Brookings, S.D. – On January 19, South Dakota 4-H collaborated with South Dakota State University partners to host the second annual 4-H Capitol Day during the 2022 legislative session in Pierre. This year’s event attracted 57 4-H attendees from 12 different counties.
The day included opportunities for participants to engage in town hall sessions with legislators, view committee meetings, partake in a self-guided tour of the capitol building, watch the general session of each chamber and enjoy the official South Dakota 4-H ice cream, Clover Crunch.
“We were so excited to fill the state capitol with green again this year,” said Jenae Hansen, SDSU Extension 4-H Volunteer Development Field Specialist. “4-H’ers from across the state enthusiastically attended to learn about, observe and engage in South Dakota’s lawmaking process. This day is so important to connect 4-H members with lawmakers and allows them to learn, but also to share about all the incredible things our 4-H communities are doing across the state.”
During the day, state 4-H ambassadors and former 4-H legislators had the opportunity to shadow a South Dakota legislator to learn first-hand what is expected of the state’s elected officials.
“I had such an amazing time at the 4-H Capitol Day,” said Kate Hamilton, South Dakota State 4-H Leadership Ambassador from Beadle County. “I was excited to go to the capitol and learn about our state legislature. It allowed me to understand more about the rules and procedures that go into making our laws, and I learned more about how our legislature operates.”
In 2020, the 4-H Capitol Day event was created to educate 4-H members and their families about state legislative processes, while having an opportunity to tell their 4-H stories. The experience allows participants to see the important role they play in being civic advocates.
The event is planned by a committee consisting of Caroline Hansen, SDSU Extension Davison and Hanson County 4-H Youth Program Advisor, Jenae Hansen, SDSU Extension 4-H Volunteer Development Field Specialist, and Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Program Manager and Regional Youth Educator.
For more information about civic education efforts through South Dakota 4-H, visit the SDSU Extension Civic Education webpage, or contact Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Program Manager and Regional Youth Educator, at Hilary.Risner@sdstate.edu or 605-394-1722.