South Dakota’s 4-H Organization may organize its rodeos as it always has. That’s the word from US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue yesterday (Tues.) to SD Representative Kristi Noem.
The US Department of Agriculture was moving forward with the elimination of exclusively “boys” and “girls” events in 4-H youth rodeo, against the wishes of many within the rodeo community. Noem asked USDA to review its legal opinion of Title IX’s application to 4-H youth rodeo.
Sec. Perdue said USDA would withhold action while the US Department of Education conducts a broader review of Title IX regulations. Perdue said it wouldn’t be appropriate for USDA to take action against the traditional structure of South Dakota’s 4-H rodeos while the review is ongoing.
Noem says the previous legal opinion was more about political correctness than the rodeo experience for the kids involved. She says USDA finally listened to those actually involved in the rodeo, hit pause, and allowed South Dakota youth rodeo to continue to operate as it has for decades.