Nostalgia hit lawmakers as 4-H swarmed the Capitol

4-H district leaders admire the view from the balcony at the Colorado Statehouse.

More than 150 4-H members came to the state Capitol, where lawmakers recited the group’s pledge and declared Monday 4-H day in Colorado.

Burgandy Larrick, 18, from Wiggins, and Cora Rhode, 16, from Fort Morgan, said they learned at the Statehouse how government works and how it applies to their work in the organization.

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The 4-H’ers swarmed the Capitol almost as soon as the building opened, crowding into three rooms to hear from state lawmakers who said their experiences in 4-H trained them to be leaders. Those included Reps. Jon Becker, R-Fort Morgan, Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling.

Becker criticized the Colorado State Fair grounds, drawing nodding heads from many who agreed the State Fair buildings and amenities could be improved. Sonnenberg remembered the pains of  logging costs of feed and tracking inventory in 4H record books — tasks that ultimately taught him business skills he’s used as a farmer.

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In the Senate and House, the youth watched lawmakers unanimously approve a resolution honoring Colorado 4-H, sponsored by Sonnenberg and Becker. On the floor, Rep. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, talked about her 4-H days raising lambs, learning  photography and baking her first cake, while Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, R-Colorado Springs, said he learned about personal responsibility, raising rabbits and lambs.

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Many youth headed back to school after their morning at the Capitol. Others stayed a little longer to visit with their area lawmakers.

 

Photo credit: Marianne Goodland

has been a political journalist since 1998. She covered the state capitol for the Silver & Gold Record from 1998 to 2009 and for The Colorado Statesman in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Since 2010 she also has covered the General Assembly for newspapers in northeastern Colorado. She was recognized with awards from the Colorado Press Association for feature writing and informational graphics for her work with the Statesman in 2012.

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