WASHINGTON, D.C. -- USDA, in partnership with the U.S. Army and Air Force, will award nearly $1 million to 30 states and one territory to support 4-H clubs and activities on military installations.

"More than 17,000 military youth participate in 4-H programming across the globe," Deputy Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner said. "USDA, in partnership with the Army and Air Force, has developed quality programs for children of military families to help support the men and women who are serving our country."

National 4-H Headquarters of the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service is partnering with U. S. Army Child and Youth Services and U.S. Air Force Family Member Programs to provide military youth around the world the opportunity to participate in 4-H clubs on installations and in communities.

Military 4-H grants provide funding, through state 4-H military liaisons, to counties for establishing 4-H clubs on military installations and for integrating these clubs into the ongoing 4-H program. This funding also provides 4-H opportunities to youth of National Guard and Reserve members who are geographically dispersed.

The $930,000 in grant funding will be used for staff, enrollment materials, 4-H programs, media, newsletters, travel for state and county staff to installations and training for military 4-H leaders. The Army and Air Force have committed to cover all curriculum and registration costs for their youth in 4-H programs. This program has awarded more than $3 million to U.S. states and territories over the past four years.

State 4-H military liaisons are located at the state's land-grant university and submit grant applications, serve as project directors for the grants, coordinate statewide 4-H/military partnerships and educate citizens in the needs of children and youth of military families. The liaison assists county 4-H and installation staff, integrates military 4-H clubs into the statewide 4-H and extension program and collaborates with other 4-H military liaisons to support these efforts.

As part of their Military 4-H Grant, 4-H programs in several states provide support to military youth who are overseas. The University of Arizona sponsors Air Force 4-H Clubs in Japan and Korea. Those youth are members of Arizona 4-H while they are living abroad. The University of Maryland sponsors Army 4-H clubs in Europe and Korea; the University of Hawaii sponsors Army 4-H clubs in Japan and Kwajalein (Republic of the Marshall Islands); and the University of Florida sponsors Air Force 4-H clubs in Europe.

The states and territory receiving grants in 2007 are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington.

National 4-H Headquarters seeks to promote positive youth development, facilitate learning and engage youth in the work of the land-grant universities and USDA. More than 7 million youth, ages 5-19, participate in 4-H youth development experiences in all 50 U.S. states, territories and Army and Air Force installations worldwide.

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations.

SOURCE: USDA news release.