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Southern PLN report

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 6:00am


Announcer: This is 4-H-4-U-2. A podcast from the Mississippi State University Extension Service promoting 4-H programs and positive youth development. Here now, your host, Dr. John Long and Cobie Rutherford.

Dr. John Long: Welcome to another edition of 4-H-4-U-2. I'm John Long.

Cobie Rutherford: And I'm Cobie Rutherford.

Dr. John Long: Cobie it is... I know we always seem like we start out talking about weather, but it is fantastic out there for a August day.

Cobie Rutherford: It sure is John. That breeze feels mighty nice.

Dr. John Long: Mm mm. Good things to come, good things to come for sure. Oh me, well we've been, again, busy and you and I've been traveling a little bit, but what did you do this past weekend? You have anything special.

Cobie Rutherford: This past weekend I actually went down to Raymond for the South Mississippi Volunteer Leaders Association Forum, on Saturday. That was a good deal. Tammy Parker, shout out to her, she put on a great conference for the South Volunteers and Extension agents. Well attended. Great workshops. I guess we can spend a whole episode one of these days on the workshops we went over.

Dr. John Long: Yeah, we need to get Tammy in here, I think that's a good idea.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah. And I'll tell you someone else we need in here is Erika McDaniel from Chickasaw County, she has started a 4-H dog club in her county, and it's fantastic. It could be a state wide program so easily.

Dr. John Long: So what exactly do they do in that? Do you know?

Cobie Rutherford: Well they kind of have all the-

Dr. John Long: Or should we wait for Erika?

Cobie Rutherford: Well we should probably wait for Erika, but all the things that they're doing like; teaching children how to properly handle their pets, how to feed their pets, differences in-

Dr. John Long: Grooming.

Cobie Rutherford: Different breeds of dogs, grooming, you name it.

Dr. John Long: Mm-hmm.

Cobie Rutherford: And then they're starting a little dog show, and basically it's an obedience class. So the kids take home what they learned, teach their dog, work with their dog, and basically strengthen that human animal bond.

Dr. John Long: That's good.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, it's very positive.

Dr. John Long: I love dogs. Those dogs are great.

Cobie Rutherford: And then there was just a whole lot of other good workshops. Rocheryl Ware in Hinds County did a nice workshop about 4-H 101 that's real informative. I hate to start naming names...

Dr. John Long: No, no. You may leave somebody out, but still.

Cobie Rutherford: Those are the ones I was interacting with the most. And in my workshop was all about the fair, which we talked about a couple weeks ago.

Dr. John Long: You didn't have anybody go to sleep in there did you?

Cobie Rutherford: No, I almost did, given the presentation, but people were writing down and asking questions, so I think they liked it.

Dr. John Long: Well that's good.

Cobie Rutherford: Maybe.

Dr. John Long: That's always good. You know, it seems like sometimes when you're presenting something it's maybe not as interesting as you think it is, and then somebody says, "I really enjoyed that." And I guess that can be the case at times I guess.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, kind of like, "Are you feeling empathy? Because that was awful."

Dr. John Long: Right, "Yeah, thanks for trying to prop me up." But no, I know you did a good job.

Dr. John Long: We actually, and I say we, my family and I went to a bow tournament and everybody but my wife shot so, we had a lot of fun. That's something I guess that... I shoot every day. It may not be, I don't know, whatever, but archery is one of my favorite things to do and it was really good to get to do that with my family and just to get out and, and get away. It was out of town too, so we had a little trip and that was a lot of fun. A lot of fun.

Cobie Rutherford: Good. Good. Well, leading up to the weekend it was a busy week.

Dr. John Long: Oh yes.

Cobie Rutherford: We made some road time.

Dr. John Long: Yes. And you and I left last Monday, I guess a week ago, over a week ago now, and went to New Orleans.

Dr. John Long: Excuse me.

Dr. John Long: And I haven't been to New Orleans in several years, it still looked the same.

Cobie Rutherford: That was my first trip. I was impressed. It exceeded expectations.

Dr. John Long: What was your favorite thing?

Cobie Rutherford: Oh gosh, I guess it was the food.

Dr. John Long: Okay. So, first of all, we have to say, we went down there for a meeting.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah. It was for a conference.

Dr. John Long: Cobie and I just didn't load up and say, "Hey, we're going to New Orleans." Okay?

Cobie Rutherford: Right. That's right.

