Dr. Jim Byford is Dean Emeritus of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Martin, where he served as dean for over 23 years. His career has spanned over 40 years, including appointments at the University of Georgia and UT Knoxville. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and has a Ph.D. in wildlife from Auburn University – with minors in forestry and fisheries and a B.S. in agriculture. Byford has received numerous local, state, and national awards related to agriculture, wildlife, youth education, conservation, and communications – and in 2016 was named to the National 4-H Hall of Fame.
Matt Fennel was an active 4-H Member in Obion County. He received a degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Matt currently serves as a regional field services administrator for the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. He also serves on the executive council for Tennessee 4-H Alumni & Friends.
Dr. Scott Senseman graduated from Wilmington College of Ohio in 1986 with a B.S. in Agricultural Business. He completed his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas in Agronomy-Weed Science and Agronomy-Pesticide Residue, respectively. He served on the faculty in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University for more than 18 years starting in October 1994. Prior to that appointment, he served as Head of the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Tennessee where he has been employed since July, 2013. He also served as Deputy Assistant Dean for Strategic Planning for the Herbert College of Agriculture from April 2019 to May 2020. He is currently Professor and Interim Dean of UT Extension that began in June of 2020.
Oak Ridge, TN
Justin Crowe began his 4-H career as a nine-year member of the McNairy County 4-H program. During his time as a participant in the 4-H program, Crowe participated in a variety of projects, judging team competitions, and held leadership roles on the county, regional, and state level. In 2003, Crowe began working as a 4-H agent in Metro Nashville/Davidson County where he spent almost five years engaging urban youth in hands-on learning experiences. In 2008, he joined the state 4-H staff, working with state-wide teen leadership, citizenship, and healthy living programs. In 2020, Crowe was promoted to serve as Director and State 4-H Program Leader for 4-H Youth Development with the University of Tennessee Extension. In addition to his work life, he and his wife Julie love to volunteer and travel.
Caroline is a student at the University of Tennessee Knoxville where she studies Agriculture Communications. Growing up, she was heavily involved in 4-H in Warren County. She participated in Performing Arts and Recreation, Communications/Public speaking, and the Nutrition Health and Fitness Projects. She served on Tennessee 4-H State Council for two years as a Central Region Junior Representative and as the State Council Vice President.
John Calvin Bryant
John Calvin Bryant spent his youth as a 4-H member in Lawrence County. Over his nine-year 4-H career, he was involved with the Communication/Public Speaking, Leadership, Sheep, and Swine projects. He served as Congress Governor and State Council Vice President. John Calvin is a current student at the University of Tennessee pursuing a degree in Food Science. One day he hopes to work in food production and food security.
Carol Coley McDonald
Carol Coley McDonald is the Assistant Commissioner of Policy and Legislation with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. She began her lifetime career with agriculture on her family farm in Macon County, focusing on 4-H activities and events during her youth and while in high school. Carol attended the University of Tennessee where she was on the Livestock and Meats Judging Teams and acquired her BS degree in Animal Science. After working on a diversified farming operation, serving as a 4-H volunteer, and raising her two daughters, Carol worked with UT Extension as the Smith County 4-H Agent.
Dr. Tim Cross currently serves as the Chancellor of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Tim received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University. Tim then received his Doctorate Degree, also in Agricultural Economics, from Oregon State in 1991. Tim began his work with UT Extension in 1994 by working as an Extension Specialist and became the Dean of Extension in 2008.
Kathy Brooks Finley has a long history of Tennessee 4-H participation. She is a former Robertson County 4-H member who participated in the dairy, leadership and citizenship projects. Until she started work with UT Extension, she served as a volunteer in three counties. Having received her B.S. in Home Economics from UT Knoxville, she completed her M.S. in Human Environmental Sciences at UT Martin. Kathy currently works as an extension agent in Robertson County. She and her husband, Frank, have four children and twelve grandchildren.
As Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs, Corinne Gould oversees internal and external communications for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. While she prefers telling the wonderful story of Tennessee’s agriculture every day, there are times when communications are truly critical. Corinne is a 4-H Alumna from Rhea County and was very active in the horse project.
Julius Johnson served as the 36th Commissioner of Agriculture of Tennessee and now is retired. Before that, Julius served 37 years with the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation in several positions including the organization’s Chief Administrative Officer. Julius was an active 4-H member in his youth in Fentress County. He and his wife Karen now reside in Columbia, Tennessee. They have two children and three grandchildren.
Glen serves as Communications Manager for Tennessee Farmers Cooperative (TFC) in LaVergne and is editor of The Cooperator, the Co-op’s membership publication. He graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He worked for TFC from 1990 to 2005 in the communications department before returning to East Tennessee in 2005 to become marketing manager for an international construction equipment manufacturer. He returned to TFC in 2017.
Glen was a 4-H member in Union County and was active in the entomology, photography, and sheep projects and participated on a variety of judging teams.
Shaylyn Melhorn was an active 4-H member in Morgan County, where her main projects included Horse, Leadership, Sheep, and Veterinary Science. She also participated in Livestock Judging and Outdoor Meat Cookery. She was honored to serve in leadership positions at the state level, including State Representative-at-Large and State 4-H All Star Scribe. Currently a student at the University of Tennessee at Martin, Shaylyn is in the Ned Ray McWherter Institute, where she is majoring in Veterinary Health Technology.
Lelan Statom, Senior Meteorologist at Nashville’s News Channel 5 Network, was an active Dyer County 4-H member, serving on the State Council in high school. As a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, he remained committed to the 4-H Program serving as president of the Collegiate 4-H chapter. While in college, Lelan spent his summers serving as the Athletic Director at the Milan 4-H Center. He has served as a volunteer leader in all three regions of the state and even served a two terms on the Davidson County Agricultural Extension Committee. Lelan is married to Dr. Yolanda Statom, an assistant principal with Metro-Nashville schools. Lelan and Yolanda have two children, Kayela and Taylor.
William “Bear” Stephenson
William “Bear” Stephenson is a 4-H alumnus from Anderson County, Tennessee. Bear was a very active 4-H member; he served as 4-H State Council president and was selected as the national winner of the poultry project in 1966. After graduating Tennessee Tech University, Stephenson was commissioned into the Army and was a first lieutenant in the Vietnam War. Since 1982, Bear has owned and operated Stephenson Realty and Auction.
Martha Jo Tolley
Martha Jo Tolley is Professor Emeritus and Former State 4-H Leader for the University of Tennessee 4-H Program. Her 4-H involvement began as a 4-H member in Decatur County. She served as a county 4-H Agent in Hawkins and in Anderson Counties before joining the state 4-H Staff with responsibilities for youth leadership development, curriculum development and 4-H event management. She served as the founding president of the Tennessee Association of Extension 4-H Workers and, following retirement as the State President and as State Secretary/Treasurer of the UTIA Retirees Association. She has been honored with induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.
Union City, TN
Tim grew up on a small livestock farm in west Tennessee and lives there today with his wife Tammy. He became involved with 4-H in the fourth grade and continued through high school to exhibit hogs at the local county fair. Tim has had a long career with the Farm Credit System and today serves as Sr. Vice President, Ag Lending for Farm Credit Mid-America.
John Charles Wilson
John Charles Wilson served as President of Agricenter International for 15 ½ years, coming on board in October 2000 and retiring in July 2016. He came to Agricenter from a family farming background that has existed for 113 years. John Charles actively farmed for 33 years in partnership with his father Robert Wilson as Wilson & Wilson Farms of Arlington, Tennessee.
Mark Wilson is a former Marshall County 4-H member. He attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science. Following graduation, he began work with Farm Credit and has spent his entire working career with the organization. Recently, he retired as the Tennessee Area Vice President for Farm Credit Mid-America. Mark has two children and two grandchildren.