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Opening Statements

Opening Statement: Subcommittee Chairman Davis: National 4-H Conference Delegates Presentation

Opening statement Chairman Davis: Member & 4-H Event: A presentation by the National 4-H Conference Participants Concerning the Future of Agriculture in the United States

Good afternoon and thank you all for joining us.

For the past several years, youth participants in the National 4-H Conference have met with members of Congress and made presentations to federal agencies and House Agriculture Committee members and staff. Last year I had the privilege to chair a hearing where we heard from 17 distinguished 4-H delegates whose presentation highlighted the importance of bridging the gap between rural and urban areas.

The Agriculture Committee will soon begin working on the next farm bill. It is imperative that we engage with producers, consumers, and everyone in between. As everyone eats, everyone has a stake in our nation’s food security. Engaging youth through programs like 4-H gives us a unique opportunity to peek into the future of agriculture through the eyes of our young leaders.

I can think of no better ambassadors to convey the importance of agriculture than the youth involved in 4-H.

The sixteen young men and women joining us today are among the more than two hundred youth leaders chosen to take part in the 2016 National 4-H Conference. As part of the conference, delegates from all over the country engage with executive agencies and Congress on issues of national importance.
Today, these young men and women will continue an ongoing discussion regarding the challenges associated with food and fiber production, how to enhance global food security, and how these challenges affect the future of agriculture. It is always beneficial to hear fresh perspectives; the presentation today will be communicating an important message and providing for meaningful dialogue.

I would also like to point out that the Agriculture Committee has been privileged to have a great group of interns this semester who have taken the lead in organizing this event. Those interns include Shelby Young from Texas Tech University; Adriana Mora, also from Texas Tech; and Mitch VonBorstel from Texas A&M University. Thank you all for your great work.

Before we call on the 4-H’ers to begin their presentation, I would like to recognize two very talented young people who are coordinating this event.

First is Ms. Dominique Germann, the Delegate Coordinator. Dominique, we really appreciate all of your long hours and hard work. Dominique, for those you who may not be familiar, is the older sister of Gabriella Germann who was one of the youth leaders who presented at last year’s hearing. Leadership and passion for agriculture obviously run strong in the Germann family.

I would also like to recognize and welcome a constituent of mine from central Illinois, Jill Parrent. Jill was one of or witnesses at this event last year, where we had an interesting discussion about her future in politics. Jill is a senior in high school serving on the National 4-H Youth Leadership Team where she has helped to plan this year’s National 4-H Conference.

Now I’ll turn it over to Dominique to introduce not only the youth presenters, but also the chaperones that are accompanying the group.