More than 800 4-H members will visit Richmond on Tuesday, Feb. 11, to meet with their legislators and learn about Virginia’s legislative branch of government for the annual 4-H Day at the State Capitol.

Virginia 4-H sponsors the annual trip to Richmond for 4-H’ers across the commonwealth to learn about the legislative process and to express their gratitude to state delegates and senators who support the 4-H youth development programs. 

“More than 800 young people will be developing a better understanding of citizenship and will see how their state government works. 4-H members will present each representative with a shamrock plant as a way to thank them for making Virginia 4-H possible,” said Cathy Sutphin, associate director for 4-H, the youth development program for Virginia Cooperative Extension. “We are excited that a record number of 4-H members will be attending this year’s event.”

Virginia 4-H engages youth ages 5 to 19 in hands-on educational programs and activities designed to help them gain knowledge, life skills, and attitudes that will further their development as self-directed, contributing, and productive members of society.

The Virginia Extension Service Association provided the symbolic plants that the 4-H’ers will deliver to state lawmakers. After lunch, many of the participants will tour the Capitol, the governor’s mansion, and other area sites of interest to learn more about Richmond, the seat of Virginia’s government and a city with numerous cultural and historical landmarks.

Virginia 4-H has celebrated 4-H Day at the State Capitol for more than 19 years, usually at the start of a new legislative session in late January or early February. When senators or delegates are not available to meet with 4-H’ers from their districts, legislative aides accept the shamrocks on their behalf.

More than 185,000 youth are enrolled in Virginia 4-H’s hands-on educational programs. Throughout the commonwealth, more than 11,000 adults and teens volunteer their time and energy to mentor and teach 4-H members about science and technology, career and economic education, citizenship, communication and expressive arts, family sciences, leadership, and other topics. In addition, there are six 4-H educational centers that conduct residential camping programs for 11,000 youth annually.

For information about 4-H programs in your area, locate your local office on the Virginia Cooperative Extension website.