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More 4-H Project Achievement Days

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - 6:00am

John and Cobie discuss hitting the road and traveling on the 4-H Project Achievement Day road trip!


Announcer: This is 4H4U2, a podcast from the Mississippi State University Extension Service promoting forage programs and positive youth development. Here, now, your host, Dr. John Long and Cobie Rutherford.

John Long: Okay, well, it is that time again for another edition of the podcast, 4H4U2. We are so glad that you have tuned in, and if you have not, you need to subscribe to this podcast because we are going to be talking about everything 4-H as it relates to Mississippi and beyond. And this week, we're going to be talking about our upcoming project achievement days. And I'm your host John Long.

Cobie Rutherford: And I'm Cobie Rutherford.

John Long: Cobie, I feel like I see over here, of course, nobody else can, but I can see you have your mixed purified drinking water over here.

Cobie Rutherford: Oh yeah.

John Long: And I have a bottle of water over here behind me as long as a cup of coffee, so I feel like we're maybe gaining some legitimacy here as far as podcasts are concerned.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, maybe so. I know my bottle of water here is filled with artificial flavors and caffeine, so hopefully it'll be enough to get me through today.

John Long: Yeah, yeah. Well, we've got a busy day on the day of this recording. We're going to be working with judge record books. I've never done that before, so this is going to be a new new experience for me.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, I'm pretty impressed by the record books. This will be my first time to go through this cycle, too, and it has some pretty intense labor that's put into those things.

John Long: Really, yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: I just flipped through a few of them earlier, and it seems like they build on each other. So, you start off as a young child, and then every year you add more stuff to your record book within your project area. And it's pretty fascinating. I can't wait to dig into them a little bit.

John Long: I can't either.

Cobie Rutherford: I don't know how we're going to judge them. I mean, because they all look pretty good, but-

John Long: It's going to be tough. I have no doubt it's going to be tough.

Cobie Rutherford: So, with these record books, I understand that the first place winners get to go to National 4-H Conference in Atlanta.

John Long: Yeah. And you're going to that, too, aren't you?

Cobie Rutherford: I am, yeah. I'm excited about that.

John Long: That's cool.

Cobie Rutherford: It's starts on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so yeah, we go home, eat some Turkey, spend some time with family, then hit the road to the ATL.

John Long: There you go. THere you go. The big ATL. Yeah, it's always a fun time going there, for sure.

Cobie Rutherford: Have you ever been?

John Long: I have, obviously, been to Atlanta. Never been to the National-

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah. But never been to the National-

John Long: No, no, no, no. I have not.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. We're taking, I think, 20 to 25 for 4-Hers depending on how many come through the record boot process today, so it should be a big time.

John Long: Yeah, that's awesome. That's awesome. So, you and I are about to hit the road here next week, and we're going to be on this road trip. I always call it the 4-H road trip because we're leaving on Monday, and then we're going to be not coming back home until Thursday.

Cobie Rutherford: Thursday.

John Long: So, most of us are not going to come home until Thursday. But anyway, and we're going to be doing the Project Achievement Day road trip, so tell us a little bit about that.

Cobie Rutherford: So, I am super pumped about this Project Achievement Day.

John Long: I am too.

Cobie Rutherford: After the first one in the Northeast at [inaudible 00:03:39] I've been waiting on these others to happen.

John Long: Yeah, you're jonesing for another PA day.

Cobie Rutherford: It seems like it's taken forever for them to get here. So, we'll start next week in Laurel on Tuesday, then we'll go to Raymond on Wednesday, and then Moorhead on Thursday. But basically, this is our chance to showcase our junior 4-Hers within their districts and give them a taste of what State Forest Congress will be like.

John Long: It's like a mini Congress, basically, for the juniors, so I guess they get a lot of little aspects of what Congress's like. Wouldn't you say based on what we've got there?

Cobie Rutherford: It's a lot of fun for them, best I can tell. Anytime I looked up at the Northeast PAD, they had some music going, the kids were dancing and just having a good time.

