Public policy, fellowship and interaction with state representatives were all part of a two-day session for 2018 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge participants.
Nearly 40 students age 14-18 and seven mentors gathered March 26-27 in Columbus to discuss agricultural issues and policy as part of the annual program, which is a collaboration among Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio FFA and Ohio State University Extension. The interactive education program engages youths in the civic life of their community. The students team up in groups to identify issues and problems facing their community. After researching a specific topic, they develop a public policy plan to propose to appropriate government leaders.
The next step is to independently work with team members and mentors on their issue, and May 19, each of the nine groups will present its policy proposal with four chosen to compete in the finals July 27 during the Ohio State Fair.
Melinda Witten, OFBF’s director of leadership training, said the initial policy proposals ranged from drug policies to food security to insurance for students injured during school activities.
“The Ohio Youth Capital Challenge is a fantastic platform to teach students how to provide input to better their community through public policy. After spending two days with these students, I am beyond impressed with the initial public policy ideas proposed,” Witten said.
“These students are passionate about tackling tough issues through public policy that will result in a better and stronger community.”
Online Extra: Read about the 2017 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge winners.