Knox County’s Carlene Welch Wins the G.L. Carter Outstanding 4-H Agent Award

Carlene Welch, UT Extension

Carlene Welch (center), a 4-H agent with UT Extension in Knox County, is the winner of the G.L. Carter 4-H Agent Award.​ Also pictured are UTIA Chancellor Tim Cross (left) and interim UT Extension Dean Delton Gerloff. Photo courtesy UTIA.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recently presented several awards to top faculty, staff, researchers and extension experts. More than two dozen people were recognized at UTIA’s annual Awards and Promotions Luncheon held on the UTIA campus in Knoxville late last month. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by past faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.

Carlene Welch, a 4-H agent with UT Extension in Knox County, is the winner of the G.L. Carter 4-H Agent Award. The honor is named for the late G.L. Carter who had a 44-year career with Extension in Tennessee and North Carolina.

Welch has served 30 years with UT Extension. She has even mentored seven young people who grew up to be 4-H agents themselves.

Her current 4-H’ers and adult volunteers recently received the statewide All-Star award for 4-H service hours – more than 100,000 hours of work benefitting 300,000 people. Projects included “Sew for Service,” where young people and volunteers made dresses for needy women in Africa. Welch’s 4-Hers also made Easter trays for an organization that delivers meals to homebound people, and each holiday season they decorate for “Fantasy of Trees,” which benefits East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Welch has also worked with youth in public speaking, science and technology programs, after-school programs in health and fitness, and the “Line & Design” program where 4-Hers learn sewing and quilting. 

“I was extremely excited and honored to receive the G.L. Carter award,” Welch says. “I am so thankful to have been blessed with a job that I enjoy, and to have the opportunity to work with wonderful co-workers as well as 4-H youth and volunteer leaders.”

UTIA Chancellor Dr. Tim Cross hosted the award winners, and praised them for their work. “The people at the UT Institute of Agriculture word hard every day to deliver real life solutions to our many stakeholders,” Cross says. “Recognition of the outstanding work by our award winners inspires all of us to strive for excellence and make a difference in the lives of Tennesseans.”

Hobbies for Carlene include sewing, also travel, and volunteering with her church and the Knoxville Symphony League. She and her husband have two sons and five grandchildren. Her husband and sons are all UT grads, and so is Carlene who was a majorette during her college days.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.



Charles Denney, 865-382-8058 (mobile),

Carlene Welch, 865-215-2340,​