Since the early twentieth century, 4-H (head-heart-hands-health) has been an avenue for American boys and girls to develop leadership skills, receive vocational training, participate in community service and much more.
Today, 4-H, which is USDA’s premier youth development program, has clubs in 81 different countries including Iraq, thanks to the hard work and perseverance of one USDA employee—Mary Kerstetter. Read more »
Anyone can be healthy “if you eat right and try to get moving,” said a young participant in Move Across Missouri, a program developed in partnership with University of Missouri Extension 4-H and the Missouri Beef Industry Council. Move Across Missouri encourages 4-Hers to increase their physical activity and track the time they spend moving through the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA), which challenges kids to log 60 minutes of physical activity for five days out of the week for six out of eight weeks. Read more »
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
There’s a lot going on in the Church Hill North neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia! For three years, the congregation at 31st Street Baptist Church has been growing fresh vegetables in an urban garden behind their church. More recently, they launched a healthy living campaign to encourage the congregation and the surrounding community to get active and eat more nutritious foods.
Led by Rev. Dr. Henderson, who serves as senior pastor, 31st Street Baptist Church has acquired three city lots behind their church. The congregants have a large community garden with 24 cultivated raised beds in one of the lots. The garden provides healthy, fresh produce to a community without close access to a grocery store. The majority of the produce from the garden is used in the church’s nutrition center, which has served members of the local community for 21 years and receives some of its food via USDA’s Emergency Food Assistance (TEFAP) program. Read more »
Across our communities, young farmers are taking out loans, rolling up their sleeves and taking part in the American Dream in hopes of becoming future farmers with the ability to own a farm of their own one day.
Rebecca Hatcher and Jake Broadway are members of the Grundy County High School Future Farmers of America. When they decided to participate in the 4-H market steer project they contacted the Winchester Farm Service Agency (FSA) office about a youth loan. After receiving the loan, each purchased a market steer to show in 4-H shows in the area and the nearby county fair. Their plan is to market and sell the steers this summer and save the profit for college. Rebecca’s father, Wade Hatcher, is sponsoring both steers at his farm. Read more »
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke with approximately 300 youth from 47 states or territories and Canada at the National 4-H Conference on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. The conference is the premier youth development opportunity of the USDA. Aged between 15-19 years old the attendees were selected by various means by their states to be delegates to the conference. The Secretaries then took questions from the audience. Secretary Vilsack received questions on topics such as land grants, what is an average day for him, and both talked of their goals to have 1,000 new farmers and 1,000 new educators. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.
“I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service and my Health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.” This is the pledge that 300 4-H youth and volunteers gave on Monday when the 2011 National 4-H Conference kicked off in Bethesda, Md. Youth and adults from 47 states and territories, as well a delegation from Canada, took part in an event that has happened in the Washington area since the 1920s, when 4-Hers slept in tents on the Washington Mall in front of the USDA headquarters. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, or NIFA, is the parent organization to 4-H National Headquarters. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke to 4-Hers about community service, valuing education, and embracing positive health and nutrition habits. Read more »
On October 16 and 17, the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone was able to reach Arkansas consumers at two excellent venues. The first was the Arkansas State Fair, a crowded and busy bacteria haven, and the second was a local Kroger grocery store where consumers were buying the food they should be keeping safe. The Discovery Zone was such a hit that it even made the Little Rock evening news! Sharing their food safety information with families, kids, and some misguided shoppers, the Discovery Zone staff agreed this road trip was well worth the drive. Read more »