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.”

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One Response to “Local 4-H programs could receive $100,000 to continue”

  1. John L Peterson on June 30th, 2012 9:41 pm

    The 4-H clubs of my youth (I am 67) existed and got along just fine without
    any government assistance, or subsidies. The one possible exception to that
    was that the county, and state fairs grounds always had space for the 4-H
    displays and exhibits.
    Sometimes those facilities were free, or at least available at a minimal cost.
    It is a sad commentary that such organizations now expect and get tax
    payer monies from government.

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