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License plate bill could help state 4-H

Bouquets and Barbs

Bouquet: Last fall, legislation was introduced to create a 4-H specialty fundraising license plate that would raise money and create more visibility for Michigan 4-H youth programs.

On June 4, that legislation moved one step closer to fruition after being passed by the Michigan Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

“We are very excited to see this legislation moving forward in the process and grateful to those who have supported it along the way,” said Quentin Tyler, director of Michigan State University Extension, which leads the 4-H program in Michigan.

“If passed, the legislation will create an ongoing stream of revenue that will benefit the 4-H program for years to come.”

Tyler and Michigan State 4-H Leader Jodi Schulz were at the committee hearing June 4, providing testimony about the positive impact the legislation would have on the Michigan 4-H program. First introduced last September by state Reps. Matthew Bierlein (R-Vassar) and Reggie Miller (D-Van Buren Township), the proposed legislation will allow for the creation and sale of a Michigan 4-H plate through the Secretary of State’s office. The bills passed the Michigan House of Representatives on Nov. 8 with nearly unanimous support (105-4-1).

As part of the legislation, a portion of the plate’s sale price would be distributed four times a year to the Michigan 4-H Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Michigan 4-H Foundation is an East Lansing-based nonprofit organization that partners with MSU Extension and its Michigan 4-H Youth Development programs to prepare youth for meaningful and productive lives.

“We are excited to see forward progress for this revenue-generating opportunity for Michigan 4-H,” said Tom Bosserd, president of the Michigan 4-H Foundation board of trustees. “It will not only help to ensure Michigan 4-H youth continue to have access to high-quality, youth development programs for years to come, but also result in additional visibility for Michigan 4-H.”

Statewide, Michigan 4-H reaches more than 100,000 youth each year through hands-on learning experiences that allow youth to explore their passions and interests while growing confidence, life skills and a sense of responsibility. The program operates in every county in the state and is available to youth ages 5 to 19.

“Michigan 4-H has been growing true leaders for more than 115 years, and not only making a difference for Michigan youth, but their families and communities, too,” Tyler said. “We hope to see this legislation continue to advance as it will provide valuable support for future generations to continue to grow with Michigan 4-H.”

The bills will now go before the full Michigan Senate.

To learn more about Michigan 4-H, go to http://www.canr.msu.edu/4h. To learn more about the Michigan 4-H Foundation, go to https://mi4hfdtn.org.

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