Semester of Graduation

Fall 2019

Degree

Master of Agricultural Education (MAgEd)

Department

Agricultural and Extension Education and Evaluation

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

4-H, America’s largest youth development organization, allows “youth to engage in hands-on learning in areas such as health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles” (National 4-H Council, n.d.) However, 4-H Agents are the gatekeepers to 4‑H programs because they lead educational and personal development programming that allow youth to grow and mature. As such, Louisiana 4-H Agents were the population (f=78) under study. As such, I analyzed 4-H Agents’ perceptions of the value they place on youth participating in civic engagement programs, while also evaluating how 4-H agents are promoting, conducting, and analyzing the participation level of 4‑H members who engage in such programs at the parish level. In response, 4-H Agents reported the top three civic engagement activities they promoted at the parish level were: (1) 4-H Club governance, (2) 4-H Day at the Capitol, and (3) leadership trainings. Also, participants indicated that, (a) leadership, (b) mutual respect and understanding, and (c) character were the key components of the 4-H Civic Engagement Mission Mandate they emphasized. Finally, after analyzing differences between participants, it was found that most Agents were either from the Millennial or Generation X classification. Further, the majority of respondents revealed the LSU AgCenter has employed them as a 4-H Youth Development Agent for five years or less.

Committee Chair

Fox, Janet E.

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