KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato — Almost 300 youth around the country took part in the recently concluded 4-H Club of the Philippines National Summit organized by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) last October 27-29, 2021.
The Summit aims to abreast all 4-H members with current, and relevant information on opportunities for agriculture and fisheries development, including capacity-building interventions for agricultural development, and sustainability and youth empowerment, which can be accessed by members amidst the new normal.
The summit was graced and led by ATI’s OIC-Director Rosana P. Mula, ATI Regional Training Center in SoCCSKSarGen Director Abdul I. Daya-an, and Ms. Jovanee S. Dela Cuadra, OIC-Section Chief of ATI Partnership and Accreditation Division’s Alliance Building and Grants Management Section. The 2-day activity was also livestreamed for online attendees and viewers on Zoom and Facebook.
Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William D. Dar, PhD, in his keynote speech, emphasized how the involvement of the 4-H Club counts in the country’s pursuit for a modernized and efficient farming and fishing sector. He said, “We trust that you will dutifully utilize the knowledge that you will gain from this summit to succeed as vanguards of change and trailblazers for Filipino youth engagement in agriculture and fisheries.”
To this, Director Mula added, “To this year’s summit participants, you never know how critical your presence, time, energy, and motivation are in this pursuit. I genuinely hope that everyone would find this National Youth Summit a meaningful and rewarding experience.”
Topics relevant to the new normal such as mental health awareness, digital agriculture, edible landscaping, and DA credit programs for youth were discussed in the two-day summit.
As one of the highlights, the 1st National Excellent Achievers Awards (NEAA) was launched to recognize the accomplishments of 4-H Clubs across the country; with emphasis on upholding the four-fold development of the head, heart, hands, and health – even under the COVID-19 pandemic. For this year, 4-H Clubs were awarded for their exemplary contributions under these four thematic categories: Education (Head), Environment and Food Security (Heart), Economic and Sustainable Development (Hands), and Mental and Physical Health (Health).
Other categories include the Promotional Video Making Contest and the 2-Minute Speech Contest. Rural youth from all over the country were recognized for their talents, skills, and their contribution to the development of the agriculture sector.
The grand winners for the four thematic categories are as follows: Education (Head) – Region VII; Environment and Food Security (Heart) – Region V; Economic and Sustainable Development (Hands) – Region VI; and Mental and Physical Health (Health) – Region I. While, 4-H Club Region VIII bagged the first place in the Promotional Video Making Contest, and 4-H Club Region I in the 2-Minute Speech Contest.
In her message during the awarding ceremonies, ATI OIC-Deputy Director Antonieta J. Arceo challenged the winners, saying, “You have bigger responsibilities since you will be serving as models in your communities.” She also assured the participants that the Institute will always support the endeavors of the youth in agriculture and fisheries.