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Agrimarketing : January-Febuary 2010
58 Agri Marketing January/February 2010 AM: What is National 4-H Council? DF: National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of National 4-H headquarters at the USDA. The Council serves the 4-H system by generating brand management, communications and fundraising resources to support national and state 4-H programs. In addition, National 4-H Council operates the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD, and the National 4-H Supply Service, the authorized agent for items bearing the 4-H name and emblem. AM: What does 4-H look like today? DF: Today, 4-H is a community of 6 million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills through year-round, innovative out-of-school programming, camps and in-school enrichment programs. 4-H programming is implemented in over 3,100 counties by our nation's 109 land-grant colleges, universities and the Cooperative Extension System. AM: What are the priorities of 4-H today? DF: 4-H has three mission mandates, healthy living, citizenship, and science, engineering and technology (SET). For more than a century, 4-H science programming has consistently focused on ag science. No other area of science provides so much for so many. From the bowl of cereal you eat for breakfast, to the shirt you wear to work, and the fuel you put in your car. Now, more than ever, our nation's ability to remain competitive in global agribusiness will depend on the ability to raise a generation of youth who understand the vital importance of this business sector. 4-H can address this challenge by helping to spark an interest and excitement in youth for the ag sciences and encouraging the pursuit of ag careers. AM: How will you engage this next generation of ag science leaders? DF: When youth are exposed to the wide variety of applications within the agricultural sciences, they always find something that deeply interests them. And today, youth want to be engaged online in exciting, interactive ways. As a result, ag experts at The Ohio State University and several other land grant universities within the 4-H system are working to create Project Pathways to engage and excite young people in the modern, high-tech and fascinating field of agricultural science. Project Pathways is a cutting- edge, research-based, online learning system for youth ages nine to nineteen. It will be available via the internet and on CDs for both leaders and young learners alike. AM: How do you reach youth across the country with ag science programs? DF: 4-H is the nation's largest youth development organization, with more than six million passionate young participants all across the country. At this time, three million of those 4-H members are already actively engaged in 4-H plant and animal science projects. 4-H Project Pathways will be unveiled nationwide and deliver on everything that has historically made the 4-H system such an effective ag science vehicle for youth in every county, of all ages and economic backgrounds. AM: How do you know 4-H programs are effective? DF: We have proof of 4-H's effectiveness. Researchers at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University have been conducting the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development. This longitudinal study found that, when compared to other youth, young people involved in 4-H are nearly twice as likely to get better grades in school; nearly twice as likely to plan to go to college; 41% less likely to engage in risky behaviors; and 25% more likely to positively contribute to their families and communities. AM: What other initiatives are on the horizon for the National 4-H Council? DF: National 4-H Council is always on the lookout for opportunities to increase support and bring additional resources to the 4-H system. Harness- ing the digital space for online positive youth development is a significant ini- tiative currently underway. The Council is working to connect youth around the country and around the world online to expand the ways we can fulfill the 4-H mission. Another important initiative is the Council's work to create the 4-H Global Network, which will help developing nations provide young people with avenues for employment and self- sufficiency, especially in agriculture. Just like 4-H is helping to change agriculture in America, it is also helping to change agriculture from Africa to China. 4-H is helping to elevate the voices of youth around the world in the global conversation about agriculture's critical role in all economies. To learn more about what's new in 4-H, you can also visit our web site at www.4-H.org. AM Name: Donald T. Floyd, Jr. Title: President/CEO National 4-H Council Career: Joined National 4-H Council in 1991, previously spent 17 years with Junior Achievement. Education: B.A, Albright College : National 4-H Council CREATING OUR NATION'S FUTURE
World Ag Congress