BROOKINGS, S.D. - The SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program has launched the first-ever South Dakota 4-H Legislature, a state-level civic and governmental education program created to provide South Dakota 4-H members with a better understanding of how our state government operates while strengthening youth voice opportunities.
In order to provide youth with the opportunity to learn more about how the state legislative process works, many aspects of the new program will mimic how the legislative branch of South Dakota state government is conducted through two main roles: candidates/legislators and constituents. Legislative candidates include senior age division 4-H members interested in the program’s civic engagement and leadership opportunities. Those candidates collected petition signatures, ran a campaign to represent their county and encouraged fellow 4-Hers to cast their vote in the election. All enrolled South Dakota 4-H members serve as constituents to the program, with duties including signing petitions, voting, voicing their concerns to their elected legislators and observing the legislative process.
The young leaders elected as South Dakota 4-H Representatives will bring forth the issues that affect their 4-H communities by writing bills and connecting with their 4-H constituents. Throughout the remainder of the summer, these elected leaders will meet virtually to learn about the ins and outs of crafting bills to improve South Dakota 4-H policy. On October 3, they will travel to Pierre to participate in their mock legislative session, which will feature most of the elements of the real South Dakota legislature, including mock committee meetings, caucus gatherings, public testimony and floor debate in the South Dakota House Chamber.
Hundreds of South Dakota 4-H members made their voices heard by voting on the candidates they wanted to represent them during the elections held June 15-19, 2020. South Dakota 4-H would like to congratulate the following individuals on being elected as South Dakota 4-H Representatives, who will now represent their communities and the state:
- Turner County: Representative Shane Rist
- Tripp County: Representative Meagan Blare
- Sanborn County: Representative Bailey Feistner
- Pennington County: Representative Kaitlynn Wellman
- McCook County: Representative Kayle Lauck
- Marshall County: Representative Taylor Storbakken
- Jones County: Representative Brianna Smith
- Hutchinson County: Representative Aaron Baumiller
- Hanson County: Representative Quinton Berg
- Faulk County: Representative Teigen Hadrick
- Fall River County: Representative Zikia Fleming
- Davison County: Representative Logan Tlam
- Clay County: Representative Nicholas Havermann
- Buffalo/Jerauld: Representative Carissa Scheel
- Brule County: Representative Isabelle Mairose
- Brown County: Representative Tessa Erdmann
- Brookings County: Representative Emily Robbins
- Aurora County: Representative Cally Faulhaber
- At Large: Representative Grace DiGiovanni, Turner County
- At Large: Representative Ryan Sell, Tripp County
- At Large: Representative Kendall Dehn, Pennington County
- At Large: Representative Hadley Stiefvater, McCook County
- At Large: Representative Carter Effling, Marshall County
- At Large: Representative Amber Potter, Faulk County
- At Large: Representative Harlee Heim, Buffalo/Jerauld Counties
About South Dakota 4-H
South Dakota 4-H enables youth to be engaged in partnerships with caring adults, positive learning environments, developing their fullest potential and learning life skills. Throughout the SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development program, we value youth, families, and communities; partnerships and coalitions that work for the betterment of youth in our state, and combined strength of local programming in cooperation with the land-grant university, South Dakota State University; every child’s individuality and uniqueness; diversity and an inclusive environment that assures all youth access to programming; caring adults who volunteer to work with, mentor, and teach youth; the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.