- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
The same day, an opening ceremony launches a journey of exploration into the world of food production and healthy eating for a group of 8- and 9-year-old Mexican children.
The UC Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program sponsors clubs that combine hands-on learning and positive youth-adult partnerships to help children develop skills they need to succeed in life.
“Children in Mexico also need to find and focus their passions, they need life skills and support in order to become responsible citizens and give back to the community,” said Lupita Fabregas, 4-H Youth Development advisor and assistant director for 4-H diversity and expansion. “We have decades of experience and extensive programming to offer. It is a natural partnership.”
Humiston was a member of 4-H herself as a youth and credits the program for setting in motion a successful career that includes serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, earning a doctorate degree at UC Berkeley, playing a role in the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama presidential administrations, and later taking the helm at UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“I encourage all children to find a place like 4-H to work with mentors, get hands-on experience, and learn about their own potential,” Humiston said. “This historic agreement will allow children in Mexico to benefit from a 100-year-old program that has had tremendous success in the United States and it will build academic, scientific, technological and cultural relations between Mexico and California for the advancement of children.”
The new club in the Mexicali community of Sinaloa will have access to two greenhouses that belong to the Secretary of Agricultural Development in Baja, Mexico, where they will grow cucumbers and tomatoes while they learn about soil science, irrigation, nutrition education and other components of agricultural science.
The children will also learn leadership skills by taking a new role in their communities, running in club elections, speaking in public and reporting on their work. The children's parents will also be encouraged to serve as volunteer leaders, mentors and educators.
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Secretary of Agricultural Development in Baja, Mexico, sign a memorandum of understanding.
Opening ceremony for the first club modeled after the successful California 4-H Youth Development Program in Ejido Sinaloa, Baja Mexico.
Friday, Jan. 20
9:30 to 9:50 a.m. – Memorandum of understanding signing
9:50 to 11:50 a.m. – Children take part in their first session of 4-H programming, learning “Where does our food come from?”
Secretaria de Fomento Agropuecuario
Glenda Humiston, vice president of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources
Manuel Valladolid Seamanduras, secretary of the Mexican agricultural development program (La Secretaria de Fomento Agropecuario de Baja, México)
Parents, students, teachers, principal, University of Baja California personnel, 4-H volunteers, UC Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development staff and academics
Children participating in a 4-H Club project that involves healthy eating and agricultural production.
Jeannette Warnert, (559) 240-9850 (call or text), firstname.lastname@example.org
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
An innovative 4-H program developed in Sacramento will be featured on American Graduate Day 2014, a multi-platform PBS event broadcast live from Lincoln Center in New York on Sept. 27. It can be viewed on the web at http://americangraduate.org/grad-day and on participating PBS stations from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.
“I got to look at the stars. I saw the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, and the Milky Way. It looked like a line of milk and glitter,” said one camper.
To tell the nation about this program, American Graduate Day 2014 has made arrangements for three Sacramento representatives to travel to New York City next weekend to be panelists on the show. They are Marianne Bird, UC Cooperative Extension 4-H advisor; Gayle Craggs, a Twin Rivers Unified School District teacher and 4-H On the Wild Side leader; and Bonnie Lindgren, a 4-H member who was an On The Wild Side teen leader for four years. (Lingren, 2014 McClatchy High School graduate, is now a freshman at Carleton College in Minnesota.)
Media contact: Marianne Bird, (916) 875-6423, email@example.com
For more information, see the attached PDF documents:
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
While growing up in urban Irvington, New Jersey, neighbor to Newark, Enfield hadn’t considered a career in agriculture. Community gardening and community supported agriculture experience piqued his interest after he moved to Santa Barbara so Enfield enrolled in the UC Santa Cruz Farm and Garden Project, which was a 12-month apprenticeship program. While studying at UC Santa Cruz, he was introduced to UC Cooperative Extension. He stayed on another year working as a field assistant to the director Stephen Kaffka, who is now a UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.
“I became very interested in teaching methods and experiential education and learning,” Enfield said.
Enfield began studying agricultural sciences at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and joined UC Cooperative Extension as a summer intern in the UCCE 4-H office in San Luis Obispo County after earning his B.S. degree in June 1980. Three months later, he was hired as a 4-H youth development advisor. Under his leadership, the 4-H youth development activities evolved to incorporate more research-based approaches to foster a commitment to learning, positive identity, social competency and positive values.
“Over the years, Richard made the 4-H program more visible in San Luis Obispo County by reaching out and offering the program to not just the traditional club audiences but to other youth,” said JoAnn Overbey, who has volunteered with 4-H for 42 years.
“I remember years ago when 4-H was set up in housing projects in the North County,” Overbey said. “He started the 4-H SLO Scientists Program that youth could join, and this program was years ahead of the UC SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) Program that started a few years ago.”
Enfield designed 4-H SLO Scientists in 1996 to engage families in the hands-on science activities because research shows that direct parental involvement is an important influence on student achievement. More than 1,500 people have participated in the program. In 2011, the program was recognized as one of 4-H’s 15 promising science programs in urban communities across the country.
