Arch Smith named leader of Georgia 4-H program

By for CAES News

Arch Smith has been named leader and director of Georgia 4-H, becoming the eighth state 4-H leader in the program’s 107-year history.

Announcing the appointment on Dec. 20, Beverly Sparks, associate dean for extension for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences said, “We are very fortunate to have an individual with Arch’s experience, knowledge and dedication at the helm of the finest 4-H program in the nation.”

Georgia 4-H is a program of UGA Cooperative Extension administered by UGA CAES.

Smith began his career with UGA Extension as a county agent in Carroll County in 1985. In 1988, he joined the state 4-H staff as director of Rock Eagle 4-H Center, one of the state’s five 4-H centers. In 1995, he became associate state 4-H leader and executive director of the Georgia 4-H Foundation.

Smith oversaw significant renovations to the Rock Eagle center, which is the largest 4-H center in the world, and major construction to each of the other Georgia 4-H centers, including the addition of the Fortson 4-H Center.

While growing up in Warren County on his family's cotton and cattle farm, Smith joined 4-H in the fifth grade. He remained active in the organization through college and served as a 4-H camp counselor for four summers.

Over the past year, Smith served as interim state 4-H director, leading hundreds of faculty and staff members through the 2010 budget process during which 4-H was proposed for elimination. He led the official response to the budget proposal from Georgia 4-H, which was followed by unplanned support from thousands of current and former 4-H'ers who helped prevent Georgia 4-H from being eliminated.

“Arch has done a remarkable job in his interim role of leading Georgia 4-H through some difficult challenges,” Sparks said. “I am confident he will continue to provide outstanding leadership and build additional support for our program."

Smith is both the 4-H director and a CAES senior public service associate faculty member. He is married to the former Brenda Taylor of Atlanta. They have two children, Kristen, a 2008 UGA graduate, and Daniel, currently a CAES undergraduate.

Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
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