Thursday, March 28, 2013

Local Youth Meets State Officials at 4-H Legislative Academy

Contact: Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102

Representatives from the Missouri 4-H program gathered at the State Capitol in Jefferson City Feb. 18-20 to share their stories and experiences with legislators, commodity groups, and state agency leaders.

The Missouri 4-H Legislative Academy brought these groups together to provide hands-on experience for youth representing the 4-H youth program to the heart of Missouri state government.

Katie Pennell, the 17 year-old daughter of Gary and Kay Lynn Pennell of Aurora, represented the Missouri 4-H program during the Academy. Pennell is a senior at Aurora High School and a member of the Mt. Comfort 4-H Club in Lawrence County.

While in Jefferson City, Pennell talked with over 60 legislators, sponsors and guests at a formal Academy dinner, including Sen. Brian Munzlinger, legislative host of the 2013 Academy.

Marty Oetting, University of Missouri government relations director, and Aaron Baker, field representative for U.S. Congressman Sam Graves, oriented the group to the Missouri General Assembly. Academy delegates received a memorable tour of the State Capitol building by Rep. Mike Kelley.

Pennell discussed trends and current events with agricultural leaders from the Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Beef Industry Council, Missouri Cattleman’s Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Missouri Pork Producers Association, and Missouri Farm Bureau. She also visited with spokespersons from state agencies that partner with 4-H, including the Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Corrections, Dept. of Social Services, and Dept. of Conservation.

Pennell and other delegates spent a morning with Missouri Supreme Court Justice Mary Rhodes Russell and an afternoon shadowing State Senator David Sater from Cassville. The Academy delegates also met with Secretary of State Jason Kander and toured Governor Jay Nixon’s office.

Missouri 4-H is a community of over 300,000 youth ages 5-18 from rural farming communities, suburban schoolyards, and urban neighborhoods. 4-H youth are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills, guided by over 10,000 caring adult volunteers statewide. University of Missouri Extension 4-H is the youth development program of the nation’s Cooperative Extension system.

For information on 4-H contact any of these 4-H youth development specialists in southwest Missouri: Karla Deaver in Lawrence County at (417) 466-3102; Velynda Cameron in Polk County at (417) 326-4916; Bob McNary in Jasper County at (417) 358-2158; Amy Patillo in Howell County at (417) 256-2391; or Jeremy Elliott-Engel in Newton County at (417) 455-9500.


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