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Meet your government: Jackson County 4-H agent's career fulfills her dreams
Jackson County 4-H Extension Agent Wanda McLocklin, left, helps Cailen French, 11, a member of 4-H, with a holiday project. - photo by Brandee Thomas

East Hall, North Hall practice

By: Katie B. Davis

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Meet your government

Every Monday The Times takes a look at someone who helps keep our local governments running smoothly.

Wanda McLocklin has accomplished something that most people only dream of.

McLocklin successfully turned a childhood passion into a career that spans nearly two decades.

"I was a very active 4-H’er when I was in middle and high school," she said. "I just always really enjoyed it. I went to college and got a degree in family and consumer science and then became a 4-H agent. I’ve been an agent for 15 years now."

The Oconee County native has been the 4-H agent for Jackson County for the past nine years.

"My job changes every day. Some days I’m overseeing 4-H meetings; other days I may be supervising club members while they do various craft projects," she said. "We make sure that every fifth-grader in Jackson County gets 4-H, so my main job is to make sure that the program runs smoothly."

The goal of 4-H is to use hands-on projects to teach students life skills in different areas, including communication, energy conservation, citizenship and nutrition.

For McLocklin, 4-H is more than a career. It’s also a family affair.

"My 11-year-old son is very involved in the Barrow County 4-H program. He does archery and the district project achievement," she said. "My husband is also very involved. He volunteers and does a lot of things with 4-H."

While McLocklin enjoys all aspects of the 4-H program, she does admit to having a few favorite points about the organization.

"I really love being able to watch the kids learn and grow up in the organization. A lot of the students start in fifth grade and continue with 4-H until they graduate from high school," she said. "I pretty much like all of the (subject areas) but my favorite one to teach is consumer education. In consumer education, we do things like teach the kids how to look at a situation and to determine what is the best buy based on a given person’s needs."