Petre named 4-H Youth Development Coordinator

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Charlotte Petre has been appointed as Crenshaw County’s new 4-H Youth Development Coordinator, bringing her wealth of experience and a passion for 4-H to the program. 

“I am looking forward to leading 4-H in Crenshaw County over the coming years,” Petre said. “I am excited to bring a Nature club here so that one day we can participate in the WHEP competition or Forestry Invitational.”

Petre previously worked with Covington County Extension for three years as the assistant to the county’s 4-H agent, where she developed a deep appreciation for the program’s impact. During her tenure in Covington County, she played a pivotal role in the development and success of several programs. 

Petre spearheaded in-school clubs, after-school gardening programs, a wildlife club and a Beveren meat rabbit project during her time with Covington County Extension. Notably, under her leadership, the Wildlife club excelled at the 2023 Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) state competition in Fairhope, securing a second-place finish.

The new agent emphasized the diversity of opportunities that 4-H offers to young people.

 “4-H provides many opportunities for young people and covers a wide range of topics,” Petre said. “The leadership and citizenship skills 4-H promotes help students become successful adults and community leaders. The science, agriculture, forestry and animal science opportunities we provide allow students to dive deeper into areas of interest which many will find lifelong careers in. Overall, 4-H helps to build connections, create mindfulness and 4-H promotes creativity while fostering a positive and welcoming environment.”

With a master’s degree in biology, specializing in conservation genetics for turtles, Petre brings a wealth of scientific knowledge and passion for wildlife and forestry to her new role. As a reptile expert, she plans to establish a junior naturalist group in Crenshaw County. 

Outside of work, Petre enjoys hiking, kayaking, gardening, beekeeping, reading about science and creating nature-inspired art. She shares her love for adventure with her husband and their three children.

Petre’s first day in her new role coincided with a 4-H summer camp, marking her first experience at a 4-H camp despite her years of involvement with the organization.

 “Even though I had never been to camp, having worked with Covington County 4-H and having interacted with other 4-H leaders over the years, I felt like I was at a family gathering with all the familiar faces,” Petre said. “I don’t know that I had time to develop jitters at camp because we were so busy, and we had a wonderful male chaperon, Calem Sanders, who had been many times before, knew most of the kids well, and was able to guide me around.”

Crenshaw County Extension Coordinator Amanda West Evans expressed confidence in Petre’s abilities, stating that she will be an excellent asset to the Extension office and for the children and citizens of the county.
We are excited to have Charlotte join us in Crenshaw,” Evans said. “She has a strong love of science so look for new programs to be implemented such as the Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP). We can’t wait for her to get started in the schools in August.”

For more information about Crenshaw County 4-H, please call the Extension office at (334) 335-6519.