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Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has lauded the Jamaica 4-H Clubs for helping to shape the youth into responsible individuals, who are focussed and capable of making a contribution to the country’s advancement.
Speaking at the Jamaica 4-H Clubs National Achievement Day and Expo at the Denbigh Showgrounds in Clarendon on Friday, April 24, Minister Tufton, said leadership would be redundant, if it chose to ignore the significant impact of the youth on national development, and neglected to find ways to “engage a segment of the population that is most fertile.”
He insisted that while the 4-H movement is important in exposing youngsters to the various opportunities available in the agricultural sector, it was also of great significance in encouraging discipline. He described the Clubs as creating a positive focus among the vulnerable and impressionable group, noting that the Government is committed to its growth.
“It’s critical for us from a Government perspective because you cannot build a successful nation if you do not engage the minds, the visions and inspirations of the very young in the society. It is a critical institution, because if you cannot motivate the young minds of our country towards nation building, towards self development, self actualisation, towards reaching for the stars, setting goals, maintaining discipline and achieving. If you’re not doing that, then we’re really not going anywhere as a country, and leadership becomes almost redundant,” he asserted.
“To build a nation and to build a community and to build a mind becomes that more challenging, if we do not learn the art of focus and of discipline and of setting targets, and the will to work towards targets..It is a satisfying day when you have worked hard and you are achieving. We are very committed to the development of the 4-H Movement,” he continued.
Dr. Tufton informed that the 4-H Clubs had already embarked on a programme to package some of the products, which it has developed. To this end, a sachet of peanuts will be available to the consuming public in short order, to be followed by other creative ideas coming out of the movement.
The 4-H Movement in Jamaica has approximately 70, 700 members, 1, 300 of whom joined the movement last year. Of the 12 000 clubs currently in existence, 900 of these are based in schools across the island.
The National Achievement Day and Expo was held to showcase the skills and talents of 4-H clubbites from across the island who have performed outstandingly in the parish and regional competitions, staged earlier this year.
At the function, several persons were recognised for outstanding performance in various areas including table- setting, public speaking, floral arrangement, poultry care and management, among others.
The Boy of the Year award was presented to Andre Coley of the Eastern region, while Kadia Vassell, from the Central region, was declared the Girl of the Year.

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