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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

September 3, 2019

4-H Policy J2.2 to Remain in Effect When 4-H Policy Updates are Complete

Submitted by Wade M. Weber

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Thank you to the Kansas Association of County Agriculture agents for submitting the following for Departmental and Extension Administrative review in August of 2018.

The Kansas Association of County Agricultural Agents recommended eliminating from the 4-H Policy Guide J2.2 which states:

Any 4-H exhibit sold at public auction or by private contract is not eligible to be exhibited at the Kansas State Fair or Kansas Junior Livestock Show. Public auction includes: premium sale, ribbon auction, or similar event. If the project is sold, regardless of ownership changes, on the date of the transaction the 4-H member has given up the right to exhibit that specific animal or product in the future. In the case of livestock, market animals sold are ineligible to be shown as breeding animals in the future. Non-livestock, exhibits (perishable foods, photographs, etc.) may be reproduced for the Kansas State Fair. It is the responsibility of the local Extension unit to report tag number of animals sold in a premium sale to the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University.

The committee’s proposal for eliminating J2.2 is based on the following reasons:

1. Not enforceable
2. Cost of feed for livestock projects
3. Overall cost of livestock projects is high
4. Eliminating would create more flexibility to continue on after county and encourage participation at the State level at both KSF and KJLS.

We, as an association, want to open more opportunities for livestock exhibitors for educational and experience based learning at the Kansas State Fair and Kansas Junior Livestock Show.

The Association's rationale for the proposed change is acknowledged and understood.

Review Process:
The 4-H Department is currently in the last phases of general 4-H Policy review and updates. The current policy has been in place since August 2013.

Upon receiving the Association's submission and in conjunction with additional feedback solicited from agents in summer of 2018, the Department of 4-H Youth Development undertook a review and vetting of proposed changes with various stakeholders over the next nine months including agents, specialists, stakeholders from K-State’s Department of Animal Sciences, external partners (including Kansas FFA and other state 4-H programs), and Extension Administration. Pam Van Horn, 4-H youth program specialist with Animal Science responsibilities, served as lead investigator for this process. Topics vetted related to reliability of food sources, ethical behavior in the show industry, and clarification of the 4-H youth development mission. This past summer has been and continues to be a time of administrative, legal, and document refinement. The most time delaying process has been the parts of 4-H policy that have needed legal counsel review.

Once cleared for public disclosure from legal, the KSRE system will be informed of changes to Kansas 4-H Policy and invite questions for clarification. I am planning on this process to be complete by the end of September and for full implementation over the coming program year.

At this time, the Kansas 4-H Department is reevaluating the primary components of project based learning with all projects, including animal livestock projects. This process centers on creating learning pathways for youth to progress in their learning and personal development of life skills. Specific consideration is being given towards articulating more clearly career readiness, community/college/career connections, and overall youth development outcomes to help youth thrive.

After aggregating feedback from all the above listed sources, Kansas 4-H is not ready to move forward with this significant of an organizational policy change at this time.

Before such a rule change is to be made, we need to continue to work together as a KSRE system to affirm the standards of animal husbandry and market relevance to the broader animal production industry through other mechanisms and structures in the 4-H Project experience. Kansas 4-H affirms the importance of youth to prioritize and be decision-makers in their project based learning. Youth decide how to exhibit 4-H project based learning. Youth also decide whether or not to participate in a public “fair related” auction as a part of project recognition or financial compensation for projects.

For the above stated reasons, section J2.2 will not be eliminated.

This decision has been discussed with and supported by Extension Administration. If you have questions, feel free to contact me at 785-532-5800 or wweber@ksu.edu.