The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Ag

April 12, 2014

4-H’ers meet with state lawmakers

ENID, Okla. — For 18 years, Oklahoma 4-H’ers have had an opportunity to tell their 4-H story at the state Capitol. This year was no different.

More than 100 club members and Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension educators from across the state, including Ricki Schroeder, Kremlin-Hillsdale; Carter Postier, Pioneer; James Olmstead, Kremlin-Hillsdale; and Madison Deeds, Garber, took part in the 18th annual 4-H Day at the Capitol in Oklahoma City.

Sen. Eddie Fields spoke to the group upon their arrival at the Capitol.

“As a former 4-H’er, I got to meet people from all across Oklahoma and other states,” Fields said. “Those connections are still important to me, and the connections you make with others will be important for you later on. 4-H is important because it provides you with opportunities to shape your mind and your future. It gives you the keys to be successful.”

Also a former 4-H’er, Rep. Dale DeWitt said he is appreciative of all the opportunities offered to him through 4-H.

It’s always a great day when young people visit the Capitol,” DeWitt said as he addressed the group. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for 4-H. Please take advantage of all leadership opportunities available to you through 4-H.”

Cathy Allen, 4-H curriculum coordinator at the State 4-H Office, said the delegates enjoyed meeting one-on-one with their respective senators and representatives.

“Our 4-H’ers had the opportunity to eat lunch with their senators and representatives and share their 4-H story,” Allen said. “They talked about the positive impact 4-H has on them personally, as well as on their communities. This year, because the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is celebrating its centennial, our club members also discussed the impact Extension has had on the people of Oklahoma for the past 100 years. Some of our state’s leaders weren’t 4-H’ers growing up, so this one-on-one time with them is perfect to help them gain a better understanding of this great youth organization.”

The group met with Gov. Mary Fallin and posed for a group photo. A proclamation declaring April 1 as Oklahoma 4-H Day at the Capitol was read in both the House and Senate chambers.

While visiting both the House and Senate, Mary Michelle Boyles, a member of the Langston 4-H SET Club, and Ricki Schroeder, who is president of the state 4-H leadership council, spoke to legislators on behalf of the nearly 225,000 Oklahoma youths who were reached by 4-H last year. Boyles is a junior at Coyle High School, and Schroeder is a freshman at Oklahoma State University.

“Visiting the Capitol and meeting a legislator is an experience our 4-H’ers will remember the rest of their lives,” said James Trapp, associate director, OCES.

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