Opportunities for Youth Education

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Dr. Dwight Loveday

Thursday afternoon I attended the Tennessee farm Bureau 78th Annual Presidents Conference.The theme for this meeting was Equip – Empower – Engage. The sessions high- lighted the Gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates. Additionally, there were speakers from a couple of USDA agencies. Most all the speakers had a relationship with 4-H and FFA while growing up. They shared some of their experiences in these youth educational programs but emphasized the leadership and public speaking opportunities. One candidate attended college on a 4-H scholarship. Again, this is evidence of the impact that 4-H and FFA has had on leaders in Tennessee.

The governmental candidates and USDA officials talked about the educational opportunities in Tennessee rural communities. In an effort to enhance rural development, they announced more emphasis in career and technical education. We can expect new initiatives and funding opportunities for informal and technical education. Our experiential learning and life skill development will be complimentary to these goals. We have a tremendous opportunity to EQUIP and EMPOWER youth to ENGAGE them in their local communities.