National 4-H Council and AFBF Establish Partnership

This week, leaders of National 4-H Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation announced a newly established partnership during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two groups.

Recognizing the need to support agricultural education and highlight the impact ag plays in our daily lives, National 4-H Council and AFBF aim to ignite the desire of young people to embrace agriculture, cultivate innovation and empower them with opportunities to improve the world around them. Through collaboration on thought leadership and ag literacy initiatives, both organizations are committed to better link young people to agriculture of today and tomorrow.

“For more than a century, 4-H has provided young people with opportunities to spark and grow their interests in agriculture, giving them the courage, confidence and resilience to lead,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. “National 4-H Council is proud and excited to join forces with the American Farm Bureau Federation to help empower and develop young people with the workforce skills necessary to pursue careers in the agriculture industry.”

The Council-AFBF partnership will formally kick off in 2017.

“Farm Bureau has a long history of investing in young people with a demonstrated interest in not only farming and ranching but also agri-business and food-related careers,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We’re pleased to build on our tradition of supporting youth in agriculture through this formal collaboration with National 4-H Council.”

Here in NY, we are incredibly excited about the opportunities this partnership will bring.

Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council and Zippy Duvall, president, AFBF.

4-H National Youth Science Day: Drone Discovery

Yesterday, October 5th, youth from around the nation designed and flew foam planes, coded virtual flight patterns, and explored the practical uses of drones and other unmanned aircraft to mark 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD). Youth from around New York participated in this event!

This event occurs each year as part of National 4-H Week, and each year has a different theme. More than 100,000 youth nationwide plan to participate throughout the month of October in Drone Discovery, a hands-on program created by a Cornell team composed of campus and county partners in collaboration with National 4-H Council.

Drone Discovery teaches youth to use the engineering design process to understand unmanned flight and its applications. First, participants learn about aircraft types by designing and flying simple fixed and rotary wing aircraft; next, they discover how drones can gather data with a foam glider and keychain camera; and finally, youth explore the basics of coding, as they program virtual drones to solve real-world challenges, such as tracking the spread of an invasive plant species or searching for lost people or pets.

National 4-H Council selected Cornell as the university partner for 4-H NYSD this spring after a competition among land-grant institutions. Cornell staff participated in two 4-H NYSD events yesterday. Alexa Maille, Drone Discovery project leader and state 4-H STEM specialist spoke at a panel titled, “Breaking the STEM Barrier: A Youth-Led Perspective,” at the 4-H NYSD flagship event in Washington, D.C.  On Oct. 21, Maille and other CCE leaders will host a Drone Discovery challenge at Cornell’s Mann Library for approximately 40 youth from Tompkins County and the surrounding area.

Alexa Maille (on left) serving on a panel in Washington, D.C.

The Cornell team that developed Drone Discovery includes Maille; Susan Hoskins, senior extension associate in soil and crop sciences; Anne Glasgow, CCE Broome County; Charles Malone, CCE Genesee County; and June Mead, CCE Broome County.

“We are so excited to see Drone Discovery in action,” Maille said. “Drone Discovery is a great example of Cornell campus and county extension educators working together to inspire youth to explore new technology and STEM learning.”

At the event Wednesday in Washington, youth split up in rotating groups to experience the three-part challenge, building their own foam drones and putting them to the test. Youth were also able to get hands-on at the special Drone Zone, with real drones provided by national sponsor DJI. Youth left the event with an appreciation and understanding of drones, and how they help solve real-world problems. The event was a success and it’s all because of the tremendous support of our partners, sponsors and 4‑H community.

NYS 4-H's Chip Malone is in Washington D.C. engaging the next generation in Drone Discovery.

Alumni Leaders: Lazarus Lynch

By: The National 4-H Council
Originally posted: 4-H Today Blog, July 1st, 2016

Lazarus Lynch is only 22, but he’s already making waves in the culinary world. Lazarus, whose father owned a restaurant, now offers healthier takes on classic soul food on his website, Son of a Southern Chef. He has appeared on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, and he’s working on a cookbook. Unsurprisingly, he’s also a 4‑H alum.

