Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Though best known for teaching about plows and cows, 4-H is increasingly playing a role in cities and focusing on teaching skills like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Why it matters: "Estimates show that 65% of today's students entering grade school this year will be employed in jobs that don't exist yet, and 60% of new jobs created this century will require skills in STEM-related fields," CEO Jennifer Sirangelo told Axios.

Edited transcript below:

Why is 4-H getting into STEM?

Today and in the future, there is a tremendous need for young people to know how to create technology, not just consume it. This is true across every industry, from business to fashion to agriculture.

Estimates show that 65% of today's students entering grade school this year will be employed in jobs that don't exist yet, and 60% of new jobs created this century will require skills in STEM-related fields.

However, the stark reality we continue to face is that not enough of today's young people are being drawn to STEM in school. As a result, young people are not being adequately prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. This poses a major threat to the country's economic prosperity.

At 4-H, we know a major part of the solution to this problem is to expose kids to STEM topics at an early age through experiences that are hands-on, fun and relatable to the real world.

How are you seeing tech reshape the agriculture industry (role of the farmer)?

Technology and agriculture go hand-in-hand. From the plow, to the tractor, to the combine harvester, to biotech and now digital and precision farming – technology has always transformed the way farmers do business. And for over 100 years, 4-H has been on the forefront of integrating the latest technology into agriculture by teaching young people the power of technological innovation.

As technology continues to improve, the opportunities for ag innovation are nearly endless. Exciting new developments in areas like robotic planting and harvesting, precision farming, and crop analytics mean that farmers will have unprecedented tools to be more sustainable, efficient and profitable. Technology and digital farming have the potential to have the same kind of impact in agriculture over the next decade as biotechnology did over the last 20 years.

What role can 4-H play in addressing the underrepresentation of girls/women in tech?

In 4-H, we believe in the power of young people, all young people. It is our mission to ensure youth of all ages, gender, backgrounds, and beliefs, have access to the tools, resources and expertise they need to learn and develop into the next generation of leaders.

A longitudinal study conducted by Tufts University, The Positive Development of Youth: Comprehensive Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, revealed 4-H programming does indeed grow young people who are two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. Specifically, the research found that girls who participate in 4-H are two times more likely by grade 10 and nearly three times more likely by grade 12 to take part in science programs, compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities. So, we are already making headway in ensuring girls are represented in the next generation of leaders in STEM.

What don't people know about today's 4-H?

One thing that tends to surprise people about 4-H is the breadth of our programming. A lot of people think 4-H only offers programming in agriculture, and that's far from the case. Of course, our roots are in agriculture and we'll never lose that. Ag is hugely important to us as an organization, and to the future of the world.

A lot of people are surprised to learn that STEM is our largest program growth area. Every year, 4-H youth complete more than 5 million 4-H STEM projects in computer science, robotics, agricultural science, engineering, environmental science and more.

In 2007, we started one of our leading STEM initiatives, called 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD) as a nationwide effort to spark kids' interest in STEM. Today, 4-H NYSD is the world's largest youth-led science challenge, reaching over 100,000 kids annually across all fifty states. For example, this year's project, Incredible Wearables, allows kids to design and build a wearable fitness tracker. Over the last ten years, we've done everything from building robots, to launching rockets, to working with drones.

People think of 4-H as farms and agriculture but increasingly the group is doing more work in cities, why?

Of the 53 million school age youth in the U.S. today, 4-H and its peer organizations only serve 18 million in out-of-school time. This leaves out 35 million youth who could benefit from positive youth development. More young people need the hands-on and leadership experiences that are proven to grow the life skills that can prepare them today to lead for a lifetime. As an organization founded by educators, 4-H knows schools cannot do it alone.

Bonus Fun Facts: Sirangelo is also a yoga enthusiast and, huge baseball fan (especially for her hometown Kansas City Royals.) She also wants to visit all fifty state capitols and is currently at 32.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

U.S. releases report finding Saudi prince approved Khashoggi operation

Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released an unclassified report assessing that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) approved the operation to "capture or kill" Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Driving the news: The White House also announced sanctions on entities implicated in the murder, though not on MBS directly. Officials also announced a new "Khashoggi ban" under which individuals accused of harassing journalists or dissidents outside their borders can be barred from entering the U.S.

About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says

Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Nearly 1 in 5 adults and nearly half of Americans 65 and older have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.

The big picture: The Biden administration has previously said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate most of the American population by the end of July.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: Employers mull COVID vaccine requirements — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategyPfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.