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Kimble: Youth government in action
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When I was a 4-H’er, county extension agent Clyde Taylor put me up to telling county extension director Mike Welborn that a little bird told me that the messier your office is, the more work you do.

Mr. Clyde’s office had the lived in look: dried leaves tucked under the desk for impromptu Forestry Field Day lessons, fundraiser items spilling off the shelf, files on the desk and a button maker over there.

I found his office very comfortable, so it’s no wonder I seem to take after his style of office decorating today.

Mr. Welborn, on the other hand, always had an immaculate office, with beautiful paper weights lined up perfectly and a shine to the top of his desk. (I’m not even sure what Mr. Clyde’s desk looked like!)

Of course, they were both incredible extension employees and did lots of great work, regardless of what that little bird put me up to saying.

But I had to laugh this week when several Youth Leadership Institute youth asked about Governor Deal’s desk.

We were ushered in for a quick handshake and photo on our trip to the capitol this week and we were amazed at how clean and perfect his office appeared.

So we all want to know: does the governor have two desks? One for photos and one where he can spread out his reading and sort out important correspondence?

I’m assuming he must, but I think Mr. Welborn would appreciate Gov. Deal’s style.

On Leadership Day at the Capitol a few weeks ago with Georgia 4-H, we also had the opportunity to visit with Representative Doug Holt and see his desk on the House floor.

It’s hard to believe that once upon a time that small desk with hardly any elbow room between the next desk used to be the only "office" a representative had at the Capitol!

When their office spaces of today seem small, I suppose they at least have to be thankful they have more than this little desk.

I’m thankful that our elected officials made time to visit with our youth as they visited the Capitol this month, giving them a little taste of what working in our government is like.

During Leadership Day at the Capitol, 4-H’ers heard from both First Lady Sandra Deal and Governor Nathan Deal.

Mrs. Deal spoke fondly of her entire family’s 4-H experiences, and praised the youth for their service learning activities.

Our 4-H delegation from Newton County was also pleased to meet and speak with Representative Doug Holt, Senator Rick Jeffares and two lobbyists for the Georgia Electric Membership Corporation.

On this trip we also had the unique opportunity to compare our government system to France’s, as a French exchange student joined us for the trip.

Special thanks to Ray Cheek and Snapping Shoals EMC for making our 4-H day trip possible.

The Newton Youth Leadership Institute travelled to the capitol this week along with Leadership Newton County.

Youth each met members of the adult leadership class and heard from representatives Doug Holt, Pam Dickerson and Dale Rutledge.

We shook hands with Governor Deal, visited the Secretary of State’s office and sat in the galleries of the House and Senate.

The students and adults also visited the Georgia Department of Agriculture and heard from Commissioner Gary Black.

Finally, the youth headed off to the State Department of Transportation to tour a HERO unit and the 511 traffic center.

Thanks to the Newton County Chamber of Commerce and Snapping Shoals EMC for coordinating this trip, and Ray Cheek and Danny Stone for chaperoning as well.

Terri Kimble is the Newton County 4-H Agent through UGA Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at 770-784-2010. or