Sarah Easton is the new Extension youth specialist for Marion County.

Sarah Easton never participated in 4-H and did not even grow up in a rural setting, but she’s quickly learning about both.

Easton is the new youth program associate for University Extension in Marion County and is making it her goals to not only learn about the program, but also expand it.

“My first goal is to become more familiar and comfortable with the 4-H world, and I’m excited about that,” Easton said. “I also know we want to increase our presence, especially in Hannibal and get into those schools.”

One way to do that is to offer Special Interest (SPIN) programs, which would allow Extension to offer a variety of programs, including everything from a cooking class to robotics, and not have actual club meetings.

“As a whole, we need to focus on 4-H branding,” Easton said, noting it can be a sensitive subject. “Kind of like FFA, we need to expand beyond agriculture, but not exclude it.

“4-H is so much more than agriculture,” she added. “And the SPIN program is part of that.”

See entire story in this week's Palmyra Spectator.