International Farm Youth Exchange Alumni Discuss Plans for 4-H Youth Development Program

IFYE particpants during the planning workshop (photo courtesy of ATI - Extension Programs and Partnership Division)

CARCAR, Cebu -- For over six decades now, the 4-H Club of the Philippines has been playing an active role in one of the major thrusts of the Department of Agriculture (DA). One of the development programs provided to them is the International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) Program for a learning and hands-on experience in an agricultural setting in other countries.
With the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) as the lead implementing agency for assisting the rural-based organizations (RBO), about 28 IFYE alumni gathered for a planning workshop dubbed as the "IFYE Participatory Role on the 4-H Development Program." 
The latest inventory of IFYE alumni is currently totalling to 243 alumni who have availed the IFYE Program including that of Japan Agriculture Exchange Council (JAEC) and Philippine Agricultural Training Program (PATP) who had joined the program already.  Hence, the alumni`s membership are classified as honorary members while regular members are classified for exchange delegates through the various youth exchange programs -- the Philippine Agricultural Training Program (PATP); the Young  Filipino Farmers Training Program in Japan (YFFTPJ) and the Provisional Rural Youth Leaders Exchange (PRYLE) in Rizal, North Cotabato and National Capital Region. 
Also included are the associate members from the Host Families; the Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) involved in Agriculture; the Friendship Youth Program; and other exchange programs related to 4-H. 
The workshop was likewise participated in by the friends of IFYE such as the donors, sponsors, benefactors, designated coordinators for the Farm Youth Development Program and the designated RBO focal persons from ATI.
During the workshop, the participants finalized the selection criteria in the nomination and endorsement of IFYE delegates in terms of their involvement in the youth development program at the national, regional, local, and even at the international level. Their community involvement is likewise considered as well as their leadership skills and involvement in the development projects. Other matters discussed during the workshop were on the vision, mission, goals and objectives of the IFYE Alumni Association; the 2013 National Operational Plan; and the reorganization of the national officers with Mayor Loreto Yu as National President. The group likewise agreed on some matters pertaining to the massive collection of the annual dues and membership fees and their registration at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
ATI Directior Asterio P. Saliot graced the occasion and noted that "There is a necessity for you (the alumni) to look into what support you can contribute  in the plans and programs for the 4-H Club", he said. "The possibility of the approval and implementation of phase 2 of 4-H Club Youth Development Program will focus on the strengthening of partner groups, Saliot further added. Lastly, Saliot further encouraged the group that instead of providing livelihood support, they must consider the conduct of ladderized trainings among 4-H Club members in their plans and activities for the organization.
The planning workshop was held last January 22 to 24, 2013 at Sarrosa International Convention Center in this city. (reports from Alicia Rose D. Nebreja/ Ivan Robin M. Limjap)