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Monday, April 5, 2010

4-H and HSUS in bed - and update!

Still pretty dissapointed with this situation.

Last week I was pretty disappointed to hear about HSUS spreading their progranda at the National 4-H Conference. And I am not talking about unwelcomed protesters, I am talking about HSUS submitting a presentation, and then beginning allowed to present to conference participants. You can check out my previous post for all the details.

On Friday a statement was released by the National 4-H Headquarters, and in my opinions it doesn't do to anything to make me feel less uneasy about this situation.

Each year, 4-H National Headquarters puts out a call to internal and external groups to propose workshops for presentation at the National 4-H Conference. When received, the proposals are reviewed independently by youth and adult members of the planning committee. The planning committee then considers the reviews for all submitted workshop proposals and selects a set of them as most acceptable for National Conference.  
Workshops are an opportunity for youth to self-select topics of their interest. Materials disseminated at workshops generally are copies of slides and/or general information brochures/toolkits that are mostly available via the web.
For the 2010 National 4-H Conference, a proposal titled “Animal Instincts: Service Learning and Animal Welfare” was submitted by the Humane Society of the United States. It was reviewed by the planning committee and found acceptable. The proposal addressed the National Conference central theme of citizenship and showed alignment with programming areas for community service, youth volunteerism, service learning, and youth voice.
The workshop was presented at the 2010 National 4-H Conference in two sessions on March 23, 2010 and had about 25 youth per session. While one or two individuals expressed concern at the closing banquet about the position of the Humane Society regarding animal agriculture, this was not the subject of the workshop.

While the views or ideas brought forth in any workshop or conference are those of the presenter and do not necessarily reflect the views of 4-H National Headquarters, the National Institute of Food & Agriculture, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this workshop was approved by the planning committee because the proposal aligned with the goals of the 4-H Conference and did not present any indication of anti-animal agriculture views or positions.

4-H National Headquarters is proud of the annual National 4-H Conference and the great opportunities and benefits it provides to the youth in attendance, and it is equally proud of the 4-H youth across our country who dedicate themselves in service to agriculture and to their world.
So what happens next? I think we have to make sure that we in agriculture educate ourselves about the Humane Society of the United States. The are a lobbying organization, that wants to end animal agriculture, and I don't think this aligns very closely to what 4-H taught me. I am also going to continue to talk to those involved in the 4-H program, maybe we'll get a better response from our 4-H leaders.

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