Friday, August 7, 2015

DC 4-H presents to Mexican delegation at NIFA seminar

By Diego Lahaye, extension agent, Center for 4-H and Youth Development

On Monday, August 3, I attended the 4‐H Youth Development Seminar: Perspectives from the Federal, State & Local Levels at National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

USDA and NIFA authorities welcomed several universities from Mexico under the Red de Extensión e Innovación  Nacional Universitaria (REINU) network. This delegation consisted of around 15 university presidents in addition to the presence of about 30 people. Leading the delegation was  Lic. Juan Manuel Verdugo Rosas, Subsecretario de Desarrollo Rural ( Undersecretary of Rural Development of Mexico).

The panel was formed by Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, NIFA; Dr. Lisa Lauxman, Director, Youth and 4‐H, NIFA, Dr. Amy McCune; and Mr. Doug Swanson, National Program Leaders, 4‐H; Dr. Kirk Astroth, Assistant Dean & Director Arizona 4‐H Youth Development; and myself, representing the University of District of Columbia and CAUSES.

I presented a PowerPoint to talk about the different programs that we are currently implementing as well as our past work in 4-H in DC. Also, I talked and was asked about my experience in the field, how I get volunteers, how I identify schools that want to do the program, what kind of populations we serve, and how we measure them.

Both the PowerPoint and my presentation were delivered in Spanish, which made a huge impact in the visitors, since they seemed engaged with my presentation. As a result, at the end of the seminar, the head of the Mexican delegation thanked the panel for how much they have learned about Extension in the USA and he finished his speech by saying: 

“This program (Extension) seems to have a great impact on the U.S, community, and I think one of the key things that we should be aware is that for the program to be successful we need people who are passionate, enthusiastic, and showing love for what they are doing, as Mr. Diego showed us today.”

It was an honor to represent CAUSES at this event. 

Click here for more information on the Center for 4-H and Youth Development.

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