Lazarus, who grew up in New York City, got involved with 4‑H as a sophomore in high school when he joined the group for a week in Washington, D.C., with other young leaders. “I remember on the last day, I cried because it was over,” he said. “I never looked back from there.”

At 22, Lazarus is now a youth member of the board of National 4‑H Council. “This is a group you’ll feel connected to forever,” he said. “I have lifelong friends because of 4‑H.”

We talked to Lazarus about how being a part of 4‑H helped him get where he is today.

How did being a part of 4‑H help you become a better leader?

Lazarus Lynch (LL): It taught me to be conscious of the world around me. That means taking note of the issues and the people around you and compassionately responding. Because being a leader is really about serving others.

4‑H also taught me how important listening is. When I traveled around New York, I would listen to the stories of kids who grew up on farms and whose parents were in 4‑H. I didn’t have that story, but I knew I could learn from them. Because at the end of the day we were all there for the same reason: We believed our voices mattered, and we believed in the ability of young people to respond to issues that mattered to us.

What makes 4‑H unique when it comes to growing true leaders?

LL: 4‑H believes in the possibility of young people. It teaches kids that we’re powerful, that we’re not broken, that we can do things—we can do great things.

It’s not just another after school program. It’s about creating a conversation that reflects service and that really inspires you to speak up. We were thinking about issues that others kids maybe had never thought about. Like, how will we feed 7 billion people by the year 2050? Or how do we use robotics and STEM to create different kinds of technologies for people with disabilities? Those were questions we were asking ourselves in high school.

How is what you learned in 4‑H helping you become a leader in the culinary world now?

LL: 4‑H has taught me those soft skills you need to lead, like commitment and follow-through and responsibility. For example, my website, Son of a Southern Chef, requires my dedication and commitment. I think some people think it kind of happens organically, but there’s actually a lot of work that goes into it. So I use those skills every day.

It has also given me opportunities. Being a youth board member gives me a platform that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I’ve met other board members I would not have gotten to meet otherwise. I’ve also worked for the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., where I was learning about the farm bill or speaking one-on-one with the secretary of agriculture.

Your father was a chef and a restaurant-owner, and you learned a lot from him. You even called your website “Son of a Southern Chef.” In what ways was he a role model for you when it comes to leadership?

LL: My father was a business-owner all my life. He only ever worked for himself. He had a sense of confidence and leadership that I took for granted for many years.

He taught me about believing in yourself, believing that your dreams matter, and believing that you’re capable of pursuing your dreams. My dad barely passed high school because in his senior year my oldest brother was born. That was a real challenge for him, and he overcame that. He didn’t relent. He went to work, and then he started his own business when he was, like, 22.

He showed me a lot about being a man— what a man looks like today: Someone who takes care of their family, who provides, who is a good listener, who is a good father. He was just second to none, and that’s the kind of dad I want to be for my kids one day.

4-H youth explore careers, college experience

By: R.J. Anderson
Story originally published in the Cornell Chronicle, July 5th, 2016

Nearly 380 middle and high school students from 42 New York counties streamed across campus June 28-30 to launch rockets, dissect mouse embryos, calibrate watershed models, program robots and learn what it takes to create a sustainable future. Those activities were among the many hands-on workshops taught by Cornell faculty, staff and graduate students at the 4-H Career Explorations conference, an annual event targeting 4-H’s mission of healthy living, leadership, citizenship and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

A high school student observes Baxter the robot as part of a hands-on workshop during Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Career Explorations conference.

With Cornell’s campus as a launch pad, the event is fueled by the sharing of research tools and expertise facilitated by the Colleges of Human Ecology, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering and the Faculty of Computing and Information Science.

“Through these resources, we want to spark youth interest in careers and career pathways while helping them develop academic, leadership and life skills,” says organizer Alexa Maille, New York State 4-H STEM specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) at the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, a research and outreach arm of the College of Human Ecology. “And through it all, we’re also hoping to foster a connection between Cornell and each kid who participates.”

