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