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Agriculture classes prepare kids for science, technology jobs

The latest TV commercial for the 4-H Clubs of America shows a young man named Ryan standing in a field on a farm. It doesn’t talk about Ryan growing up to be a farmer, though. Instead, it says the new face of one of the nation’s largest agricultural-based youth groups will grow up to be a scientist who will use new technology to discover a previously undetectable tumor in the eye of a young girl, reports the Galveston Daily News. The commercial is part of a new image campaign by the 4-H to capture the imagination of today’s youths and encourage them to enter science, technology, and engineering fields. In cooperation with more than 150 colleges and universities, 4-H is dedicated to preparing 1 million children and teens to become scientists by 2013. Once known primarily as youth groups training future farmers or agriculture workers, 4-H and the high school-based National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Organization are adapting to a changing world in which the family farmer, for the most part, has vanished. "It’s like I tell the kids, [agriculture] is no longer cows, sows, and plows," said Cindy Schnurger, lead agriculture science teacher at Clear Creek public school district. "Your agriculturists are scientists; they are geneticists. … They are constantly working to produce the fastest-growing, most efficient, most nutritious, and safest food for us to eat."

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