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Friday, April 25, 2014

Penn State Extension: Local youth participate in 50th anniversary of 4-H Capital Days

Penn State Extension: Local youth participate in 50th anniversary of 4-H Capital Days

left to right – Joyanna Landes, April Goerner, Stephanie McFall – State 4-H Council representative, Kate Eckhart – Aide to Senator Joseph Scarnati)
Coudersport, PA. – Local youth were among 88 4-H’ers from 38 counties across the state who met in Harrisburg recently for the annual Pennsylvania 4-H Capital Days program. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event. Capital Days is a citizenship-awareness and civic-engagement educational program organized by Pennsylvania 4-H. Attending from Potter County were Joyanna Landes from Roulette and April Goerner from Genesee. The girls are both members of the Showstoppers 4-H Club which meets in Coudersport.

4-H Capital Days is designed to engage 4-H’ers in the political process and prepare them to become active and engaged citizens of Pennsylvania. Youth learn about governmental issues and the political process; how to advocate and speak out about issues that affect their families and their communities. They also gain valuable leadership and citizenship skills.
“Fifty years of reaching Pennsylvania’s youth during 4-H Capital Days has been a real milestone for the 4-H program,” said Christy Bartley, 4-H program leader for Penn State Extension, which administers 4-H in Pennsylvania. “Citizenship is a national 4-H mission mandate, and civic engagement is a core 4-H value. Programs like this prepare our youth to be actively involved in the affairs of their communities. ”

Delegates participated in workshops on parliamentary procedure, party roles and affiliations, advocacy, etiquette, and community service. They also learned how to read and debate a bill and participated in a mock legislative session. Each year, bills that are currently under debate in the General Assembly are chosen, and this year the bill addressed neighborhood watch groups.
Delegates also toured the Capitol and had their photograph taken on the rotunda steps. State Secretary of Agriculture George Greig addressed the group prior to the tour. Following the visit to the Capitol, the delegates visited the State Museum of Pennsylvania, where they explored the various exhibits and displays.

On the last day, the 4-H’ers hosted a brunch for their state legislators. During the meal, delegates talked with their legislators one-on-one and related their 4-H experiences. In addition, three former 4-H’ers told their own 4-H stories: Eric Cowden, Community Outreach manager for the Marcellus Shale Coalition; Liz McAndrew, sophomore animal science major at Penn State; and Ashley Shaw, senior agribusiness major at Delaware Valley College.

Additional speakers included Bartley; Barbara Christ, Interim Dean of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences; Mark Lowery, Dairy and Livestock Marketing Specialist for New Holland North America; Lyndsey Royek, Credit Analyst for AgChoice Farm Credit; and Zachary Swartz, Associate with McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

If you or a member of your family would be interested in learning more about the 4-H program, contact Penn State Extension of Potter County at (814) 274-8540 or email srg22@psu.edu. The Potter 4-H program has 17 active clubs available with more than 110 4-H project choices from electricity, to gardening, to household pets, to woodworking. We’re not just livestock anymore.


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