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Chevy Chase, MD -- In order to help accelerate the skills needed to secure the future of food and agriculture, National 4‑H Council and Bayer have announced a multi-million, multi-year commitment to expand the reach and impact of the Science Matters initiative.

Leveraging Bayer’s more than 150 years of scientific innovations and 4‑H’s century of hands-on learning, Science Matters will reach more than a million young people over the next five years with the tools and support they need to deepen their understanding of agri-science topics.

“Bayer is proud to partner with 4‑H to help invest in the future of agriculture and the bright young people who will make a difference in our industry and world,” said Lisa Safarian, North American President of the Crop Science Division of Bayer and National 4‑H Council Trustee. “Today’s youth have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact on our world through agriculture. I look forward to seeing what new ideas will come from the youth leaders inspired by the Science Matters program.”

Not only will today’s youth play a critical role in future ag innovation, they also will be tasked with applying critical thinking and problem-solving skills to address real-world challenges facing the agriculture industry. The Science Matters program is designed to help build a diverse talent pipeline to grow the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders in agriculture.

“Since 2017, Science Matters has gone beyond textbook learning to bring science to life for diverse youth across rural, suburban and urban communities,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO, National 4‑H Council. “This collaboration with Bayer, a leader in the ag industry, gives even more young people the opportunity to experience STEM and agri-science, giving them the skills to innovate and create a sustainable future.”

Science Matters includes sponsorship of 4‑H National Youth Science Day (4‑H NYSD), the premier national rallying program for 4‑H STEM. Bayer’s support will enable the 2019 4‑H NYSD Game Changers curriculum to reach and impact diverse youth who otherwise would have limited access to STEM exploration opportunities. Game Changers uses physical activity and puzzles to teach kids important CS concepts and problem-solving skills, creating real-world connections between computer science and civic engagement, healthy living and agriculture.

In addition, the Science Matters initiative will award grants to seven land-grant universities to implement the 4‑H Ag Innovators Experience (AIE) which drives youth awareness of, and interest in, agriculture innovation and agriculture careers. In 2020, youth throughout the country will be exploring the importance of ecosystem services and their role in securing a sustainable food supply.

Bayer will also sponsor and provide scholarships for youth to attend the National Youth Summit on Agri-Science in Washington, D.C. Attendees will learn about modern agriculture, careers in agriculture and gain more than 30 hours of hands-on learning and problem-solving experience. And Bayer’s continued sponsorship of the 4‑H Youth in Action Award will add yet another dimension to Science Matters.

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