For Cate Schick, 16, of Garden City, New York, that’s exactly what happened. Along with providing learning and leadership opportunities, Career Explorations has allowed her to take the Cornell student experience for a Big Red test drive.

“When I signed up for my first conference in 2015, I thought I might one day look at Cornell as one of the schools I would apply to, so it would be fun to visit,” she says. “But now, especially after these last two days, I know that it’s definitely where I want to go. It just feels like home.”

Participating in the “Geospatial Discovery” track led by Susan Hoskins, a senior extension associate in soil and crop sciences, Schick said learning about drones, mapping and remote sensing – and all of the related careers – was equal parts eye-opening and inspiring.

“Even though I really didn’t have much background on any of that stuff going in, it’s definitely spurred some new interests,” Schick says. “I’m already planning to get out and do some geocaching when I get home to Nassau County.”

Hoskins’ course was one of the event’s Focus for Teens career tracks aimed at the 265 participants heading into grades 10 through 12. Meanwhile, the 114 middle school attendees rotated through a series of 45-minute workshops on topics such as climate leadership, biomedical research, nutrition, polymer chemistry and coding.

Cate Schick, 16, of Garden City, New York, launches a glider she constructed as part of the “Geospatial Discovery” track at Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Career Explorations conference.

Having just completed his fourth year of Career Explorations, 16-year-old Justin Bennett from Steuben County has sampled a variety of programming tracks during his 4-H experience. And while he’s impressed with the campus, loves meeting faculty and grad students, and like Schick hopes to one day attend Cornell, Bennett says it’s the interaction with other 4-H youth that he looks forward to the most each year.

“I love meeting and learning about other people,” he says. “Plus, being here is just plain fun. I enjoy working in groups on projects and being part of collaborative processes. It’s a great way to interact and to learn.”

CCE Distance Learning Educator Paul Treadwell concurs. Treadwell, now in his 16th year as a presenter at Career Explorations, led the Youth in Focus track “Making for Sustainability.” He believes the energy of youth along with their open minds and diverse voices is what drives the program’s continued success.

“There is always a degree of uncertainty when you meet a new group of youth,” Treadwell says. “It’s during that first hour together that the learning really begins – I learn about them, they learn about each other and together we define the program goals. And then the work begins as the teams form and begin to pick apart the challenge they have been given.

“Less than 48 hours later, the program ends, the kids head home and I stop to marvel in what has just happened,” he continues. “A group of kids from diverse parts of the state came together, learned from and with each other, thought together and developed solutions to a design challenge which they knew nothing about two short days ago. And they did this all with respect and openness and a willingness to speak, hear and share possibilities. It always humbles me. And it’s the reason why I look forward to running my 17th Career Explorations session next year.”

R.J. Anderson is a communications specialist/staff writer for Cornell Cooperative Extension.

NYS 4-H Foundation Supports Career Explorations

Career Explorations is a three-day event for 4-H youth on the Cornell University campus. This program provides youth with exposure to academic fields and career exploration through different departments across the university. The workshops help to develop leadership skills, provide hands-on experience in a college setting and to introduce youth to Cornell University.   The event is made up of two grade specific tracts: University U for youth entering grades 8 - 9 and Focus for Teens for youth entering grades 10-12. 

This year the NYS 4-H Foundation financially supported Career Explorations that brought 400 youth and 200 volunteers from nearly every county in the state to Cornell. This program connects 4-Her's to departments across many colleges at the university including engineering, animal science, astronomy, environmental science, food science, nanotechnology and human development.

2016 Salute to Excellence Award - The Results Are In!

Last fall, the NYS 4-H Foundation honored John King of Tioga County with the 4-H Volunteer of the Year award. John went on to win recognition in the Northeast and is now being honored with the National 4-H Volunteer of the Year award! His award was announced during National Volunteer Week, April 11-17, 2016. John will be recognized at the 4-H Heritage Luncheon on October 7, 2016 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD. John will also receive a $1,000 donation in his name to a local 4-H organization of his choosing.

