Ag 4 Youth exists “to educate and assist under-served youth, while promoting the virtues of ranching, animal husbandry, and local community agriculture.”
Under the mentorship of Paul Tarap, underserved youth began raising meat animals at the Mount La Salle Ranch in 2000, as an auxiliary program of the Christian Brothers. When that non-profit was obliged to cut all its programs in 2010, Tarap moved the animals and youths to his family ranch and, with the help of others, established Ag 4 Youth as an independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable organization in 2011. Ag 4 Youth received a 2-acre permanent ranch site of its own in 2013, through the generosity of the Napa Valley Horsemen’s Association.
Every Child Deserves the Opportunity to Learn, Grow and Develop to their Full Potential. The Ag 4 Youth™ A4Y is a nonprofit, agriculturally focused community organization offering after-school programs designed to support and assist disadvantaged and at-risk youth ranging from ages 9 – 19 years. Each student participant raises one or more project animals to show in the local fair. The students’ profit earned from the sale of their animals goes into an account to be saved for their future education. Hands-on involvement in ranching and agriculture is integral to the program, along with the development of a strong work ethic, compassion for others, and a sense self-worth.
Under-served children and teens make positive life changes through agricultural education. In our after-school ag program, under-served Napa youth, from age 9 through 19, get hands-on lessons in animal husbandry, gardening, ranching and business.
Ag lesson #1: Work Hard
Each youth keeps a ranch animal fed, watered and healthy. And while tracking its diet, growth and cost data, they gain the skills, work habits and confidence that result from responsibility. And their efforts pay off, both personally and financially.
Ag Lesson #2: Do the Math
All Ag 4 Youth students raise at least one animal per year. They obtain financing, and provide care and training for each animal. After selling their animals, students repay their loans and feed costs; the remaining profits are held for them in a savings account. At age 18 they are given access to the account and encouraged to use their profits for higher education.
Ag Lesson 3#: Earn Trust
Animals need care 365 days a year. Students learn to work as part of a team to care for all of the animals, in all weather, season and during holidays. Trust makes for good teamwork—on the ranch and off.
Ag Lesson #4: Build A Work Ethic
A strong work ethic is built only by work experience, and our participants are highly complimented by employers who hire them. After completing Ag 4 Youth, our participants start their adult lives with a basic business and finance education, a solid work ethic and savings for the future.