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Merced County 4-H Team

Merced County 4-H Youth Development Program

The following UC staff and county employees are here to assist you. If you have a question give us a call at (209) 385-7418 or email one of us below.

4-H Youth Development Staff

Crystal Cortez 
Community Education Specialist II


Crystal is the Community Education Specialist for Merced County 4-H Youth Development Program. She is located at the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Merced Office. She comes to the program with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and an interest in working with youth. She worked for Merced City School District for seven years in a variety of positions ranging from Behavioral Support Aide to Office Assistant. She also worked for Autism Intervention Professionals as a Registered Behavior Technician. She left the school district to join the Merced 4-H team in May 2022 and became the 4-H Program Office Assistant. A year later she joined as the Community Education Specialist in June 2023. She is a strong advocate in supporting youth development through guidance and mentorship to meet their full potential. She is most excited about creating opportunities for them to excel in. She hopes to create positive collaboration to benefit the youth of Merced County.


Courtney Fagalde 
4-H Program Office Assistant III


Courtney is the Office Asst III for Merced County 4-H Youth Development Program. She is located at the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Merced Office. She's a mother and a huge advocate for youth. She's most passionate about helping youth succeed. She has 7 years of experience working in the education system.  She's very excited about the relationships she gets to develop in the future along with being a part of the Merced County 4-H team.


Jose Campos 
CA 4-H Regional Program Supervisor 


Jose joins our staff with more than 40 years of 4-H experience in the Youth Development Program. He grew up in Stanislaus County as a member, served as an adult volunteer and Summer Camp Program Director.  His goal is to continue building on the traditions of Merced 4-H, and create pathways to opportunities for youth and adults to explore their potential.


Allison Plagenza 
Merced County 4-H Intern


Allison is the current 4-H Student Intern, and she has her Associate's Degree in Business and in Library Science. She has been a 4-H Member since she was 7 years old, and has served as Merced County Ambassador. She has also held other leadership roles at club and county levels, and really enjoys exploring and teaching STEM projects. Going forward she hopes to use what she's learned to help create a positive learning space for Merced County 4-H youth!


Beth Smith


Beth is a 4-H alumni and volunteer Leader for over 30 years.  She assists the 4-H Sponsoring Committee in planning and accounting for fundraising and support. 

Russell Hill


Associate 4-H Youth Development Advisor
California 4-H Shooting Sports Program Co-Coordinator


  Please Contact any one of us at the
Merced County Office
University of California
Cooperative Extension
2145 Wardrobe Avenue
Merced, CA 95341

(209) 385-7418 fax (209) 722-8856
web: merced4h.ucanr.edu