AMAZING KIDS: Conservation and climate change is on her mind
Kate Stamey is an outstanding young person with an eye toward the future.
She is applying her biology and animal science interests to a worldwide problem: climate change. And she’s already spoken to state and federal agencies about it.
Stamey found her voice through the 4-H Youth Development program. She is a nine-year 4-H member and enjoys learning about horses and art in the 24 Carrots 4-H club.
“Through my years in 4-H, I have gained so much self-confidence, both in what I am capable of personally and in my ability to be a leader and work to improve the community,” she said.
Horses are a true passion for Stamey. She’s studied everything about them and enjoys the competitions that test her knowledge. Last year she represented Oregon at the Eastern National 4-H Roundup in Louisville, Kentucky. Her team competed in Hippology (the study of horses) in an all-around knowledge and skill event. The team finished in sixth place overall, with Stamey in the top five in two categories.
Conservation and climate change are often on Stamey’s mind. But she is not waiting to take action and is already looking for answers. Stamey was selected as an Oregon delegate to the 2022 National 4-H Conference in Washington, DC. This conference, convened by the USDA, seeks to engage youth in solving our nation’s toughest challenges. During the conference, she worked with a team of diverse youth to tackle the challenge of Delivering on Justice40.
The Justice40 initiative is an executive order to ensure that at least 40% of the money spent on addressing the climate crisis (such as lowering pollution and cleaner energy) reaches the people suffering from climate change’s effects the most.
At the end of the week, Stamey spoke to representatives from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture about the team’s findings and their recommendations.
“That opportunity was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had,” she said. “I learned so much that I have been able to bring back to my life, my 4-H club, as well as my community, through my work with the Climate Change Activism Club and other local organizations that work to improve the world we live in.”
Since finding her voice, Stamey has had a lot to say. While in Washington, DC, she met with Oregon’s Senators and Representatives. She gave a winning speech at a statewide 4-H competition titled “How the Climate Crisis is Affecting Horses” and is working on a new speech this year about “Issues and Solutions for Wild Horses on the Rangeland.”
This spring, Stamey presented to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife about habitat conservation during the 4-H Youth Voices in Action Conference and spoke to Oregon legislators about the value of 4-H and Extension programming. She has also written to Governor Tina Kotek, asking her to prioritize climate action.
Stamey is actively educating her community about climate change and volunteering with local organizations. She is the founder and president of the Climate Change Activism Club at Tualatin High School. The club has participated in several volunteer events, and Stamey created an educational display for a schoolwide information and art event. She regularly volunteers with TEAM Tualatin, cleaning the parks and planting trees.
What is Stamey planning next?
“I want to spread ideas and get people excited about making change and solving issues. I have come to realize that my voice and the things I have to say deserve to be said.”