4-H, Google use Illinois State Fair to announce tech partnership

With an estimated 1.4 million computer science-related jobs, and only 400,000 qualified job candidates, 4-H has teamed up with Google in Illinois and other states to teach kids such things as computer coding, teamwork and resilience needed to succeed creatiing new computer technology. The two groups announced Friday that the collaboration will be funded by a $1.5 million grant from Google.

“What we see in agriculture today with technology is it’s exploding,” said Richard Guebert Jr., an Ellis Grove farmer and president of the Illinois Farm Bureau. “What a great opportunity here for kids to have a future with technology and agriculture.”

Guebert joined 4-H and Google officials Friday with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti to announce the partnership at the Illinois State Fair.  

Illiinois Gov. Bruce Rauner participated in an announcement Friday that Google will donate more than $1 million to help 4-H deliver computer science to new communities, reaching an estimated 100,000 youth in its first year. (Photo by Rhiannon Branch)
Illiinois Gov. Bruce Rauner participated in an announcement Friday that Google will donate more than $1 million to help 4-H deliver computer science to new communities, reaching an estimated 100,000 youth in its first year. (Photo by Rhiannon Branch)

TechTarget, an online technology company, describes Google as a multinational, publicly-traded organization built around the company's internet search engine. Google's other enterprises include internet analytics, cloud computing, advertising technologies, and development of web-based apps, browsers and operating systems.

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr., third from left, participated in the Friday event along with several other state, 4-H and Google officials. (Photo by Rhiannon Branch)
Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr., third from left, participated in the Friday event along with several other state, 4-H and Google officials. (Photo by Rhiannon Branch)

“We’re proud of Illinois,” said Lisa Bouillion Diaz, University of Illinois Extension 4-H assistant dean and director. “We think we have a lot to brag about here. We’ve excelled in providing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) whether its animal science with our livestock projects or our growing robotics program…they really know STEM excels here in Illinois.”

The groups say the partnership “lays the groundwork” for 4-H to deliver computer science education across the organization, which reaches six million kids in Illinois counties and in others across the nation.

In its first year, Illinois will be part of the first group of states to have the new program available.

Illinois parents and educators that want more information on how to get involved can contact their local 4-H office or go to 4-H.org/find.

Conent for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.

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