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I am a member of the National 4-H History Preservation Team. Talk about “old news!” When we meet, “old news” is about all we DO talk about. However, sometimes, that “old news” isn’t so, well, “old news” after all! Just go visit the 4-H History Preservation website and see all the surprises “old news” can provide.

Dispatches from Jamaica

Jamaica 4-H'ers working

Jamaica 4-H has been tasked with implementing the nation-wide school garden program. The idea is that a school’s 4-H club will plant and maintain a garden filled with fruits and vegetables commonly eaten in Jamaica, including sweet peppers, tomatoes, okra, carrots, cabbage, callaloo, Scotch Bonnet peppers, pumpkin, melon, banana, plantain, and beans (usually called peas here). Some schools even have a chicken house (for meat or eggs) or “piggery” (pig house). Ideally, a school can grow all their own food for their school feeding program, except rice, a common staple in Jamaica. A variety of factors prevent this from happening, from school funding, parish 4-H funding, teacher/4-H leader workload, lack of community support, community members destroying or stealing produce from the garden (this is unbelievably common and extremely discouraging to schools), to apathy on students or teachers’ part.

States’ 4-H Exchange Builds Global Ties

4-H'er Lydia Russell

Lydia would like to see more 4-H families participate in exchange programs. She credits her confidence, public speaking skills, and cultural sensitivity in part to her experiences as a host and outbound delegate.

She credits the States’ 4-H International Exchange with “building leaders for not only communities, but for the world.”

The Things You Must Unlearn

With the Maker Movement on my mind and feeling the importance of always learning new things, the song lyrics reminded me of this quote on my wall at home:

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." Alvin Toffler, The Third Wave

So with that introduction I'd like to share with you 7 things you must unlearn as a 4-H professional.

4-H Celebrates Engineers Week with Lockheed Martin

February 23-27, 2015 was National Engineers Week. What better way to celebrate, than to have 4-H members meet with Lockheed Martin Engineers and talk about their 4-H projects! After all, Lockheed Martin has been one of 4-H’s strongest supporters! So that is exactly what we did! At Lockheed Martin’s invitation, 4-H members from across Maryland penciled 4-H at Lockheed Martin onto their February 23 calendar pages. Weather and other concerns whittled the number down to eight 4-H’ers, but those eight were VERY excited – and were the engineers! By the end of the evenin,g I wasn’t sure who was keeping who there: the members telling the engineers about their 4-H projects or the engineers asking more and more questions about what the 4-H’ers brought to show them! Lockheed Martin engineers interacting with 4-H members – it was a sight to behold!

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4-H Today is written, edited and published by National 4-H Council.