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Florida 4-H Food Plot Project: Environmental Stewardship and Life Skills

Extension Education

Tyler Pittman
Ag & Natural Resources Agent
UF/IFAS Extension


North-central Florida has many diverse natural resources and conservation priorities related to these resources. Youth in this area also enjoy participating in outdoor recreation, specifically hunting. This educational program aimed at combining education in environmental stewardship and natural resources management and the outdoor recreation that many youths already participate in. The Florida 4-H Food Plot Project is a 5-month record book-based project where youth are provided with materials to plan wildlife food plots, monitoring their use and environmental impact and documents those activities. Youth are provided with food plot seed, record keeping tools, a soils test, rain gauge, and other wildlife documenting resources to plant, monitor, and document their own food plot. In doing so the project intends for youth to learn principles of natural resource management and environmental stewardship while also developing live skills. In 2021, the project began one county but has expanded to four counties by 2023. Youth enrollment in 2021 was 19 youth and has expanded to 40 youth annually across those four counties. Project evaluations completed by youth (n=29) indicated that over 90% of youth increase their knowledge of natural resources, became a better environmental steward, increased their importance of wildlife in their area, and learned techniques for improving or creating wildlife habitat. Additionally, 79% of youth improved their plant identification skills and wildlife sign. The 29 youth that have responded to project evaluations indicated they learn or improved 26 different life skills. The most reported life skills learned or improved were keeping records, planning and organizing, Decision-making, problem solving, goal setting and working. In future years the project will expand to include additional counties in Florida and address the seasonal challenges in such a large state to hopefully provide this project opportunity throughout the state.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted only for display at AM/PIC. Poster is not to be judged, but the abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Tyler Pittman, Jessica Cooper
  1. Pittman, T. Ag & Natural Resources Agent, University of Florida, Florida, 32693
  2. Cooper, J. 4-H Agent/CED, University of Florida, Florida, 32693