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USDA's 4-H Youth Development Program to Be Featured on American Graduate Day Broadcast

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2013 – 4-H, the youth development program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has been selected to participate in American Graduate Day 2013.  Aimed at keeping students on the path to graduation, the program for this public media initiative will premiere live on Saturday, September 28, 2013, at 12:00 p.m. EST on PBS stations nationally. 4-H National Headquarters is part of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“The learning opportunities offered to youth through 4-H allow them to explore their passions while finding their place in their communities and world,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. “Research shows that youth who are involved in 4-H are nearly two times more likely to get higher grades in school and go on to gain a college education.”

American Graduate Day 2013 will be broadcast and streamed live from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center in New York City. American Graduate Day is part of the public media initiative, American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, which is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The event features local and national programming, community partners and celebrities focused on improving the high school graduation rates in America. The key component is involvement from organizations, such as 4-H, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of Americas among others. This year’s program will feature nearly 30 national partner organizations, 14 local organizations and celebrity guests involved in education and youth intervention programs.

Through the day, the event will invite viewers to become American Graduate Champions by connecting with the featured organizations. Viewers will also have the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas during the broadcast on Twitter using the hashtag #AmGrad and on Facebook.

Youth development research has shown that youth involved in 4-H have strong inclinations toward healthy behaviors, academic excellence and civic achievement. Healthy living initiatives are proven to engage youth in positive healthy living behaviors. 4-H science program models provide added value to both schools and communities and increase the number of students pursuing science, engineering, technology and applied math fields in their academic studies and careers.

The 4-H Youth Development Program is the youth outreach program from USDA, the land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension Services. 4-H seeks to facilitate learning and engage young people to create a better future for the nation and the world. Nearly 6 million young people, ages 5-19, participate in 4-H youth development programs in all 50 states, territories and military installations worldwide. More information is available at www.4-h.org.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. More information is available at: www.nifa.usda.gov.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).