American historian Henry Brooks Adams once said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
If there was ever a quote to describe Mississippi State University Extension Agent Alex Shook, this is it.
As the 4-H Youth Extension Agent in Pearl River County, Shook influences the lives of more than 500 students every year.
“Within those 500 students, we have regular club students and kids who participate in school enrichment programs,” Shook said. “I am over the entire 4-H program, but I would not be able to work with this many students without my club leaders and volunteers who help implement all of the programs.”
Pearl River County 4-H is known for its plethora of programs for students, including a livestock program, an equine program and a shooting sports program.
As a former 4-H student himself, Shook understands the impact these programs have on his students’ lives.
“I grew up raising livestock to show,” Shook said. “I actively participated in 4-H programs from elementary school through high school. The influence of these programs pushed me to pursue my undergraduate degree in Animal Science from Louisiana Tech University and my master’s degree in Agriculture and Extension Education from Mississippi State University.”
As the winner of the 2021 Extension Education Award, Shook received $4,500 cash to fund program support, including graduate students or research operations. He plans to put these funds back into Pearl River County’s programs.
“I believe my work with Extension is important to the future of Mississippi agriculture not only through the relationships I’ve built with producers and the help I provide them, but also through my work with the youth in Pearl River County,” Shook said. “We provide them with programs that teach them about the origins of agriculture products and what careers are available in agriculture production.”