Brittingham hired as new Goshen County Extension Agent
Torrington – Megan Brittingham began as the new Goshen County Extension Agent on April 1, and has been on her toes with the busy summer 4-H season ever since.
A native of Ohio, Brittingham worked with The Ohio State University Extension for four years prior to moving to Wyoming upon accepting her new position.
“I grew up in 4-H in Ohio and have worked in counties with 500 4-H members up to 2,000 members. I think this county is a great size to start with, and it’s a very active and busy program,” she notes.
Brittingham has yet to experience her first fair, but has enjoyed getting her feet wet during the busy time of the 4-H year.
“Right now I think it’s most important for me to learn about this program. There are so many different aspects to my job, and I feel that matches my personality well. I love the range of opportunities within the position of a 4-H agent, and getting to know the kids and volunteers. I come with experience tucked away, but don’t presume to know anything about how it’s done here and am focusing on learning at this point,” explains Brittingham.
As Brittingham prepares to leave for 4-H camp, she notes that one difference between Ohio and Wyoming is the way 4-H camps are run. In Ohio, 4-H camp is held at an accredited site with buildings and meals provided.
“Here we are sleeping in tents and doing our own cooking. I’m still learning what to expect because it’s very different. Not in a better or worse way, just different, and that makes me excited because I’ve never experienced 4-H in this way,” she comments.
Another thing she is excited about is the degree of dedication exhibited by both youth and adults involved in Goshen County 4-H.
“I’ve found there is a tremendous amount of volunteerism here. While at the grocery store gathering supplies for camp I ran into some 4-H volunteers and they immediately offered to help out. Everyone is very willing and incredibly enthusiastic about helping out. They aren’t afraid to do whatever needs done and I really appreciate that,” says Brittingham.
The level of talent shown in Goshen County judging programs is another thing by which Brittingham has been pleasantly surprised.
“The judging programs here have blown my mind. The kids involved are great. This year we won state wool judging and took fourth in Sonora, Calif. at the national contest. Our meats judging team travels to the national competition in Kansas City, Kan. in October, and our produce judging team just won a trip to compete at the National Western Stockshow in Denver, Colo. Our junior teams also won state meats and produce judging. I find that level of success very impressive,” states Brittingham.
In addition to the judging programs, Goshen County is also very active in several other areas of 4-H. Brittingham considers the high level of involvement by members and volunteers a huge benefit to her and the program as a whole.
“The neat thing about 4-H is that while implementation may vary greatly from one area of the country to the next, the goal is always the same. No matter what path is taken, so long as you’re providing positive youth development and allowing both youth and adult volunteers to learn from one another you’re doing your job. That’s what I’m trying to do here,” says Brittingham.
Heather Hamilton is editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.