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How we’re helping young people solve problems in their community
by Seth Teter
Thirty-three high school students from across the state learned how to take action in the government process by participating in the Ohio Youth Capitol Challenge program. Sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, 4-H and FFA, the policy development program took place Feb. 18-19 in Columbus in conjunction with Ohio Farm Bureau’s Ag Day at the Capitol. Part of the program included breakfast at the Statehouse where the students met with state legislative leaders and toured the Capitol.
During the 1 ˝-day event, the students were divided up into teams with the goal of identifying an issue that they wanted to work on in their community. Examples were the importance of proper manure storage, water quality education vs. regulation, benefits of community gardens, ways for communities to deal with the environmental impact of oil and gas mining and how to provide fresh produce in communities.
The students worked together on their proposals during the meeting and will continue to work on them this spring. On July 26, they will do a presentation at the Ohio State Fair, and the team with the best presentation will receive money to help make its project a reality.
Seth Teter is director of content strategy for Ohio Farm Bureau.