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A lifetime in Extension: the Younts

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By Will Phillips

By Will Phillips

news@hclocal.com

Extension, for many people, is more than just an extracurricular activity, or something to take up time on the weekend. For Katie Sue Yount and her husband, Robbie, Extension is an integral part of their lives and careers. Katie Sue began her work with Extension when she first got out of college.

“It was something that I could apply for,” she recalled. “It was my first job.”

Yount started out in Boone County. When she received her appointment, though, it was in Henry County.

“I had never been here. But it certainly has been a blessing for me to come to Henry County,” Yount said. “It was not something I chose, it was something that was available. And I interviewed for it at the University of Kentucky at the College of Agriculture and was hired.”

As she continued working with the Henry County Extension Office, Katie Sue found that she had a knack for the work, as she experienced success as a Homemaker.

“My biggest accomplishment is to guide adult homemakers. I work with them first,” Yount said. “We did a lot of different areas of family life…I worked with low income people as far as food preservation, how to use the commodities that they were given.”

Once again, though, her career would take an unexpected turn. “I switched to 4-H. I was asked. Again, I had nothing to do with that, But there are numerous boys and girls still here in the county, as well as out of the county, who I called my 4-H members…boys and girls that I work with in 4-H,” Yount said. “And they have done so well. Not because of anything I did, but perhaps because of the organization of 4-H. And they learned from that…4-H is to make the best better.”

In addition to her work with the Homemakers Association and 4-H, Katie Sue and her husband, Robbie, have used their connections to make a difference in the lives of some of Henry County’s youths. Over the last seven years, the Younts have hosted an antique show on their farm. Using their connections to 4-H and Extension, they have helped bring in fourth graders from all over the county to see their antiques collection. Specifically, those machines which were at one time integral to making bread.

“[We] bring the kids and they can learn the old-fashioned way,” Robbie Yount said. “It’s a big day for them as well as for us.”

It all got started when Robbie had the idea that they should use the antique show, which had already been going on for a year, to educate the youth of Henry County on the way that things used to be done, before modern technology. “I got to thinking [that] it would be good to teach our young kids,” Robbie said.

According to Yount, the kids are shown the ropes of old-time bread making by Henry County FFA officers, recruited by Steve Moore. They go from station to station on the farm, see the wheat thrashed and ground and, eventually, cooked into a loaf of bread by Katie Sue Yount. “It goes from the field to the table,” Robbie said.

The Younts were also quick to praise the Extension Office and their willingness to help in the community. “Extension has just been super, super nice,” Robbie said, regarding their assistance in the bread-making lesson.

And for Katie Sue, she said that it all comes back to the people that helped her in the beginning, as well as the training that she received. She also said that the people she has met and interacted with through Extension have become her friends for life, as well as mentors. Among others, she specifically feels as though a certain former Extension Agent was integral to her success. “The Prewitts. Jim and Eileen Prewitt. And I wouldn’t want to name anyone in the county other than the Extension people because I’ll leave somebody out,” Yount said. “So many people have been so helpful.”

The Henry County Local will be doing a series of bios of past and present Extension Agents to celebrate the upcoming Centennial celebration for the Henry County Extension Office. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone you know for coverage, please email us at news@hclocal.com.