The Moore American

March 27, 2013

New county 4-H coordinator hopes to teach, offer fun

By Jay Chilton
The Moore American

MOORE — A native of Gilmer, Texas, graduate of Texas Tech University and 4-H member since the age of 7, Jessica Tevebaugh came to Cleveland County Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service as the Cleveland County 4-H & Youth Development Educator Cleveland County in January to teach the young people of the area.

Coming to the Tevebaugh’s background is with cattle and horses with a particular focus on embryo transfer in cattle. As a 4-H and youth development educator, Tevebaugh wants to help kids with their livestock, teach what she knows about livestock judging and help reinvigorate horse programs to encourage young people interested in horse culture in Cleveland County.

Livestock judging has two basic components. Placing animals by comparing those present to the class and to the ideal for the species, and orally justifying the decision or “giving reasons.” After placing the animals, judging team members present their reasons to experts in the livestock judging field and attempt to convince the expert their placement was proper. This process teaches documentation, precision and debate skills.

Another passion for Tevebaugh, is educating children and the public about agriculture and its importance in not only Cleveland County but in society as a whole. One important educational program close to Tevebaugh’s heart is the Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom program. Ag in the Classroom teaches children lessons about where food comes from and sponsors agritourism adventures for adults and young people to explore farms and ranches across the state.

Tevebaugh hopes to see an opening of classrooms to educators such as herself to teach kids and teachers the benefits of supporting local farmers and locally grown foods. Tevebaugh recalled a recent visit to a local classroom when the students learned about milk.

“We taught the kids how much a cow eats to produce milk. The kids really enjoyed it and they learned a lot. They didn’t know what it took to produce milk,” she said.

The Cleveland County OSU Extension office has several programs scheduled for the spring and summer and Tevebaugh is excited to see kids learning and having a good time.

“It’s great to watch them having fun. They want to be here, they want to learn and improve and that is what it’s all about,” she said.

Tevebaugh may be reached at the Cleveland County Cooperative Extension office at 601 E. Robinson St. in Norman or phone 321-4774.