John is an eight year 4-H Shooting Sports volunteer in Tioga County, NY.  He first became involved in the 4-H Program when he enrolled his three children in the 4-H Shooting Sports and Livestock Programs, then became a volunteer and is now is the lead instructor in the Tioga Co. 4-H Shooting Sports Program. A parent in his group said, “He is an excellent youth mentor who promotes the 4-H Shooting Sports program at the county, state, and national level.” John continually focuses on firearms safety, leadership development, and encourages members to develop their skills and take advantage of 4-H leadership development opportunities.  One of John’s fellow instructors says, “The enthusiasm John displays, the interest he takes in the development of the youth in our 4-H programs is infectious.”

This is a testament of the amazing 4-H volunteers we have in New York. Thank you to all our volunteers! 

John King being recognized at the NYS 4-H Foundation Annual Meeting, Nov. 2015

TSC Spring Paper Clover Campaign

It's that time of the year again- the Tractor Supply Company Paper Clover Campaign!

This event marks the sixth year of collaboration between the organizations on the national in-store fundraiser, benefiting state and local 4‑H programming in each of over 40 communities in New York where a TSC store is located.  

The spring 2016 4-H Paper Clover Campaign will take place April 13-24, 2016. Shoppers at Tractor Supply Stores will have the opportunity to support 4-H New York by choosing to purchase paper clovers for a $1 or more at checkout. All funds raised will be donated to 4-H, and will support 4-H youth development program activities throughout New York.

 “For many years, the Paper Clover fundraiser has allowed us to provide thousands of 4-H youth across the country greater access to 4-H programs,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. “We are thrilled about our continued partnership with Tractor Supply Company as it drives the excitement of local community participation and support for 4-H programs, and therefore the success of the 4-H Paper Clover Campaign.”

Last year, across 49 states, the TSC 4-H Paper Clover Campaign provided more than $1.8 million to 4-H across the country. All proceeds raised directly benefit 4-H, with 70 percent of funds being returned to state and local 4-H programs. The effort has provided direct support for local camps, after-school programs and other activities, and has granted scholarships to these events where youth can explore their interests in everything from animal science to robotics.

 “The Paper Clover fundraiser is a significant part of Tractor Supply Company’s support of 4-H programs throughout the 1,300 communities we serve,” said Christi Korzekwa, vice president, Marketing, Tractor Supply Company. “We are proud to be able to provide essential funding to more than 1,000 county 4-H programs. These programs make a positive impact on young people that last a lifetime. The continued success of the Tractor Supply Paper Clover fundraisers demonstrate the importance of our 4-H partnership with our customers, team members and communities.”

Once again, funds donated during the national campaign will be tracked online and recorded by state and by store. Visit for more information on the spring 2016 4-H Paper Clover Campaign and to view the donation tracker.

4-H Grows #TrueLeaders

The 4-H program remains strong and vibrant in New York State.  We reached approximately 200,000 youth in 2015 with the support of a highly energized and dynamic educators and volunteers.  We continue to see strength and opportunities for growth in all of our major 4-H delivery methods.  The CCE 4-H program is innovative and flexible, helping us to attract over $500,000 in grant support from National 4-H Council in 2015, an amount that is on pace to increase again in 2016 and in increase of more than $200,000 over the past two years.   Our progress in New York is occurring at a time of significant change and opportunity at the national level.  National 4-H Council has initiated a multi-year campaign, 4-H GROWS, designed to increase support and participation by energizing and updating the 4-H brand.  The goal is expand the reach of 4-H from 6 million participants per year nationally to 10 million by 2025.  In addition, the campaign seeks to reconnect 1 million alumni to 4-H over the next ten years and encourage them to donate, advocate, volunteer, and engage in the process of generating new funds to support the program.  

