Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. 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!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

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

Trump set to appear at Pennsylvania GOP hearing on voter fraud claims

President Trumpat the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is due to join his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Wednesday at a Republican-led state Senate Majority Policy Committee hearing to discuss alleged election irregularities.

Why it matters: This would be his first trip outside of the DMV since Election Day and comes shortly after GSA ascertained the results, formally signing off on a transition to President-elect Biden.

Scoop: Trump tells confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
8 hours ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.