COLUMBUS – The team of Whitney Bauman, Carlie Cluxton and Bonnie Simpkins from Adams County won the 2018 Ohio Youth Capital Challenge for their project to address Ohio’s growing feral swine population.
Sponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio 4-H and Ohio FFA, the challenge brings together youths ages 14 to 18 from around the state to discuss community concerns and then work together to propose policies and programs to solve the issues.
The challenge started in the spring when groups met to learn about public policy issues and began planning their proposals. A preliminary contest narrowed the field down to four teams, which competed in the finals during the Ohio State Fair.
In their final presentation, Bauman, Cluxton and Simpkins proposed the development of Area Feral Swine Task Forces that work with Ohio Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to educate Ohioans about feral swine and implement a feral swine population management program. As winners, the team receives a $1,000 cash prize.
The following teams also placed in the competition:
Second place ($500 team prize): Olivia Langwasser and Madison Withrow of Delaware County and Cori Lee and Aubrey Moser of Union County for their proposal to provide more psychologists in schools to address student mental health.
Third place ($250 team prize): Andrew Moyer of Clinton County; Shelby Nicholl, Logan County and Kyra Davidson, Clermont County for their proposed policy to require permanent drug drop boxes in pharmacies and law enforcement offices in Ohio.
Fourth place: ($250 team prize): Cassidy Vanderveer of Fulton County and Megan Mawhorter, Emilie Fisher and Reegan Kehres of Lucas County for their proposal to require accurate expiration dates rather than sell by, use by or best by dates on food products.
The teams were judged on their public policy proposals dealing with a specific issue or problem. In the final competition, the teams described the steps necessary to have their public policy proposal adopted by the appropriate government authorities.