Dr. John Long: So, just clarify that right now.

Cobie Rutherford: And the conference was good. It was very good, very informative-

Dr. John Long: It was.

Cobie Rutherford: Made a lot of good contacts and a lot of networking. But yeah, I don't think you can go to New Orleans and not talk about all the good food.

Dr. John Long: Oh the food. I tell you what, it was good. What was your favorite food that we ate?

Cobie Rutherford: Oh, I guess it was that the Crawfish Etouffee.

Dr. John Long: Yeah. You really liked that didn't you?

Cobie Rutherford: I really did. I loaded up that night. I'm kind of a glutton I guess, I ate two bowls of it, but I hated for it to go to waste. I mean they made probably enough for a hundred.

Dr. John Long: Gosh, it was a lot. I don't know what they did with it, but it was a lot.

Cobie Rutherford: I don't know. But the PLN meetings were good.

Dr. John Long: Yes. And that PLN stands for?

Cobie Rutherford: Program Leaders Network.

Dr. John Long: Southern Region.

Cobie Rutherford: Southern Region. So, it kind of was all Extension administration from the ANR and FCS side, the 4-H side, lots of different committees with a whole lot of acronyms.

Dr. John Long: Right. That first day...Well, the first day I really enjoyed it because they had that first-timers meeting. That was a lot of fun, just to kind of get to know... And we actually got to go out to eat with a couple of older... Well no, one was first time and then the other one was a committee member or whatever. But anyway, that was a lot of fun to do that and get to start meeting new people. And then we started meetings on that Tuesday and went all day Tuesday and Wednesday, so.

Cobie Rutherford: And then part of Thursday morning, it wrapped up.

Dr. John Long: Part of Thursday morning, Yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: But it was nice to be able to represent Mississippi State as the 4-H leaders.

Dr. John Long: Absolutely.

Cobie Rutherford: Of course Dr. Threadgill was there, but she sat in on the FCS meetings-

Dr. John Long: Dr Jackson.

Cobie Rutherford: And Dr. Jackson was there, sitting in on the director's meetings. So, if nothing else, it was also good to get to interact with our administrators and talk to them more, in more of an informal type setting.

Dr. John Long: Right, right. And I think you need that sometimes just to kind of, not put all that down, but to really be able to have open discussion about things. And out of the office setting, which was really nice. I like that.

Dr. John Long: But, I tell you, one of the things that I was really interested in, and I told Dr. Jackson this when I was talking to him, is that I really enjoyed seeing what other states are doing.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah.

Dr. John Long: The difference. You know, of course we're all geared towards youth development, and you and I were in the 4-H youth development committee section of that and, it was really neat to see how different states are doing this. What really stuck out in your mind about that?

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, I think the one thing that I thought our 4-H'ers may be missing out on is a state wide camping opportunity. Which, I know there are good regional camps all around the state. I know those regions put on a very good... But I don't think, with the limited resources we have, you know, we don't have a Mississippi State 4-H camp grounds. And I think most of the states that had successful camping programs had just one 4-H camp ground, the way I understood it.

Dr. John Long: Right.

Cobie Rutherford: So I'm glad the regions are kind of taking that and running with that endeavor, because I think that's a very positive experience.

Dr. John Long: Yeah, I think it is too.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah I went to 4-H camp when I was a 4-H er.

Dr. John Long: Did you?

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, it was a lot of fun.

Dr. John Long: What did y'all do?

Cobie Rutherford: Oh gosh. We did everything.

Dr. John Long: Sang Kumbaya?

Cobie Rutherford: Well they had some campfire type stuff, but mostly it was just workshops and meetings, and we got to canoe and swim and different things. It was fun.

Dr. John Long: Throw in a little shooting sports in there on top of it?

Cobie Rutherford: I don't remember doing that.

Dr. John Long: You could do archery.

Cobie Rutherford: You could. Maybe I went a different track, but it was a lot of fun. But in Alabama they had one in the summer that was kind of statewide and then they also had a mid-winter camp.

Dr. John Long: Right. Is this tent camping? Is this what I'm thinking about?

Cobie Rutherford: No. Not at all.

Dr. John Long: Cabin. Cabin camping.

Cobie Rutherford: Cabin. Dorms.

Dr. John Long: Oh yeah. Okay.

Cobie Rutherford: Yep. They were fun. For sure.

Dr. John Long: See, I've got to get in a tent. If I'm going to say I'm camping, I got to be in at tent.

