Ashley County was well represented at 4-H Day at the Capitol.
Three Ashley County 4-H members and a Volunteer 4-H Leader of Ashley County 4-H attended the daylong festivities on Feb. 28 to learn about state government, meet legislators, and share their 4-H experience. For some, it was their first visit to the Arkansas State Capitol.
Participants included Ashley County 4-H members Mabry Davis-Outriders 4-H Club, Toni Jones-Smarties 4-H Club, and Jaylee Terry-Outriders 4-H Club, along with Volunteer 4-H Leader Kim Langstaff- Smarties 4-H Club and Amber Hairston, Ashley County Extension Agent.
Ashley County 4-H members were among the more than 400 Arkansas 4-H members, agents, leaders, and volunteers from 52 of the state’s 75 counties who participated. The gathering is usually held every other year when the legislature is in session. The 2021 event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
4-H members learned about the roles of the state’s constitutional officers and heard from many of them including Lt. Gov. Leslie Rutledge, Attorney General Tim Griffin, Treasurer Mark Lowery, Secretary of State John Thurston, and Commissioner of State Lands Tommy Land.
Attorney General Tim Griffin urged the 4-H members to get to know their elected officials.
“A lot of people get to know their elected officials only when they need something. That’s the wrong way to do it,” Griffin told the group. “Get to know your elected officials early in life. Learn the process. Develop meaningful relationships now, so that when you become a community leader — and you will be — you will know people. When leaders know other leaders, they can’t be stopped.”
Ashley County 4-H members did just that. They visited Representative Howard Beaty Jr. and discussed the 4-H program and projects in which members are involved.
Terry stated “I liked being on the Capitol Mall and all the monuments and memorials, but I really enjoyed being in the live session.”
Throughout the day, 4-H members watched sessions taking place in the House, Senate and Arkansas Supreme Court. They also heard resolutions read aloud in the House and Senate, recognizing the positive impact of the Arkansas 4-H program on youth and proclaiming Feb. 28 as 4-H Day. The group also visited the treasurer’s office, where they got to stand inside the vault and hold $600,000 in cash.
The event gives 4-H members an opportunity to see government in action and encourages them to think about citizenship and civic responsibility — tenets of the 4-H program, along with leadership, healthy living, and science and technology.
4-H is the youth development program of the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The program serves more than 144,000 youth statewide and is open to youth ages 5-19.
In Ashley County, more than 200 youth are part of 4-H. For more information, contact the Ashley County Extension Service at (870) 853-2080, visit them in the Ashley County Courthouse Annex, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices.
The Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 University of Arkansas System entities.
It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.