2023 National 4-H Conference – April 14-20, 2023
What is National 4-H Conference?
National 4-H Conference annually brings 4-H youth and adults from around the nation to work towards strengthening and expanding the 4-H Youth Development program at the local, state, and national levels. National 4-H Conference is the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s premier youth development opportunity to engage youth in developing recommendations for the 4-H Youth Development Program. The National 4-H Headquarters is charged with sharing the recommendations that emerge from the conference with the Secretary of Agriculture, National Extension Program Leaders, and others who determine 4-H programs. At the same time, the conference is a rich and meaningful experience for the youth and adult participants. Held at a Washington DC area hotel (Hyatt Regency in Arlington, VA), it’s usually scheduled around the beginning of April. In 2019, there were approximately 350 delegates, including seven from Wisconsin.
National 4-H Conference delegates will:
- Participate in a round table topic of their choosing that will focus on key topics such as: leadership, agriculture, crime, and more.
- Participate in professional workshops.
- Meet with legislators from their State to discuss important issues relating to 4-H.
- Have a chance to network with youth and adults from across the country.
- Learn all about 4-H programming and think about ways to improve programming across the Nation.
- Develop an action plan that will be put to use in their own communities.
- Have fun!
Also check out the National 4-H page for National 4-H Conference. Questions about National Conference that you can’t find the answers to on this website? Feel free to contact Justin Lieck, Educational Programs Assistant at email@example.com or 608-263-5971.
Where: Washington D.C.
When: Friday – Thursday, Late March/Early April of Program Year
National 4-H Conference Goals:
- to provide an opportunity for youth/adult partnerships to make recommendations to expand and improve 4-H
- encourage states to include both youth and adults in planning, implementation, and evaluation of programs
Delegates update legislators on current developments in 4-H, take new ideas back home, and work with each other to put together and implement a report on a specific area of improvement.
Between 8-10 youth are selected to attend this working conference. Each participant selects an issue (for example – education, promotion, environment, violence) and works with other youth from across the country to develop plans helping direct future 4 H programming.
Delegates spend the majority of time contributing to stimulating, task oriented groups. One day is spent on Capitol Hill meeting with legislators and touring.
- Be in 10th-12th grade during the program. Minimum age 15 and maximum age 18 as of January 1, year of travel
- Submit an application with references to the State 4-H Office
- Carry county approval through time of award program
- Cost is approximately $1,500.
- The Wisconsin 4-H Foundation sponsors a portion of the cost.
- Many county 4-H Youth Development programs provide partial local sponsorships.
- The remaining amount is the responsibility of the delegate and his/her family. Scholarships are available from the state office and nationally.
October 2022 – Applications available for National 4-H Conference.
February 3, 2023 – State applications, complete with signatures, are due to the State 4-H Office.
February – Participate in a Mandatory Zoom Orientations
February-Departure in April – Delegates conduct research on their county and state 4-H and Extension programs, roundtable topics, and other assigned information.
April 14-20, 2023 – Attend all conference and travel
July 31, Oct. 31, Jan. 31, and April 30 – Submit ‘Report Back’ form to Wisconsin 4-H Educational Programs, 432 N Lake St, Room 105, Madison WI 53706
- Diverse 4-H Youth Development Program experiences at the county, state and/or national level, such as WI 4-H & Youth Conference, Area Animal Science Days, State Arts Experiences, Citizenship Washington Focus, etc.
- Experience in local, county, area, and/or state developmental committees, advisory groups, councils, etc. and in public speaking to strengthen or advocate for 4-H Youth Development Programs.
- Willingness and ability to work prior to National Conference in collecting facts, ideas, etc. of local people regarding concerns of youth and possible action.
- Commitment and time to stay involved in the work of conference throughout the year and make significant contributions in their communities.
- Flexibility as individuals to meet differing situations and to cope with ambiguity, have growth potential, and a curiosity about situations, people, and events.
- Strong interpersonal skills with people of all ages and backgrounds.
- Good energy levels, capable of participating fully in an active and demanding program involving long hours.
- Committed to fully participating in a Mandatory Zoom Orientations and the entire conference (including travel time).
What Should Delegates Expect?
- A great honor to represent Wisconsin with 8-10 other individuals, but also a responsibility to accurately and professionally represent Wisconsin 4-H.
- Conduct research to be completed prior to departure to the conference to prepare for lobbying on Capitol Hill and creating a briefing for a federal office related to your topic.
- Responsibility to cover academic obligations during absence.
- A formal dress code from business casual to business professional attire for many conference events.
- Participation in professional workshops, federal agency briefing group meetings, and meetings with congressional members on Capitol Hill Day.
- Opportunity to hear from renown speakers, meet with other passionate 4-Hers across the United States and Canada, and work with conference leaders to further 21st century soft skills.
- Stay at a hotel in Washington D.C.
- Experience landmarks, monuments, and museums in Washington, D.C.
- Identify ways that you can make a positive impact in your home community from the tools you gained during National 4-H Conference.
Check with your County 4-H Youth Development Staff member about county scholarship procedures. If you do not have a county agent, you may complete the application and obtain a reference from another source (see application for more details).
State applications, complete with signatures, are due to the State 4-H Office on February 3, 2023. The application materials are available at the link below. The application process includes answering a list of questions, obtaining a county educator (or equivalent) reference, and a resume. Delegates are chosen by a group of State staff members after reviewing each applicant’s qualifications. Interviews may also be conducted.