Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Inclusion and Diversity. Don't blame the youth. House Agriculture Committee Presentation

We were looking at the roster of presenters that made presentations before the House Agriculture Committee this morning and couldn't help but notice that there are no ethnic presenters at this event?

We are talking here of youth expounding on the Future of Agriculture in the United States? Yet, it's VERY disappointing, not to mention insensitive, that the perspective being presented to what constitutes the most important policy making body in the United States is only from the mainstream community?

The NLFRTA at our 10th Anniversary Celebration which was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 30-October 1, 2015, extended invitations to both the 4-H and FFA and we didn't even get the courtesy of a response. One can only surmise that these agriculture land-based rural ethnic communities are insignificant in the eyes of our policy makers.

Rudy Arredondo
National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association
717 D Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20004
Fax: 202-393-1816
Twitter: @NLFRTA

Maryland Office:
National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association
P.O. Box 11107
Takoma Park, MD 20913


Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research - Member and 4-H Youth Event : RE: A Presentation by National 4-H Conference Participants Concerning the Future of Agriculture in the United States

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0 Tuesday, April 12, 2016 @ 02:30
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 2:30 p.m.

1300 Longworth House Office Building 
Washington, D.C.
Subcommittee Hearing - Activity
RE: The Importance of Agriculture in the United States

4-H Delegate Biographies
Abbey Balmer
Nineveh, NY
Abbey is a high school senior from New York. This is the sixth year of her involvement in 4-H. She is involved in two 4-H groups: Northern Champions and Teen Action Group. A project she is currently working on is working with her horses for the upcoming show season and qualifying for States in barrel racing. She recently received the Little Navajo Zip versatility award for her outstanding year in 4-H for showing horses. Abbey hopes to one day make a difference in agriculture.

Abbey Bean
Washington, UT
Abbey is a high school senior from Utah. She has been involved in 4-H for six years. She is a State Officer, Vice President of Citizenship, in Utah. She is involved in agriculture through her work as an equine therapist and horse trainer. Abbey hopes to better the lives of the people around her by furthering her education as an equine therapist and spreading her knowledge to her community.

Andrew Graham
Cheyenne, WY
Andrew is a high school senior from Wyoming. He has been a 4-H member for five years. He is an avid shooter on the Laramie County 4-H Shooting Sports Precision Rifle Team. Andrew’s biggest 4-H achievements are the two bronze medals he won at the 2016 Wyoming Junior Olympic Regional competition. He raises market sheep, poultry and owns other livestock. He has interests in raising beef cattle and training ranch horses.

Billie Lentz
Rolla, ND
Billie is a high school sophomore in high school from North Dakota. This is her fifth year of her involvement in 4-H. Billie is involved in the Horticulture project area and serves as a county 4-H ambassador. She is the daughter to a fourth generation small grains and oil seeds farmer. Billie hopes to follow in her father's footsteps and advocate for agriculture.

Bret Lee
Abbeville, LA
Bret is a high school junior from Louisiana. This is his eighth year in 4-H and is involved in the livestock judging and exhibitions as part of his 4-H project.  One of his biggest achievements was competing in the National 4-H Livestock Judging contest. Bret was also the Louisiana delegate to National Beef Ambassador competition.

Brianna Fuchs
Helena, AL
Brianna is a high school junior in Alabama. This is the seventh year of her involvement in 4-H. In   4-H, Brianna is chairman of her county’s Centennial Youth Initiative Council and is an Alabama 4-H State Ambassador. She has a passion for health through food and nutrition. She is interested in learning how agriculture affects our nation’s food industry and quality of life.

Emily Joerger
Mayville, ND
Emily is a high school junior in North Dakota. This is her tenth year of involvement in 4-H. In 4-H Emily is very involved in the Horse Project and serves as a County Ambassador. She is connected to agriculture through hobby farming and through a farming community.

Jessica Barker
Pueblo, CO
Jessica is a high school sophomore from Colorado. This is the ninth year of her involvement in    4-H.  In 4-H, Jessica is involved in the 4-H Market and Breeding Livestock project and was the 2015 Herdsman Champion at the Ak-Sar-Ben 4-H Stock Show. She believes that agriculture grows our future and is looking forward to a career in culinary arts promoting the essential role that farmers play in feeding their community and our world. 

