COLUMBUS, Ohio — Public policy, fellowship and learning more about how government works was all part of the March 5 opening session for 2022 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge participants.
Students ages 14-18 and three collegiate mentors gathered 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 4-H Youth Development. Ohio Youth Capital Challenge is an interactive education program that engages youths in the civic life of their community. With help and guidance from mentors, 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.
“It is impressive to see how quickly students focused on issues that are important to them and realize the impact of policy decisions,” said Sally McClaskey, program manager, Education & Marketing, Ohio 4-H Youth Development.
Initial policy proposals ranged from farm safety in driver’s education classes, water quality and pollution, agricultural education in middle schools and even election policy.
The next step of the challenge is for the delegates to work with their team members and mentors on their issue. Each of the five teams will present its policy proposal May 20 and compete to earn scholarship dollars in the challenge.
The participants and mentors include:
- Team 1: Brooke Kilgore (Paulding County), Olivia Parnell (Vinton County) and Landon Shelpman (Clark County)
- Team 2: Jalyn Klopfenstein (Paulding County) and Marley Snyder (Wayne County)
- Team 3: Zoe Digel (Greene County) and Julie Headings (Union County)
- Team 4: Mackenzie Dixon (Madison County) and Max Shawhan (Hamilton County)
- Team 5: Layla Gray (Guernsey County) and Michael Riley (Delaware County)
- Team 6: Grace LaMarr (Auglaize County) and Dalton Mullins (Fayette County)
- Anya Demshar from Wilmington College
- Ryanna Teitje from Ohio State University
- Madyson Little from Oklahoma State University.
Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities. Learn more at ohiofarmbureau.org.
— Ohio Farm Bureau Federation