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Release No. 0301.05 Contact: USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623 - page 9 / 53





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             To Secretary Johanns, I thank you once more for recognizing the future of agriculture.  We thank all political leaders who support the Perkins Bank (sp), which allows classroom agriculture the resources it needs to help students gain the best education possible.  The FFA organization affects so many lives with the knowledge of the growing diversity of agriculture.  The USDA has identified 300 careers in agriculture, and the FFA is dedicated to preparing today's youth with the resources needed to succeed in every one of them. Thank you very much. MODERATOR:  Thank you.  You stayed under your two minutes.  That's very good. [Applause.] Okay.  We have one other student, and then we'll open it up to the general public. MS. MARNIE ANDERSON:  Good afternoon, Mr. Secretary, and welcome to Farm Fest.  I'm Marnie Anderson, the Minnesota State 4-H president, and I'll be answering question two. Mr. Secretary, whether you look around the local area, the state or the nation you will see young people as a core part of every community.  The USDA has always played an important role in supporting these young people through the 4-H Youth Development Program by continuing to design the Farm Bill to include additional investments.  In the Cooperative Extension System you will be investing in young people who are ready to compete in the global market and business world. People are frequently looking for instant results when money is allocated to specific programs.  However, sustainable growth and development in youth is a long-term commitment.  4-H knows the skills needed to compete globally are not attained from a one-hour session and a three-ring binder.  4-H makes that commitment to invest in youth over time. Devoting these resources to the development of kids fosters the ability for the United States to compete in the global arena.  4-H provides experiential, project-based learning that allows youth to practice leadership and develop life skills. For example, my 4-H Club took part in a service project that addressed homelessness.  The life skills learned are transferable in the work force.  The ability to communicate effectively and problem solve in a variety of situations are recognized by the public. The 4-H After School Program is another example in providing opportunities for additional youth to practice leadership and develop life skills under the guidance of positive and grounded adults.  The Farm Bill's support of 4-H will ensure more young people are prepared to work in our global world.

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