January 2, 2020

News Release

For Immediate Release

EDITOR'S NOTE: Members of the media may contact Jeannette Rea-Keywood, Rutgers 4‑H Youth Development by phone at 609-827-0199 or by email at reakeywood@njaes.rutgers.edu.

New Jersey 4-H Members to Attend National Agri-Science Summit

Fourteen New Jersey 4‑H members have been selected to attend the National Agri-Science Youth Summit scheduled for January 9-12, 2020 at the National 4‑H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The theme of the Summit is "Inspiring Agri-Science Solutions" and the purpose is to provide youth with an opportunity to learn about and develop an understanding of the critical role that agricultural science innovation, ranging from environmental science to current technologies used in agriculture, plays in addressing the world's most pressing issues.

The New Jersey delegates attending the National 4‑H Agri-Science Youth Summit representing seven counties are:
Essex County: Matthew Furlong III, Caroline Prentice, Shannon Sager, and Troi Slade
Hudson County: Kayleen DeMatos and Loriann De Sousa Rego
Mercer County: Francesca Fusco and Sarah Hoplock
Monmouth County: Olive Scaff
Morris County: Sierra Durham, Johanna Pipoli
Passaic County: Sophia Marion
Somerset County: Devon DeAngelis and Megan Norz

Today, many young people are generationally and geographically removed from farming and agriculture. Yet, it is vital that these young leaders and future decision makers understand the critical role agriculture plays in our society. Currently, it is estimated that there will be 54,400 annual job openings for those with agricultural college degrees. While the percentage of these opportunities in production agriculture (farming) has declined, 27% of these jobs will be in science and engineering and 47% will be in management and business. A shortfall of graduates for these science and business positions is projected, especially for the anticipated demand in animal and plant biotechnology. These emerging areas of agriculture are addressing some of the world's most pressing issues related to food security, nutrition, energy, and sustainability.

During the summit, participants will attend workshops; engage in hands-on activities; listen to guest speakers; and interact with agricultural researchers and advocates who will help them to gain knowledge and skills in agri-science related to the production of food, feed, fuel, and fiber as well as learn about career opportunities.

"The National Agri-Science Summit will provide the New Jersey 4‑H members with an excellent opportunity to learn about the challenges facing agriculture, including global food security and sustainability, and how they can play a role in addressing these challenges today and in their future" says Jeannette Rea Keywood, State 4‑H Agent, Department of 4‑H Youth Development.

The 4‑H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station - Cooperative Extension. 4‑H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K–13 (one year out of high school), on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status and any other category protected by law.

For more information about the New Jersey 4‑H Program visit the website at: http://nj4h.rutgers.edu

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Cooperating Agencies: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and County Boards of Chosen Freeholders. Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, is an qual opportunity program provider and employer.

Rutgers New Jersey 4-H Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station