Florida 4-H Annual Meeting Celebrates Successes, Looks to the Future

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Children learning about squash and fall crops from 4H Agent Brian Estevez at the NFREC in Live Oak, Florida.

By: Samantha Grenrock, 352-294-3307, grenrosa@ufl.edu
Source: Chris DeCubellis, 352-846-4444, cdecube@ufl.edu

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida 4-H agents spend their careers helping young people learn life skills that put them on the path to becoming successful adults. However, these dedicated professionals also know that learning is a lifelong process.

At the 2017 4-H Youth Development Institute, Florida 4-H faculty and staff from across the state will come together to learn from each other and share success stories from their own 4-H communities. The institute is set for Jan. 10 to 12 at the Hilton Hotel in Ocala, Florida.

“At the 4-H Youth Development Institute, we work to provide our wonderful 4-H agents with the latest science behind positive youth development and the latest youth development curricula,” said Chris DeCubellis, associated state program leader for 4-H youth development with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension. “We also provide training for the organization and volunteer systems necessary to provide positive experiences for Florida’s Youth.”

“We are striving for the Florida 4-H Youth Development Program to be the premier youth development program in the nation,” DeCubellis said. “In order for this to happen, we must have the best-trained professionals in the business.”

The institute will include workshops on topics such as agricultural literacy, youth leadership and entrepreneurship, and program administration. This year’s guest speaker, Erin Bain, 4-H and Extension client relationships coordinator for the special risk division of American Income Life, will give a talk on insurance and 4-H programming on Jan. 10 at 11:30 a.m.

Laurel Brown of UF Distance and Continuing Education and Tamra McGaughy, a southern region director of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, will also speak during the gathering.

Attendees will also hear about what’s in store for 4-H in 2017. “This year we will be piloting the 4-H Juntos program in Orange County, an academic success program for youth who are of Latino descent,” DeCubellis said. “We will also be working on a Florida Crops series, and in January we will be sending dozens of youth to our nation’s capital with 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus to witness the presidential inauguration.”

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