To: Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture

Tell The Trump Administration That ALL Children Should Benefit from 4-H Programming

In small towns and rural communities, we take care of ALL our kids. That’s why 4-H programs must be open and affirming to all vulnerable populations, including LGBTQ youth. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue must reinstate 4-H’s guidances welcoming LGBTQ children.

Why is this important?

In small towns and rural communities, we believe in taking care of all our kids. Period!

One of the most important programs for rural youth is 4-H, a program that creates a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles.

4‑H reaches almost six million young people ages 5 to 21 through 100 public universities and is administered through USDA programs. Young people experience 4‑H through school and community clubs, in-school and after-school programs and 4‑H camps.

Recently, 4-H committed to the campaign “4-H Grows: A Promise to America’s Kids,” which seeks by 2025 to have the organization reflect "the population demographics, vulnerable populations, diverse needs and social conditions of the country."

As part of that pledge, extension leaders created a best-practices document that became the foundation of a national guidance for working with vulnerable populations, including incarcerated and LGBT youth, as well as kids with disabilities.

The national guidance called on 4-H to treat all students consistent with their gender identity and allow them "equal access," even when families or community members "raise objections.”

"As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a practice that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of individual," the national proposal read.

However it was recently revealed that USDA officials within the Trump administration pushed national 4-H leaders to withdraw their policies welcoming LGBTQ children after protests from the Liberty Counsel, an organization labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Rural children deserve equal access to the valuable skills gained through 4-H and all kids should benefit from 4-H programing regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identification.

Please sign our petition and demand that Sonny Purdue reinstate 4-H’s guidances welcoming LGBTQ children.