Alabama 4-H Wall of Fame

Penny Smith

Mobile County JMG and 4-H Volunteer

Inducted March 19, 2013

“Find a penny, pick it up. All-day long you’ll have good luck!” This childhood rhyme comes to mind when you meet Penny Smith. Lucky for us, Miss Penny has been a Mobile County 4-H volunteer for the past 11 years.

For more than a decade, Smith has worked with hundreds of Classroom in the Forest: Forest in the Classroom TM children, led both in school and home-school 4-H clubs, has been a Master Gardener, and currently serves as the volunteer leader for the Mobile County Junior Master Gardener 4-H club.

Smith is full of ideas and is passionate about teaching children to sow the seeds of knowledge through gardening. She always has a creative, innovative drive for any lesson she may be teaching. Her exciting outlook always seems to draw people into the good things going on in 4-H.

Gardening is one of America’s favorite pastimes. Way down in south Mobile County, 4-H’ers are getting their hands in the soil, using their imaginations constructively, and beginning to improve healthy eating habits. On the grounds of the Mobile County Extension office, you can find wonderful blooming plants as well as the most succulent fruit of the season. Vegetables are a year-round commodity.

All of this is managed and maintained by the JMG 4-H Club. Nutrition begins in the garden. Because children have grown the produce themselves, they are more likely to eat new and different fruits and vegetables. Growing fruits and vegetables in the JMG garden provides an environment where health, nutrition, food safety, and wise decision-making skills are taught.

Smith helps children learn about the many benefits and possibilities available through gardening. Children influence their parents. When youngsters educate parents about gardening and growing healthily nutritious foods, their families are more likely to spend quality time together and improve their daily food intake. Since the gardens are built on county property, they are visited by the public on a daily basis.

As her name implies, “Penny” Smith is a shining example of what 4-H volunteers stand for: Learning, Doing, and Caring. Lucky for 4-H!

Nominated by Maranda Marks, Mobile County Extension Agent Assistant