4-H volunteers recognized for years of teaching firearm safety

Published 12:14 pm Monday, February 27, 2023

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Davie County 4-H volunteers Nelson Cowden and Jimmy Staley received the North Central 4-H District Volunteer Award at the annual leaders conference.

Cowden is the founder of Tom Cowden Memorial Youth Shooting Sports and its 4-H Club which teaches youth firearm safety and skills. He founded the club more than 10 years ago and has given hundreds of youth the opportunity to practice and learn firearm, archery, and hunting skills, all at little to no cost.

He leads the North Carolina 4-H Hunting Skills Team and hosts a training for 4-H volunteers on wildlife identification and orienteering.

“Nelson is a great mentor to new 4-H club leaders and has assisted several other clubs to form in various counties across North Carolina,” said Danny Lough, Davie 4-H Extension youth development agent.

Staley has been a 4-H volunteer and shooting instructor for eight years where he has taught archery, rifle, and shotgun disciplines. He is the North Carolina 4-H Shotgun coach and brings a team of 4-H youth from across the state each year to the National 4-H Shooting Sports Tournament in Nebraska.

“Jimmy has a great rapport with the kids and gets them excited about shooting sports,” Lough said.

“Nelson and Jimmy truly embody the 4-H motto of ‘Making the Best Better’where they actively work with youth and families to reach their highest potential. Our 4-H parents are grateful for the opportunities Nelson provides and appreciate the patience and leadership that Jimmy and Nelson exhibit when teaching new skills to youth. They both are phenomenal role models for our Davie County young people and these awards and state recognition are well deserved,” Lough said.