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USDA Awards $2.5 Million for Rural Youth Development

Terri Teuber 202-720-4623
Jennifer Martin 202-720-8188

Printable version

LOUISVILLE, KY, Oct. 27, 2005 - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner announced today that USDA is awarding $2.5 million through the Rural Youth Development Grant Program, which provides opportunities for rural youth to gain leadership skills.

"More than 4 million young Americans live in our rural communities," Conner said. "USDA is committed to helping them learn and grow in agriculture so they can make a difference in their lives and communities."

The grants were awarded to the National 4-H Council, Girl Scouts of the USA, and the National FFA Organization to expand youth development programs, reach the needs of rural youth, and involve youth in designing these activities.

These organizations currently reach more than one in three young people in rural America. Activities conducted through the Rural Youth Development Grant Program affect youth in 50 states.

USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) administers the awards to the organizations, who in turn distribute the funds to local programs on a competitive basis. In 2005, each organization received $840,000.

These three organizations have 275 years of collective experience in serving rural youth needs, and they are equipped to help rural youth face issues in the 21st century. The Rural Youth Development Grant Program provides greater access to educational, leadership and service opportunities and resources so youth in 4-H, FFA, and Girl Scouts are empowered to build strong communities.