U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) introduced the Youth Lead Act to support agricultural youth programs in rural communities and small towns.

“Our bipartisan bill will help ensure young leaders in Indiana and across the country can continue to participate in the educational opportunities and hands-on experiences provided by agricultural youth programs,” said Senator Young.

“Organizations like Scouting America, the FFA, and 4-H provide critical opportunities for young Delawareans to find mentors, learn life skills, and develop leadership techniques. Our entire state benefits when more Delawareans, no matter where they’re from, have the opportunity to join these programs,” said Senator Coons. “This bipartisan bill with Senator Young recognizes the importance of investing in the next generation and ensures that every Delawarean, especially those from rural communities, will have the chance to grow.”  

The bipartisan bill would reauthorize grants for Girl Scouts of the United States of America, the Boy Scouts of America, the National 4–H Council, and the National FFA Organization to help expand the programs carried about by these organizations to rural communities and small towns.

In addition to Senators Young and Coons, Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R- W. Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) also cosponsored the legislation.

The Youth Lead Act is also endorsed by the National FFA Organization and the National 4-H Council.

“On behalf of the membership of the National FFA Organization, I express our thanks to Senators Todd Young and Chris Coons for their support of FFA, 4-H, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts through the ‘Youth Lead Act of 2024,’” said National FFA Advisor Dr. Travis Park. “Their commitment, along with the commitment of their colleagues who have signed onto the bill, shows the value that the U.S. Senate puts toward youth development. We hope this legislation will be included in the final versions of the farm bill conversations and that the grant program receives consideration through the appropriations process,” said Dr. Travis Park, National FFA Advisory Board Chair.

“The Youth Lead Act of 2024 represents an investment in the future of our nation’s youth. This legislation would enable Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program to expand experiences for all youth to develop the skills they need to succeed in work and in life,” said Jill Bramble, National 4-H Council President and CEO.

U.S. Representatives Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Tracy Mann (R-Kans.), and Jimmy Panetta (D-Cal.) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Full text of the Senate legislation can be found here