Highlights of Experiencing Citizenship 2014

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“WOW, this was Fun!”  “I can’t wait till next year!”

These were just a few of the comments from 65 teens and adults attending the 2014 “Experiencing Citizenship” conference in Salem, OR, March 22-25.

Five State of Oregon agencies (Departments of Education, Transportation, Energy, Agriculture and Fish and Wildlife) were very impressed with the 4-H presentations.  Agency members said, “Our legislators need to hear these presentations.  These 4-H’ers are outstanding representatives of your program.”

There were many opportunities for public speaking, impromptu debate, research about state issues, talking with public officials, learning meal etiquette, team building and the roles and responsibilities of citizens at the local and state levels.

Paticipants were divided into five groups and each group was paired with one of the five agencies who participated.  Each agency provided the team with a difficult issue that they are currently grappling with. The teams then researched the issue, developed a plan and a response, prepared a formal presentation and finally gave those presentations to all of the agency representativea as well as the rest of the conference participants.  Below are photographs of each team with the agency representative.  Above each photo is the agency name and the issue they dealt with.

Department of Agriculture

What can Oregon do to encourage co-existence between conventional farmers and those farmers that use diverse production systems?  How should the limited resources be used?

Dept of Agriculture Issue Group

Front: Josephine Boell, Caitlin McCabe, Estrella Neish, Maya Stock, Gabrielle Brant, Delaney Motter, Marina Anglin
Back: Jacob T. Johnson, Bruce Pokarney (DOA), Mariah Paul Bryant, Cody Wafford,  Maxine  Nelson, Jacob L. Johnson

Department of Education

What do you think are the biggest barriers to student success in high school today?  What are the challenges to students' ability to graduate?

Dept of Education Issue Group

Daniel Leinbach, Rebecca Harris, Janey Locke, Tajanae Perkins, Mallory Nelson, Cheyenne Young, Jessica McGraw (DOE), Katie Kimmel, Crystal Greene (DOE), Katherine McPherson, Kathryn "Mikayla" Olinger, Dima Anglin

Department of Fish & Wildlife

What can be done to encourage youth to be involved as hunters/ fisherman?

Dept of Fish and Wildlife Issue Group

Holly Hibdon, Aurora Jensen, Jacob Bishop, David Lane (ODFW), Willard Neary, Tony Currier-Reagor, Clayton Wehage, Austin Fung, Kyra Forester,  Zack Williams

Department of Energy

How can the Department of Energy engage Oregon citizens to be interested in energy issues?

Dept of Energy Issue Group

Donte Smith, Diana Enright (DOE), Ely Crawford, Joseph Schafer, Madison Fung, Jessica  Drew, Jorge Luna, Marika Stock, Conor McCabe, Monica Szczepanski, Everardo Barrera

Department of Transportation

Connected and driverless vehicles will likely be common place on the world's roads.  What sohould Oregon's highways look like to accomadate these new vehicles?

Dept of Transportation Issue Group

Alex Bettinardi (DOT), Paul Joiner (DOT), Grace-Ann Pegnone, Marissa Nowodworski, Michael Cobb(DOT).  Vera Kalinina, Miranda Gibson, Benjamin Rietmann, Courtney Helgeson, Prema Nissinen, Caleb Landis, Wren Isaacs, Kelsey Leinbach, Zack Drew