Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Education and agriculture secretaries address 300 4-H Club members at national conference

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, left, addressed 300 4-H Club members from 47 states or territories and Canada as a part of the National 4-H Conference in Bethesda, Md., this week. A child from your area may have attended.

The focus of the unusual joint appearance was "community service, valuing education and embracing positive health and nutrition habits," Allison Ekhardt, writer for USDA's National Institute for Food and Agriculture, reports on the USDA Blog.

Vilsack, right, encouraged the 4-Hers to host roundtables to address issues that are important to them and their communities and make a commitment to healthier living through programs like the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award Challenge, which "recognizes those who log their recommended physical activity for six consecutive weeks, five days a week (60 minutes for kids, 30 for adults)," Eckhardt writs. (Read more)

Duncan said 4-H could partner with schools to improve their performance and reduce drop out rates. He said the organization and the Cooperative Extension Service, which oversees it, "can work with schools to create programs that are specific to the school community's needs, including financial literacy, parenting, healthy living, food and nutrition, science literacy, robotics, and civic engagement to bridge formal and non-formal learning experiences," the Blog reports. (Read more)

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