2021 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge Winners

A team of two Ohio high school students took first place in the 2021 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge finals for their policy proposal about addressing feral cat overpopulation.

Sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio 4-H and Ohio FFA, the Ohio Youth Capital Challenge is for youths who want to learn more about government and public policy and make a difference in their community. Participants learn how to identify local issues, create solutions and follow the process through state government.

The 2021 winning team members are Cadence Richard of Allen County and Emily Scaff of Scioto County. Both participants won a $500 scholarship for placing first in the competition.

The challenge started in the spring when groups met to learn about public policy issues and began planning their proposals. A total of 10 teams made up of 19 student delegates and 10 collegiate mentors participated in a series of online modules with topics designed to guide them in developing an effective advocacy strategy. Delegates participated in the program virtually and concluded with a mock public hearing where the top four teams were identified.

The teams were judged on their public policy proposals dealing with a specific issue or problem. In the final competition, the teams described the steps necessary to have their public policy proposal adopted by the appropriate government authorities.

The second place team of Lucy Spencer of Auglaize County and Arianna Wilson-Velderrain of Franklin County each won a $300 scholarship for their focus on developing policies to support individuals who have been affected by sexual harassment. Currently, many workplaces only provide support to sexual assault victims.

The third place team won a $200 scholarship as Tessa Wood of Portage County explored food waste and insecurity in Ohio and how changes in policy could prevent food from being wasted at the store and becoming more accessible in food deserts. 

The fourth place team members, Haven Hileman of Adams County and Hannah Saum of Fairfield County, dove into motor vehicle policies and determined how to better prepare drivers for the road, especially in rural areas, earning them both a $100 scholarship in the contest.

The Ohio Youth Capital Challenge will take place again in 2022, with application information being available at ohiofarmbureau.org on Oct. 7, 2021.

Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities. Learn more at ohiofarmbureau.org.


This is a news release for use by journalists. Questions should be directed to Ty Higgins, 614-246-8231 or [email protected].

Editors: A high-resolution photo is available to accompany this story.

Caption: This year’s first place team of (L to R) Cadence Richard of Allen County and Emily Scaff of Scioto County are pictured presenting their winning policy proposal about fighting feral cat overpopulation during the 2021 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge.

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