Delegates from county 4-H take part in Capital Days

Submitted Photo Amelia Sprague and Rachael Harper represented Chautauqua County at the 84th Annual Capital Days trip. They are pictured here in the New York State Court of Appeals.

A delegation representing 4-H members in New York visited Albany in May for the 84th annual 4-H Capital Days event. Nearly 100 teen delegates and their chaperones attended representing 31 of the 62 counties in New York State. Rachael Harper and Amelia Sprague were selected to represent Chautauqua County.

Youth delegates got a first-hand look at the Assembly Chamber and Assemblymember Pat Fahy who represents the 109th district spoke to youth about her path to the Legislature. She also opened the floor for questions from delegates. Youth enjoyed finding their Assemblymember’s chair and learning the history of the Chamber.

Delegates then moved on to the New York State Court of Appeals. Hope Engel spoke about the duties of the court as well as the history of the court and the many portraits of past judges lining the walls. Delegates then met with various representatives of the Departments of Ag and Markets, Education, Health, Parks and Recreation, Corrections, and Environmental Conservation. The Department of Motor Vehicles had a special presentation for youth about their various duties as well as employment opportunities at the DMV.

The final stop on day one of the trip was the Senate. Delegates were able to view the floor when the Senate was in session. Youth finished the day with a banquet and a lip-synch battle organized by the 4-H Capital Days Teen Planning Committee.

Delegates received an official tour of the Capitol on Tuesday and had the opportunity to meet with their local representatives. A representative from Andy Goodell’s office was able to meet with Chautauqua County delegates. The closing ceremony was held at the Huxley Theatre located in the New York State Museum. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was the guest speaker. She encouraged youth to continue to be active in their local governments and praised the work of 4-H in New York State. Hochul is a 4-H alum from Erie County.

This trip is funded by the Tractor Supply Paper Clover Campaign. The New York State Association of Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Educators sponsor the 4-H Capital Days program. For more information regarding local opportunities in 4-H Youth Development contact Chautauqua County 4-H at 664-9502 ext. 214 or visit www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua.