Beaufort County 4-H acquires 2 new vans

Published 5:57 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Excitement is buzzing through the Beaufort County Cooperative Extension with the addition of two new 15-passenger vans.

With a growing 4-H program, Erin Massie and Louise Hinsley, both Extension 4-H agents, are thrilled to have to vans to use throughout the year to help transport youth, adults and educational program supplies as they orchestrate the 4-H educational program. PotashCorp-Aurora was able to match funds from the Beaufort County commissioners, and the reality is the purchase of two vans.

Ray McKeithan, manager of public and government affairs at PotashCorp, stated, “We’re pleased that our matching gift will enable more children to get involved with 4-H programs and activities. 4-H representatives have demonstrated true devotion and sacrifice by using personal vehicles to ensure children can participate. These new vans will help the program, the dedicated agents and the children.”

In the past, 4-H agents have been limited to their personal vehicles and assumed the liability of transporting minors to various 4-H events and activities, or have had to raise funds to rent vans for transporting youth to club, county, district, state and national events.

Over the last few years, the need for daily transportation became more apparent for the 4-H program and the Beaufort County Extension Advisory Committee. In early 2016, both 4-H agents, along with the Beaufort County Cooperative Extension Director Rod Gurganus, made presentations to several groups asking for financial support.

McKeithan recognized that 4-H has such strong ties to agriculture, and he encouraged a proposal to be sent to PotashCorp’s corporate level. Massie wrote the proposal, and the company agreed to supply matching funds from the county.

It is with upmost respect that Beaufort County Cooperative Extension is seen as a valuable asset to the county, and the Beaufort County commissioners approved the purchase of one 15-passenger van.

McKeithan stated, “We believe in giving back to the community by supporting organizations who make a difference. 4-H programs allow young people to learn sustainable farming practices and the benefits of soil nutrition, lessons that match our company values.”

For more than three decades, Hinsley has had a banner in her office that states: “4-H Takes You Places.” It is not just the single trip, but the life skills gained through 4-H experiences, that continue to propel a person to greater heights throughout their lives. Massie and Hinsley are excited 4-H agents, and these vans will certainly help as the agents deliver informal, community-based, educational 4-H programs all over Beaufort County.

Look for the clover-covered vans on the back roads and highways of Beaufort County and beyond.

For more information about the 4-H program, call 252-946-0111.