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4-H member recognized for ag advocacy work

The next generation of agricultural leaders are learning what it means to lead through advoc acy through their involvement in 4-H and other youth ag organizations. And many of them are putting what they learn to use, helping make their communities a better place.

Take Jacob Shuman, for example. Shuman, of Ross County, Ohio, developed the “TEACH Bs” (Teens Educating Adults & Children About Honey Bees) program, designed to help educate community youth about honey bees and their contribution to agriculture. Making presentations at local elementary schools, Shuman explains the different roles of queen, worker and drone bees, and discusses how the bees pollinate crops, which helps support their growth.

And that’s why he was recognized by Merck Animal Health with the Young Advocates for Agriculture Award. The 2015 award, which honors a high school student for his or her grassroots advocacy efforts in support of the agricultural industry, was presented to Shuman at this year’s Cattle Feeders Business Summit.

“It is vital that we help provide enriching educational experiences like these to future generations of industry leaders,” said Jim Miles, Merck Animal Health. “By teaching these students about the importance of sharing their experiences and perspectives, we hope they will be inspired to advocate on the industry’s behalf – today and in the future.”

The advocacy award is an extension of the 4-H National Youth Agri Science Summit, held earlier this year. Sponsored by Merck Animal Health, the summit provided opportunities for 4-H high school students to develop the skills and knowledge needed help address the many challenges facing agriculture, food security and sustainability. By participating in the summit, Shuman gained a better understanding of the current state of the industry and the growing need for the story of agriculture to be told.

“We need to educate others, especially our youth, that our work is not just about farming,” Shuman said. “I’ve learned that many people don’t know a lot about where there food comes from, how it’s raised or the value the industry brings to our world. Since I live and work in agriculture, I understand that I am responsible for helping to tell that story.”

“Growing and empowering confident young people to prepare them for careers in agriculture is crucial to advancing the farming industry,” said Jill Bramble, senior vice president and chief development officer, National 4-H Council. “By working with Merck Animal Health, 4-H’ers are able to learn about new innovations and technologies in the agriculture industry and share them with their families, peers and communities. They also develop skills that will help them in future agricultural careers.”

Material on BEEF Briefing Room is taken directly from company news releases. Source: Merck Animal Health