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Iowa State University Extension

4-H legislative day moves closer to home

4-H Power of Youth

4-H Day at the Legislature has been postponed due to the economic stress 4-H families are experiencing. In its place, the “Power of Youth, Iowa 4-H,” planning team is asking counties to create their own local experiences to tell the powerful stories of 4-H. The ISU Extension committee is urging counties to partner with an existing group to create an atmosphere for 4-H’ers and their legislators to talk about what is going on in 4-H today. 

These changes are hoped to alleviate some of the strain 4-H families are seeing in light of the current economic climate. According to Chuck Morris, director of ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development, the goal is to save counties the cost of registration and travel expenses while providing the opportunity for an even stronger connection between 4-H’ers and their legislators. 

“Iowa youth have a lot to share and say, so this local meeting will give them more of a chance for one-on-one time than they would have had at the Capitol,” said Brenda Allen, an ISU Extension 4-H youth development specialist.

Many counties will be hosting their Power of Youth, Iowa 4-H events in March, Allen noted. Harrison County 4-H’ers will be connecting with their two legislators over coffee on March 14. Extra time has been scheduled to allow a longer period for the 4-H’ers to share what they have accomplished. Hamilton County has combined efforts with four other counties to make a trip to the Capitol on March 31 where they will participate in a tour with their legislator.

Despite this change of plans for 2009, the committee is working hard to plan the event back at the Capitol for 2010. The Iowa 4-H Foundation has offered to raise additional funds to support the program, according to Morris. For more information, contact ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development, (515) 294-1018.

This article appeared in March 2009 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter