Peter Mumo of Kenya meets with Amy Harding, deputy director of the FAS Food Assistance Division, in Washington. Photo credit: Steve Taravella, United Nations World Food Program
As a young boy in eastern Kenya, Peter Mumo faced a life of poverty, hunger and illness. That is until he started receiving school meals at the age of nine through the USDA McGovern–Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. After that, his life turned around. He started to gain weight, his health improved and he began doing well in school.
And now, at age 28, he is in Des Moines, Iowa, to take part in a six-week business and entrepreneurship training program hosted by Drake University as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. The Fellowship is the flagship program of the Obama Administration’s Young African Leaders Initiative that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training and networking. Read more »
Victoria LeBeaux, national program leader with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Photo by Carlos Harris
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to career development and, according to one of the nation’s new leaders in agriculture, the course one steers toward a profession in agriculture can be as varied and diverse as the population itself.
“I’m not a big fan of the term ‘pipeline’ because it implies that there is only one way in and only one direction you can go,” said Dr. Victoria LeBeaux, a national program leader (NPL) with USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). “If that were true I certainly wouldn’t be here, since I had no intention of studying agriculture.” Read more »
(L to R) Mark Denk, CVTC; Dan Prestebak, Dunn County Land & Water; Katie Wantoch, UW-Extension; John Sippl, USDA-NRCS; and Leah Nichol, Dunn County Land & Water proudly promote soil health and water quality through education and demonstration at the Red Cedar Demo Farm.
In Menomonie, Wisconsin, there is a 155-acre, three-parcel farm, whose purpose is to educate and demonstrate natural resources conservation. As part of their curriculum, Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) Agricultural Program students perform farm work there in an outdoor classroom environment.
“The Red Cedar Demonstration Farm gives students a hands-on opportunity to plant, scout fields, monitor growth, harvest, write nutrient plans, take soil samples. Really, it’s a full farm laboratory for students,” said John Sippl, Dunn County Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) District Conservationist. Read more »
4-H’ers participate in Ujima, an Iowa 4-H program that reflects the positive cultural knowledge that many of the youth possess. Photo credit: Chaisson-Cardenas
In this guest blog, Iowa State 4-H Youth Development program leader John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas takes a look at several ways 4-H is embracing the cultural diversity of its participating youth to make sure youth of color feel welcome as the U.S. student population grows more diverse.
By John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, Iowa State 4-H Youth Development Program Leader
While the foundational elements of 4-H—experiential learning, positive youth development, et al.—are well-suited for cross-cultural and multicultural contexts, some of the language and traditions of 4-H may not be as culturally relevant to many youth.
In 2014, Iowa 4-H began to intentionally move beyond inclusion to belonging. We expanded on the previous work of our national partner, 4-H National Headquarters, to redevelop programs that reflect the positive cultural knowledge that many of our youth already have. 4-H National Headquarters is part of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), provides funding and national program leadership to 4-H. Read more »
Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse speaks to students during the 2016 Wallace-Carver Leadership Symposium at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington DC.
Over the course of the Administration, recruiting the next generation of agricultural leaders has been a key priority for USDA. Last week, I had the opportunity to meet some impressive young people who will lead this field in the 21st century.
In partnership with the World Food Prize, USDA created the Wallace-Carver Fellowship in 2011 to inspire the next generation of American scientific and humanitarian leaders. Named for Henry A. Wallace and George Washington Carver, two of the great American leaders in agricultural science and policy who made significant strides toward ending hunger, the Wallace-Carver Fellowship seeks to educate, inspire and train the next generation of agricultural leaders. Read more »
UAF Extension Agent Heidi Rader is developing an innovative app to help gardeners in Alaska and across North America become citizen scientists.
The following guest blog from University of Alaska Fairbanks highlights the professionalism and dedication of educators in the Cooperative Extension System.
By Debbie Carter, University of Alaska Cooperative Extension
Heidi Rader planned to become a farmer when she graduated from college.
During high school and college, she worked a succession of jobs at greenhouses and farms that seemed to be leading to an agricultural career. For her master’s degree, she grew snap beans and lettuce, and studied high-tunnel production at University of Alaska Fairbanks’ School of Natural Resources and Extension Fairbanks Experiment Farm. Read more »