By Rep. Judy Warnick
“Eleven new laws took effect in Washington state on New Year’s Day, including a measure to create special license plates for fans of the Seattle Sounders FC and the Seattle Seahawks,” reads the first line of a recent AP story out of Seattle. While I fully support the Seahawks by cheering them on to the Super Bowl, I would much rather purchase another type of special license plate!
A bill I sponsored that passed in 2012 went into effect last year that allows more than 90,000 4-H Members in Washington state to also have a special plate to support their diverse programs! I represent the 13th Legislative District in Olympia; so naturally, I chose the 4-H plate “00013” for my car. Since then, I’ve also purchased another 4-H plate for my pickup.
It’s fun to talk with folks about 4-H programs, the youth who are members of 4-H plus the more than 8,000 adult project leaders and volunteers who make up the 4-H family. After being a 4-H member as a young person, serving as a 4-H club leader and a county fair board for more than 20 years, and now watching my grandchildren enter the 4-H world, I feel 4-H has been an important part of my entire life. I want to give back.
4-H in Washington State was established in 1902 through the Washington State University Extension Department and has been teaching young people to become productive members of society by fostering citizenship, science, math and technology literacy, both animal and human health and wellness, communication, and decision-making skills since the very beginning.
The 4-H Know Your Government Program brings an average of three hundred 4-H members to the state Capitol in Olympia annually to meet legislators and learn about their state government. Every year, the Washington State House of Representatives recognizes the 4-H Youth Development Program for its many contributions to the youth of Washington and the betterment of our communities.
Please join me by purchasing a special 4-H license plate to support funding for all those special youth who participate in our state’s 4-H programs. The plate cost is well worth the investment as 4-H truly does become a lifetime of learning for everyone who participates in the program.
Rep. Judy Warnick represents the 13th Legislative District, which includes Kittitas, most of Grant and all of Lincoln counties. She lives in Moses Lake with her husband where they own a small business and enjoy being a part of the 4-H family.