USU Extension 4-H Ambassadors Shadow at State Legislature
Thursday, Mar. 21, 2013
Caption: (back left to right) Chloe Kranendonk, Salt Lake; Ellissa Clark, Morgan; Josie Slade, Orem; Jory Peppelaar, Glenwood; Reece Elmer, Richfield. (front left to right) Erin Major, Avon; Kylee Breeding, Plain City; Elissa Sump, Lehi.
Eight Utah State University Extension 4-H Ambassadors recently had the opportunity to shadow two senators and six representatives at the Utah State Legislature.
As leaders and authorized representatives of the Utah 4-H program, the ambassadors are typically interested in the legislative process anyway, and to get to see the process in person was a rare opportunity.
Kylee Breeding, 4-H ambassador from Weber County, said shadowing legislators was a great experience for her because she was able to learn how the process works.
“It made me grateful to be an American because I have so many opportunities that many people in the world do not get to experience,” she said.
According to Craig Dart, USU Extension 4-H ambassador advisor, the ambassadors run a mock legislative session with 4-H youth from around the state each April, this year on the 23rd, where they have the opportunity to visit the House Chamber, learn about the legislative process and debate 15 bills presented by their peers. However, this is the first time in years the ambassadors have had the opportunity to attend when the legislative session was in full swing.
“In the past, we felt our ambassadors have done well running the Mock Legislature, but it is quite a challenge,” Dart said. “This unusual experience this year gave them great training and we believe it will make a difference for them when Mock Legislature comes around in April.”
Dart said Rep. Paul Ray of Davis County, who is the sponsor of Mock Legislature, was the one who made it possible for the ambassadors to attend the session and shadow the senators and representatives.
“It was neat because the ambassadors got to see the legislators as people,” Dart said. “They got to see them in a more casual, real-life situation. Spencer Stokes, former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Mike Lee and 4-Her, gave our youth a lot of attention, and Rick Cantrell, chief of staff for the Utah State Senate and friend of 4-H, helped the youth make some great connections.”
Dart said Rep. Becky Edwards, North Salt Lake, and former 4-Her also spent time with the ambassadors. Her father, Al Price, created the annual 4-H Door Knob award that recognizes a volunteer who opens the door of opportunity for 4-H youth.
This opportunity couldn’t have been better for our ambassadors, said Dart. It will help them as they work to understand government at the county, state and national levels.
Contact: Craig Dart, 4-H Ambassador advisor, Utah State University, (435) 797-0208, firstname.lastname@example.org