Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture joins the nation in celebrating National Ag Day, which highlights agriculture’s crucial role in everyday life, and honors the farmers, foresters, scientists, producers and many others who contribute to America’s bountiful harvest. As part of this effort, USDA is launching a new Youth and Agriculture website to connect young people and youth-serving organizations with Department-wide resources that engage, empower, and educate the next generation of agricultural leaders.
“The future of agriculture in America depends on the investment and involvement of America’s young people,” said Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky. “Connecting with America’s youth on National Ag Day is a tremendous opportunity to show that careers in farming, the agricultural sciences, and veterinary medicine are rewarding, essential, and profitable.”
The USDA Youth and Agriculture website features three key components of agriculture-focused youth engagement – classroom studies, experiential learning, and leadership training. Educators can find ways to include agriculture in the classroom and beyond. Young people can learn about USDA summer outreach programs, youth loans for business projects, and outdoor volunteering. Community leaders can get tips on starting leadership development clubs and education programs. The site also highlights USDA partners, such as 4-H, the National FFA Organization, Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS), Agriculture Future of America (AFA), and many others working with the Department to connect young people with opportunities in agriculture.
For the career curious, the website provides information on internships and scholarships, USDA employment, and information on agriculture career fields, such as forestry, robotics engineering, biochemistry, and food sciences. Storytelling will help young people learn from peers about youth-led innovations and success stories in agriculture.