The campaign addresses a critical need for 4-H.  Updating the 4-H brand and making it more identifiable and relevant with today’s youth and families, has been identified as a high priority issue in New York for nearly 20 years!  For all of these reasons the New York State 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees, Cornell Cooperative Extension Director Chris Watkins, and the Board of the New York State Association of CCE 4-H Educators have come together to express strong support for the Cornell Cooperative Extension system to be an active partner in this national initiative.  National 4-H Council is seeking support for 4-H GROWS for the next three years from all Cooperative Extension/Land Grant University (LGU) Partners.  The LGU contributions are designed to ensure the campaign will have the funding, buy in, and level of commitment required to ensure success.

The participation rate for New York State is $42,000 per year. Participating States will have access to turn-key national marketing tools, resources, training and recognition, as well as dedicated marketing expertise to assist with State and local level implementation. I am pleased to report that we are well on our way to securing the majority of the funding we need for the first year of the campaign with support from Cooperative Extension Administration at Cornell and $500 contributions from our County Cooperative Extension Associations.  Your contribution to this effort will help us secure the remainder of the funding we need for this year and get us started towards our contribution for 2017!  Thank you for helping to ensure that 4-H will continue to grow in both size and impact in the coming years!

-Andy Turner, Director, NYS 4-H Youth Development

$1.2M gift launches research program to better serve youth

By: Sarah Thompson
Story originally published in the Cornell Chronicle, March 24th, 2016

With the newly formed Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE), Cornell researchers are joining with the New York State 4-H program and the 200,000 children and teens who participate annually to foster groundbreaking research on youth development.

"Smart Clothing, Smart Girls" middle school participants work on design projects. (Dani Corona/College of Human Ecology)

PRYDE will lead projects in real-world settings and seek to improve community-based youth education programs from the ground up.

Funded by a three-year, $1.2 million startup gift from Rebecca Q. Morgan ’60, PRYDE staff and faculty affiliates plan to create a hub for serving young people’s developmental needs in four theme areas: life purpose, healthy transitions into adolescence, intergenerational connections and productive social media use. PRYDE experts will conduct translational research in close collaboration with 4-H staff and youth across New York, accelerating the speed at which evidence can be applied to new and existing programs while also sparking young people’s interest in social science.

Based in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) in the College of Human Ecology, PRYDE is believed to be the first university program in the nation to apply innovative social science methods to strengthen 4-H programs.

“Rigorous research is needed to help identify and recognize the specific ingredients of youth programs that have the best impacts on youth,” said Anthony Burrow, PRYDE director and assistant professor of human development. “Essentially, ensuring that research and evidence-based programming are part of these programs enables others to know that the good work they are doing is producing the outcomes they are striving for.”

PRYDE will rely on a community-based participatory research model developed and used by BCTR researchers for more than two decades. Tapping a Community Engagement Work Group comprising 4-H educators and field staff, campus-county teams will identify research needs, design studies and interpret and disseminate data through a statewide “research ready” network. They hope to fill knowledge gaps on how to best nurture healthy youth development through 4-H and other out-of-school programs. Training to build research literacy, as well as an annual Youth Development Conference for off-campus 4-H staff to hear the latest evidence from Cornell researchers, will deepen campus and county connections.

4-H members participate in the "Have a Blast with Rocketry" program.

“The opportunity to apply practices with a strong evidence base, and work with faculty who can evaluate current efforts and identify what’s working and why, has potential to make a huge difference. This work team will create a space for real engagement and shared program development,” said Andrew Turner, PRYDE advisory committee member and state leader of the New York State 4-H Youth Development Program, part of the BCTR and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

PRYDE leaders selected the program’s research priorities based on input from 4-H educators, as well as the potential to address urgent needs of young people. Burrow, who studies human purpose and identity, will examine how these developmental assets can be woven into youth learning and engagement programs. Jane Mendle, assistant professor of human development who has previously used the 4-H network to test expressive writing interventions for teen girls, will lead research on how to support the well-being of children as they enter puberty.

