Over the next five years, a new generation of food and agriculture changemakers will be prepared to participate in and lead urban agriculture activities, better understand food systems and address social justice issues in Jersey City and Camden.
This is made possible by a $638,144 grant awarded to the Department of 4-H Youth Development, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, by the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) program. The goal of CYFAR is to improve the quality and quantity of comprehensive community-based programs for children, youth, and families in urban areas as supported by the Cooperative Extension system.
A pilot program will be initiated in spring 2024 for a cohort of teens, ages 14-18, to apply to participate in Changemakers, a 9-month leadership and skill-building program to engage urban teens in community-based food systems education and urban agriculture. The program will also include a focus on social justice and food security, modeled on successful programs that the counties have previously implemented. This educational experience for youth will culminate in the development and implementation of a Food Systems Action Plan in which they become Changemakers in their own communities.
“This CYFAR funding creates new possibilities for 4-H programming in Camden and Jersey City. The New Jersey 4-H program looks forward to building new partnerships and delivering high-quality 4-H learning experiences that help young people develop important leadership and life skills, while improving food security in their communities,” said Rachel Lyons, chair of the Department of 4-H Youth Development, Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
The CYFAR program aims to aid land-grant and Cooperative Extension systems to develop and deliver educational programs that equip limited-resource families and youth with the skills they need to lead positive, productive, contributing lives. Interested schools, youth and community leaders are welcome to reach out with questions by contacting Claudia Urdanivia at hudson4H@njaes.rutgers.edu or Sharon Kinsey at email@example.com
The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K-13 (one year out of high school), on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status, and any other category protected by law.