Washington State Senate leaders say they’re upset about a vaccine requirement announced for 4-H volunteers.

SENATOR JIM HONEYFORD OF SUNNYSIDE SAYS IT'S A BAD IDEA

Senator Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside says “4-H is a valuable experience for young people already suffering setbacks from isolation and mental health challenges due to how the state has handled the pandemic. We shouldn't be putting more obstacles in the way to their success.”
The Washington State University Extension, which oversees the 4-H office, recently sent a letter to volunteers of the youth agricultural program saying 4-H volunteer leaders must be fully vaccinated by October 18 to continue to participate in any future volunteer activities.
That’s upsetting to Honeyford and other state agricultural leaders. He says 4-H is a “more-than-century-old youth development nonprofit that provides programs focusing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), in addition to civic engagement and agriculture.”

THE NEW REQUIREMENT COULD RESULT IN FEWER VOLUNTEERS

State officials say the organization relies heavily on community volunteers, and the latest requirements could mean a sharp decrease in participation, a serious blow to the popular program.
Ag leaders in Washington are very concerned and want the governor to take action and lift the requirement for volunteers. Honeyford says If there’s a major decrease in volunteers some kids may not be able to participate in some programs.
He adds "While other states are working to boost vaccinations, Washington remains an outlier with its heavy-handed approach"

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