road between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Please bring your insurance information with you to register.

McClellan is ready for an active summer and looks forward to meeting all of the youth and families in the area. He encourages members of the community to stop by the office to meet him or give him a call at 704-216-8970.


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