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Utah names new youth development directorUtah names new youth development director

Veteran Extension faculty member gains new role to provide leadership for state 4-H and youth programs.

December 13, 2018

2 Min Read
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YOUTH AND THE FUTURE: Science education is an important part of 4-H, as the program works to prepare youth for the future. Utah State University Extension has named a new youth development director. StockRocket/Getty Images

One area of responsibility that Extension has around the country is youth programming. In many states, the state 4-H programs are headed by Extension personnel, and it’s an important area of development for residents. In Utah, an opening for a new youth development director has been filled.


David Francis

David Francis is the new youth development director for Utah State University Extension. Francis is currently Extension faculty with responsibilities for science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — programs, and he has worked with Extension youth programs since 2001, where he started his career at the Thanksgiving Point complex, near Salt Lake City, as an Extension educator.

In the new role, Francis is charged to provide leadership, guidance and oversight to all Extension youth programs and the state 4-H office in support of the USU land-grant mission.

In the announcement naming Francis to the position, Ken White, vice president for USU Extension, commented that “Dave has a wealth of knowledge and experience that will not only benefit our youth leaders, but most importantly, our youth. Our 4-H mission is to empower youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.”

In his current role, Francis’ primary responsibility has been working with Extension faculty, staff and volunteers to develop and support 4-H STEM programs. He has served on the National 4-H Science Leadership Team and served as lead adviser to the National 4-H Council to develop a Computer Science Pathways Program for 11 states that is funded by Google. He has also been program director of the National Maker Summit.

Francis commented that the world is changing fast and youth need appropriate tools and programs to succeed. “I hope to help deepen the experience that 4-H youth have in their clubs and with their projects. I’m a true believer in experiential learning, and I look forward to demonstrating how the hands-on experiences in camps and clubs can lead to college and career pathways for youth. I am also anxious to help connect 4-H alumni back to the program.”

Source: Utah State University

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