Michigan 4-H receives $20,000 grant to encourage agriscience exploration

Michigan 4-H is seeking teen leaders to teach native bee challenge activity to peers, inspire future scientists.

Feeding a goat

Michigan 4-H has been named one of five states to receive a $20,000 grant through the National 4-H Council to implement the 2019 4-H Ag Innovators Experience project. The project, administered through National 4-H Council and sponsored by Bayer, is in its sixthyear.

The Ag Innovators Experience project is being implemented now through July. The project will engage a minimum of 20 4-H teens who will teach a lesson focused on native bee habitat and food security to at least 1,000 youth throughout Michigan in grades 3-8. The activity, “The Native Bee Challenge,” will explore the importance of pollination to agriculture and its connection to a sustainable food supply. The Native Bee Challenge will take place in counties throughout Michigan through 4-H programming in schools, camps and 4-H clubs.

Michigan 4-H is seeking teens (ages 13-19) to help implement this project by teaching the lesson in their local community. Training for teen volunteers will be provided during the 4-H Teen Leaders in Action Workshop held Feb. 23-24, 2019, at 4-H's Kettunen Center in Tustin, Michigan. Registration for this training is $45 and includes overnight lodging, meals and all workshop materials. Through this project, 4-H teen leaders will have the opportunity to grow their leadership and communication skills, engage in finding solutions to local and global food security issues, and explore career opportunities in science and agriculture.

The project is intended to engage youth in scientific exploration that will allow them to increase their skills in critical thinking, decision making and problem solving. The activity provides an opportunity to explore how an interest in science could lead to a related career in agriculture. The demand for skilled labor in the agriculture career sector is increasing with pressures of a growing world population, creating a need for increased food production. As fewer young people enter the agriculture sector of the workforce, the average age of America’s farmers has increased for the past 30 years to its all-time high of 58 years old.

If you are interested in attending the 4-H Teen Leaders in Action Workshop, or hosting a local program delivery site for 4-H members for youth in grades 3-8 to take place between March and July 2019, contact Betty Jo Krosnicki at nashbett@anr.msu.edu or 810-648-2515.

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