Nygren administration pays outstanding bill to 4-H youth

Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren presents a check to 4-H youth. (Photo/OPVP)

Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren presents a check to 4-H youth. (Photo/OPVP)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Youth who participated in the Navajo Nation Junior Livestock Show and Sale during the 74th annual Navajo Nation Fair in September 2022 can finally breathe a sigh of relief — thanks to Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren.

When Nygren took office in January, one of the first issues brought to his attention was the outstanding bill owed to some 4-H youths.

According to the youth and their parents, who visited Nygren’s office, former President Jonathan Nez had seven successful bids at the 2022 livestock auction for four lambs, a sheep, a goat and one cow. After the auction, the youth released their livestock to Nez per the successful bids and the livestock meat was processed, but the young 4-Hers were never paid.

Social media photos depict the former president wearing a mask and with a bidding paddle in hand. According to the youth, securing payment turned into a struggle of making repeated calls to the Nez administration asking when they would get their money.

Inquiry by Nygren’s staff confirmed that the former administration neglected to fully pay the invoices.

Acknowledging the hard work that was put into grooming the sheep, goats, and cattle, Nygren began working with his newly-appointed Division of Natural Resources Executive Director Mike Halona to determine how the youth could be paid and ultimately found a way to fulfill Nez’s commitment and presented a check to the youth.

“Keeping our commitments to our youth is so important,” Nygren said. “I’m glad we could resolve this unfortunate situation and that these hardworking 4-H members will get the money they earned.

One of the students expressed her appreciation to Nygren.

“I would like to say thank you for all your support and everything you have done to get us out of this mess,” she said to Nygren. “At the end of the day, it wasn’t your fault. I am glad you stepped up as a leader for the Navajo Nation and paid all of us individuals out.”

In 2022, the 4-H program had 355 youth enrolled throughout the region.

Information provided by the Office of the President and Vice President.

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