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Growth & Jobs | Trelawny 4-H expands online training

Published:Tuesday | December 14, 2021 | 12:10 AM
Poultry farming is among the more popular online courses.
Poultry farming is among the more popular online courses.
Rabbit care and management is among the more popular online courses being offered by the Trelawny 4-H Club.
Rabbit care and management is among the more popular online courses being offered by the Trelawny 4-H Club.
 Parish Manager for Trelawny Natanish Hines.
Parish Manager for Trelawny Natanish Hines.

The Trelawny 4-H Club has expanded and diversified its online programmes to meet training needs during the pandemic.

Parish Manager Natanish Hines said the move is in response to the growth in demand for skills training, including in new areas, as persons look to pivot and identify other income streams.

She said that since 2000, “we have been going above and beyond to provide the necessary training that our young people need to pivot in this day and age. We have been doing a number of online training and of course, these are free training”.

Hines noted that traditionally, training has focused on areas such as heifer revolving, goat revolving, tractor operation and maintenance, the drivers’ award, and certification through arrangement with the Ministry of Transport and Mining, and the international clubbite exchange.

However, she said the programme offerings have been expanded, with emphasis placed on equipping persons with skills in rabbit rearing, and goat and poultry care and management

The objective is to satisfy local demand and also encourage the consumption of rabbit as a source of animal protein.

Since June 2021,the training has been extended to include pig care and management, apiculture (beekeeping), and cattle rearing for both dairy and beef production.

An exciting feature of the new modality of training, Hines pointed out, is that it has been broadened to include non-clubbites and persons outside of Trelawny. “We have people participating from across the length and breadth of Jamaica ... and we have been reaching people from all 14 parishes through our online platform,” she stated.

On a regular basis, the platform capacity of 100 is oversubscribed with participants who are seeking to change careers, get trained and certified, or improve their earning potential, she added.

“We have seen on occasions ... for rabbit care and management, the poultry care and management and the apiculture, where we’ve had up to 99 participants registered. We have also had 105 registered,” Hines noted. Participants receive mastery-level certification at the end of the training.

Hines said she is pleased with the level of uptake from male participants, who outnumber the females.

“I must say kudos to our males; and it is not only those who are unattached and unemployed (who are participating), you’ll find that we have church groups coming on. You’ll find that you have a lot of (community-based organisations).

“We even have professionals ... who are using the certification for personal and professional development,” she pointed out.

Hines says the number of core programmes that are being rolled out by the Jamaica 4-H Clubs is also a clear indication that the movement remains committed to its core values, which is youth agriculture training and youth empowerment.

The Jamaica 4-H Clubs has a mission to mobilise, educate and train young people between the ages of five and 25 years in agriculture, home-making, leadership, and social skills, which will prepare them for, or influence them into, careers in agriculture and agro-related occupations.

The objective is to provide a cadre of trained young leaders, capable of contributing to national development.