Eager 4-H members and volunteers from across the state will descend on Virginia’s capitol Jan. 24 to meet their legislators and learn about Virginia’s government at the annual 4-H Day at the State Capitol.

The trip to Richmond, sponsored by Virginia 4-H, gives participants the opportunity to become more familiar with the legislative process and to express their gratitude to state delegates and senators who support 4-H youth development programs. This year’s attendance is expected to surpass 1,000 members and volunteers.

“4-H citizenship projects and opportunities, such as 4-H Day at the State Capitol, empower young people to be well-informed citizens who are actively engaged in their communities. This trip allows members to see firsthand how our state government works,” said Cathy Sutphin, associate director of 4-H Youth Development with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

This year’s 4-H Day at the State Capitol will include a rally on the steps of the capitol. Virginia’s first lady, Dorothy McAuliffe; Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Sandra Adams; Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden; and Virginia Tech President Tim Sands have been invited to greet 4-H'ers. Members will also participate in various tours, attend House and Senate sessions, and visit other historical sites of interest in Richmond.

Virginia 4-H has celebrated 4-H Day at the State Capitol for more than 20 years, usually at the start of a new legislative session in late January or early February.

More than 240,800 young people ages 5 to 19 are enrolled in Virginia 4-H’s hands-on educational programs. Throughout the commonwealth, more than 15,500 adults and teens volunteer their time and energy to mentor 4-H members and teach them about science and technology, career and economic education, citizenship, communication and expressive arts, family sciences, leadership, and other topics. In addition, Virginia's six 4-H educational centers conduct residential camping programs for more than 11,300 youth annually.

For information about 4-H programs in your area, contact your local Virginia Cooperative Office. Virginia Cooperative Extension is an educational outreach program of Virginia's land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, and a part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Virginia Cooperative Extension (ext.vt.edu) brings the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to the people of the commonwealth. Through a system of on-campus specialists and locally based educators, it delivers education in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community viability, and 4-H youth development. With a network of faculty at two universities, 107 county and city offices, 11 agricultural research and Extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers, Virginia Cooperative Extension provides solutions to the problems facing Virginians today.

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