“SLO Scientists today is still one of our most popular groups to join,” said Overbey, who works for San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services as a program review specialist for foster care and adoptions. “It can be started in the smaller communities and we reach youth who would not otherwise know about or join a traditional 4-H Club.”
In 1987, Enfield earned an M.A. in educational psychology and research methods from UC Riverside. In 1991 he was appointed UCCE director for San Luis Obispo County, serving for two years. In 2005, he was reappointed UCCE director for San Luis Obispo County and added oversight in Santa Barbara County in 2008, leading UCCE in both counties until his retirement. He also served as interim UCCE director for Ventura County from April 1, 2011, until Aug. 31, 2012.
“Richard was always there with high expectations for performance coupled with personal support and caring,” said Mary Bianchi, a UC Cooperative Extension advisor who reported to Enfield and succeeded him as UCCE director for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.
In 2010, Enfield began serving as a 4-H advisor for Santa Barbara County in addition to San Luis Obispo County.
Locally he created a middle-management structure to strengthen the 4-H program. The middle-management structure empowers adult volunteers and teen leaders and allows them to serve in critical 4-H management and program development roles at their peak levels of performance. UCCE offices in other counties have recently begun adopting his model. He also presented the middle management approach at state and national conferences.
“Through his local impacts and national efforts, Richard can rest assured that he has been important in the lives of thousands of children and generations within families,” Bianchi said.
“I can tell you with complete honesty that we would not have the huge steady increase in enrollment without his leadership and skills guiding us,” Overbey said. “He went after all types of available grants that allowed our program to extend beyond just the club level – grants that allowed our youth to be involved in things like oak tree plantings and a 4-H hiking program.”
Enfield has won numerous accolades over his career. In 2005, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation recognizing his 25 years of service to children, youth and families in the county. In 2010, his professional peers honored him with the Meritorious Award from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. For his work behind the scenes at the statewide administrative level, colleagues acknowledged Enfield with the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Distinguished Service Award for Leadership in 2011. In February, the Board of Directors of the California Mid-State Fair presented Enfield with a Resolution in Appreciation of Service for “outstanding contributions to the California Mid-State Fair.”
“I loved the freedom to be creative and I enjoyed getting to know all the wonderful and diverse people whom I got to work with and collaborate with on issues of positive youth development and community development,” Enfield said. “Every day was different, exciting and I always felt I was contributing to my community.”
Enfield has been active in the community as well, serving as a member of the Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Luis Obispo County, the Bakari Project Advisory Board at Cal Poly and the SLO Children’s Services Network and participating in the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation “Pathways to Adulthood” Initiative.
Enfield and his wife Elaine Cormier, a retired optometrist, plan to stay in San Luis Obispo and spend more time hiking, ocean kayaking and bicycling to explore the natural beauty of the area.
“I plan to remain active in the community through various organizations, such as the Asset Development Network of San Luis Obispo County,” Enfield said. “The Asset Development Network is a collaboration of agencies, organizations, and individuals who have come together in order to promote positive youth development throughout the county.
He will also pursue his personal passions of attending ballet performances and baseball games and collecting publications about the West.
“I will continue adding to and developing my collection of over 1,300 modern first editions, dozens of broadsides, and ephemera exploring the American West,” said the East Coast native, explaining that broadsides are beautiful single page prints of book excerpts or poems. “My extensive collection explores the old West to the new West and what it means to be Western and live and work in the West. The collection of fiction, associated nonfiction, and poetry both perpetuates and dispels the myths of the West and explores the sense of place that is so prominent in the literature of the West.”
UC has granted Enfield the prestigious emeritus status so he will continue working on his state and national research projects on the development of individual and community social capital through the 4-H program.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
While earning a bachelor’s degree in home economics education from South Dakota State University, Johns took a summer job with South Dakota Cooperative Extension teaching at an Indian reservation.
“One of my assignments was to teach nutrition to families on the reservation,” Johns recalls. “That’s where I learned that delivering a scripted program is not always the most effective. The beauty of Cooperative Extension is having the flexibility to tailor educational programs to meet the needs of your clientele.”
Although the Brookings, S.D., native had participated in 4-H and her father was a Cooperative Extension economics specialist at South Dakota State University, Johns didn’t really know the community-based educational organization until she began working for UC Cooperative Extension in 1974 as an advisor for Plumas, Sierra, Lassen and Modoc counties. She coordinated the 4-H youth development and nutrition education programs for those four counties until 1983, when she became a UCCE advisor in El Dorado and Amador counties in the same role.
In 1985, Johns transferred to San Mateo and San Francisco counties to serve an urban population as the UCCE 4-H youth development and nutrition, family and consumer sciences advisor. One of her projects was starting a school garden in Pacifica. She recruited senior citizens to teach the children how to grow vegetables. The senior citizens’ requests for guidance led her to develop TWIGS, 30 gardening and nutrition lessons for “Teams With Intergenerational Support.” Published in 1997, Johns continues to receive requests for the TWIGS curriculum. More than 3,500 copies have been sold to schools, after school programs, parks and recreation and YMCA programs, senior centers, nutrition networks and food banks in 22 states. California’s Department of Education uses TWIGS as an example of gardening curricula addressing education standards.
