Tag Archive: Investment

Why 4-H is a Good Investment

Photo credit: National 4-H Council

September 1st marks the new 4-H year in Florida, and many families are enrolling their kids this week. There are several different ways that youth can participate in 4-H.  The most traditional delivery mode is community clubs, but youth can also participate through their school or afterschool program, military youth center, camp, or even as a short-term special interest member.

Last year, Florida 4-H introduced a membership fee for community club members ages 8-18 of $ 20.00.  Many parents have asked me, “Why is Florida 4-H charging community clubs?  Many club kids are enrolled in projects where parents have already invested money into animals or equipment (shooting sports, robotics, sewing machines).  I am one of those parents- my own children are enrolled in the poultry project and would like to advance to a rabbit, pig or steer.  As a parent who has paid the fee, I see it as an investment.

Photo credit: Paula Davis, UF IFAS Bay County

Although every 4-H delivery mode incorporates positive youth development methods to benefit youth, research shows that the club delivery mode has the greatest benefit to youth.  A few years ago, Tufts University did a groundbreaking study on Positive Youth Development.  They studied youth engaged in a variety of youth programs (including 4-H) and they tracked the youth from 5th grade until graduation.  Florida participated in this study and the results were exciting for 4-H!  You can read the full report here.  Based on this research, compared to youth in other youth programs, 4-Hers engaged in 4-H clubs are:

  • Four times more likely to contribute to their communities
  • Two times more likely to be civically active
  • Two times more likely to participate in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities during out-of-school time
  • 4-H girls are two times more likely to take part in science programs compare to girls in other youth programs
  • 4-Hers are two times more likely to make healthier choices

So as a parent, I see the club membership fee as an investment.  Twenty dollars is way less than what I pay so that my kids can play soccer for a couple of months each year (and depending on the coach- my kids may or may not learn sportsmanship and teambuilding).  There isn’t anything on the list above that I don’t want for my children.  But these outcomes are all tied to long term involvement with a 4-H club.  Clubs are the most effective delivery mode for positive youth development because they focus on three very important areas:

  • Positive and sustained relationships between youth and adults
  • Activities that build important life skills
  • Opportunities for youth to use these skills as participants and leaders in valued community activities

Photo credit: Julie Dillard, UF IFAS Washington County

So if 4-H sounds like a good investment to you, here’s how to enroll (if you are a member of more than one club, you pay the membership only one time per year):

NEW 4-H Members:

  1. Log onto https://florida.4honline.com
  2. Create a family profile.
  3. Enroll individual youth.
  4. Each youth must have a club and project. For a list of clubs and projects, see page 3.
  5. You will receive an email with a link to pay the Florida 4-H Membership Fee after enrolling.
  6. Pay the Florida 4-H Membership Fee.
  7. Membership will be set to active after fee is paid. Until
    membership fee is paid, youth cannot attend 4-H club meetings, events or activities.

RETURNING 4-H Members:

  1. Log onto https://florida.4honline.com
  2. Enter your email address and password.
  3. Update contact, medical, club and project information for each member.
  4. Each youth must have a club and project. For a list of clubs and projects, see page 3.
  5. You will receive an email with a link to pay the Florida 4-H Membership Fee after enrolling.
  6. Pay the Florida 4-H Membership Fee.
  7. Membership will be set to active after fee is paid. Until membership fee is paid, youth cannot attend 4-H club meetings, events or activities.

Many counties are planning 4-H kickoffs this time of year, and those events are great to learn

about the different clubs available in your community.  If the fee is a hardship for your family, contact the 4-H agent for possible scholarships.  For more information about 4-H, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.



Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/28/why-4-h-is-a-good-investment/

University of Florida joins 12 Universities calling for Increased Federal Investment in Agricultural Research

The University of Florida and 12 other prominent research institutions in the United States joined the SoAR Foundation today in calling for a surge in federal support of food and agricultural science. “Retaking the Field,” the report released by this coalition, highlights recent scientific innovations and illustrates how U.S. agricultural production is losing ground to China and other global competitors.

“Agricultural and food science research has had a profound impact on our country’s population and quality of life,” said Jackie Burns, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences dean for research and director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. “Continued investment in university research resources will ensure that today’s investments translate into innovation and food security for future generations. The SoAR Foundation publication highlights success stories in agricultural research that will improve the future lives of our citizens.”

“Retaking the Field” examines the importance of agriculture and its related industries to the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this sector was responsible for nearly one in 10 jobs in 2014 and contributed $ 835 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product. Even though every public dollar invested in agricultural research provides $ 20 in economic returns, the federal budget for agricultural research has remained flat for decades. Today, the U.S. trails China in both agricultural production and public research funding.

Carrie Harmon photographed for the 2011 FAES Awards. Associate In, MS. Mycology. Plant Pathology. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

Carrie Harmon  assists growers with plant disease issues at the UF/IFAS Florida Plant Diagnostic Center. Photo by Tyler Jones.

The report features Carrie Harmon, director of the Florida Plant Diagnostic Center at UF/IFAS. “The Florida Plant Diagnostic Center is one of the public faces of the University of Florida, assisting growers, pest management professionals, homeowners and others with plant disease issues,” Harmon said. “We give research-based management recommendations for the diseases we diagnose, so we are an immediate conduit to the taxpayers for UF/IFAS agricultural research.”

In addition to helping others manage plant diseases, the Center helps detect diseases before they can spread and cause bigger problems. “Plant diseases are a bit like cancer — if you detect the cancer very early on, you have a much better chance of removing all of it and living a full life,” Harmon said. “Only by coupling accurate and early detection with research-based management do we get healthy crops, a healthy environment, healthy people, and a healthy bottom line.”

Harmon and a few other featured researchers will be in Washington, D.C., June 22 and 23 to discuss their research with government policymakers and the media.

“Researchers are discovering incredible breakthroughs, helping farmers produce more food using fewer resources, and keeping our meals safe and nutritious,” said Thomas Grumbly, president of the SoAR Foundation. “However, the science behind agriculture and food production is starved of federal support at a time of unprecedented challenges. A new surge in public funding is essential if our agricultural system is going to meet the needs of American families in an increasingly competitive global market.”

Farming has never been an easy endeavor, and today’s challenges to agricultural production are daunting. The historic California drought continues and U.S. production is also threatened by new pests and pathogens, like the 2015 Avian Influenza outbreak that led to the culling of 48 million birds in 15 states and $ 2.6 billion in economic damages.

“Every year, the director of national intelligence testifies before Congress that our national security is threatened by hunger in unstable regions,” said Tom Grumbly. “As the number of people on our planet continues to grow, we must produce more food. This cannot be done with yesterday’s science. We need a larger infusion of cutting-edge technologies.”

By: Samantha Grenrock, 352-294-3307, grenrosa@ufl.edu

Sources: Jackie Burns, 352-392-1784, jkbu@ufl.edu

Carrie Harmon, 352-392-1795, clharmon@ufl.edu



Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/18/university-of-florida-joins-12-universities-calling-for-increased-federal-investment-in-agricultural-research/