JIS News

A contingent of seven participants of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs left for Michigan in the United States on Wednesday (August 10), to participate in a two-week Michigan International Exchange Programme.
In an interview with JIS News, Lloyd Robinson, National Training Co-ordinator for the Jamaica 4-H Clubs said the Michigan Programme, which forms part of the overall International 4-H Exchange Programme (IFYE), affords 4-H clubbites and leaders, the opportunity to become exposed to a variety of agricultural methodologies and strategies that are practised on the farms to which they are attached. “These persons, while with the host families, will be involved in all the farming requirements of that particular family, and what we hope will come out of this, is a cultural exchange [in the area of] agriculture, ” he explained.
On completing the programme, Mr. Robinson noted, participants would be expected to impart what they have learnt to other 4-H clubbites and leaders, as well as put the practical farming methodologies into practice.
The Michigan Exchange Programme, which allows participants from Jamaica and the state of Michigan to experience first hand, the farming practices of each country, is done on an alternate basis. The programme will therefore see participants from Michigan coming to Jamaica next year.
The Jamaican delegation comprises Carlis Taylor, Natoya Willis, Nadira McKellar, Leesa Mullings, Princeton Brown, Juan-Watson Rowe, and Charles Langley.
Since its inception, the Michigan/Jamaica Exchange Programme has assisted a number of young persons. However, in recent years, Jamaican participants have encountered difficulties in procuring the necessary visas.
In this regard, the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, in collaboration with the United States Peace Corps in Jamaica, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will ensure the sustainability of the International 4-H Youth Exchange Programme between both countries.
According to Mr. Robinson, the MOU will establish a framework for a lasting partnership between the Jamaica 4-H Clubs and the Peace Corps and will assist in strengthening collaborative efforts in the areas of agriculture, natural resource management and rural development.