Swain Has New 4-H Agent

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Written by: Jessica Webb, Editor with The Smoky Mountain Times

New 4-H Agent Photo

Kristi Griggs is the new 4-H agent at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Swain County Center. A North Carolina State 2014 graduate, Griggs is from Robbinsville and has a background in education.

She will continue building on the current programs at 4-H and find new ways to keep the youth engaged. Existing programs include the 4-H Garden Club, the shooting club Bows and Bullets and the Livestock Club.

“I’m excited to meet the families, learn more about those specific clubs and help them grow,” Griggs said of stepping into her new role as the 4-H agent for Swain County on Jan. 5.

She taught elementary including STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and served as a math coach. As to her interest in 4-H, she said, she’s interested in getting to know the children, their families outside of school and all the activities they provide. She was involved with the community garden with the afterschool program in Robbinsville.

“We had two raised beds there and with what we harvested we made compound butter and did different activities,” she said. “We did hydroponic growing, and the kids harvested and we enjoyed making different recipes. We also hatched chicks.”

She has a background and knowledge to share when it comes to gardening, coming from a long line of home gardeners. She even studied beekeeping for her senior project in high school and got her Dad involved. She and her husband, Chris Griggs, have recently started beekeeping at their home and have a cut flower garden and do canning at home.

Griggs looks forward to building on the existing programming and learning about what interests the local 4-H youth has, saying she is interested in “building those relationships with the students and their families and trying new things and really pinpointing what they’re interested in and how we can foster that to fit those students.”

Rob Hawk, Swain/Jackson Extension Director, said the process took about 6 months to find a new agent.

“We have found a very strong 4-H agent, it was a competitive process, and we’re happy to have her and proud to have someone with a background and interest and passion for the youth,” he said.

He noted Griggs will also be involved with planning for the annual Swain County Agricultural Fair.

To learn more about programming, visit our website or find the office on Facebook or call (828) 488-3848.