When Jamaica 4-H Clubs was founded in 1940, its mission was clear: to provide young people with specialized education in agriculture, enabling them to use various technologies to innovate and generate new economic and social development opportunities throughout the country. Since then, Jamaica 4-H Clubs has been a pillar for training agricultural leaders, and for years, the organization has been an essential partner for EARTH. Thanks to its support, our University has had access to institutions, rural communities, and students with the potential to become change agents in Jamaica.
Jamaica 4-H Clubs helps streamline the EARTH Admissions process so students can successfully complete each application stage. It also supports students with the logistics of obtaining their immigration papers to travel and reside in Costa Rica during their four years of study.
In June, we were honored to receive Dr. Ronald Blake, executive director of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, and Collin Virgo, chairman of the organization, at our Guácimo Campus. While at EARTH, both had the opportunity to share and exchange experiences with staff, faculty, and students.
“Collin and I decided to travel to Costa Rica so we could see for ourselves the experience Jamaican students are having at EARTH. We were impressed not only by the beauty of the campus but also because we were able to answer a question we had for a long time: what goes on inside the University to produce the exceptional agronomists we have in Jamaica? And certainly, the answer is linked to the educational model based on learning by doing. Being here, I can see the level of commitment of the students and their ability to produce and soak up technical knowledge, in addition to having a scientific appreciation for everything they do. All of this shows us that there is a large group of students and graduates who are capable of changing food production systems around the world,” says Dr. Blake about his visit.
Graduate Tariq Kelly (‘17), student Lajanda Blake (‘25), and Tyrone Leslie (‘26) – who is about to travel to Costa Rica to join the Spanish Program and Class of 2023-2026-, have all received support, one way or another, from the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, for professional training in agriculture. In Tariq’s case, he has been highly active in the organization and has held various leadership positions, including vice president.
At EARTH, we are proud to have a partner organization like Jamaica 4-H Clubs that strives every day to create more sustainable and efficient food systems and actively promotes agricultural education for thousands of young people in Jamaica.