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Paving the Way for Careers in Agriculture

Paving the Way for Careers in Agriculture

An annual report released by The STEM Food and Ag Council states there is a shortage of youth agricultural professionals and a need for new professionals trained in STEM fields. The population is predicted to increase over the next 40 years in excess of 2 billion people.  This increase will require more STEM trained professionals to face the challenge of making global agriculture more efficient and productive.  An agriculture and natural resources career path is also a viable choice for youth to consider because they are among the top paying college degrees of 2015, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

In Florida, only 20% of college graduates earn degrees in science and engineering.  Florida and our nation’s position in the global marketplace is at risk as student performance in science disciplines declines and science literacy standards rise.  Nation-wide the 4-H program has offered STEM education to over 5million youth with the mission of helping them gain the knowledge and skills to be responsible productive, citizens using experiential, hands-on learning.

Flagler County 4-H introduces youth to agriculture related education and careers by helping youth apply science, engineering, and technology skills to their projects and develop science literacy workforce skills. In 2014, Flagler County 4-H adult volunteers led youth as they completed 97 animal science projects, 44 environmental education projects, summer day camps, and other opportunities exposing 218 youth to STEM learning.

In 2018, 4-H’ers are participating in a Tri-County Potato Project where they will plant, grow, harvest, and market their own crop of potatoes.  They are also growing several varieties of cole crop vegetables for exhibit at the Flagler County Fair and Youth Show. A Skill-A-Thon is being offered as well which is an opportunity for them to show their animal nutrition savvy. All of these opportunities are in addition to the agricultural and environmental projects they are already completing which teach STEM, goal setting, record keeping, and more!

The main purposes of these agriculture awareness/educational events are to provide opportunity for youth to learn the skills necessary to successfully emerge into adulthood.  If you are interested in joining in, volunteering for, or give a donation to Flagler County 4H Youth Development Program, please visit  Florida 4H Online and contact Amy Warwick Hedstrom at awarwick@flaglercounty.org or 386-437-7464

The Flagler County 4-H program is open to all youth, ages 5-18, regardless of gender, race, color, nationality, creed or disability

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