Michigan 4-H members attend National Youth Agri-Science Summit
4-H members are ready to face the challenges of feeding a growing world population.
Eleven Michigan 4-H members attended the National Youth Summit on Agri-Science at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Jan. 12-15, 2018. The Agri-Science Summit provided an opportunity for high school participants from across the country to come together to develop skills that will help them address issues related to feeding a growing world population, starting in their local communities.
The event was held over Martin Luther King Junior Day weekend, which helped set the backdrop for teens to reflect on how they can contribute to their communities through leadership and civic engagement. The Summit guest speakers included: The Honorable Stephen Censky, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture; Mchezaji “Che” Axum, Director of Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education at University of the District of Columbia; and Samuel Sugarman, 2017 4-H Youth in Action Award winner in Agriculture. In addition, participants had the opportunity to attend a wide variety of sessions focused on science, agriculture and food security, as well as tour sites in Washington, D.C.
Michigan’s delegation included: Addy Battel, Huron County; Miriam Cook, Clinton County; Mary Hartmann, Genesee County; Jonah Haskins, Lapeer County; Andrew Neyer, Isabella County; Amy Saxton, Kalkaska County; Kyle Schafer, Clinton County; Camran Stack, Gratiot County; Savannah Taylor, Branch County; Caitie Theisen, Isabella County; and Abigail VanDyk, Kalamazoo County. The delegation was joined by Makenna Wickenheiser of Monroe County who earned a scholarship to attend the event through a national photo contest.
Each state delegation attending the Summit developed an action plan that will be implemented to address the food security challenges identified at the conference. Michigan delegation’s action plan aims to provide consumers with education about where food comes from. They have included a few approaches in the plan:
- The teens established an Instagram profile to share information at MIFarm2Fork.
- The teens are planning to connect with the Michigan Farm to Fork 5K race to provide education and spread awareness of food security needs in Michigan.
- The teens are planning to help train additional teen leaders through the 4-H Teens as Teachers Workshop to provide agriculture literacy education throughout the state.
The 2018 National Youth Summit on Agri-Science was sponsored by Bayer and is just one part of Bayer’s commitment to grow the pipeline of tomorrow’s innovators in science and agriculture. Science Matters, a nationwide collaboration between Bayer and National 4-H Council, leverages Bayer’s more than 150 years of scientific breakthroughs and 4-H’s century of hands-on learning to equip more than 25,000 youth with tools and support they need to deepen their understanding of science.
Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.
To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”