John Long: Yeah. I like it because it's an intense day because when you get started everybody gets... And like you said, it's an energy level that keeps going, and it's really cool because you turn around and it's like, "What do you mean we're ready to go to the next one?" But I like it because of the younger 4-Hers get to see the excitement in those younger 4-Hers just getting started, and they are just amazed at everything that's going on. And I guess, you can remember, too, what it was like to look up to somebody and see those leadership team members up there on the stage and they're introducing these young clover leaf exhibitors, things like that. That I'm sure they look at those green jackets and say, "Wow, they must be old, like 20 something." You know what I'm saying. But a mentor to look up to, I guess.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, I think that's always cool. I remember going to our district events in Alabama and how fun they were and seeing those green... Well, they had green jackets over there, too.

John Long: Did they?

Cobie Rutherford: It was a cool deal.

John Long: I wonder if the green jacket's everywhere.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, I don't know.

John Long: I don't know either.

Cobie Rutherford: Just seeing some pictures from Nationals, it seemed like several states have green jackets.

John Long: Oh, okay, cool.

Cobie Rutherford: But I know they sure stand out in the crowd here and along with our purple shirts.

John Long: Oh you better believe it. You better believe... We need to coordinate. I think that's what we need to do. We need to coordinate what shirts we're going to wear for the Project Achievement Day. I like that. I always like that because you know who's... You can look across and see who's the state staff member with the shirt on.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah.

John Long: But anyway-

Cobie Rutherford: That's probably something I think about.

John Long: Yeah, we'll work on that. I think that's the least of our... No, we don't have worries, but-

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, that's probably number 15 on the list. Maybe 20.

John Long: Get the van, get it loaded up, and we'll go from there.

Cobie Rutherford: Now, one thing I've got to remember is I've got a whole box of ribbons in my car from the-

John Long: Don't forget those [inaudible 00:06:35].

Cobie Rutherford: I know. That'd be huge.

John Long: Yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: So, I took them down to the cookout last week, which was a lot of fun.

John Long: Oh yeah, I forgot that y'all did that while I was gone.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah. Maybe that's a another podcast.

John Long: Oh, I can't wait to-

Cobie Rutherford: We're about to talk about the cookout.

John Long: With no smell-a-vision or... No, we can't. I don't know how it works.

Cobie Rutherford: I'm salivating thinking about the pork chop that I had.

John Long: Well, it is close to lunch.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, you're right. But, man, so much fun. I don't understand why every single kid in the state don't do it, participate in the cookout, because these kids, honest to goodness, had a blast.

John Long: That's good.

Cobie Rutherford: Now, there may or may not have been some close to fire hazards.

John Long: Right, right.

Cobie Rutherford: The kid that dumped half of his lighter fluid onto his charcoal grill.

John Long: I think, invariably, that's going to happen, right?

Cobie Rutherford: I think you plan for it. I was like, "Oh, wait! Fire!" But everybody was else like, "That first fire of the year, check that off." So, that was fun. But these kids can cook, and I think that's part of our culture. They grow up watching Food Network now and seeing all these different ideas. But yeah, we need a whole podcast for that.

John Long: Yeah, we'll definitely do that.

Cobie Rutherford: Project Achievement Days, though-

John Long: Are we going to have a taste test and everything?

Cobie Rutherford: We got to sample some things at ...

John Long: I'm talking about in here.

Cobie Rutherford: Oh, we should. We need to invite ...

John Long: There may be need for a remote recording.

Cobie Rutherford: I would say, maybe go live, too.

John Long: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I'm sorry I interrupted you. Go ahead.

Cobie Rutherford: You know , though, at PAD in Northeast, they had these foods and nutrition demonstrations, and I got to try one of the winner's guacamole that they made with mango and pineapple. Did you try that?

John Long: Yes, I did. I got the recipe, too.

Cobie Rutherford: Man!

John Long: Perfect summer guac.

