Mandan News

4-H youth put citizenship in action

(back, l-r) Justine Schaff, Jenna Schaff, Representative James Schmidt, Tyrza Hoines, (front, l-r) Madelyn Klee and Kaylin Tomac. Submitted photo

4-H youth from 15 North Dakota counties gathered in Bismarck on Jan. 15 and 16 to expand their knowledge of the legislative process, showcase 4-H in their communities, and participate in a service learning exercise relating to their communities.

On Sunday, Jan. 15, youth set up their own communities and learned more about the infrastructure challenges their part of the state may face. The growing west was discussed at length; youth from western counties discussed how the oil boom has impacted their lives and those of their communities.

As part of the Martin Luther King Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 16, youth discussed hunger in their communities and ways they could address this growing issue. The youth received materials through the Feeding America program that showed statistics of each community’s population of hungry people.

Monday’s events included a trip to the North Dakota state Capitol where had the opportunity to visit with a panel of legislators including Sen. Ryan Taylor and Reps. Jim Schmidt and Brenda Heller. The late morning session provided a chance to become a legislator for the day, putting together bills, making changes in committee hearings and voting on the bills in the House of Representatives chamber. This gave each youth a chance to see North Dakota’s legislative process in action.

The 4-H program is available to all youth, and is offered in every county in North Dakota by the NDSU Extension Service.