Youth Cooperative Leadership Experience (YCLE)

YCLE logoYouth Cooperative Leadership Experience (YCLE) is a hands-on educational program for high school juniors and seniors in Appalachian Ohio. The goal of the YCLE is to help students learn about agricultural careers and achievable paths to higher education with an emphasis on the cooperative business model because cooperatives play an important role in the United States agricultural supply chain.

A day-long YCLE program takes place at OSU South Centers in Piketon, Ohio, where students can meet and learn from experts engaged in agricultural research and education in southern Ohio and beyond! Students learn about:

  • Research and education-based careers in agriculture via hands-on activities like at tour of OSU South Centers' research facilities, plant cross pollination, fruit DNA extraction, and soil testing
  • Job opportunities with local cooperative leaders in a Co-op Career Fair
  • Education pathways in agriculture from Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences



The program is open to agriculture educators and their high school students (juniors and seniors) in Appalachian Ohio. One day-long program is hosted each fall and spring semester. Interested in joining a YCLE session? Contact Melissa Whitt at or 614-247-6668.

OSU South Centers is located at 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio 45661. YCLE is made possible through a grant from the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation.

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The Youth Cooperative Leadership Experience Online or YCLE Online is an educational platform for learners and educators to explore cooperative businesses, learn about careers in agriculture, and engage in hands-on activities focused on careers in agriculture. The YCLE Online platform includes online video tours of cooperatives, video chats with farmer leaders of cooperatives, and outlines for hands-on actvities. The YCLE Online was made possible by a Youth Pathways grant from the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation.