On Wednesday of this week, the Clinton County Extension Office will welcome a new 4-H Youth Development agent to the staff.
Brandon Pharis, a 2005 Clinton County graduate, will begin his new career after spending three years in the South Warren School District in Bowling Green, KY.
After high school, Pharis went on to Campbellsville for a year, transferred to Western Kentucky University and graduated with a degree in education.
Pharis was a social studies teacher, as well as the freshman boys’ basketball coach and an assistant coach for the varsity team at South Warren.
After moving back to his home town, Pharis is eager to get started at his new position.
“I just want to give back to the community,” Pharis said. “It’s kind of surreal at this point. It feels like I’m still just visiting on a long weekend.”
Pharis has been married for three years to Kenzie Rich Pharis, of Tompkinsville. He is the son of Jeff and Sandra Pharis of Albany.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Pharis said. “Just to get back home and get back to this community and help decrease the number of at risk kids. I want to help increase the number of kids who are college and career ready and I get to be back with my family.”
Pharis said he is going to start creating programs for Clinton County’s youth, including livestock programs, continue with the shooting sports, and start what he called a “Clover Bud” program in the elementary school.
“The Clover Bud program is designed to get the elementary school students involved with 4-H,” Pharis said. “There is a new program coming out this year called the G.I.S., which is the Geographic Information System. I really think it would be good for some of our high school students. It will be a pathway to a career, especially with the oil industry being predominate in the area. It’s something the entire 4-H in the state of Kentucky is going to emphasize this year.”
Getting started with 4H for Pharis will only be a small transition. Agents at the extension office had picked up the slack in the absence of a 4-H Agent for the past several years and as of now, the 4-H department is thriving in Clinton County. Pharis said he wants to expand on what the office has already done for Clinton County.
“There are a lot of things I think the kids can benefit from, but it’s going to take a while to get it all implemented,” Pharis said. “I’m real excited about it. There are a lot of opportunities for the kids here. The agents who are there now have done an outstanding job.”
Among Pharis’ every day duties, he will also be in charge of the fair exhibits, pet shows and other events at the fair next year.
“I’m excited about getting started with the other agent’s programs,” Pharis said. “Some days when I’m not really working on my 4-H, I’ll be helping Colby (Guffey) with Ag or Christy (Nuetzman) with Family and Consumer Science.”
Clinton County last had a full-time 4-H Agent in the early 1990s when Michael Martin filled the position.
In recent years, Extension Office employee Linda Bell has performed most of the duties related to the 4-H program in Clinton County, which Pharis stressed will give him a much welcomed head start with the local program.
“It’s going to be a good opportunity to get to build on what Linda has done for the past several years,” Pharis said.
If anyone would to like meet Pharis, there will be a meet-and-greet Thursday at the Clinton County Extension Office from 4 – 6 p.m. For more information, contact the Extension Office at 606-387-5404.