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07/25/2007" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">

NEWS RELEASE

President Bush and Secretary Veneman Kick-Off 4-H Centennial Anniversary

Marti Asner (202) 720-8188

President Receives Award and Veneman Announces $1.4 Million for Education Efforts

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2002 - President George W. Bush and Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman joined 4-H members from Texas and the Metropolitan Washington area to officially inaugurate 4-H's 100-year anniversary at a White House meeting late yesterday.

"As a former member of 4-H, I know first-hand the value of this outstanding youth development program," said Veneman. "For 100 years, 4-H has provided unique opportunities for its members to learn, to grow and to work cooperatively in their communities and for their country. President Bush's continued support of 4-H and other youth development programs demonstrates this Administration's commitment to young people and to their education."

Joining the President and Secretary Veneman were 4-H members Jared Locklear of Cameron, Texas; William Jolley of Washington, DC; Molly Curran of Laytonsville, MD; Sarah Piechocinski of Montgomery Village, MD; Norman Huang of Rockville, MD; and Ashley Wells of Rockville, MD. During the meeting, 4-H presented President Bush with its highest honor, the "Partner in 4-H" award for his support of 4-H and the Texas Cooperative Extension Service while serving as Governor of Texas. President Bush was nominated by Gayle W. Hall an associate professor from Texas A&M and a 4-H Youth Development Specialist, who was also in attendance.

USDA has also approved $1.4 million for the National 4-H Council, the national, private sector non-profit partner of 4-H and the Cooperative Extension System, to develop a cooperative development educational program. The program will provide individuals with an in-depth understanding of how agribusiness related cooperatives play an important role in increasing profitability and global competitiveness for ranchers, farmers, and entrepreneurs.

"4-H has been a leader in helping youth develop leadership and technical skills in all parts of the nation," said Veneman. "These funds will contribute to 4-H's important role in providing young people with quality education and development programs."

4-H is part of the youth education branch of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, an agency of USDA's Research, Economics and Education mission. Since its inception in 1902, 4-H has been known throughout the country for its strong programs in helping rural youth develop leadership and technical skills. Today, 4-H has 6.8 million members who are participating in such projects as the Citizenship and Civic Education Program, Communications and Expressive Arts Program, Consumer and Family Sciences, Environmental Education and Earth Sciences, Healthy Lifestyle Education, Personal Development and Leadership, Plants and Animals, and Science and Technology.

Further information on USDA, 4-H and Rural Development can be obtained by visiting USDA's web site at http://www.usda.gov.