Cobie Rutherford: I appreciate the outdoors but, I want modern day amenities.

Dr. John Long: We went camping this year for our "Summer vacation." And it was a two day event, obviously on the weekend, but it was so funny. We tent camp, and we were on our little concrete pad... Of course, we're not roughing it completely because we got electricity and water there at the pad, but it was so funny, it was all of these hundred thousand dollar campers and then this, right in the middle of them, is our little tent. But you know what? We had a great time anyway.

Cobie Rutherford: I'm sure. That's... to each their own, but that's probably not my cup of tea. I don't want to fight the bugs or, you know? But then again, I'll go out to the barn and sweat with the flies and things. But, I don't know.

Dr. John Long: We picked up our tent last year when we were camping and there was a snake under it.

Cobie Rutherford: Oh geez.

Dr. John Long: So I figured it was attracted to our body heat, I don't know that.

Cobie Rutherford: Dang, I'd have left the tent there I suppose.

Dr. John Long: Well, obviously you're saying these 4-H camps, they're not geared that way. It's actually kind of like a summer camp like you would imagine, that you see on "TV". Because I've never been to a summer camp or anything like that.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, and I think most of these had dorm rooms, and air conditioned cafeterias.

Dr. John Long: Have you ever been to Rock Eagle?

Cobie Rutherford: Rock Eagle? I have not, no.

Dr. John Long: It's beautiful. It's a beautiful place. And they've actually done more now. Rock Eagle is in Georgia, in Athens, Georgia. So big 4-H camp there.

Cobie Rutherford: So, what about you? What was the part that you think that we might be missing out on? Something that just kind of stood out.

Dr. John Long: You know, I really liked... Of course, I know we do have collaborations, but I was really impressed, I would really like to know more about the collaborations we have with individuals like... For instance, we went to the farm, they had a Docville Farm, in Chalmette. They had a, oh I don't know what you would say... Partnership. Let us just say a partnership with that County Club, and they've just gone above and beyond reaching out and assisting them in different projects. They had a, I wouldn't say it's a, well I guess it is kind of a reforestation of coastal wetlands and marshes that Docville Farms actually works with the 4-H clubs there in order to try to reclaim some of that coastal marshland, because it's eroding away so fast.

Dr. John Long: And I thought that was really cool. I know we have partnerships like that in the state, but I'm not aware of who they are. And I that would be really cool, because those 4-H'ers get up there, we had two 4-H'ers get up there and they presented that whole presentation about how they went about putting the marsh, I'm just going to say grass because I can't remember, what was it?

Cobie Rutherford: Mangrove trees.

Dr. John Long: Mangrove tree. Yeah, I knew it. Okay. Mangrove trees. Kevin, my friend from Oklahoma, he thought they were saying... was that to you or was that...

Cobie Rutherford: Oh that was me.

Dr. John Long: That was you.

Cobie Rutherford: I thought... well it may have been both of us.

Dr. John Long: Mango. Mango.

Cobie Rutherford: I thought, well then you can go out there and pick fruit when they're finished, but, Man Grove.

Dr. John Long: I thought this is a dual purpose thing. But yeah. So mangrove trees and Cypress trees and things like that so that they got up and gave that whole presentation and, I think you'll agree with me, just knocked it out of the park.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, they did really well.

Dr. John Long: And I think that's a result of those cooperatives like that. Of course, you went on a cooperative tour this year too, but I just thought it was really neat to see that on a county level. So, I wouldn't say it was something that we're missing out on, it's probably because we're in a state office we're probably not as aware of them going on. So, that would be really cool to see even more that, you know?

Cobie Rutherford: You know, one thing I think that we are doing very well compared to the other states is our Statewide leadership team.

Dr. John Long: Oh yes. Yes.

Cobie Rutherford: You know, there wasn't a whole lot of other states that I interacted with. I mean they might have had a president or a board, but it seems like ours is more engaged with what all we're doing than some of the other ones.

Dr. John Long: Yeah, that's great for sure. I loved our interaction, you know, of course we had 1862 institutions and 1890 institutions there, and that was really cool to interact and work out how we could work more together on doing 4-H youth development. And seeing how the 1890s institutions do that. I thought it was really good. It was very educational for me.

Cobie Rutherford: Yep. No doubt.

Cobie Rutherford: You know, I think that just getting to interact with those other state program leaders was my favorite part bar none. Just learning more about them, learning about... There's some people in that room that I would consider to be new mentors for me.

