USDA deputy recognizes Hawaii's 4-H military clubs
By Claire Nakatsuka UH College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resource | Hawaii Weekly | 20Jun08
HONOLULU — Hawaii's 4-H military programs were honored by a very special visit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), recently.
Dr. Dan Kugler, deputy administrator for the Family, 4-H and Nutrition, Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, dropped in during end of the year training and recognition held aboard the USS Missouri.
Forty Army and Air Force staff and Oahu 4-H volunteers participated in the GPS or service-learning training sessions held on the battleship. The workshops were led by Sharon Delaney, functional tech specialist, Army Child and Youth Services (CYS) and DeAnn Acosta, USDA/Army youth development specialist.
Following training, Kugler, along with Dr. Wayne Nishijima, associate director of the Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service; Kathy Rocho, Installation Management Command-Pacific Region, Army CYS program manager; and Gordon Takeshita, director of Army Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, helped recognize the military 4-H club leaders from Hawaii, Kwajalein and Camp Zama, Japan, as well as individuals who have greatly contributed to the 4-H/military partnership.
Rocho acknowledged the USDA/military partnership and presented Kugler with a token partnership canoe. Many others received recognition for their support and leadership to the 4-H/military partnership.
On day two of his visit, Kugler toured the Bennett Youth Center, Schofield Barracks, where drama took center stage. Under the leadership of Max Siaumanu, youth performed a song and dance from “The Lion King.”
Maria Tobin of the Aliamanu Teen Center discussed local 4-H projects that Aliamanu Military Reservation teens have conducted, and Kugler also received “hands-on” experience creating silly putty with Lupe Scanlon and her kindergarten 4-H Cloverbud Club.
Kugler's visit ended with a brief presentation about Operation Military Kids, a youth development program that supports children of deployed service members.
Since its inception in 1995, the 4-H/Army Youth Development Project has evolved into a model program of cooperation between federal agencies. Together with national 4-H and Army CYS, the partners provide quality youth programs on Army installations worldwide. Partnerships also exist with the Air Force and Navy.
By establishing 4-H Clubs, the USDA and military partners are helping youth experience the power of working with adults and others to create positive change. Military 4-H Clubs provide a “slice of home” for military youth wherever they live.