While serving the Bay Area, Johns earned a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in human resources at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. In 2005, Johns was promoted to director for UCCE in San Francisco and San Mateo counties and director of Elkus Ranch, an environmental education and conference center in Half Moon Bay that provides hands-on learning experiences for San Francisco Bay Area youth. In 2011, Johns was also named director of UCCE in Santa Clara County.
In addition to promoting nutrition education and agricultural literacy through gardening, Johns has studied teen pregnancy. An article that she coauthored, “Best Practices in Teen Pregnancy Prevention,” was one of the most visited online articles of the Journal of Extension in 2005.
A founding member of the San Mateo Food Alliance System and a member of the statewide School Garden Network, Johns and nonprofit partners Hidden Villa and Collective Roots recently received a three-year grant of $173,000 per year from Sequoia Healthcare District to improve children’s health through garden-based learning.
While there have been groups who advocate for school gardens and those who promote nutrition, they haven’t always worked together in the past, says Jennifer Gabet, nutrition manager for Sequoia Healthcare District. Through a unique collaboration and development of a model teaching garden, 1, 2, 3 Let’s Grow! will emphasize growing edible plants, providing the students with fresh produce to eat and demonstrating how to prepare the fruit and vegetables they grow.
“Marilyn has been able to bring the two groups together, to see the garden as a mechanism to improve the school food environment and nutrition education,” Gabet said. “They teach science, but it doesn’t always include nutrition – discussion of the benefits of the foods grown and how students and families can include them in their diets to support their health.”
“This grant is pretty exciting,” Johns said, explaining that it incorporates nutrition education into hands-on activities for children, which is a more effective teaching method. She oversees the UC Master Gardener volunteers and UCCE nutrition educators who will be training K-12 teachers, parents and other participants at up to 34 schools on how to enhance children’s learning while gardening.
In retirement, Johns, who has been granted emeritus status, looks forward to continuing to contribute to garden-based learning as well as spending time with family and traveling for pleasure.
- Posted By: Sandra Willard
- Contact: Brenda Dawson, (530) 754-3914, firstname.lastname@example.org
“I was the little tag-along with my older sister until I was old enough to join, then I was a 4-H member for nine years, then a volunteer through college, and since college I have been a 4-H staff member,” Gregory said.
Gregory, the 4-H youth development advisor and county director of UC Cooperative Extension Kings County, retired Dec. 31, 2011, after 37 years of service in the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Gregory’s career started as a 4-H advisor in Kern County in 1974, after earning a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from San Diego State University. She later earned a master’s degree in education from California State University, Bakersfield. In 1991, she began working as a UC 4-H youth development advisor for Kings County and became the UC Cooperative Extension director for the county in 2004.
Carol Collar, a UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor in Kings County, described Gregory as a “very service-oriented” team player.
“Here in Kings County, the 4-H program is very highly valued. She provided excellent leadership and support to leverage volunteer resources for the 4-H program,” Collar said. “Peggy really worked at providing all youth — not just those in the traditional 4-H programs, but all youth — with essential elements in youth development.”
Gregory partnered with various organizations to provide development opportunities for youth in Kings County. One such project was Teen Teams in 2008, which trained at-risk high school students to lead fun, hands-on science activities with younger children in elementary after-school programs. Community collaborators for this program included former NFL player Dameane Douglas and Hanford police officers.
“The program was great because it gave kids who had self-esteem issues a sense of worth by telling them, ‘You're going to teach, and you're going to lead those younger kids,’” said Hanford Police Chief Carlos Mestas. “I like the fact that it brought together different groups of people who wouldn’t normally cross paths for this very, very positive program.”
Through Teen Teams and similar programs, Gregory has trained more than 50 at-risk teens to lead science projects with elementary school students in this rural community.
Gregory worked with volunteer development throughout her career, as a critical component of youth development programs and part of her career’s overarching philosophy.
“A good youth development program engages the entire community to support its youth,” she said. “You really can’t have a strong youth development program without a strong community to support it — and obviously part of that is volunteers in the community who are willing to work with young people.”
More than half of Kings County’s population is of Hispanic or Latino origin, and in 2007 Gregory was the principal investigator of a project examining civic engagement in Latino communities. The project culminated in the ANR publication, “Recommendations for Working in Partnership with Latino Communities.”
Dave Campbell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in community studies with the UC Davis Human and Community Development Department, said the outcomes of the study were eye-opening.
“The project expanded the range of our thinking about different modes of engaging with the diverse communities in our state,” he said. “Peggy was really the driving force in getting this project going, and it stemmed from really deep-seated, personal and professional interest she had in the project’s questions.”
Gregory also helped create the state’s first mandatory 4-H volunteer orientation and continued to work on volunteer development and policy for 4-H throughout her career.
Though Gregory said she is taking a break from 4-H after 53 years, she has been granted emeritus status and has offered to mentor 4-H staff and volunteers.