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2022 In Review: 4-H Agricultural Plan — Hopkins County

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Mario Villarino

By Dr. Mario Villarino, Hopkins County Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources, [email protected]

RELEVANCE

4-H Agriculture and Natural Resources projects are an important component of the county 4-H program in Texas. Currently, 63% 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.

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RESPONSE

Adult volunteer engagement is critical to administer the program and expand the outreach . As today 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 a stand alone educational event (1,231 attendees). The plan also 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 2021-2022:

  • Livestock Clinics (beef, poultry, swine, goat/lamb) (October-January).
  • 12 Veterinary Sessions (Monthly).
  • Ag in the classroom (4 sessions, 1,231 participants).
  • Livestock County Show (Feb, 2022).
  • Dairy Livestock Show (June, 2022).
  • Participation in all major livestock shows.
  • Validation of steers, heifers, goats, lambs, swine and broilers.
  • 42 home project visits.
  • 25 Press release 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.

  • 100% (76/76) responded to the evaluation instrument (Path to the Plate Expo).

RESULTS

2022 Ag in the Classroom

  • 80% (61/76) indicated a better understanding of the path food production takes to get to our plate.
  • 70% (53/76) Indicated a better understanding of the way farmers and ranchers produce the food that we eat.
  • 78% (59/76) indicated a better understanding of the connection between agriculture and health.
  • 82% (62/76) learned the value of agriculture in daily life.
  • 83% (63/76) learned the importance of eating a healthy diet and a variety of food.

Extension programs of Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other classification protected by federal, state or local law The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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