New Putnam County 4-H youth development extension educator Mark Evans is enthusiastic about the local program and is already looking at ways he can expand and improve it.
"I'd like to really build up our Web site," he said. "I've started a Facebook page, and I'm working on making that something meaningful."
Evans said he is impressed with what is already in place in Putnam County 4-H, and that he's looking forward to working with the staff.
"I'm concentrating now on getting a little more intimate with the ways things have been done," he said. "When you're new, you look at things with a fresh perspective, and I think the staff will appreciate it. Sometimes it's good to say, 'Why do we do things that way?' It's good for any group or organization."
Evans also said he would like to develop after school programs to introduce youth to the 4-H program.
Evans graduated from Union County High School, where he was active in the Future Farmers of America program. He earned his undergraduate degree -- agriculture education with a biology endorsement -- at Purdue University, and went on to earn a master's degree in soil compaction and soil fertility.
Evans began working for the USDA office through Purdue in 1992. He was stationed in Greencastle, held that job until 2003.
That year, he went to work for the Owen County Extension Office, where he was the agriculture and natural resources extension educator. Evans and his wife Beth (who recently left a part-time job at the extension office) were married in 1990 and have two young sons, opted to continue to reside in Greencastle when Evans took the Owen County job.
"I'm excited about working close to home again," Evans said. "Even though I think I'm going to be busier and have more work to do in this job, I do think I'll be able to be home with my family more."