Donation from area business helps Brownwood 4-H center fulfill mission

Center now seeking people to fill summer staff positions

BROWNWOOD – As part of a generous agreement, Lawson Implement Company of Goldthwaite recently delivered a John Deere 5055D tractor and 4X2 Gator to the Texas 4-H Conference Center in Brownwood for use at no cost through July of this year, said a center official.

The two new pieces of equipment were in addition to a John Deere 512 loader also loaned to the center at no cost, beginning in June 2012.

Lawson Implement provided three large pieces of equipment at no cost to the Texas 4-H Center in Brownwood. The donation was valued at more than $30,000 per six-month period.  (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Lawson Implement Company in Goldthwaite provided three large pieces of grounds maintenance equipment at no cost to the Texas 4-H Center in Brownwood. The donation was valued at more than $30,000 per six-month period. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

“Through the original agreement with the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation, Lawson Implement agreed to provide this grounds-maintenance equipment for use by the center free of cost from June 12 to Dec. 31 of 2012,” said Dr. Darlene Locke, Texas 4-H Center director with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. “This amounted to a donation value of more than $30,000 per six-month period.”

The agreement stated Lawson would provide equipment at the 78-acre center’s request each six months, provided it was available, Locke said. The delivery of the two new pieces was per an extension of that agreement from January to July 2013.

“The original equipment included a utility tractor with a loader that was used to move equipment and resources while building the ADA-accessible archery range,” Locke said. “The Gator is used daily to move supplies, haul equipment and so forth. And the utility tractor they delivered in January has the capability to dig and will be used to dig up water lines that need replacing.”

Quin Hanson, store manager for Lawson Implement in Goldthwaithe, said the equipment loan was in keeping with the company’s desire to provide community service and help area youth.

“We try to be involved in things relating to the rural lifestyle and youth in this area, including the youth stock show and supporting the Texas 4-H Center in Brownwood,” he said. “A lot of the parents of the young people who participate are our customers and this is our way of giving back.”

Locke said the equipment has been indispensable for making improvements to the center’s grounds, benefiting the thousands of people annually who take advantage of center facilities and activities, using them for conferences, retreats, camps and other events and activities.

“The Texas 4-H Center is a part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service,”  Locke explained. “We had more than 7,000 registered guests at the center in 2012 and 2,800 of those were youth. The center serves to enrich educational programs and activities, so this donation by Lawson will enhance the opportunities available to 4-H members and the greater community.”

The Texas 4-H Center in Brownwood is a 78-acre location with facilities for retreats, conferences, summer camps and more. Each year, more than 7,000 people use center facilites, including 2,800 youth. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The Texas 4-H Center in Brownwood is a 78-acre location with facilities for retreats, conferences, summer camps and more. Each year, more than 7,000 people use center facilities, including more than 2,800 youth. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Jim Reeves, executive director of the Texas 4-H Foundation, said since its opening in 1975, the center has relied on the generosity of area families, friends and businesses to help make improvements in facilities and programs to help young people throughout Texas learn leadership and life skills.

“The importance of this type of support cannot be overstated,” Reeves said. “Donations of equipment, materials or services are just as necessary to the operation of the Brownwood 4-H center as are monetary donations. We’re very grateful to Lawson for their generous donation by waiving the rental charge for this equipment.”

Locke added that the Texas 4-H Conference Center is also looking to hire both full-time and seasonal help based on vacancies and needs.

“The center provides the opportunity for young adults to have a summer job where they can interact with kids and other adults, swim, dance and have fun while gaining valuable experience in leadership, team building, communication and more,” she said. “A Texas 4-H Center summer staff position makes for a great learning experience and is a good addition to your resume. There is no better on-the-job training program for a young person interested in becoming a teacher, coach or, for that matter, a parent.

The Texas 4-H Center is also looking for young people to fill available summer staff positions. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The Texas 4-H Center is also looking for young people to fill  summer staff positions. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

“I’ve been ‘at camp’ for nine years and have thoroughly enjoyed seeing 4-H members become summer staff and maturing into young adults serving now as county extension agents, teachers, coaches and other professionals. Where else can you kayak and get paid for it — or dance every night? Plus, you don’t have to buy a new wardrobe or commute long distances.”

For more information on the 4-H center and center employment opportunities, go to http://texas4hcenter.tamu.edu.

The Texas 4-H Foundation is a non-profit organization which helps promote and support youth development in leadership, vocational skills, critical thinking, social skills and citizenship.

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