Fresh from the Field, March 1, 2018

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Fresh from the Field is a weekly album showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Editor: Falita Liles                                                                                                 March 1, 2018

NIFA’s 2017 Annual Report Highlights Significant Achievements by its Partners

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to present its 2017 Annual Report: User Inspired Science Transforming Lives. This year’s annual report highlights the transformative and exciting work by NIFA-funded partners in the areas of research, education, and extension. Read NIFA’s 2017 Annual Report to learn more about how the agency’s investments are moving it closer to its vision of catalyzing transformative discoveries, education, and engagement to address agricultural challenges. 

Success Stories 

 John-Paul Chaisson-Cárdenas, State 4-H Youth Development Program Leader, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Fresh from the Field

Iowa 4-H: From Inclusion to Belonging

One-in-five school age (K-12) youth in Iowa is of color, and 4-H membership should mirror this trend. Thus, in 2014, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development began to move from the concept of inclusion of diverse youth to belonging. Iowa 4-H has created four Culturally-based Youth Leadership Accelerators (CYLAs) that mobilize cultural strengths and culturally based narratives to introduce and strengthen the relationship between youth and 4-H. The CYLAs also connect underrepresented youth, whose families may be unfamiliar with post-secondary education, to the college experience.

Each CYLA includes a day at the Iowa State University campus, an overnight experience, and a day of culturally-based workshops with embedded 4-H program priorities: Healthy Living, STEM, Citizenship and Leadership, and Communication and the Arts. Much of the curriculum is entrenched in ethnic or cultural literature and research. In only two years, CYLAs have brought more than 500 young leaders of color into Iowa 4-H. In some cases, the youth have joined existing 4-H clubs and learning communities. Many more have worked with volunteers to develop new culturally-based clubs. CYLA graduates also have helped lead statewide programming.

Contact: John-Paul Chaisson-Cárdenas, State 4-H Youth Development Program Leader, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, 515-294-6772, Photo credit: John-Paul Chaisson-Cárdenas.

News Coverage 

Fresh from the Field Sue Isbell Standing Rock Reservation NDSU

Helping Standing Rock Youth Succeed

Sue Isbell delivers 4-H and youth development programming in Sioux County, North Dakota, which serves members of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The people of the Standing Rock are affected by severe poverty, high levels of diabetes and obesity, and low graduation rates. Only 10 percent of ninth grade students graduate in one district, with 80 percent dropping out before the end of their senior year.

Isbell’s work to establish an embroidery and silkscreen business at a local high school has built business skills among students, and improved the economy of the county. Her work to establish community gardens has improved access to fresh fruits and vegetables in hopes of reducing rates of food-related diseases.

Sue Isbell’s work has brought greater awareness of Native American issues to her colleagues in the North Dakota State University Extension Service, as well as real-world examples of how to design and implement successful Extension programs for tribal audiences. Her programs for tribal audiences build trust with tribal members as well as knowledge of tribal history and culture.

Contact: Sue Isbell, Extension Agent/Sioux County, Photo credit: Sue Isbell.

The Library 

Photo credit Todd Johnson OSU Communications Fresh from the Field

Together We Can

Unidos Se Puede, formerly Juntos, is a culturally-appropriate prevention program being delivered to 300 Latino immigrant families in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Designed to increase academic performance and reduce substance use and other common negative behaviors, Unidos promotes family engagement, success coaching, and positive peer affiliations through year-round activities.

Participating families have shown significant increases in positive parenting behaviors and decreases in youth alcohol and drug use. Students also increased their GPAs by 29 percent, and decreased tardiness and absences by 23 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

Unidos is widely accepted by both the families and the school systems where implemented, and is poised to become a model for helping communities across the United States address the needs of their growing Latino immigrant populations.

Dr. Ronald Cox, Oklahoma State University researcher and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service specialist, launched Unidos in response to a general lack of programs designed to meet the unique needs of shifting Latino migration patterns where new settlement communities are poorly equipped to support immigrant populations.

NIFA supports this project through the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk program.

Contact: Leilana McKindra, Communications Specialist, Agricultural Communications Services, Oklahoma State University; 405.744.6792; Photo credit: Todd Johnson-OSU Communications.

B. Darlene Locke photo credit

Texas 4-H Mission Possible Camp

Mission Possible is a co-educational, inclusive program that provides a residential summer camp experience for youth of differing abilities, bringing youth together to improve their abilities and to learn from each other. The three primary objectives are to include youth with medically-diagnosed disabilities in a traditional summer camp environment, educate 4-H members about disabilities, and prepare 4-H members to advocate for the disabled community.

The program began in 2004 with funding from National 4-H Council’s Building Community Inclusion initiative aimed at providing an inclusive 4-H experience. In total, 538 youth have participated in the 13 camps; 238 youth with medically diagnosed disabilities and 300 4-H members serving as mentors.

Mission Possible wins on two levels: campers have fun, just like any other youth, and 4-H youth who serve as mentors gain valuable interpersonal skills. “These experiences have taught me to be a different kind of leader. I also learned that though people with special needs are often viewed as ‘disabled,’ their only real disability is a lack of acceptance.” – 4-H mentor. 

Contact: B. Darlene Locke, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist 1470 William D Fitch Pkwy, College Station, TX 77843-2473, (979) 845-6535 

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