My name is Bailea Gnann, and I am excited to be Flagler County’s new 4-H Youth Development Agent. I started my position here with UF/IFAS Extension Flagler County on August 16 and now that I am settled in, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself.
I was born and raised in rural northeast Florida. Agriculture has always been a passion of mine growing up in the industry. My grandparents owned a small cattle operation, so I spent a good portion of my childhood on the farm. In my youth, I was an active member of 4-H and FFA in Clay County, where I participated primarily in livestock and leadership development projects. My background in agriculture inspired me to pursue a degree and career in this field. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in Agriculture Education, Communications and Leadership Development in 2018 and I am currently pursuing a graduate degree specialized in Extension Education from the University of Florida.
While attending UF for undergraduate school, I had the opportunity to intern with UF/IFAS in Clay County working with their 4-H Youth Development STEM Program. Through this internship, I learned about all of the diverse opportunities offered through UF/IFAS Extension and 4-H Youth Development programs. Growing up in such a rural area, it was easy to believe that 4-H programs were strictly focused on agriculture. Venturing outside of my comfort zone during my internship, I learned how even rural areas can greatly benefit from 4-H’s other program areas: STEM, Healthy Living, and Civic Engagement.
4-H Youth Development programs should provide an opportunity for youth to develop life skills that help them succeed in college and career. STEM and Agriculture programs promote responsibility, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills. Healthy Living programs promote healthy lifestyles through a healthy body and mind. Civic Engagement programs inspire young people to be well-informed citizens who are actively engaged in their communities while promoting confidence, relationship-building, and decision-making skills.
As Flagler County’s new 4-H agent, I look forward to continuing the great livestock, equine, shooting sports, robotics, and general youth development programs our community club and school clubs currently offer. I also plan to add/expand programming focused on leadership development, civic engagement, and healthy living as I feel these are all crucial to prepare our youth to make a positive impact in their community and beyond.
Open enrollment for Flagler County 4-H clubs began September 1. With most of our community clubs at full capacity, I look to make more opportunities for potential new youth members in the near future. Volunteers are crucial to our 4-H program. Most of our adult volunteers serve as club leaders for our 147* Flagler County 4-H members, but volunteers of any capacity are always needed.
Thanks for reading! I look forward to engaging in the community and working “To Make the Best Better” for Flagler County youth. Please feel free to reach out to me directly regarding anything 4-H. You can contact me by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our office (386-437-7464) and ask for me.