Social media, often seen as a danger to youth, will be studied for its potential to connect them to each other and their communities in a project led by Elaine Wethington, professor of human development and of sociology. Karl Pillemer, BCTR director and Hazel E. Reed Professor of Human Development, will test new models to bring together people of all ages in meaningful activities.

In its work, PRYDE seeks to expose adolescents to cutting-edge human development research and train future generations of youth development specialists. Cornell undergraduates are being recruited for the first group of PRYDE Scholars, who will be mentored by faculty in youth development research. PRYDE plans to hire graduate research assistants and will also host campus visits and create other outlets for 4-H members to observe social science research firsthand.

For these reasons, the program “greatly piqued my interest,” said Morgan, a donor with a longstanding interest in youth development. A former California state senator, Morgan participated in 4-H while growing up on a Vermont dairy farm and briefly served as a 4-H agent in Tompkins County after her Cornell graduation. At cattle shows and fashion displays and as president of her local club, Morgan credits 4-H with teaching her everything from accounting to leadership to dressmaking.

“I am most excited that PRYDE is taking science and putting it into service to help young people,” Morgan said. “4-H is the largest youth organization in the U.S. and it offers a readymade network for translating Cornell research into effective youth programs. The program is positioned to become a national leader on this topic.”

PRYDE will officially launch with a campus panel discussion May 5, featuring prominent researchers and practitioners discussing the future of translational youth development research. The event will be live streamed for the public.

“The generosity of Becky Morgan will allow us to speed up the process of uniting science and service in youth development, bringing world-class researchers together with expert practitioners to create a better world for young people,” Pillemer said. “It is rare when a gift can have such far-reaching consequences.”

Lighting a Fire: 4-H programs spark New York youth to pursue STEM careers and higher education

This past fall, 4-H was featured on the cover of the College of Human Ecology's magazine! Here is an excerpt from the article. To read the full article, visit the link below.

Linking Research and Real Life

In New York, 4-H reaches 170,000 youth across 62 counties. The state organization is anchored at Human Ecology’s Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, where researchers partner with 4-H community educators to develop programs, test new ideas in youth development, and measure outcomes.

Together, BCTR faculty and 4-H leaders are studying the best ways to recruit and retain youth and offering professional development opportunities to 4-H educators, including conferences where faculty share the latest youth development research to educators and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) county leaders.

“BCTR is a natural place for 4-H,” says Elaine Wethington, Bronfenbrenner Center acting director. “Part of the process of translating research is to have faculty interact with practitioners on the ground to co-develop new projects. Connecting with 4-H and its programs provides opportunities to benefi t many more New York youth by allowing our researchers to learn from 4-H and also helping 4-H to improve its programs.”

Andy Turner, New York state 4-H program leader, agrees the partnership is a two-way street that benefi ts 4-H and the College of Human Ecology.

“There are strong similarities between the positive youth development framework that is guiding 4-H and the work of Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model of human development,” he says. “Bringing 4-H into the BCTR allows us to look for ways to integrate youth development practice with emerging research and evidenced-based practice. It’s clear that 4-H is a major player in the extension and outreach mission of the college”

- To read the whole article, visit:

NYS 4-H Foundation Feast

Thank you to everyone for your support at our 1st Annual Foundation Feast on November 12th. We have around 50 attendees who got to witness the amazing things 4-H is doing in our state.

It was wonderful to have two great youth speakers attend our event to let us know how 4-H has impacted their lives. Nosa Akol from Broome Co. was the 2015 Youth in Action Award winner and discussed her 4-H journey and her experience as the Youth in Action award winner. Sean Flynn from Orange Co. is one of two national 4-H Innovator Award winners. Sean talked about his love for technology and the role 4-H has played in developing his interest in STEM.

Also a big congratulations to the NY Salute to Excellence Volunteer Recognition Award Winners:
John King, Tioga Co.- Volunteer of the Year
Ron Niedermaier, Livingston Co. - Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer
Their nominations will be forwarded to the northeast division, and we hope to hear back this winter. We thank both of you for your support of 4-H in New York.

We look forward to another great event next year.