Dr. John Long: Right. I would too.

Cobie Rutherford: That I'd never met before, and never even heard of before. And now I feel like if I had a question about a program that's going on in North Carolina that I want to come to Mississippi.

Dr. John Long: That one stuck out to me too, yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: You know, I could call Mitzi Downing and she would help me out with it. I mean just name dropped her, but there were a lot of other ones that would do the same thing I think.

Dr. John Long: For sure. For sure. I will not lie, in all the acronyms that first day I felt, other than the main presentations, when we got into committees I was like, "Oh my goodness, I am totally lost." But the second day I felt like I was with family, because I'd kind of figured out where we were going with it. But of course a lot of that was last years reporting and stuff that we weren't privy to at that time. So, but yeah, it was really cool going and representing 4-H and Mississippi Extension, for sure.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah. You know that committee, they really embodied the four essential elements of 4-H.

Dr. John Long: Yes.

Cobie Rutherford: They made us feel like we belong to the group. I always felt included and... But then had that sense of independence as well. They were generous in sharing their other ideas and we got to experience how some of our colleagues, and maybe, I'm not going to speak for you, but maybe one day I'll have the chance to mastery some of those ideals and things that we're talking about.

Dr. John Long: Right. Exactly.

Cobie Rutherford: I don't feel anywhere close to a mastery on that. But, I feel like we were included within the masteries.

Dr. John Long: Yes.Yes. We bow before their greatness.

Cobie Rutherford: But I thought that was cool.

Dr. John Long: Yeah.

Cobie Rutherford: We had a good time and, I don't know, I got a blank John, where I was going with that?

Dr. John Long: Food.

Cobie Rutherford: Probably food.

Dr. John Long: Now we go back to food.

Cobie Rutherford: I didn't get any beignets, and I was disappointed on that.

Dr. John Long: Well, we ate those blue crab beignets, those were good.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, they were very good. I feel like I missed out on the sweet ones.

Dr. John Long: Oh yeah, yeah again. They are.

Cobie Rutherford: Then on the way home, we bought a king cake, and that king cake got ants in it.

Dr. John Long: No!

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, so I got home and opened it up, there were ants all over it.

Dr. John Long: Oh my goodness.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah. I tried to pick them off and then I'm like, "Eh, I don't know where them ants have been."

Dr. John Long: You did not throw that king cake away did you?

Cobie Rutherford: Well, it was infested.

Dr. John Long: Really, that bad?

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah. They were all over the place.

Dr. John Long: Oh man, that's terrible.

Cobie Rutherford: I know, I was disappointed on that.

Dr. John Long: Oh we got petite fours the next day.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, they were good. So, we did that.

Dr. John Long: Well, that was an interesting time. And like I said, I would go back in a heartbeat. If I was asked to go back to PLN, I would definitely do it just because I felt like, professionally, it was very good professionally to go there.

Cobie Rutherford: I'll tell you the one thing I didn't like.

Dr. John Long: What was that?

Cobie Rutherford: All right. So when we went around the room that day and we had these chairs, our superpower-

Dr. John Long: You had to bring this up.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, I did. Mine was awful. And yours was not that great.

Dr. John Long: It was terrible. Yours was good. I liked yours.

Cobie Rutherford: But ours was not the worst.

Dr. John Long: No. No-

Cobie Rutherford: There were ones that were worse than that. And then there was some people that took the easy way out and just copied the person in front them.

Dr. John Long: That's what I should've done. Oh, I just wish I could take mine back. Ugh.

Cobie Rutherford: So I'll share my superpower.

Dr. John Long: I'm not. I'm not going to share mine.

Cobie Rutherford: I don't remember what it was.

Dr. John Long: Good. Maybe nobody else did.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, mine was so corny, I said "I'm good with numbers and I have this ability to remember numbers from my old high school friends, or elementary school friends, and I can even remember my parents credit card number." And-

Dr. John Long: Oh my god. But you got a laugh out of that though, it was good.

Cobie Rutherford: I did. But then I thought, again, on the same side, they were like, "That guy is mid thirties, and he knows his parents' credit card number. That is shameful."

Dr. John Long: Still.

Cobie Rutherford: But I guess, shout out to my parents for keeping up with that card and all these years.

