Local 4-Hers met with lawmakers in Lansing

Published 1:33 pm Saturday, April 9, 2005

By Staff
LANSING - Michigan teens got to weigh in with their state legislators on key issues such as improving K-12 education and funding, environmental concerns and youth obesity during the annual 3 1/2-day 4-H Capitol Experience.
Cally Hass of Cassopolis and Sam Preston of Dowagiac were among approximately 100 4-Hers representing 25 Michigan counties who visited Lansing March 13-16 to learn more about how Michigan government works.
Young people explored how the Michigan Legislature addresses issues related to difficult budget challenges and enhancing Michigan's economy.
They also discussed ways in which policymakers, state agencies and organizations are working to build awareness and reduce the rising incidence of childhood obesity as a significant health issue and to protect Michigan's natural resources and environment.
Youth had opportunities to learn how legislators, lobbyists and media representatives approach other important issues related to agricultural, juvenile crime, the importance of mentoring, education, health care and family issues.
Cass County 4-Hers will use the information they learned in Lansing to plan local community action and advocacy activities in their local communities.
4-H Capitol Experience is an annual Michigan 4-H Youth Development program in citizenship and youth leadership. While in Lansing, teens meet with state
policy-makers and representatives of community and state agencies to discuss and learn how government addresses the six issues teens chose as their focus areas for this year's conference.
In addition to having breakfast with their state legislators, participants shadow policy-makers and agency staff members and use mock debates to examine all sides of an issue.
For more information on 4-H Capitol Experience, visit 4-H online at <">http://www.msue.msu.edu/cyf/youth/capexp.html>.
To learn how to get involved with 4-H as a youth member or 4-H volunteer, contact the Cass County MSU Extension office at 269-445-4438.
4-H Youth Development is part of Michigan State University Extension Children, Youth and Family Programs. MSU Extension applies the research and knowledge of the state's land-grant university to help Michigan citizens manage life issues.