Local 4-H programs could receive $100,000 to continue
June 27, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 4:30 p.m. June 27, 2012
King County Executive Dow Constantine asked for $100,000 on Wednesday to continue county support for 4-H youth programs.
Constantine sent a budget request for the funds to the King County Council for approval. The measure is meant to continue 4-H programs through 2012. The proposal calls for dollars to continue horseback riding, county fair exhibitions and other 4-H programs.
The proposal also aims to re-appropriate $16,000 in funding from last year to Washington State University, the county’s partner in 4-H programs.
“More than 10,000 young people in King County gain valuable life experiences through 4-H, and this funding will keep the program going in collaboration with our partners at WSU Extension,” Constantine said in a statement.
The funding request is from the general fund — the source of dollars for elections, law enforcement and other basic government functions.
Funding for 4-H is used for numerous activities in addition to traditional activities, such as horseback riding and raising rabbits. Other 4-H activities include environmental stewardship, photography, plant sciences and robotics.
Officials said the 4-H program could use the county dollars to leverage additional funding.
“For 96 years, Washington State University has partnered with King County to provide a variety of extension education and outreach services to residents throughout King County,” Randy Baldree, WSU Extension interim associate director, said in a statement. “This funding would ensure continuation of the King County 4-H youth development program and nutrition education programs, and provide a strong framework for other WSU Extension programs in agriculture, natural resources, health and wellness, and economic development to continue.”
Constantine’s proposal earned early support from the Issaquah-area representatives on the council, Kathy Lambert and Reagan Dunn, and other members.
“Young people all over the county have an opportunity to learn important life skills through 4-H programs,” Lambert said in a statement “The ability to participate in activities at the county level can qualify them for statewide competition. Youth agriculture programs offered by 4-H also help grow the farmers of tomorrow that will produce our food in the future.”
“4-H youth programs have played an important role in the lives of many young people throughout King County,” Dunn said in a statement. “I am pleased that Executive Constantine has proposed this much needed funding to keep these programs going into the future.”