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JIS News

The role that the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) has been playing in providing agricultural training to the nation’s youth is well-known, but perhaps less well-known is its partnership with a premier youth organization in the country, the 4H Movement.
There has always been a natural synergy between both organizations but that has been concretised since 1995 when a formal partnership was effected.
Expressing appreciation for the mutually beneficial partnership which exists between CASE and the Portland 4H Clubs in particular, President of the college Professor Paul Ivey said the partnership has enabled the two organisations to combine their strengths in working for the development of the youth in the parish.
“If there is a special relationship between CASE and the Jamaica 4H Clubs, it is because both institutions have a natural partnership in their roles to develop the minds of young people,” Dr. Ivey says in an interview with JIS News.
Professor Ivey notes that the training offered at CASE is complimentary to what is being provided by the 4H Movement, hence the strong relationship between them.As a result of this partnership, the Portland 4H Clubs have been benefiting significantly from the use of the resources available at CASE.
Under the agreement, CASE is designated the official training facility for the Portland 4H Clubs as well as the permanent venue for the annual Portland 4H Youth Expo and Fair, which includes the Achievement Day.
Also, members of staff of CASE serve on the Portland 4H Advisory Council, and lecturers and students serve as instructors and judges of the various competitions hosted by the Portland 4H clubs. There is also the provision of scholarships to CASE for the diploma and associate degree programmes. This is opened to qualified clubbites from the five high schools in Portland. There is also a very vibrant 4H club at CASE.
Commenting on the provision of the scholarships, Professor Ivey said the first set was awarded in September of 2006. All the students successfully met the requirements for being funded for the 2007-2008 academic year.
In September this year another set of 4H clubbites took up their scholarships in preparation for their own contribution to the nation’s agricultural development.
Portland’s 4H Organizer Clinton Brown has high praises for the assistance and cooperation the college has been given to the 4H organisation in the parish.
Speaking with JIS News he says, “CASE, through this strategic link, has significantly played an important role in assisting the Portland 4H Clubs to train its members”.
Describing the relationship between CASE and the 4H Movement as very significant in the quest to mould the lives of young people in Portland, Mr. Brown says the use of CASE as the permanent training institution for 4H clubbites in the parish has been of considerable benefit to the organisation.
The training provided includes seedbed preparation, plant propagation, food preparation, animal husbandry, land husbandry and environmental science.
The contribution of the college to the 4H organization in the parish is expected to go even further, as plans are afoot to seek its assistance in the school garden development projects being spearheaded by the Portland 4H Leaders Association.
Disclosing that it was the intention of his organization to ensure that every 4H club in the schools in Portland operate a school garden project, Mr. Brown says the expertise existing at CASE will be greatly needed if that project is to achieve the success anticipated, adding that he was confident that the college will provide the necessary assistance in keeping with the partnership formed by both organization.
4H clubbites in Portland are also highly appreciative of the assistance being provided to the organization by CASE.
A number of these students, in interviews with the JIS, have confirmed that the training provided by the college has not only significantly increased their knowledge in agricultural methods and the use of technology, but has also enabled them to better appreciate the importance of agriculture as a business, and the important role that the sector plays in the social and economic development of the country.
As a result of the partnership between the Portland 4H clubs and CASE, the youth of Portland are being prepared not only to increase the country’s agricultural production and productivity They are also learning valuable lessons in character development. Overall therefore, this synergy has created a virtuous cycle.