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New legislation passed for Wyoming 4-H

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

In Wyoming, 4-H is now considered a cocurricular activity, allowing members to obtain excused absences for participation in 4-H.

Wyoming House Bill (HB) 0175 states Wyoming public school students engaged in “programming or competitions sponsored by nationally recognized organizations and clubs which promote youth agricultural education” are considered to be involved in a cocurricular program, and therefore, can receive excused absences for their participation.

Wyoming 4-H is a positive youth development program jointly funded by the University of Wyoming (UW) Extension and county commissions. 

The new statute will allow 4-H members to make up school assignments missed due to participation in hands-on learning experiences like visiting Congress, participating in the Wyoming State Fair, competing in national contests and attending youth leadership conferences.

“This will support students and families engaged in 4-H learning activities, complementing formal classroom learning and contributing to the overall goal of positive youth development in public education,” says Johnathan Despain, state 4-H program coordinator.

The new statute does not alter the authority of local school boards. Each school district’s board creates parameters for what is considered an unexcused absence and what activities are considered cocurricular. The bill states school districts are permitted to request verification of the reasons for a student’s absence.

HB 0175 goes into effect on July 1.

The new legislation, which amended W.S. 21-3-110(a)(xxxix), was co-sponsored by Wyoming Rep. Tomi Strock and Sen. Brian Boner and signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordon on Feb. 21. The statute can be found at

Brooke Ortel is a writer and editor for UW Extension. This article was originally published by UW Ag News on March 21.

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