More than 500 Georgia 4-H youth, leaders and volunteers visited Atlanta for Georgia 4-H Day at the Capitol on Feb. 7 at the Georgia Freight Depot and Capitol Building. This leadership- and civic engagement-based event is held annually to connect 4-H youth with Georgia legislators, provide students insight to the legislative process and allow them to thank legislators and donors.
“This annual event honors 4-H’ers who have proven their leadership abilities serving as representatives of the young people of Georgia,” said Arch Smith, state 4-H leader and director of 4-H. “It gives them the opportunity to visit and interact with legislators and community leaders as well as observe the Georgia General Assembly in session. We hope this will inspire their own leadership interests.”
Georgia 4-H has participated in 4-H Day at the Capitol for more than 30 years. This year, some youth members served as pages for either the Georgia House of Representatives or Senate. Board of Directors President John Henry Walker addressed the General Assembly, thanking them for their continued support of Georgia 4-H and participation in 4-H Day at the Capitol.
Resolutions in the House of Representatives and Senate recognized several 4-H youth members for their outstanding achievements in leadership and citizenship, as well as those who have excelled in contests on national levels.
Following the Capitol tour and visit, 4-H’ers enjoyed a luncheon sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-11) and Sam Pardue, dean of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, encouraged the 4-H’ers to continue serving their counties and communities through 4-H participation.
“A highlight for most of our 4-H’ers is the chance to meet with their legislators in person,” said Jason Estep, Extension 4-H specialist for leadership and civic engagement programs. “Such meetings help youth to understand that these leaders are just regular people who have decided to serve their communities as elected officials. The legislators are very approachable and have likely inspired some of our 4-H members to pursue a future in public service.”
The day’s activities concluded with a picture of the entire delegation with a number of representatives and senators.
For information on getting involved in Georgia 4-H, visit www.georgia4h.org.