Front row (L-R): Matthew Birkeland and Dylan Fuoss. Back row (L-R): Brianna Smith, Representative James Schaefer and Ty Fuoss.

Jones County Junior leaders visit Legislature in Pierre

Members of the Jones County 4-H Junior Leaders traveled to Pierre on a legislative visit. Four 4-H members, Matthew Birkeland, Ty Fuoss, Dylan Fuoss and Brianna Smith along with 4-H Advisor Kaycee Jones enjoyed a day gleaning insight into how our state’s government, particularly the legislative branch works. They began their day bright and early with sitting in on various committee meetings.  The House Committee on State Affairs had a full agenda as bills regarding concealed carry permits, providing limits on out of state contributions to ballot questions, and changing the way National Guards are mobilized. The discussion of both sides of these bills was intense and allowed 4-H’ers to gain insight on how bills are transformed throughout the process. After the committee meeting, 4-H’ers were welcomed to the Capitol by Representative James Schaeffer. He spent the time learning more about the 4-H members, their interests and answering questions to their questions.  
After visiting with Representative Schaeffer, 4-H’ers had the opportunity to sit in on oral arguments at the South Dakota Supreme Court. The case involving a divorce and pre-nuptial agreement was interesting to listen to the lawyers present their arguments to the court. Witnessing the judicial branch in action was a special treat.  
We were honored that through the efforts of Representative Schaeffer, Speaker of the House Mickelson invited the Jones County 4-H Junior Leaders to sit on the house floor during the session. It was quite an honor and a once in a lifetime experience. In addition to being guests on the floor, Speaker Mickelson also declared February 15 the unofficial Jones County 4-H Day in the house.  
The experience provided 4-H’ers an in-person, up close view of two branches of our government. Throughout the day, 4-H’ers were able to sort through facts presented and develop their opinion on issues. A special thank you to Representative Schaeffer for taking time to make the trip a huge success.   

The Pioneer Review

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