Extension News

4-H’ers Get to Know Legislators Who Legislate at the Legislature

4-H Legislative Day banner

2/28/2007

AMES, Iowa -- "To legislate" will take on added meaning for some 200 to 250 4-H delegates from selected Iowa counties as they prepare for the sixth annual 4-H Day at the Legislature March 27 in Des Moines.

“4-H’ers will hone their communication skills – such as practice pronouncing those tongue-twister words based on ‘legislate’ – as they study the legislative process, contact their legislators and develop opinions about current topics before the Legislature,”said Becky Nibe, program coordinator with Iowa State University (ISU) Extension 4-H Youth Development.

Legislative day will start early with 4-H’ers arriving in shifts from 6:30 to 7:00 a.m. at the Iowa Tourism Building on the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Then the 4-H delegates will be shuttled to the State Historical Museum where they will meet with legislators from 7 to 8:30 a.m. for an Iowa Egg Council omelet breakfast, a photo shoot and media interviews.

Delegates will hear from legislative co-chairs for the day, Paul McKinley, Republican senator for District 36, and Dolores Mertz, Democratic representative for District 8. They also will hear from Iowa State Ambassadors, Collegiate 4-H and State of Iowa Youth Action Committee (SIYAC) members. SIYAC is a committee of youth, ages 15 to 18, who interact on a regular basis with state policy makers to discuss those issues that impact and are of interest to Iowa youth.

Educational seminars follow, during which delegates explore some of the most important issues of this year's session, according to Nibe. Topics selected by Iowa 4-H’ers include tuition costs for college, immigration, minimum wage, core curriculum in schools and nutrition and obesity. The seminars allow delegates to hear experts on the topics, hear various viewpoints and further develop their individual viewpoints.

Following the seminars, delegates tour either the Capitol or Supreme Court and spend time talking with legislators about their community service displays in the Capitol Rotunda. Delegates also will have time to meet and interact with their legislators in a variety of settings at the Capitol.

Approximately 25 to 30 delegates will attend a separate morning workshop on “How to survive a broadcast interview,” then be interviewed by ISU Extension radio personality Doug Cooper. Each interview will be available for download from http://www.extension.iastate.edu. Cooper is heard regularly on WOI Radio.  He quipped, “I won’t ask them to say, 'Legislators legislate legislative legislation in the Legislature.'"

4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. In Iowa, 4-H is headquartered on the Iowa State campus in Ames.
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Contacts :
Rebecca Nibe, 4-H Youth Development, (515) 294-9785, bnibe@iastate.edu
Carol Ouverson, Extension Communications and Marketing, (515) 294-9640, couverso@iastate.edu