Supporting future leaders in science, agriculture and community leadership is an important imperative for USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) – the national headquarters of the nationwide 4-H program.
Expanding from its strong roots in agriculture, 4-H is a positive youth development program that helps young people explore the world around them and grow into productive adults. NIFA’s 4-H and Positive Youth Development experts design 4-H programs to provide young people the training and skills to become responsible citizens and agents of community change.
During Oct. 3-9. we celebrate National 4-H Week. This is a week to honor the proud tradition and the bright future of 4-H programs and the more than 6 million young people who consider themselves 4-H’ers. The theme of this seven-day celebration is Find Your Spark.
“I am proud to be a 4-H’er,” said NIFA Director Dr. Carrie Castille. “The training and support I received as a Louisiana 4-H member helped me develop clear goals and led me down the path of service and science to the career I have today.”
“NIFA supports 4-H positive youth develop through activities and projects of interest to young people today and encourages them to explore, learn from, and often develop those interests into careers,” said Jeff Sallee, NIFA national program leader for positive youth development and 4-H. “These sparks, combined with 4-H positive youth development can help a child thrive.”
Check out this sampling of NIFA-supported 4-H initiatives:
NIFA and 4-H Partner with Military Community, Family and Youth
NIFA and 4-H partner with the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Military Community and Family Policy, Army Child, Youth and School Services, Air Force Airman and Family Services and Navy Family Readiness to support youth and family programs on military installations around the world. A few examples: Youth Support Internship Program is a national internship program tailored to the unique needs of National Guard and Reserve Component military youths impacted by deployment. The Military Teen Adventure Camp program offers military teens high adventure camp opportunities to build leadership, self-confidence, and teamwork skills while engaging with the outdoors. The Military Families Learning Network serves military families through online communities in areas such as family development, family transitions, military caregiving, nutrition and wellness, and personal finance. DoD’s Child Development Virtual Laboratory School offers professional development for people working in childcare.
4-H At Home
This program is designed to meet growing needs for virtual and non-virtual educational resources for at-home learning or adopted by educators and Extension specialists for K-12 student education. 4-H At Home enables Extension's 4-H educators to effectively use technology and create new digital learning resources for workforce development and life skills-driven STEM, Ag, Healthy Living and Civic Engagement/Community learning, while supporting 4-H's Positive Youth Development goals for connection and engagement. A variety of at-home activities and resources can be found here.
NIFA’s 4-H team is growing to build a strong foundation for our future leaders. Learn more about NIFA 4-H staff here.