Donna White has been an Erath County 4H extension agent for 13 years, serving nine in Eastland prior to moving here in 2005. She announced this week that she is retiring.
White followed in her father’s footsteps — he was an agriculture extension agent — and moved to Eastland with her husband in 1979 where she got her first position as an extension agent before taking some time off to raise her three daughters.
White then decided it was time to get back to work.
“The job that was open was a teaching job,” she said. “So I taught school and then the (extension) agent there retired. So I got that job.”
After the Eastland department downsized White took the position in Erath County in 2005, which allowed her to focus on 4H.
“I thought I could do the 4H sewing and food camps, youth fairs and I could concentrate more on the health part of it,” she said. “Over here I could spread my wings a little more and work in the health education realm, which is what I really enjoy.”
White has been a part of starting the Dinner Tonight! Cooking School in 2012 and has been involved with coordinating the Youth Fair at the Junior Livestock Show of Erath County, real world simulations in schools, cooking competitions, and food and sewing camps.
“You have to have a goal and reach it,” she said.
But health is what she’s focused on.
“We get to do the fun things of trying to educate people to possibly prevent some health problems down the road through healthy eating and a more active lifestyle,” White said. “I’ve been here long enough to see kids graduate, go off to college, have a family and now their kids are in 4H. It’ been very rewarding that they see the value and the importance and keep it up in their family.”
As far as what’s next, White said she is going to spend some much needed time with her family.
“My grand plan is to be able to spend more time with my family; with my mom, grandkids, daughters, husband and pets,” she said with a laugh. “So I think it will be nice to spend some quality time with them and do some other things. I love to sew and quilt and I haven’t had time to do that.”
White said she will miss the people.
“I’m going to miss that creative energy that comes with working with committees and different people because I love when ideas come together,” she said. “It’s going to be the people. I’ll miss the people and seeing the kids grow up.”
White said she’s had so many wonderful volunteers that have helped with 4H.
“It’ll be fine and life will go on,” she said. “There are so many great volunteers with 4H and they will carry on just fine.”