The agriculture industry stands to benefit from the activities by 2022 of Jamaica’s 4-H Club Youth Ambassadors, in the areas of animal services and pesticide eradication.
Ambassador and student at Manning’s School, Buena Walters, says she will soon be entering university to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine.
Meanwhile, male ambassador Dishon Francis shares that he has created an insect repellent and compost product from cassava, and is pushing them through 4-H clubs, while also seeking certification from the Council of Scientific Research (SRC) and Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ).
As a ranching entrepreneur and child of small farmers, Miss Walters says she has witnessed firsthand the losses every year by people in the business, due to inadequate care in the farming industry. ‘breeding.
“When I become the best female veterinarian in the world, I will be able to offer free services to poor farmers who have suffered significant losses over the years, because I have lost goats and other animals, and I have cried, because my school fees are paid for by animal husbandry and other agricultural activities,” she told JIS News, after winning the crown at the club’s recent National Achievement Exposition, which took place in November. held at the Denbigh Showground in Clarendon.
She says giving back will be a major focus in her professional life because more animals can survive if given proper care, and “that’s what I do for a living.”
When she was crowned a female youth ambassador, she says it came from a volunteer trip to schools and her community, where she visited institutions and passed on the agricultural knowledge she learned from clubs to young students and also helped prepare for advanced exams at his high school. school.
Among the prizes for the two ambassadors is $1 million each.
Miss Walters says the money is “huge” for her.
“It’s a very big achievement. As a 19-year-old aspiring vet, going to college without any financial means, it’s a huge breakthrough, because at least some of the pressure is relieved from me, from my parents and my school community,” she told JIS News.
She says that with the prize money and funds from her entrepreneurial activities, two years of her college education will be less “nervous”.
Miss Walters notes that the many projects she undertook to become an ambassador were “very tiring”, but they put her veterinary pursuit on a steady track.
She encourages young people to join as many volunteer groups as possible, as it can broaden their horizons, adding that they should also be passionate about causes and doing things they love.
For his part, Mr. Francis tells JIS News that he got the idea for his designs while attending SRC Research Day 2019 and looking at the things that can be done with bitter cassava, with further research thrusts into her Nain high school in St. .Elizabeth.
Now a student at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), he devotes much of his time to promoting careers in agriculture and related scholarships for needy students.
“I worked hard, and hard work always pays off. Going forward, I will always work with the 4-H clubs of Jamaica,” he says, adding that his project, which won the crown of ambassador, is about securing the agriculture industry and mitigating the climate change.
Jamaica 4-H Clubs executive director Dr Ronald Blake said a “very deliberate” campaign had been carried out to identify ambassadors, and that they should stay focused and successfully complete their tertiary training.
“You’re going to get the most out of your job as a farmer and it’s important to get advanced training. They are bright young people and exceptional students, and they are going to achieve a lot,” says Dr. Blake.
Meanwhile, 4-H Clubs Jamaica President Collin Virgo says they are consistently preparing young people and “building up good citizens for Jamaica”.
Jamaica 4-H Clubs are the leading youth training organization with over 105,000 members across Jamaica. It offers various training opportunities for young people between the ages of 5 and 35. Clubs are found in schools, churches, communities and special youth facilities.
Its mission is to mobilize, educate and train young people in agricultural, household, leadership and social skills, which will prepare or influence them towards careers in agriculture and agri-related occupations. The Movement seeks to provide a cadre of trained young leaders capable of contributing to national development.
The organization plays its part in getting young farmers onto the land, reaching out to those interested in farming and lobbying the government to secure land for young farmers. Interested individuals should contact the nearest Parish 4-H Clubs office for details.
It has a tractor operation and maintenance program that provides training for clubbites between the ages of 18 and 25. The program has received certification from the National Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) and runs quarterly at the Denbigh 4-H Training Center in Clarendon.
The program also benefited from a grant of USD 51,254.00 from the Japanese government for the purchase of additional equipment necessary for its sustainability.