NEW OPPORTUNITIES: Extension Educator Cole Meador works at his new office at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Ithaca to help provide new and exciting learning opportunities for area youth. (Staff Photo by Clayton Karloff)

ITHACA – Saunders County now has a new Extension educator. Cole Meador began his duties as 4-H youth director on Dec. 3.

Meador said before he came here to serve as an Extension educator, he worked as an Extension assistant in Lancaster County for seven years and helped manage 4-H livestock programs, agricultural literacy and conducted 4-H embryology lessons in the third grade classes of schools such as Waverly, Lincoln Public and others.

“The position opened up and I thought I’d be a great opportunity,” Meador said about why he applied in Saunders County.

Since officially starting he has focused on meeting others in the county, looking at currently active 4-H programs and finding different opportunities and programs to bring to the local youth. Beyond that, Meador said he planned on holding off a little and taking things slow.

“I plan on learning about the county and see what needs there are,” Meador said.

He said he does plan to reach out to schools, including third grade classes in various schools to see if they would be interested in taking part in an embryology program. Meador described embryology as the study of embryos and their development. This would be done in class by studying live chicken eggs, holding the egg up to a light to see the embryo within to learn about the development cycles of the embryos until they finally hatch.

Meador said he planned on reaching out to schools to see which are already doing this type of program and which would be open to it. He said that even if some schools are already doing this sort of study, the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center will help provide them with extra materials for the lessons.

“We’ll help to make it more impactful,” Meador said.

He said he may also be helping with livestock and sewing focused programs in the future and working in partnership with the Saunders County Board of Supervisors, who helps provide them with the resources to provide 4-H programs to the area.

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