Michigan 4-H receives $20,000 grant to encourage agriscience career exploration

New grant will implement 2016 Ag Innovators Experience project that’ll engage 4-Hers to teach the important link between pollinators and food production to younger youth.

Michigan 4-H has been named one of eight states that will receive a $20,000 grant through National 4-H Council to implement the 2016 Ag Innovators Experience project. The project, administered through National 4-H Council and sponsored by Monsanto, is in its third year.

The Ag Innovators Experience project will be implemented December 2015 through July 2016. The project will engage a minimum of 20 4-H teens who will teach a lesson linking the importance of honey bees and other pollinators to food production and security to 1,250 youth in grades 3-8. The activity, “The Honey Bee Challenge,” will incorporate the USDA MyPlate and illustrate the path from food production to consumption. The Honey Bee Challenge will take place in counties throughout Michigan through Michigan State University Extension 4-H programming in schools, camps and clubs.

The project is intended to engage youth in scientific exploration that will allow them to increase their skills in critical thinking, decision making and problem solving. The activity provides an opportunity to explore how an interest in science could lead to a related career in agriculture. The demand for skilled labor in the agriculture career sector is increasing with pressures of a growing world population creating a need for increased food production. As fewer young people enter the agriculture sector of the workforce, the average age of America’s farmers has increased for the past 30 years to its all-time high, 57 years old.

Additionally, through this project 4-H teen leaders will have the opportunity to grow their leadership and communication skills, engage in finding solutions to local and global food security issues and explore career opportunities in science and agriculture.

Future information related to this project will be distributed through county 4-H programs including a request for teen leader applications and a request for local program delivery sites to take place April through July. For more information on this project, please contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 810-648-2515.

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