CARROLLTON, Ohio — After months of searching, Carroll County now has a coordinator for the 4-H program.
Ryan Pape was hired as the program coordinator and will serve in the position for a year.
He was involved in the 4-H program showing steers when he was younger and even competed at the state fair level.
Pape has a bachelor’s degree from West Liberty in health and physical activity.
“He is a very successful young man,” Kerrigan said.
Jack Kerrigan, Ohio State University Extension regional director for northeast Ohio, said the decision was made to hire a program coordinator over an extension educator because they needed someone on board as soon as possible.
And Pape will have to hit the ground running: The Carroll County Fair is July 18-July 24.
Kerrigan explained that the biggest difference between an extension educator and the program coordinator is that a program coordinator must use the existing curriculum materials. They are allowed to adapt for the local situation but they are not able to write new curriculum. Educators are also required to hold master’s degrees; coordinators do not have that requirement.
He added there are a number of program coordinators in the state running 4-H programs.
Kerrigan said the first round of interviews and applications were unsuccessful, which was why the search took over six months.
He admitted that it was the uncertainty surrounding the program that made the position harder to fill.
Pape will continue with the program for this year and then Kerrigan hopes the program will know if ongoing funding is available.
The OSU Extension office has been moved into the Carroll County Soil and Water Conservation District building.
However, the Carroll County SWCD and 4-H volunteers spearheaded a fundraising effort in late December, and by the middle of January, $25,000 had been raised to fund the program with SWCD providing office space, telephones, fax machines and other office necessities.
In addition, an anonymous donor is supplying the funding for a cell phone, travel expenses and a part-time support person for the extension office.
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