For Immediate Release

July 17, 2015

CONTACT:   Ian Jannetta (Van Hollen) – 202-225-1527

Ian Field (McMorris Rodgers) – 509-200-9328

Liz Friedlander (Peterson) – 202-225-1564

Jennifer Allen (Fortenberry) – 402-438-1598

Van Hollen, McMorris Rodgers, Peterson, and Fortenberry Launch 4-H Congressional Caucus

Washington, DC – Today Representatives Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) announced the launch of the 4-H Congressional Caucus.  The Caucus will provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to stay connected with 4-H programs and activities across the country, as well as participate in 4-H events on Capitol Hill.

4-H is America’s largest youth development organization, empowering young people through programs and experiences that develop critical life skills and preparing them for life today and a career tomorrow.  Thousands of 4-H professionals and educators, as well as 600,000 volunteers serve nearly 6 million youth in every county in the United States.

“I am proud to have 4-H headquartered in my district and to launch the Caucus today,” said Congressman Van Hollen. “From STEM to healthy living, I have seen first-hand the positive impacts 4-H activities have on students in Maryland, and look forward to working with my colleagues to support these important programs.”

“As a proud 4-H alumna and the mom of three, I know firsthand how important 4-H can be to helping students succeed,”Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers said. “4-H provides the kinds of hands-on, innovative activities that really get children excited about learning.”

“Like many farm kids, I was active in 4-H while growing up in rural Minnesota. The organization continues to do great work and the 4-H Caucus is an excellent avenue to advocate for all they do across the country. I look forward to working with my colleagues to grow this important caucus and help our young men and women reach their highest potential,” Congressman Peterson said.

Congressman Fortenberry said, “I owe a great deal to 4-H, which provided extraordinary opportunity and good formation when I was growing up. As a proud alum, I continue to carry these experiences with me. I am pleased to see young people eager to engage in deepening their understanding of our civic culture through 4-H.”

Delbert T.  Foster, Executive Director, 1890 Programs at SC State University, Chairman, Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, and a member of National 4-H Council’s Board of Trustees, expressed his enthusiasm and gratefulness for the renewed support and leadership of the 4-H Congressional Caucus.

“As the youth development program of our nation’s land-grant universities, and the Cooperative Extension System as well as the United States Department of Agriculture, 4-H has played a vital role in growing leaders and innovators for more than 100 years.  In fact, there are 25 million 4-H alumni, including 46 Members of Congress who grew up in 4-H,” said Foster.  “The 4-H community is grateful to members of Congress for their leadership in re-launching the Caucus to highlight and grow 4-H positive youth development programs in rural, urban and suburban communities throughout America.”