- Author: Jeannette Warnert
California State Senator Ben Hueso honored California and Baja California 4-H with a resolution in the State Senate April 2 to recognize the cross-border team that established a 4-H Club in Mexicali, Baja Mexico, in January 2017.
The event, held in the Senate Chambers, was attended by Manuel Vallodolid Seamaduras, secretary of Agriculture Development in the State of Baja California, Mexico (Secretaría de Desarrollo Agropecuario del Estado de México - SEDAGRO); Hortencia Medellin Acosta, director of Rural Entrepreneurship, Mexicali, Baja California; Carlos Orozco Riesgo, member of the UC ANR 4-H Multicultural and Community Engagement Advisory Committee and former undersecretary of SEDAGRO; Belem Avendaño Ruiz, director of Inspection, health and safety SEDAGRO; Guillermo Gonzalez Rubio, director of the Livestock Health Department SEDAGRO; Agustin Manuel Velazquez Bustamante, legal advisor SEDAGRO; Mark Bell, vice provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs; Shannon Horrillo, 4-H Youth Development Program director; Lupita Fabregas, 4-H Youth Development assistant director for diversity and expansion; and Claudia Diaz Carrasco, 4-H Youth Development advisor in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Last year, UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston signed a memorandum of understanding with Baja California Secretary of Agriculture Development Manuel Vallodolid Seamanduras to offer UC's 4-H expertise to youth south of the border. The agreement increases the academic, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation that are part of UC President Janet Napolitano's Mexico Initiative.
Hueso's resolution attests to the value of building relationships as a means of cooperative engagement between Mexico and California on shared concerns, such as drought and global climate change. The resolution notes that the creation of a 4-H Club in Mexicali is an inspiring reminder that the need for education doesn't stop at the border.
Hueso represents the 40th District, which includes parts of San Diego County and all of Imperial County, running along the entire border between California and Mexico.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Over the last 100 years, the UC ANR 4-H Youth Development Program has taught California children about food, agriculture, leadership and community service using learn-by-doing practices. To offer 4-H expertise to children south of the border, Vice President Glenda Humiston traveled to Mexicali to sign a memorandum of understanding with Baja California Secretary of Agriculture Manuel Vallodolid Seamanduras on Jan. 20.
“The need for education doesn't stop at the border,” said Lupita Fábregas, assistant director for 4-H diversity and expansion and UC Cooperative Extension 4-H advisor. “The wonderful educational opportunities available to California youth are now being offered to a group of children in Mexicali. And that program will be a model for the rest of Baja California and Mexico.”
Today, projects in new technologies – like drones and rocketry – join more traditional projects – like cooking, sewing, animal husbandry and farming – to give youths channels to explore a wide variety of options and interests.
“We are looking into expanding to community colleges and offering education for future entrepreneurs or youth interested in skilled trades,” said Humiston, who credits 4-H with enabling her to be the first in her family to attend college.
The establishment of a club like 4-H in Mexico is the fulfillment of a life's dream for Claudia Diaz Carrasco, 4-H youth development advisor in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
“I found my passion,” said the native of Mexico City. “To solve world hunger, we need to find solutions one community at a time. 4-H does that.”