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A Year In Review: 4-H Agricultural Plan In 2021

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RELEVANCE

By Dr. Mario Villarino, Extension Agent, [email protected]

4-H Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) projects are an important component of the county 4-H program in Texas. Currently, 63 percent of Texas 4-H members are enrolled in a livestock project. These projects provide youth with subject matter education, as well as valuable learning experiences, character education and leadership skills critical for youth.

RESPONSE

Adult volunteer engagement is critical to administer the program and expand the outreach. As today’s youth are further removed from farming, many do not understand the importance of agriculture and how it impacts their daily lives. This plan included a path to the plate program component as part of a summer camp activity. The plan included monthly veterinary science sessions using a directional specific curriculum intended to provide education to achieve Veterinary Assistant Certification.

The objective of the plan was to provide 4-H members with excellent learning opportunities within the ANR project areas. This plan utilized a 4-H Livestock Project Coalition to provide direction and support for the programs and events conducted.

The following activities were implemented during 2020-2021:

  • Livestock Clinics (beef, poultry, swine, goat/lamb) (October – January).
  • 12 Veterinary Sessions (Monthly).
  • Path to the Plate session in beef and byproducts (Multi-County Camp).
  • Livestock County Show (Feb, 2021).
  • Dairy Livestock Show (June, 2021).
  • Participation in all major livestock shows.
  • Validation of steers, heifers, goats, lambs, swine and broilers.
  • 52 Home project visits.
  • 25 Press releases related to Livestock Youth Projects.

Evaluation Strategy

Retrospective post evaluation surveys were utilized to measure knowledge gain and adoptions of best practices for the evaluated programs. One hundred percent (31/31) responded to the evaluation instrument (Path to the Plate Expo).

RESULTS

2021 Path To the Plate Beef Session (Beef and Leather Works)

  • 94% (29/31) indicated a better understanding of the path food production takes to get to our plate.
  • 90% (28/31) Indicated a better understanding of the way farmers and ranchers produce the food that we eat.
  • 87% (27/31) indicated a better understanding of the connection between agriculture and health.
  • 84% (26/31) learned the value of agriculture in daily life.
  • 72% (13/19) learned the importance of eating a healthy diet and a variety of food.
  • 61% (19/31) indicated a better understanding of the importance and nutritional value of various foods.

2021 4-H Livestock

  • 100% (14/14) Indicated to be more willing to work with other.
  • 93% (13/14) Indicated to be more comfortable speaking with others.
  • 93% (13/14) Indicated to be more confident with their abilities as a leader.
  • 86% (12/14) Indicated to be more comfortable working is a team.
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Author: Faith Huffman

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