Joel Kirby has served as a 4-H adult leader for 16 years
Writer: Robert Burns, 903-834-6191, email@example.com
OVERTON – Joel Kerby, a long-time Overton resident, has won the highest award 4-H gives a volunteer, the Salute to Excellence award.
“The award recognizes outstanding 4-H volunteers for their service to 4-H programs and the impact that they have had on the lives of young people,” said Montza Williams, 4-H youth specialist, Overton.
Kerby has served as a 4-H adult leader for Rusk County for the past 16 years, according to Blaine Jernigan, Texas AgriLife Extension Service agent for Rusk County. He has also served as club manager for the Roundup 4-H Club. in Overton for 11 years, and is currently serving as co-chairman of the Rusk County Youth Project Show. Before that, he served as superintendent of the club’s market lamb show.
“Every county and every volunteer-driven program needs more volunteers like Joel Kirby,” Williams said. “Even though his children have grown up and are out of the 4-H program, Joel continues to volunteer. He has experienced, along with his family, the full value of the 4-H program and because of that understanding and knowledge, Joel continues to give back so that other East Texas young people can enjoy some of those same benefits from the program.”
Kerby, who works as research associate at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton, has a reputation for not just being a hard worker, but someone who has the best traits of leadership, Jernigan said.
“I have known him for many years and have worked with him in Rusk County for the past 13 years,” Jernigan said. “He has been a person of great integrity. He seems always positive and willing to overlook people’s flaws and work with them to do the right thing in order to benefit our youth.”
4-H is a nationwide youth organization. In Texas, it is administered by AgriLife Extension, an agency of Texas A&M University system.