4-H youth see citizenship in action

Farm Forum

Several North Dakota 4-H’ers have gained a lesson in citizenship.

The 41 4-H youth gathered in Bismarck on Feb. 16 and 17 for the North Dakota State University Extension Service Center for 4-H Youth Development’s annual Citizenship in Action program. This event gives youth an opportunity to learn about the executive branch of state government, showcase citizenship and leadership exhibits, share ideas on impacting their community and learn how to become a change agent for the future.

Activities on Sunday, Feb. 16, included a presentation by Steve Stark, an illustrator and historian from Fargo, on the events that led to North Dakota becoming a state. The 4-H’ers also attended a workshop on youth action in today’s government, with presentations by the delegates, and a workshop on the Smith-Lever Act and history of the national Cooperative Extension Service.

The act, signed on May 8, 1914, created Extension to extend the practical knowledge of agriculture, home economics and rural energy from the universities to the people. In North Dakota, 4-H is the largest nonformal youth development program. It is a major part of the NDSU Extension Service.

On Monday, Feb. 17, youth learned who makes up the executive branch of the North Dakota state government. The youth also acted as a mock press corps and asked questions to a pretend governor, and played the role of the governor during a session titled A Day in the Life of the Governor.

In addition, the youth delegates displayed citizenship and leadership exhibits. Those were exhibits the youth prepared for 4-H projects that have been or will be shown at their local county achievement days and/or the North Dakota State Fair.

The Center for 4-H Youth Development and North Dakota 4-H Foundation sponsored the Citizenship in Action event.