Daniel Sarver has been a passionate leader and proponent of Tennessee 4-H for many years. In his new role as Volunteer Specialist, he hopes to propel 4-H into the future and get more people involved as volunteers.

“I hope to lead the state 4-H office in volunteerism and helping counties develop their volunteer programs,” Sarver says. “We can all involve more volunteers, and I hope to increase that involvement.”

Sarver says that the majority of Tennessee 4-H Alumni are volunteers and parents rather than past members.

“A good volunteer is a person who has an interest in 4-H, an affinity to 4-H and wants to see 4-H thrive,” Sarver says, adding that past members are an important segment of the volunteer base. “We often find that if someone had a positive 4-H experience in the past, then they want to pass that experience to others.”

He encourages people who want to get involved to find a project or area in their local 4-H and take hold there.

“The best way to pass on the positive experience to the next generation is through volunteering,” Sarver says. “Becoming a volunteer should start on the county level, then move to the regional and state level if they want.”

Sarver says his role will help create an organized way for people to volunteer and give back on a level with which they are comfortable.

“It all starts on the county level,” Sarver says. “That is where the need is the greatest and [volunteers] can get attached the fastest. From there, they can build their 4-H volunteer career.”

If you are interested in being a volunteer, call or visit your local Extension Office to find the best way to get involved on the county level.

– By Hannah Nave Lewis