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4-H Safety Ambassador Program

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 7:00am

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Amy Myers: Today we're talking about 4H safety ambassador program. Hello, I'm Amy Myers and welcome to Farm and Family. Today we're speaking with Dr. John Long, Mississippi State University Extension 4H Youth Development specialist. Also speaking with Jonah Holland, former safety ambassador himself. John, we've always known this program as 4H Shooting Sports, but it's kind of being called something different. Talk to me about the new name.

John Long: Well, Amy. For the past 12 years we've just been as 4H Shooting Sports. Prior to that, we were the field and stream program. We're basically remarketing under this new acronym of 4H Safety which stands for Safe Archery and Firearms Education and Training for Youth. The reason that is is we're basically being able to explain more of what we do in the program.

Amy Myers: It covers camping, hunting, finding your way through the woods, archery so not just shooting firearms.

John Long: That's absolutely correct. We do a lot more than just that.

Amy Myers: John, we have what's called 4H Safety Ambassador. What's the purpose of that?

John Long: Well, the purpose of 4H Safety Ambassador is to promote firearms and archery safety and hold it in the highest regards. They bridge the gap between the youth development component and the project of shooting sports in order to enhance leadership, citizenship and communication skills as team leaders.

Amy Myers: What are the objectives of being an ambassador?

John Long: First and foremost, as the acronym indicates, they are to promote safe and ethical behavior within the project. They're to make 4H safety more visible in the county and across the state of Mississippi. They are to maintain and build relationships with 4H alumni and supporters to go out and increase membership in the statewide safety project and as well as promote individual growth for themselves as well as other 4H members.

Amy Myers: Jonah Holland, you are with us here today to talk about what you like about being a 4H safety ambassador and how it's shaped you in your life.

Jonah Holland: Throughout my 4H career, I spent 10 years in the shooting sports program from the ages of 8 to 18 and I absolutely loved it. As I got to be a senior age 4Her, I went ahead and took the next step in my shooting sports career by applying to be a safety ambassador. As a safety ambassador, it allowed me many opportunities to keep on doing what I loved in 4H and in shooting sports and just continue that passion. I was able to go around the state helping to promote the program to different counties. I was able to help different counties in their actual practices. The opportunity to be a safety ambassador in 4H has given me the opportunity to help develop my communication skills, my leadership skills along with my public speaking skills. Because whether it be on the range helping younger 4Hers or even 4Hers my age with whatever they need to do and ensuring that they're safe, it also gave me the chance to be the master of ceremonies at many competitions where I got to speak at the beginning of the competition. Assisting with events like this helps to teach great organizational skills.

Amy Myers: Now, John what are the requirements to apply to be a safety ambassador?

John Long: Must be a senior level registered 4Her as of January one and that would be at least 14 years of age as of January one.

Amy Myers: 14 to 18?

John Long: Yes that is correct. 14 to 18. You must have at least one full year left to be a 4H member and you must be an active participant in the 4H safety program.

Amy Myers: Yes and willing to use leadership skills and communication skills and be a team player, right?

John Long: Absolutely.

Amy Myers: How do you apply to be a 4H safety ambassador?

John Long: Well, you'll need to submit a cover letter, a 4H resume and two letters of support to the local Mississippi State University county extension office and then the extension agent there will submit a confidential letter of recommendation along with all documents that are related to this and they will submit those to the state 4H office and those applications are due then to the state 4H office by March the 1st of 2019.

Amy Myers: For more information, we can go to extension.msstate.edu and click on 4H and then scroll down to safety programs right?

John Long: That's correct.

Amy Myers: Thank you so much. Today we've been speaking with Dr. John Long, Mississippi State University extension 4H Youth Development Specialist. Also with Jonah Holland, former 4H safety ambassador. I'm Amy Myers and this has been farm and family. Have a great day.

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

 

Department: 4-H Youth Development

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