Lincoln 4-Hers go to Washington, D.C.: Local teens witness Trump inauguration
By Courtney Brock
4-H Extension Agent
On Friday, Jan. 20, five lucky Lincoln County 4-H members were able to witness the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. This opportunity was provided through the National 4-H Center’s Citizenship Washington Focus: Presidential Inauguration Conference (CWFPI).
For more than 50 years, thousands of high school students from across the country have travelled to Washington, D.C. to partake in the preeminent 4-H citizenship and leadership experience. CWFPI participants were able to experience educational workshops and speakers that encouraged them to increase their individual commitment to citizen involvement and build lifetime skills for success.
In December of 2015, Lincoln County 4-H, in partnership with 11 other counties in District 4, began accepting applications to select the most outstanding youth to participate in this program. Each county selected their top 4 to 5 youth to represent Kentucky at this national event. Lincoln County had seven youth apply and five were selected. Over the course of the next year, these youth worked hard to fundraise and learn about the election process.
Youth attended an educational day at Eastern Kentucky University where they learned about political parties, how the primary process works, the eligibility requirements for presidential candidates, the difference between primaries and caucuses, and campaign finance. An additional educational day was held for youth to learn about voter registration, campaigning, debates, and the electoral college. As part of this event, youth were divided into three fictional political parties, where they selected a candidate, held debates, and had a mock election.
Before arriving at the CWFPI Conference at the National 4-H Center, the 66 participants from Kentucky made additional stops to tour Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon.
Once at the 4-H Center, delegates heard from Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO of National 4-H Council; Daniel Glickman, United States Secretary of Agriculture under President Bill Clinton; Dr. Adaeze Enekwechi, former Director for Health Programs at the White House Office of Management and Budget; United States Ambassador Barbara Stephenson; Anita McBride, former chief of staff for First Lady Laura Bush; and Ellen Moran, former Obama White House Communications Director.
The delegation was also able to tour the Newseum, many of the Smithsonian Museums, the National Archives, and enjoyed a night tour of the many monuments in Washington, D.C., including the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King, JR. Memorial, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. Conference delegates also helped with a service project at the University of Maryland Campus.
The CWFPI Conference also included a mock election process, and Landry Woodrum, Boyle County 4-H, was elected the first president of the event during our Inaugural Ball. The ball was held aboard the Spirit of Washington Cruise Ship on the Potomac River.
On Friday morning, Jan. 21, all 66 Kentucky delegates headed out early to ride the Metro into the city. Thanks to the generous support of Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky delegates were able to view the inaugural ceremonies from the ticketed area just behind the reflecting pool. Youth were able to view the pre-inauguration musical entertainment, the oath of office, and the Inaugural Address.
On behalf of the Lincoln County delegates, JD Noe, Reina Ranck, Rose Stoltmant, Corey White, and Maranda Young, 4-H Agent Courtney Brock would like to thank the generous local sponsors who helped make this trip to D.C. possible: Farm Credit of Kentucky, Dana Taylor, Grandpa Noe, Eddie Carter – Stanford Mayor, Teresa Reed – Circuit Court Clerk, Stanford Monument Works, Lincoln County 4-H Homeschool Club, Lincoln County Fiscal Court, George O. Spoonamore IV – Lincoln County Court Clerk, Slusher Insurance, Cedar Winds Farm – Carl & Vicki Felty, Barbara Ann’s Photography, Curt Folger – Lincoln County Sheriff, Coleman’s Drug Store, Man Sea Metal, The Interior Journal, PBK Bank, Bluegrass South Stockyards First Southern National Bank, Seventy Feeds, B & S Windows, Ruck’s Trucks, Electrical Design, and Stoltman Family Farm.