The National 4-H Council has announced the election of an New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences associate dean to its board of trustees. Jon Boren, director of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, is among two new members to the board.
He joins Abby Durheim, 4-H Youth Alumni Advisory Committee member and a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in the new role.
“We are grateful to Jon and Abby for their commitment to 4-H and for joining the Council’s board at this critically important time,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO of the National 4-H Council. “Their unique perspectives and expertise will be a valuable addition as we increase support for Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and strive to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million kids across America.”
4 H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills.
“4-H is the positive youth development program of the Cooperative Extension Service and the land-grant university system,” said Boren, who has been the associate dean and Extension director since 2008. He joined NMSU in 1996 as an assistant professor and Extension wildlife specialist after completing his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees at Oklahoma State University.
“Every young person should have the opportunity to be in a program that allows them to grow and open opportunities for success. The 4-H program does just this, provides youth with life skills, new experiences and opportunities to succeed,” he said.
Boren has served on numerous regional and national Cooperative Extension Service committees and boards including the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy Budget and Legislative Committee and its 4-H Leadership Committee.
“As current co-chair of the ECOP 4-H Leadership Committee, Jon is uniquely positioned to represent the Extension system on the National 4-H Council board,” Sirangelo said.
Boren and Durheim will support the National 4-H Council’s mission to increase investment and participation in the nation’s largest youth development organization.
“Among the priorities of the board is to address the challenges facing our young people, including the need to provide them with practical, research-based programs offered through 4-H to improve their quality of life,” Boren said.
The two new members will be key partners in the board’s work to support the 4-H system’s ambitious goal of reaching 10 million young people by 2025, with a special focus on promoting youth voice and supporting 4-H’s ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
New Mexico has 5,264 members in 244 4-H clubs throughout the state’s 33 counties. An additional 36,850 youth participated in 4-H school enrichment programs across the state during 2019. The youth development program is part of the nation’s Cooperative Extension System and USDA and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3,000 local Extension offices.
Globally, 4 H collaborates with independent programs to empower one million youth in 50 countries. Through the research-backed 4 H experience, young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.
Author: Jane Moorman – NMSU