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

Cobie Rutherford: I have to call them every once in a while when it bounces back and the expiration date change or the CVV changes. And that's kind of embarrassing, but, it's only in case of emergencies.

Dr. John Long: I just don't like... I'm sorry, and this leads to what we had talked about before about introvert. I am a introvert, I do not like ice breakers. It is the hardest thing in the world for me to do, is to do that. I just want to state my name and what I do and move on, because I'm just not good at it. I don't know why, but I'm just not.

Cobie Rutherford: I always try-

Dr. John Long: You talk about hunting and I can do that, but-

Cobie Rutherford: I always try to think of something really creative, and sometimes I'll nail it and then sometimes it comes out like, "What an idiot."

Dr. John Long: Well I had stepped out of the room, and I came back into it. So I was really not, I don't know, I wasn't prepared. I wish I'd had at least another 10 minutes. I maybe should've just copied, like I said, I could've copied somebody else's, but I didn't, and wound up giving the dumbest answer I probably ever have. And, I don't know, I looked over to you and I don't if you were smiling because of my answer or were you still thinking of about yours?

Cobie Rutherford: No, I was probably still thinking about mine, but anyway, I think they come out with knowing that those probably were not our true superpowers.

Dr. John Long: No, I know. I know.

Cobie Rutherford: But you know, you got a good shout out in for our podcast.

Dr. John Long: Yeah, I did. I really did. And I think, you know, we had to give a state report so that, or I guess what did they call it?

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah a state report.

Dr. John Long: A state report. So, that was really cool. And I think that, when I said podcast, people kind of perked up. I don't think they're doing that.

Cobie Rutherford: I don't think so either.

Dr. John Long: We're all cutting edge.

Cobie Rutherford: Another thing that made people perk up was the name change of shooting sports to safety.

Dr. John Long: Yeah, it was. I think it was well received and, as I was explaining why, I saw a lot of people nodding their heads, so, yeah, it was really good.

Cobie Rutherford: I think that was good.

Dr. John Long: For sure. For sure. Well, we need to get down to... Oh, the Bulldogs are going to be in New Orleans this weekend too.

Cobie Rutherford: Oh yeah?

Dr. John Long: Yeah, they're going to be in a Super Dome, playing in the Super Dome. We should've just stayed down there. Maybe.

Cobie Rutherford: Yeah, just taken two weeks and-

Dr. John Long: Gosh. I wouldn't be able to fit in the door if I stayed down there and ate all that all the time.

Cobie Rutherford: I think my phone would have blown up.

Dr. John Long: Probably.

Cobie Rutherford: I think it would have spontaneously combusted had I been out for two weeks.

Dr. John Long: Yeah, I couldn't do that. I couldn't do that.

Cobie Rutherford: I had plenty of voicemails. I think I still have some people I need to reach back out to from that week of being gone.

Dr. John Long: Well, if you need to get up with Cobie, just call the main office. He'll be there, and you'll get him.

Cobie Rutherford: That's right.

Dr. John Long: Apologize for anything we've missed during this time.

Cobie Rutherford: Exactly. Maybe I haven't missed anything.

Dr. John Long: Maybe not. Maybe not. You're good. You did good. You're good. Hey, you'd heard from it by now, probably.

Cobie Rutherford: That's true. That's true.

Dr. John Long: Oh man. Well, all right. Well with that we're going to wrap up this podcast of 4-H-4-U-2. And if you're not already, go ahead and subscribe and kind of punch up our numbers. I wish we knew how many people were out there, but we don't and if you are, let us know. You can contact us through our emails,

Cobie Rutherford: Or

Dr. John Long: And only kind comments only, please. We don't want any... No, we'll take constructive criticism I guess.

Cobie Rutherford: That's right.

Dr. John Long: And if you want to know more about 4-H and 4-H in your area, tell them where they can go, Cobie and learn more about Extension overall too.

Cobie Rutherford: So you can visit the website at or visit any of the local County Extension offices.

Dr. John Long: And I will say this, if you still have questions and need them answered, please do not hesitate to call the 4-H office and we can point you in the right direction, who you need to talk to, and find out about where 4-H is and what they're doing in your area.

Dr. John Long: So, with that, we're going to sign off for this edition of 4-H-4-U-2. Thanks for listening.

Announcer: Thanks for joining us for 4-H-4-U-2. For more information please visit and be sure to subscribe to our podcast.

Announcer: 4-H-4-U-2 is produced by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Office of Agricultural Communications.

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