ZANESVILLE, Ohio -- There's concrete support for Ohio State University Extension's 4-H program in southeastern Ohio -- at least that's the message when residents see a newly painted Smith Concrete truck traveling through the area.
Smith Concrete, a division of The Shelly Company, has painted several of its trucks to feature the logos and slogans of area nonprofit organizations. The truck traveling primarily in Muskingum, Morgan and Perry counties highlights Ohio 4-H.
The "unveiling" of the truck took place March 3 at the Muskingum County Fairgrounds, just in time for Ohio 4-H Week, March 7-13.
"We are very proud of our partnership with the 4-H organization," said Dick Wilson, general manager of Smith Concrete. "It is the responsibility of everyone to educate, encourage and develop the values of our youth throughout this country. For over 100 years 4-H has accomplished that. Our company knows the importance in supporting our youth and feels it is a necessity to step up our efforts with our involvement and support. Today all around this country there are 4-H members that will one day be successful leaders; we are delighted to be a part of their success."
Both the bowl and the cab of the truck for this area are painted with the 4-H clover and the 4-H slogan, "To Make the Best Better," along with the Ohio 4-H Web site, http://www.ohio4-H.org. In addition, the 4-H logo was painted on the hardhat of the driver.
Vicki Schwartz, associate state leader for 4-H Youth Development, said seeing the truck with the 4-H logo was a thrill.
"The truck is beautiful," Schwartz said. "It will turn heads, for sure."
Other organizations featured by Smith Concrete trucks in southeast Ohio include the DARE program, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the American Red Cross.
In Ohio, more than 330,000 youths are involved in more than 14,000 4-H clubs and groups, including traditional 4-H clubs, after-school programs and school-enrichment programs. Nearly 23,000 adult volunteers assist 4-H clubs and programs in Ohio.
Ohio 4-H is the youth development arm of Ohio State University Extension, cooperatively funded by county, state and federal funds. Although 4-H remains a strong program in rural areas, its urban and suburban programs continue to grow, with more than 15 percent of Ohio 4-H members now residing in suburbs and cities of over 50,000.