Cobie Rutherford: It was so good. I don't even know how the 4-Her came up with that.

John Long: I don't either.

Cobie Rutherford: But I think she made the recipe herself.

John Long: Wow.

Cobie Rutherford: Just went with it.

John Long: Hey, whatever you like, put it in there, mix it up, I guess.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah.

John Long: Yeah. It was good.

Cobie Rutherford: It was good. Now, I wonder, I hadn't heard a lot about the South PADs, but they'll have workshops I suspect for the juniors to participate in.

John Long: Yeah, it's the same. It's the same across each one of them. But each one of them has their own little different spin or taste. I mean, each district is unique, I think, in the way that Project... Obviously, we have the same framework for each one of them, but-

Cobie Rutherford: Same contest.

John Long: Yeah. But each district adds in their little bit of flare to it for that area. Oh, yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: I thought it was cool with the Northeast, they had that dog trainer there, and they had dog training workshops. And then, they also had a fishing tournament.

John Long: I heard about that. I didn't get over there to see that.

Cobie Rutherford: I saw a lot of kids bring their brand new fishing poles.

John Long: Yeah, I saw the poles. Yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, they [inaudible 00:09:33] have to big time.

John Long: That's cool. That's cool.

Cobie Rutherford: I'm anxious to see what the other districts offer.

John Long: Yeah, that'll be neat. That'll be neat. We are going on... I have to lay the map out. We're, like you said, we're going to the Southeast on Tuesday, and then we're going to the Southwest and then cutting across to the Northwest. And I think, well, the Southeast, this'll be the second time it's been a different location. And then, Southwest is, as far as I can remember... Well, no, it's been at Hines Community College.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah.

John Long: Where is Southeast again? Not Laurel Middle School, it's Jones.

Cobie Rutherford: West Jones High School.

John Long: West Jones High School. That's right. Then we go to Hines Community College in Raymond, which coincidentally my wife used to work there.

Cobie Rutherford: Really?

John Long: Yeah. She got all the ins and outs going into the metropolis of Raymond. But then we go to Moorhead, and I love going to Moorhead. I don't know what it is about that campus, but I love going. I guess because I've worked so much in the Delta, I just love going to the Delta every year.

Cobie Rutherford: I'm excited about that, too. I think they're feeding us catfish over there.

John Long: Really?

Cobie Rutherford: I think so. Maybe I just dreamed that up or maybe that's what's, maybe, I want for lunch.

John Long: Maybe that's what you want to eat. Yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: I'm excited about that.

John Long: Yeah, that'll be good.

Cobie Rutherford: What about-

John Long: That's an important thing about extension, you've got to know where all the good eating is.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah. I think we've talked about that as much as we have anything.

John Long: Yeah. That's right. Food is important. Go ahead, I'm sorry.

Cobie Rutherford: It's, obviously, close to lunch because that's what I'm thinking about.

John Long: What are we going to eat for lunch? We got to get back here and start judging record books before too long.

Cobie Rutherford: I'm hungry already.

John Long: I am too.

Cobie Rutherford: But after PADs we've got co-op starting that Monday, all week.

John Long: Yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: You're on campus.

John Long: Yep.

Cobie Rutherford: So, we'll get to go back to the Delta again for that.

John Long: Right, right.

Cobie Rutherford: Man, I was hoping we'd eat catfish again.

John Long: Well, you might. You never can tell. No, I'm kidding.

Cobie Rutherford: No, I don't think we will that week. We're going to have Subway for ...

John Long: Yeah, y'all don't have time to stop munch on that schedule that I saw, for sure.

Cobie Rutherford: No. My goodness, those wheels are barely going to stop for us to run into Subway, I think.

John Long: True. And then, co-op runs right into the State Invitational.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah.

John Long: That weekend.

Cobie Rutherford: Then July is over almost.

John Long: Then July is over and then-

Cobie Rutherford: It'll be the 20th.

