New 4-H director begins duties

CORTLAND — Southington native Ashlee Dietz grew up a 4-H member and now will be working with 4-H advisers and club members as part of her new job as 4-H youth development and extension educator at The Ohio State University Extension Office.

Since she was age 6, Dietz has been involved with 4-H programs. She raised Guernsey cows and horses. She became a member of the Touch of Class Equine Club, and showed horses and dairy cows at fairs.

As part of her new job, Dietz will oversee all of the 4-H related programs in the county, including volunteer and advisory training and quality assurance programs.

“I will help the 4-H advisers do their jobs and work with them in planning activities that will benefit youth,” she said.

Dietz received both her bachelor’s degree in animal science and master’s degree in dairy science from The Ohio State University and has worked as a dairy manager in Salem.

Dietz said her top priorities are animal health, agriculture and working with youth.

“This job gives me the opportunity to work with all three areas,” Dietz said.

“I want to be able to share news about agriculture, get rid of any stigmas about agriculture and strengthen the presence of agriculture,” she said.

She said 4-H is very strong in Trumbull County, especially the animal sector, but she also wants to focus on other areas of 4-H, such as clothing, cooking, sports, safety and natural resources which the extension office can address with programs and services.

“We are developing new programs to help target urban groups, school enrichment programs, healthy eating, exercise and how to get children involved in agriculture when they may not have access to a farm,” she said.

A 4-H a kickoff event is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center for anyone interested in 4-H. Club members and advisers will showcase what they do with hands-on activities and information. Dietz said 20 clubs are scheduled to take part in the third annual event.

Dietz said the Trumbull County Fair has always been one outlet to showcase the hard work of local 4-Hers.

“I was able to establish core values which made me successful for my future. I gained responsibility, time management skills and networking through my time in 4-H. I want to be able to share this with local youth to help shape their futures,” Dietz said.

She said since starting at the extension office everyone has been very supportive and helpful.

“I look forward to my time at the extension office,” Dietz said.