Salute to Excellence Volunteer Award Winners Announced

The National 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer Recognition Award recognized 4-H volunteers who demonstrate exemplary service to 4-H, while promoting service through volunteerism as both an opportunity and a privilage.

New York State 4-H has selected an Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and a Volunteer of the year. Both of these honorees will be recognized at the Foundation Feast on November 12th. These nominations will then be submitted for Regional Award consideration with the National 4-H council.

Please join us in congratulating John King and Ron Niedemaier!!

Volunteer of the Year: John King

John is an eight year 4-H Shooting Sports volunteer in Tioga County, NY.  He first became involved in the 4-H Program when he enrolled his three children in the 4-H Shooting Sports and Livestock Programs, then became a volunteer and is now is the lead instructor in the Tioga Co. 4-H Shooting Sports Program. A parent in his group said, “He is an excellent youth mentor who promotes the 4-H Shooting Sports program at the county, state, and national level.” John continually focuses on firearms safety, leadership development, and encourages members to develop their skills and take advantage of 4-H leadership development opportunities.  One of his 4-Hers said, “Since that first air rifle class, the one that set off the spark in my enthusiasm for shooting sports, Mr. King has taught me and numerous other kids, the importance of firearm safety, responsible behavior, and how to properly shoot…” He thoroughly understands the 4-H Program and is committed and dedicated to its principles and goals.  One of John’s fellow instructors says, “The enthusiasm John displays, the interest he takes in the development of the youth in our 4-H programs is infectious.”

Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer: Ron Niedermaier

Ron Niedermaier.JPG

As a key volunteer, Ron has given tirelessly to the 4-H program over the past decade.  He is a person highly esteemed by professionals, community volunteers, staff, and youth. CCE Livingston County Executive Director says, “He is what I would call a Server Leader. He teaches by example…He is a problem solver.”  Ron has volunteered locally and across New York State on numerous programs.  Most currently he has been very instrumental building and supporting the 4-H Sustainable Energy Program by working the 4-H Energy Resources into various educational programs at the New York State Fair, Local Fair(s), New York State 4-H STEM Camp and more. Ron is an excellent role model for youth.  His demeanor of working with youth is outstanding.  He works well with small groups as an instructor.  He works just as effectively a trainer of older youth preparing them to work with larger audiences, like at fairs and other community event.  Kids love him. One youth said, “I really like working with Ron; most of the time it doesn't really feel like work at all.  He lets me take responsibility like cooking the chickens, serving the food, and handling money.  He has a great sense of humor and is really supportive, even when I make a mistake.” Both in Livingston County and around New York State, Ron Niedermaier is considered a treasured volunteer and mentor to youth and adults in the local and New York State 4-H Program.

New Cornell President Visits Youth Building at NYS Fair

The New York State Fair may be in our memories now for 2015, but hopefully the impression of 4-H lasts with new Cornell president, Elizabeth Garrett. President Garrett visited the fair with CALS Dean, Kathryn Boor, on August 31st. One of her stops was the Youth Building, where she met with 4-Hers to learn about their projects, and got to see the Energy Bike (a 4-H funded grant) in action!

                                                                Photo courtesy of Cornell Chronicle.

                                                                Photo courtesy of Cornell Chronicle.

4-H At the Great NewYork State Fair

Show your support of our 4-H Youth by visiting the Youth Building this year at the Great New York State Fair!  The Fair runs from August 27th until September 7, 2015.

Visit the "Launch a rocket, Launch 4-H" booth in the Youth building to build and launch a rocket and donate to the Foundation. Please consider making a donation to the 4-H Foundation ~  your gift helps 4-H reach youth from all walks of life across the state:

  • Inspiring wonder through STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs;
  • Helping youth take control of their health through our healthy living initiative;
  • Shaping future leaders who care passionately about their world through civic engagement

The NYS 4-H Youth Media Corp will be working hard to update you on the latest news from the Youth Building, barns, arenas, and throughout the fair. Stay up-to-date at:

See you at the Fair!