Native returns to Lynchburg as UT Extension Agent

New Moore County UT Extension Agent Katie Knight poses with art students at LES. The the new 4-H Fine Arts Program is just one of the innovations Knight is bringing to her new role. (Photo Provided)

LYNCHBURG — Sometimes you can come home again, and that’s the story of Moore County’s newest UT Extension Youth Development agent, Katie Thomas Knight, a Lynchburg native and former Moore County Raiderette.

Katie attended Lynchburg Elementary and then Moore County High School before moving on to Motlow State then to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree.

Katie says she attend Moore County 4-H while attending local school, so when the job became open she felt immediately interested. She now serves a local agent in charge of youth development through the Moore County 4-H program.

“I’m a huge advocate for teaching children the life skills they need to prosper,” Katie says. “Being a county-based agent is like having a bird’s eye view in the growth that UT Extension provides for our county.”

A former Raiderette with deep ag roots

Many may know her face and maiden name, Katie Thomas, from her days playing as a MCHS Raiderette.

“I played basketball for the Raiderettes all my life, and if you asked me when I was little what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would had said be a Raiderette,” Katie jokes. “My senior year of high school, we played in the Class 1A State Tournament, which was an incredible experience for my team and community.”

Katie then moved on to a basketball career at Motlow State, where the student body at the Moore County campus also selected her as Miss Motlow. Prior to her new job at the Moore County UT Extension office, Katie taught special needs students at North Lake Elementary in Tullahoma.

Katie says she understands the positive impact 4-H can have on a child because it positively affected her life growing up in Lynchburg. She grew up on her family’s Polled Hereford cattle farm in the Buckeye Community. She both raised calves and showed them through Moore County 4-H.

“Having grown up on a cattle farm and showed and raised registered Polled Hereford cattle with my father (Clay Thomas) and grandfather (Charles Thomas), I created numerous connections through-out our county, state and even nation,” Katie says.

Honoring 4-H traditions and innovating

In her current role she moderates in-school club meetings where she teaches local students about important life skills like public speaking. She also oversees afterschool programs like the Horse Judging Team, the Trap and Skeet Team, and the ever-popular 4-H Chicken Chain Program.

In addition to the traditional 4-H programs, Katie is also innovating.

“A brand new club that just started is called the Fine Art’s Club. L.E.S.’s talented art teacher, Mrs. Nicole Orr, is our instructor in which she gives participating members a prompt and steps for them to create their painting. Our first class went great and we got positive feedback.,” Katie says. “A club that I plan to start next year is our Hunting Club. We will teach participants how to properly hang a tree stand, how to use animal calls, and so much more.”

The part of her new job she says she’s most excited about is taking student to the annual 4-H Summer Weekend Camp. Students must only attend after completing three in-school projects and the demonstration.

If you haven’t already, members of the community can meet both Katie and fellow new county agent Will Thomas at the Moore County UT Extension Meet & Greet planned for Wednesday, March 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both new agents will both be in attendance. {To read our interview with Thomas, click here.} •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only locally-owned and locally-operated community newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover local news and events as well as the tourism and whiskey industries in southern, middle Tennessee. Click here to subscribe.}