John Long: ... school starts back and... Crazy. That's always crazy.

Cobie Rutherford: Man, it gets away. It's so much fun, though.

John Long: Yeah, it is. Because, like we had said earlier on another podcast, I mean you used to think summer used to drag, and then you get a job where it just flies by. So, it is beneficial in that respect, and we enjoy being able to interact with the kids and getting to see how 4-H is changing lives and for the better.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah. I was thinking about even fall. This week I finished up the the fair book, so I've got to get the final approval done on it. But holy smokes, before we know it, I'm going to have a whole year of 4-H under my belt.

John Long: That's right.

Cobie Rutherford: Because last year we started on September one.

John Long: September, yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: We opened for fair that month, and then... Man, it's just gotten away from me.

John Long: Oh, I love State Fair. I cannot wait. I love State Fair. Midway and food. Here we go again.

Cobie Rutherford: I know.

John Long: I'm sorry. But anytime you talk about State Fair, I'm thinking Midway food, which is probably not the best for your health, but good gracious, it's so good.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah. That's my favorite time of year is the State Fair bar none.

John Long: I think we need to get Dr. Brent Fountain in here to talk about nutrition and his nutrition program. It's probably what we need more than anything.

Cobie Rutherford: He probably lay it out that you probably should-

John Long: Probably not be eating a bunch of-

Cobie Rutherford: ... drink those artificial flavors and that water and that high dose of caffeine.

John Long: Yeah, way too much coffee. Way too much coffee.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah. I think we'd probably get, I'll scrutinize for that. John had a birthday last week.

John Long: Oh, that's right. Yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: So, we've had a-

John Long: 25.

Cobie Rutherford: ... birthday cake this week.

John Long: Oh, that was awesome yesterday. Yeah, that was good.

Cobie Rutherford: I had donuts last week. We've been needing a lot of fuel.

John Long: And yeah, I guess so. But it's interesting, going back, I was at Nationals during my birthday, and there's only been one National since I started working, that I was actually home for my birthday. But I don't think you could ask for a better present than to get to smell gunpowder and watch arrows fly on your birthday. That's a pretty good birthday present. Then I got to celebrate with my family when I got back. But yeah, I sure did. Turned 25, almost for the second time.

Cobie Rutherford: Fun.

John Long: It'll be fun. Yeah. Yeah. Always is.

Cobie Rutherford: So, with the Project Achievement Days, we got those. I've almost counted those as being finished right now even though we've got lots to do. There's been so much prep work going into those from the ordering the trophies, getting the packets ready, and the ribbons, and people signed up.

John Long: [inaudible 00:14:49] that excitement. Yep.

Cobie Rutherford: The event's just the icing on the cake.

John Long: That's right.

Cobie Rutherford: It works over.

John Long: The work's done, and that's the way I look at State Invitational is once we get to that point, the week before, I'm already looking into August. And we move into, like you said, getting ready for State Fair and other stuff. But yeah, it is. And the icing on the cake is being able to see those young people walk up on that stage and get those awards and to see the smile on their face and the feeling of accomplishment from even from the bottom up or the top down, whatever way you want to look at it. And I love being able to work with the specialist and being able to be out there with the agents and see the hard work that they've put into these young people and the investment that they put in these young people, along with our parents, and just all the people that make it possible for them to be able to be successful, which is all of us. And I think that that's key to remember. It's not just one person, and it should never be. It should be a multitude of people that help develop that child and help teach them these life skills that they need for the rest of their life.

Cobie Rutherford: That's right. And it takes a village, literally.

John Long: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Cobie Rutherford: And celebrations are free.

John Long: You better believe it.

Cobie Rutherford: It does not take us any talent or time or money to pat someone on the back or clap our hands for somebody and help them celebrate their accomplish.

John Long: Absolutely. Everybody needs that.

Cobie Rutherford: I think that's what I love about 4-H most is that the round of applause, the congratulations, the "You got this" encouragement.

John Long: That's right. That's right.

