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APRIL 2017




Reaching Out with National 4-H

On Jan. 19, AFSA President

Ambassador Barbara Ste-

phenson spoke to more than

500 people at the 4-H Citizen-

shipWashington Focus: Presi-

dential Inauguration event.

4-H is a national organiza-

tion representing more than

six million young Americans,

and provides experiences

where they can complete

hands-on projects in areas like

health, science, agriculture

and citizenship. 4-H regularly

brings youth from across the

country toWashington, D.C.,

to learn about citizenship and

civic leadership.

In her speech, Amb.

Stephenson spoke about the

role of the Foreign Service in

developing and implementing

U.S. foreign policy, as well as

advising on and protecting

American commercial and

economic interests through

our embassies abroad.

Speaking about her first

overseas assignment, she

recalled working in Panama

with the U.S. Animal Plant and

Health Inspection Service to

contain the parasitic screw-

worm that had once plagued

cattle in Florida and across

the Southern United States

but had been halted, through

work by American embassies

with government officials in

Mexico and Central America,

at the Darien Gap in Panama.

Thanks to the APHIS pro-

gram, the work by Embassy

Panama staff and engage-

ment with the host govern-

ment, Amb. Stephenson

reported, when she returned

to Panama as ambassador in

2008, the programwas thriv-

ing with a network of Panama-

nian volunteers participating

in a U.S.-sponsored program

to inspect all cattle moving

by truck through the Darien,

preventing the spread of the

pest and protecting the U.S.

cattle industry—a classic

case of diplomacy delivering a

double win.

Praising 4-H’s commit-

ment to global awareness and

the organization’s acknowl-

edgement of the importance

of overseas markets to U.S.

farmers, Amb. Stephen-

son encouraged the young

audience to make their local

groups aware of what the For-

eign Service does, including

closing deals on agricultural

exports, helping U.S. citizens

abroad and briefingWashing-

ton on current events.

“4-H touches six million

young people in the United

States and another million

around the globe, and you

understand the importance

of meeting global challenges,”

she said.“The State Depart-

ment needs leaders like you.”

Following her speech, Amb.

Stephenson met with individ-

ual delegates and answered

their questions about the

Foreign Service career and her

role as an ambassador.


AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson speaks to more than

500 young participants at the 4-H event, Citizenship Washington Focus:

Presidential Inauguration, in Washington, D.C.

Following her speech at the 4-H

event, Amb. Stephenson met with

individual delegates and answered

their questions about the Foreign




Retirees Speak at 4-HYouth Summit

AFSA retiree members Phillip

Shull and Emmy Simmons

spoke to a number of young

people at the 4-H National

Youth Summit onAgri-Science

held in Maryland on Feb. 2-3.

Retired Foreign Agricultural

Service Officer Shull gave

the keynote address, speak-

ing about his experiences

overseas with FAS, promoting

food security and agricultural

trade. He then took questions

from the audience for almost

an hour.

The next day Shull was

joined by Emmy Simmons,

retired USAID FSO, in a career

panel designed to allow the

youth participants to learn

more about what the Foreign

Service does, and how it

works with agricultural sys-

tems and businesses world-

wide to enhance food security

and thereby promote peace

and prosperity.

To share your experiences

with a wider audience, con-

sider joining AFSA’s Speaker’s



ers) and help us raise aware-

ness among the American

public about what diplomats

and development experts do

and why it’s important.