Through formal classroom instruction and non-formal training, NIFA offers youth education programs in many "real-world" issues like nutrition; the importance of agriculture and the environment; and financial management. NIFA partners with the Land-Grant University System, the public and private agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, and other federal, state, and local agencies to fund, develop, and deliver youth education programs.
More than half of the U.S. rural workforce lacks the information technology skills needed to perform 21st century jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIFA funds research into how best to assist citizens of rural and underserved communities acquire computer and telecommunications knowledge and skills. These skills, disseminated through 4-H Youth Technology Teams and Cooperative Extension-sponsored workshops, will help rural residents realize a more profitable farm and business income, promote environmental stewardship, and support quality of life for farm families and communities. Citizens with the ability to use information technology will be more employable and better able to access health resources, to respond to critical homeland security and natural disaster alerts, and to sustain their families financially.