Kacey England
Toms River, NJ
Kacey is a high school junior from New Jersey. Kacey joined 4-H, when she was in the second grade and is currently in her tenth year. Kacey is in ten 4-H clubs with rabbit being her main project and is currently serving as her county 4-H ambassador. Agriculture is a huge part of Kacey's life as she serves as the County Ag Fair Ambassador and her school’s FFA Reporter. With her interests in agriculture, she plans on attending college after graduation and pursuing a career in agricultural education.

Mary Alice Cole
Evening Shade, AR
Mary Alice is a high school senior from Arkansas. This is her sixth year of her involvement in 4-H. In 4-H, Mary Alice is involved in the 4-H Photography Project and was a Arkansas State 4-H Officer for the 2015-2016 year. She is connected to agriculture because she grew up on a small cattle farm. Mary Alice also shows and raises livestock. She plans to major in Animal Science when she attends school in the fall.

Megan Slater
Chisago, MN
Megan is a high school senior from Minnesota. This is the ninth year of her involvement in 4-H. In 4-H, Megan is involved in Washington County and State Arts-In. She has received the Minnesota 4-H Key Award for my leadership and involvement in the program. Megan does not currently live on a working farm, but comes from a long line of farmers and has a passion for agriculture. She plans to pursue a career in Agriculture Marketing and Communications to continue to advocate the importance of agriculture to future generations.
Molly Grotjan
Zionsville, IN
Molly is a high school sophomore from South Dakota. She is actively involved in her eighth year in Indiana 4-H. Molly enjoys the project, Home Environment, and has been selected to attend many trips within her county and state. She is involved in agriculture because her mother works at Dow Agrosciences and also helps with her grandfather’s seed corn farm in South Dakota.

Nikayla Hetzell
Pittsgrove, NJ
Nikayla is a high school junior from New Jersey. This is the eleventh year of her involvement in 4-H. In 4-H, Nikayla is involved with the livestock and equine programs. Her biggest 4-H accomplishment was being placed on the state judging team. Nikayla is a fourth generation farmer and plans on playing a role in the equine world by studying the structural correctness of the animal. She hopes to help improve the quality of animal in order to help improve the industry.
Rhiannon Branch
Iuka, IL
Rhiannon is a Kaskaskia College freshman from southern Illinois. During her eleven year 4-H membership, she has been most involved with her beef cattle project. One of her biggest accomplishments was being a member of the 2013 National Champion 4-H Livestock Judging Team. She is very passionate about agriculture and has shown this through her participation in numerous agricultural activities such as the Illinois Farm Bureau Youth Education in Agriculture Committee. She is currently working towards a career in Agriculture Communications so that she can help advocate the importance of agriculture.

Ruth Perkins
Iron Station, NC
Ruth is a high school junior from North Carolina. This is the thirteenth year of her involvement in 4-H. In 4-H, Ruth is a 4-H TRY-IT member and was a 4-H district officer. She is connected to agriculture as a fourth generation small farmer and hopes to educate others on the importance of agriculture through a career in agriculture education.

Shelby Lepley
Huntsville, TX

Shelby is a high school junior from Texas. This is her ninth year of involvement in 4-H.  Shelby’s 4-H involvement includes agricultural advocacy as a Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador.  Her efforts have been recognized through participation in the International Livestock Congress held in Denver, Colorado and Houston, Texas. She is a fourth generation agriculturist.  Shelby’s future plans include advocating for agriculture as an influential politician on the international level.

Dominique Germann
Central Valley, CA

Dominique Germann is the National 4-H Conference Collegiate Facilitator for the Importance of Agriculture Round Table. Leading up to the National 4-H Conference, Dominique led preparation and research, while gathering 16 youth from across the nation. Working closely while in Washington, D.C., the delegates have taken research, brainstormed and culminated their ideas into an entire presentation. 

4-H’s mission is "engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development" through our Heads, Hearts, Hands and Health. With our motto “to make the best better”, 4-H teaches life skills like public speaking, team-work and a sense of community. National 4-H Conference is the annual premiere national civic engagement opportunity for 4-H members across the country. This conference also reinforces the partnership of 4-H, NIFA, land-grant universities, Cooperative Extension and the USDA. 

