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One Monticello Life: Terry Koone

March 18th, 2007 by

koone2.jpg

“I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country and my world.” These words can be heard from the mouths of millions of young 4-H members across our nation. What started in the early 1900s to educate the young children of rural farmers has now grown into one of the country’s largest extracurricular youth programs. 4-H is not absent in Monticello. In fact, one of the fastest growing features of our local 4-H is the shooting sports program, and this group is mainly organized by Terry Koone. This is his story:

Terry Koone grew up in Conway, Arkansas. His dad worked for Southwestern Bell and his mom was a Farmers Home Administrator. He was the second oldest of four boys in his family. He grew up hunting, fishing and camping. All of these were a family affair and happened almost every weekend. He attended UCA and received a degree in business. He has worked for Farm Bureau as a claims adjuster most of his life.

In 1981 he married Jackie who was from Vilonia. That same year they moved to Monticello and made it their home. Terry and Jackie have two children, Kristen, 21 and Steven, 16. Terry became involved in 4-H for them. When his daughter was nine, she joined the organization. She was involved in several aspects of the club. She won state competitions in cooking. In photography she once was featured in the national 4-H calendar. Although Terry was not a part of 4-H when he grew up, he loved that his kids were a part of a group that had a “hands-on” philosophy. He loved to see them “grow and excel.”

His son, Steven, received a bow for Christmas at age 12. Terry didn’t bow-shoot and found the Drew County Bow Club ready and willing to help him and his son with their new hobby. At that time, Terry realized that 4-H had a shooting sports program on a national level but not in Monticello . He made a decision then to help begin one for the Drew County 4-H.

This is now the sixth year for the 4-H shooting sports program. The first year there were two students. In the third year, they had 8 students but no full teams to compete on a state level. In 2005, they had enough students to compete on a state level. They had a Junior Team (ages 9-13) and a Senior Team (ages 14-19). That year the Junior Team brought home 34 trophies and received a total of 60 ribbons. Last year they raised the bar and brought home 86 ribbons. The group is excited about the possibilities this year now that it has grown to over 40 students.

koone1.jpgThe 4-H Shooting Sports Progam has been a “blessing” for Terry. He does not get paid financially for his involvement or time but says that watching the kids grow and learn is payment enough for him. Terry is passionate about the organization and what it teaches the kids.

Although there are no gun clubs in Drew County, and there are no gun ranges around for the kids to practice, it didn’t stop Terry from making this possible for the kids of the shooting club.The 4-H shooting club started and still meets in Terry’s 20-acre backyard. He uses old signs from around town for targets, and there is always a firearm for someone to use. When the program started they had no equipment. Terry has used his own money at times to see that the needs are met. He has also involved as many people and parents as he can to see the program succeed. The Drew County Bow Club lets the 4-H club run a concession stand for their invitationals and have also given several bows to the 4-H group. The Friends of the NRA has a grant program that the Drew County 4-H applies for each year, and the 4-H students sell raffle tickets for the Friends of the NRA which allows the 4-H to receive some of the proceeds and/or equipment. Terry has seen the program grow by leaps and bounds and says it is “the best kept secret in the state of Arkansas.”

This program is not just about kids and firearms. The 4-H Shooting Sports Program has 4 disciplines: shotgun, .22, black-powder and archery. Terry has completed the instructional programs to train in these areas both on the state and national levels. The participants not only shoot targets, but they also learn the importance of safety, competition, life skills and practice. 4-H is open to all students ages 9-19, and there are many different 4-H programs here in Drew County. For about 40 shooting-sport students who meet twice a month in Rock Springs, the lessons they learn and fun they have make them thankful for Terry’s dedication and vision. He is a great example of the 4-H pledge. His heart has helped many young Monticellonians. Thank you, Terry Koone – one Monticello life.

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3 Responses to “One Monticello Life: Terry Koone”

  1. […] Terry Koone, local organizer of Drew County’s 4-H shooting sports, said, ” I want to express an special thanks for all the parents and coaches that made it possible. If it was not for the support of these people, we would not be able to have a program such as this.” […]

  2. Deb Tooke says:

    Terry, Noted lots of Phi Sigs on Facebook and just wondered what you were doing so Googled you. Interesting what people have been up to over the last 28-30 yrs. Deb

  3. Hope says:

    I wish we could clone Terry! He is an amazing 4H Volunteer Leader!

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