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4-H Blooms in Ohio

For some underserved students, agriculture is a foreign concept. At Central State University (CSU), a 1890s land-grant institution in Wilberforce, Ohio, the Cooperative Extension Service was determined to change that.

This summer, they offered the Seed to Bloom Ag-STEM Institute, a nationally recognized 4-H Youth Development Program, to 60 rising sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from across the state.

Students learned about agriculture while planting a large, working garden of food crops. They learned about natural resources sciences, learning about soil health and how to analyze water pH.

“Initially, our girls left home grudgingly,” according to a parent’s letter to CSU President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond. “Now they find ways, in our family discussions, to talk about agriculture, healthy eating, and the impact they have on our day-to-day lives.”

Students participated in more than 80 hours of academic instruction, and 80 percent of participants reported an improved ability to define or explain agriculture.

Learn more about Seed to Bloom at the CSU website.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

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