Chevy Chase, MD (June 24, 2019) National 4‑H Council is pleased to announce a collaborative partnership with Nationwide, one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States, to build a diverse pipeline of youth leaders in agriculture with a commitment of $1 million through 2022.
The 4‑H Leaders in the Field program will help inspire youth to be active leaders in their community. In its pilot year, youth from Ohio will work with members of the Ohio Farm Bureau to refine and execute community action plans that address a need or challenge in their hometown. From strategic planning meetings to implementation, youth will be partnering with local Farm Bureau leaders to implement positive community change.
To hone their leadership skills, the grant will support scholarships for youth to attend Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF), 4‑H’s premier citizenship and leadership experience for youth. Held in Washington, D.C. each summer, CWF empowers high school students to practice and recognize the importance of civic and social responsibility by strengthening their leadership and citizenship skills. It prepares them for life; inspiring them to be invested, informed and accountable for generating the change they want to see in the world – and to create their own success in the future.
Support from Nationwide will provide sponsorships for three delegations of youth from Ohio to travel to the nation’s capital to experience hands-on educational workshops, tour Washington D.C.’s living classrooms and meet with members of Congress to build the skills to be active citizens back home and in their future agriculture-industry endeavors.
“We live in a time where agriculture, and its future leaders, are becoming more important than ever in the assurance of a safe, efficient and abundant food supply for generations to come,” said Mark Berven, President and COO, Nationwide Property and Casualty and National 4‑H Council board member. “By investing in the next generation of agricultural leaders, Nationwide and 4‑H are building a diverse leadership pipeline, lifting up our communities, strengthening grassroots relationships and empowering the youth of today to seek out positive change.”
As part of the 4‑H Leaders in the Field program, select Diversity in Ag Teen Ambassadors will participate in events with Nationwide to help engage a dialogue about today’s agriculture and ways that youth can make a positive impact. An Ag Teen Ambassador will also be featured in an upcoming 4‑H Day in the Life video featuring a celebrity 4‑H alum and NFL player who grew up working on his family’s cattle ranch.
“When young people take responsibility to find answers to challenges, extraordinary change happens – in youth themselves and in their communities,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4‑H Council. “Opportunities like Citizenship Washington Focus help inspire active citizenship and position youth with the skills they need to succeed in their life and career.”
4‑H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. 4‑H programs empower nearly 6 million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4‑H is the youth development program of our nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA, and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3000 local Extension offices. The research-backed 4‑H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.