Maine 4-H Agricultural Ambassador Program

The Program’s Goal:

The goal of the Maine 4-H Agriculture Leadership Ambassador Program is to provide educational experiences for youth ages 14-18 to explore their interest in agriculture. The program focuses on connecting youth with their local food systems and industries, exploring the richness and diversity of the Maine food system, developing “ag-vocacy” skills, and increasing their access to career and post-secondary opportunities in the agri-science and food system. These goals will be obtained through online and in-person learning modules created by Extension staff, community partners, and industry leaders, along with internships and on-campus activities.

About Our Program:

Attend the 4-H Agriculture Symposium!

The 4-H Agriculture Symposium is an overnight experience for Maine youth ages 14-18. Participants will take part in hands-on learning opportunities, engage with industry professionals on the UMaine Orono campus, develop leadership skills, and make friendships with teens from around the state. 

Participants will test recipes at the state of the art Food Innovations Lab, participate in hands on learning experiences at the UMaine Witter Farm, and investigate permaculture methods at the Terrell House. 

This event is open to all Maine youth ages 14-18. 4-H membership is not required for participation in the symposium and there is no cost for the event.

Register Here!

For more information contact Alisha Targonski at 207.622.7546 or

Join the Spring Agricultural Ambassadors Club!

Our team of professionals from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H program is creating a program to provide agricultural education and leadership experiences to Maine youth ages 14-18. Youth involved in this program will have opportunities to pursue their interest in agriculture and explore career pathways. This includes mentoring in post-secondary opportunities, as well as sparking a passion to investigate and explore current issues around food systems, livestock, crop sciences, aquaculture, climate issues impacting food systems, food equity, and more. There is no requirement to have previous 4-H membership, this program is open to all Maine youth with an interest.

These opportunities will begin with a creation of an online learning community cohort and will also include in-person experiences on the UMaine Campus. This program will provide youth with an opportunity to connect to local agriculture and identify their role in the Maine Food System.

Topics covered in this program include:

  • Exploring participant’s skill sets and areas of interest within agriculture
  • Discovering opportunities for careers in agriculture
  • Building relationships with industry professionals
  • Investigating local Food Systems

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The Need:

With the shrinking formal agricultural programs being offered to high school youth, a need is not being met.  Students who have even just a small desire to explore agriculture and what it means to them are missing out on potential ways to grow their spark.

  • With the world population growing, how do we feed 10 billion people by 2050?

But there is a positive trend!

  • Agriculture workforce with a degree growing by 3.71% on average yearly
  • In Maine, the median age of farmers is up from age 49 in 2002, to 56.5 in 2017. What does that mean?
  • Maine and the Northeast account for only about 5% of the national total gross agriculture value;
  • Maine youth NEED exposure because they have fewer opportunities.

Our vision as the program progresses includes:

  • Providing high-quality educational programming in agriculture to foster a spark for a future in agriculture;
  • Creating and expanding partnerships with local experts, ag-industry leaders, and organizations with similar values and opportunities for youth;
  • Providing on-campus opportunities, service learning, training, and connections to deepen teens’ understanding of agriculture further, and create connections to future educational or career pathways;
  • Creating an Agricultural Leadership Ambassador Program for teens and college students to help deliver an agricultural curriculum to expand our reach.

Meet the Maine 4-H Agricultural Leadership Team

4-H staff members Tara Marble, Sadee Mehuren, Megan Cook, and Alisha Targonski are responsible for leading the Maine 4-H Agricultural Ambassadors Program. To contact the team please email