4-H Among Youth Programs Highlighted at Joint Committee Meeting

The Agriculture Committees of the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives held a joint meeting on July 31 at the Ohio State Fair. The focus of this year’s joint committee hearing was youth and the various programs that prepare the youth of today for leadership tomorrow.

Testimony was given by:

  • Virgil Strickler, general manager of the Ohio State Fair
  • Morgan McCutcheon, 2018 Ohio Fairs' queen
  • Kolesen McCoy, Ohio FFA president
  • Aryn Copeland, Junior Fair Board president/Collegiate Farm Bureau
  • Holly McClay, Ohio Farm Bureau fair ambassador
  • Sidney and Samantha McAllister, 4-H exhibitors
  • Kamala Sweeney, 4-H exhibitor
  • Lana Grover, 4-H exhibitor
  • Spencer Bauman, 2018 inductee Ohio Youth 4-H Hall of Fame
  • Zac Collins, All-Ohio State Fair Band
  • Nikiya Coburn, Girl Scouts
  • Brendan Kleman, Boy Scouts
  • Jason Shiltz, Grange

Virgil Strickler, the general manager of the Ohio State Fair, kicked off the testimony sharing his enjoyment in seeing how the youth become leaders in the community and in Ohio counties.

“That is what it is all about,” Strickler said. “We need leadership in agriculture for our future, and you are going to see those leaders here today.”

Spencer Bauman, 2018 Ohio 4-H Teen Hall of Fame inductee from Adams County, provided testimony about his 13 years of experience in 4-H and all of the projects and programs available to youth. His testimony acknowledged the 200 projects available to youth ranging from science, technology, engineering, and math to nutrition, sewing, and leadership.

“As a Cloverbud, I had about 20 different projects I wanted to take,” Bauman said. “My parents limited me to only five my first year.

“I am now on my last year of 4-H, and I have learned about basically everything. I have now taken over 50 projects,” Bauman said.

He also shared the other opportunities 4-H provides, including camping programs engaging 18,000 youth around the state, after-school programs engaging around 62,000 youth, and state and national conferences and trips.

“4-H has allowed me to make meaningful connections and learn about myself as I impact the world through community service projects,” Bauman said. “There are so many opportunities that 4-H gives to you. I am so grateful for my time with the program.” -- Michelle Ball