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Volunteers are the heart of N.C. Cooperative Extension. Volunteers are the key to our success. You, an existing or potential volunteer, are a key component of bringing the University to the people of McDowell County through a variety of program areas, both youth and adult.

In McDowell, we have several opportunities to volunteer. Some are short-term, some are longer term commitments. Here are some ways to be involved with your community:

4-H Youth Development

4-H club outing Volunteers in 4-H Youth Development help youth develop essential life skills like problem-solving, decision-making, and communicating. These volunteers serve as

  • 4-H Club Leaders/Helpers (You can lead a group of young people to develop life skills. Clubs usually meet 1 time a month, at least 9 times throughout the year. It is a very rewarding experience. I know).
  • Special Interest Program Leaders/Helpers (Shooting Sports or Livestock Judging)
  • 4-H Field Days (In McDowell, we have Agriculture Awareness Field Day & Safety Field Day. Both Field Days are 1/2-day events where instructors teach youth about agriculture or safety).Master Gardeners of McDowell County teaching youth
  • 4-H County or District Activity Day Judges (District Activity Day is a 1/2-day event when 4-Hers practice public speaking in a competition across the Extension District).

Learn more.

Extension Master Gardeners℠ Volunteers

Master Gardener and other volunteers working on a community gardenExtension Master Gardener℠ volunteers work in their communities to provide home gardeners with unbiased, research-based information on establishing and maintaining gardens, lawns, and landscapes. There are several ways to engage in service and teaching roles for our community.

Learn more.

Community Garden Volunteers

There are a few community gardens in McDowell County. If you have a desire to get your hands dirty and grow food or flowers, community gardens are a good way to engage. Different tasks like watering, weeding, and harvesting are needed. Community gardens have different missions, but oftentimes, produce grown is donated to increase food security in our community.

harvested produce in a basket

Advisory Leadership System

master gardeners strategically planningThe N.C. Cooperative Extension – McDowell County Center has an Advisory Leadership System. The Advisory Leadership volunteers serve as advisors in determining Extension priorities and keeping programming relevant and responsive to local needs. There are an array of councils and committees at the local level.

  • N.C. Cooperative Extension – McDowell County Center Advisory Leadership Council
  • Keep McDowell Beautiful
  • McDowell 4-H County Council

Call and get involved. Volunteers don’t have time, but they have heart!