Cobie Rutherford: I think that's what sets us apart from other youth activities. Because sometimes I think in, maybe athletics, you're scrutinized a lot more than you are in 4-H. Maybe you miss a ball or you strikeout and maybe you don't get the applause and the congratulations for those things, but in 4-H, someone is always there to be like, "You get it next time. You got this."

John Long: Oh, can I tell you a funny story?

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah go ahead...

John Long: It may not be funny to anybody, but it was to me because we were at a softball game, my daughter's softball game, last weekend and I was sitting there and they were wrapping their game up. And of course, behind us was another field, and there was another game going. And all of a sudden, behind me, I hear this guy with the most, deepest... He needs to be on the podcast. He would have a much better radio voice. Very deep, very pronounced, annunciated voice says, "What are you doing? You need to be running!" And it was just like, I remember thinking, maybe they need to get their head in the game, but it was seemingly more derogatory than it was encouraging. You know what I'm saying?

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah.

John Long: So, I thought, "Man, I wouldn't think I'd want to be on that team with them." But anyway.

Cobie Rutherford: That's funny.

John Long: Yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: I remember back to my athletic days, I think I got a lot of this kind of encouragement. "Quit lollygagging."

John Long: "Quit lollygagging." Yep. For sure, for sure.

Cobie Rutherford: "You're not going to find the baseball in the dirt."

John Long: Well, and I think it is, too. It is. I mean, especially if you're a parent. I think you do want, obviously, want your child to do well because you feel like they are a reflection of you, but we need to remember that they are an individual, as well, so we need to treat them as such.

Cobie Rutherford: Oh gosh. I keep thinking about my experiences in athletics, and I was not athletic at all. I was probably the worst ball player that ever went through my youth league program. I think about what I won't do as a parent when... "Oh yeah, I want you to play sports, but-"

John Long: "Oh, I'll never do that. Never do that."

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, I'll never do that. Yeah.

John Long: Yeah. Watch what you never say you'll never do.

Cobie Rutherford: Exactly.

John Long: Yep, yep.

Cobie Rutherford: With the PADs and... I'll look at that as a great opportunity to introduce these kids to something that they never thought they'd do.

John Long: That's right.

Cobie Rutherford: I think most agents are making their children do one contest in the morning and then one in the afternoon, so if they have a project area, let's say an entomology, and do a visual presentation in the morning, well they might can pick out something totally different that they don't know anything about and learning about it for the afternoon contest.

John Long: Sure, absolutely. That catalog of things that they can do is just so diverse. It really allows people, or youth, to experiment and to find what they really love doing. And I've seen some of those 4-Hers that I routinely see it at PAD through the years, or have seen them through the years and then seeing them move into seniors, they do that. But then, when they find their niche that they... Oh, they know it and they, I mean, they are passionate about it. Absolutely passionate about it.

Cobie Rutherford: That's really neat. I can't wait to get these three here and see what all happens.

John Long: Oh yeah. Yeah. That'll be awesome. That'll be awesome.

Cobie Rutherford: Without a doubt.

John Long: All right, well, if you don't know anything about 4-H or wanting to know more about 4-H or Extension in general, Cobie, tell them where they can go and learn more about them.

Cobie Rutherford: Go to your Extension website at or you can contact your County office, and you can find all that information on the website, as well, John.

John Long: That's right. And if you can't do that, just give us a holler at the state office, and we cam point you in the right direction as well, too. So, you can reach us at 662-325-3350. And that's going to wrap us up for another edition of 4H4U2. If you haven't subscribed to this podcast, please do so and tell all your friends about it, because the more people that we can touch and teach about 4-H, the better. So, with that, we're going to wrap it up for this podcast. I'm your host John Long.

Cobie Rutherford: And I'm Cobie Rutherford.

John Long: Take care.

Announcer: Thanks for joining us for 4H4U2. For more information, please visit, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast. 4H4U2 is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service Office of Agricultural Communications.


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