Brent Clark is no stranger to the impact of West Virginia 4-H programs on youths and families across the Mountain State.
In fact, he’s lived it.
A lifelong 4-H’er, Clark serves as the WVU Extension Service 4-H Youth Development program unit director, where he has a hand in preserving and improving the same opportunities that he once had for current and future generations of 4-H’ers.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the impression of West Virginia 4-H in my life—in many ways, I am a product of my time spent with this organization,” said Clark. “It’s been a life calling to work with our talented faculty and staff to enhance 4-H programming for young people in our state.”
As WVU Extension Service 4-H program unit director, he gets to live out that life calling every day.
Clark works with 4-H faculty and staff to coordinate and manage the comprehensive West Virginia 4-H youth development program. From summer 4-H camps and community service projects, to educational outreach programming teaching science, technology, engineering and math skills, West Virginia 4-H aims to help the state’s youths grow to become responsible, civic leaders within their communities.
“I truly believe we play an integral role in helping today’s youths become tomorrow’s leaders,” said Clark. “Whether it’s a summer camp that unites youths from all over the state or one of our public speaking contests encouraging friendly competition among 4-H’ers, our programs have a direct impact on the way youths grow up in this state and the opportunities they have going into adulthood.”
A native of Princeton, West Virginia, Clark’s professional journey with West Virginia 4-H began in 2001 when he was appointed program assistant in Mercer County. He moved on to serve as program coordinator in Fayette County, then later as a 4-H agent in Harrison County for nearly eight years.
After his role as a 4-H agent, Clark gained experience as part of the WVU Extension Service administrative team, serving for three years as director of development.
Throughout his decades of experience in 4-H, Clark has pioneered multiple 4-H clubs, served as a mentor for new 4-H faculty members and has traveled to all 55 counties to form valuable relationships within the 4-H community.
In his current role as program unit director, Clark’s goal is to leverage this 14 years of professional experience in Extension with his personal 4-H experience as a member and volunteer to assess current West Virginia 4-H programs for effectiveness and needs for improvement.
“It’s critical that we analyze our programs and, if need be, tailor them to better serve West Virginians,” said Clark. “Whether it means creating new programs or making changes to existing ones, West Virginia 4-H is always moving and evolving to meet the needs of today’s families and youths.”
Clark received a bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from Bluefield College and earned a master’s degree in strategic leadership from Mountain State University.