Roth put 4-H youth first for 3 decades PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Farm Editor   
Saturday, 12 January 2013 08:43
Jayne Roth sits at her desk in the Wood County OSU Extension Office on Dunbridge Road in Bowling Green, Ohio on January 7, 2013. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
For more than 30 years Jayne Roth has been involved with 4-H programming in Northwest Ohio, including serving Wood County for most of that time.
"Sometimes you just take Jayne for granted, because she is just always there and doing her best for the kids," said Donna Arnold, vice president for the 4-H committee. "Jayne is very loyal to the 4-H program. She puts herself last and always puts the youth first."
"What is amazing to many is after all this time, she continues to fascinate teens with her optimistic upbeat character," said Jennifer Morlock who has worked with Roth in the 4-H Extension office in Bowling Green for more than 20 years.
Roth was recently recognized with the 2013 NAE4-HA Meritorious Service Award, presented by the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents.
Roth was also recognized at the state level, receiving the 2012 State Achievement Award in 4-H Youth Development. This award was presented by the Ohio Association of Extension Professionals at the annual conference in December. Both awards are peer-nominated with the national honor being a source of pride for the recipient as only one person recognized in each state.
Roth's title is extension educator, 4-H Youth Development, but most people just know her as the "4-H lady."
While many things have changed, others are much the same as when she began in the 1980s.
"Livestock, nutrition and clothing projects will always be there," Roth said.
Many of the newer 4-H projects are what she calls "S.T.E.M.-based (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programming."
She also notes the increased paperwork, rules and regulations added regularly over the years.
To say Roth is involved in her work would be an understatement.
"Jayne has wrestled with pigs, nose-printed cattle, mixed thousands of 4-H milkshakes, provided a positive learning environment for thousands of youth and is known as a 4-H camping specialist throughout Ohio and the nation," Morlock said. "She has assisted young teens in selecting the right college path, danced a thousand dances, went mad at 4-H Midnight Madness and continues to spread her passion of molding our young Wood County 4-H teens into positive productive adults."
Morlock said her peers recognize Roth's "positive spirit."
Roth credits the 4-H staff, committee, club advisers and other volunteers who assist in making the local 4-H program a success.
"Jayne gives the 4-H Staff opportunities in programming and makes us all feel involved. She gives credit where credit is due and encourages everyone's creative input with every task we encounter," Morlock said.
The 4-H staff has a very strong youth development program as many members later become leaders in the community.
"Having our youth feel ownership of their 4-H program is a high priority for Jayne, you will always find youth leading any 4-H program you attend," Morlock said.   
"There are generations of youth who are following in her footsteps as great leaders," Arnold said. "She has the ability to develop leaders and teach others how to do that. People learn from her so easily."
Roth, originally from Wayne County in Northeast Ohio, graduated from Ohio State University with her first degree in 1979 and her second degree in 1980. She began her extension career in 1981 in Putnam County where she worked before accepting her current post in 1985.
Her outside interests include making wine along with her sister. They specialize in fruit wines and she is currently working on perfecting more blended varieties.
She also loves to travel and enjoys tailgating at Ohio State University football games. Roth is a member of Zonta of Bowling Green and is also involved with the Black Hills Recreational Leadership lab as a board member.
Her latest acquisition is a pair of snowshoes. She wants to pursue that hobby if the weather cooperates.
Enrollment in 4-H continues to grow and Wood County is consistent in having the largest 4-H camp summer after summer, featuring approximately 400 members in overnight camping opportunities each year.
Enrollment currently shows nearly 1,300 4-H members in close to 60 clubs.

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