Dominique is a junior at California State University, Fresno, majoring in Agricultural Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. 

Jill Parent
Normal, IL 

She is finishing her 4-H career this year as she has been a member for eleven years.  This year, Jill is serving on the National 4-H Youth Leadership Team where she has helped to plan the National 4-H Conference that is taking place this week.  On the state 4-H level, Jill is currently serving as the Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team chair while on her two-year term.  The team of state delegates focused on state marketing, statewide leadership, and teaching and encouraging youth in their 4-H career.  She is also serving on the Illinois Farm bureau Youth Education Committee this year.  Jill has spoken on the importance of 4-H to legislators and public figures in Washington D.C. last April in an Agricultural Congressional Subcommittee. 

National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association
717 D Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20004
Fax: 202-393-1816
Twitter: @NLFRTA

Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 16:02:25 -0400
Subject: National 4-H Conference Delegates Present to House Agriculture Committee
April 12, 2016

Haley Graves
April 12, 2016
 (202) 225-2171

National 4-H Conference Delegates Present to House Agriculture Committee

Today, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research gathered to hear a presentation by the National 4-H Conference participants concerning the future of agriculture in the United States.
The National 4-H Organization is the nation’s largest youth development organization that serves to help its six million student members better understand the agriculture industry. Last year, members of the Agriculture Committee heard from 17 distinguished 4-H delegates to the National 4-H Conference whose presentation highlighted the importance of bridging the gap between rural and urban areas. Today, that discussion continued with 16 delegates from this year’s conference recognizing the challenges associated with food and fiber production, how to enhance global food security, and how those challenges affect the future of agriculture.
“For the second year in a row, it has been a pleasure to hear from such distinguished young leaders in the agriculture industry on what they believe to be the biggest challenges and opportunities facing agriculture in the United States. The National 4-H Organization is a great platform for young students of both agriculture and non-agriculture related backgrounds to develop leadership skills and learn about this great industry. As we work toward developing the next farm bill, it is essential we hear from a wide variety of stakeholders on where we can make meaningful improvements to agriculture policy. Today’s discussion provided a great opportunity to hear from some of these young stakeholders on what they hope to see for the future of agriculture,” said Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Davis (R-IL).
“It’s great to see so many young people involved and committed to agriculture. We’re often reminded that the average age of a farmer is in the 50s, but we don’t always hear about the great number of youth involved. It’s critical that we continue to make transitioning a farm from one family member to another as easy as possible, as well as support policies that help pave the way for the next generation of farmers. Organizations like 4-H, which I participated in many years ago, are an important part of achieving those goals,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Suzan DelBene (D-WA). 
“Once again, we are reminded of the bright future of our agriculture industry when we engage with young leaders like the 4-H participants we heard from today. I commend Chairman Davis for his constant work and enthusiasm for highlighting our youth and the contributions they bring forth. The Agriculture Committee will continue to focus on addressing the challenges and opportunities of U.S. agriculture as we move forward on many legislative initiatives. Thank you to all of these young leaders for their involvement and dedication to this great industry,” said Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX).
“Like many of the members and staff attending today’s presentations, I’m a 4-H kid. 4-H played an important role in my life when I was growing up and I continue to utilize the skills the program taught me today. I think all of us who represent rural America very much appreciate what 4-H does for the youth of the country as well as what the youth of the country do for us," said Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN). 
Each year more than two hundred 4-H students from across the country participate in the National 4-H Conference where they interact with executive agencies and Congress on issues of national importance. Together, the Cooperative Extension of 1862 and 1890 land-grant universities provide the leadership to engage young people in 4-H in all 3,007 counties of the United States reaching ever corner of the nation, from urban neighborhoods to rural farming communities.  With a network of more than six million youth, 611,800 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 25 million alumni, 4-H helps shape young leaders to be the driving change of a better tomorrow.

Click here for more information on today's event, including Chairman Rodney Davis' opening statement, the 4-H presentation, and student biographies. 


House Committee on Agriculture
1301 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

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