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  • Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, is urging the Jamaica 4-H Clubs to involve its membership in the promotion of his Ministry’s healthy lifestyles campaign.
  • The Minister made the call on Friday, April 24, after he was presented with the 4-H Clubs’ Clover Award for over 50 years of involvement in the movement, at its National Achievement Expo held at the Denbigh Agricultural Showground, in May Pen, Clarendon.
  • Dr. Ferguson said with over 70 per cent of major illnesses due to unhealthy habits, “our young people must be a captive audience in speaking the language of healthy lifestyles.”

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, is urging the Jamaica 4-H Clubs to involve its membership in the promotion of his Ministry’s healthy lifestyles campaign.

The Minister made the call on Friday, April 24, after he was presented with the 4-H Clubs’ Clover Award for over 50 years of involvement in the movement, at its National Achievement Expo held at the Denbigh Agricultural Showground, in May Pen, Clarendon.

Declaring that the organization which is in its 75th year remains the greatest voluntary movement in the country, Dr. Ferguson said with over 70 per cent of major illnesses due to unhealthy habits, “our young people must be a captive audience in speaking the language of healthy lifestyles.”

“I am open to any project that we can consider, working with the National Health Fund…. to boost public education and conversation about prevention of illnesses,” he said.

He further commented that while the Government plays it part in having a healthy population, individuals must regard their health as personal responsibility.

Noted agriculturalist, Derrick Vermont, was also presented with the Clover Award for his over 60 years of association with the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, while scores of school children were awarded for their talents and creativity displayed in the various competitions.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry, who delivered the main address highlighted that some 200 acres of lands have been earmarked for young people at the 3000 acre Ebony Park/Spring Plain Agro Park.

“I want those 3000 acres to lead the transformation of this parish. It is that Agro Park that is going to transform Clarendon, there is space in it for youth who want to engage in agricultural production,” the Permanent Secretary said.

The Jamaica 4-H Clubs was established on April 1, 1940 as the juvenile arm of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, and was patterned off the 4-H clubs in the United States of America. The Juvenile Branches first started in the parish of Clarendon, then was implemented island-wide.

It is governed by the Jamaica 4-H Clubs Act (1966), which also states guidelines for its Board of Directors, and the Jamaica 4-H Clubs Regulations (1972), which outlines the guidelines for the Island Advisory Council (IAC) and the Parish Advisory Councils (PAC).

The organization mobilizes, educates and train young people between the ages of nine  and 25 years in agriculture, homemaking, leadership and social skills, which will prepare them for, or influence them into careers in agriculture and agro-related occupations.

The organization also seeks to develop a cadre of trained young leaders, capable of contributing to national development.