2024 National 4-H Conference – April 19-24, 2024
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-263-5971.
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).
Applications are due to the State 4-H Office on December 1, 2023. The application materials are available at the link below. The application process includes answering essay questions, a video submission, and obtaining two references. Interviews will be conducted in mid-December for Semi-finalists. Delegates are chosen by a group of 4-H staff members and 4-H youth after reviewing each applicant’s qualifications.
This packet contains all the information you need to know about applications for 2024 National 4-H Conference. Please review it carefully before applying. After reviewing the packet, you can submit your application here: https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_byewuXvekVtYm90
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 $2,000.
- 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.
2024 Promotional Flyer
November 1, 2023 – Applications available for National 4-H Conference.
December 1, 2023 – State applications are due to the State 4-H Office.
December 2023 – Interviews for semi-finalists will be conducted and participant selection will be done. Applicants will be notified in late December of their status.
January/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 19-24, 2024 – 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.
Needs-based scholarships are available for youth who participate in Statewide Educational Experiences. Scholarships require an application that is submitted to the state office. For more information on these scholarships and to apply, please visit the Scholarship page on our website.
Scholarships are also available from NIFA for participants at National 4-H Conference. You can find more information along with the scholarship form on their website: https://www.nifa.usda.gov/national-4-h-conference-resources. These scholarship applications are due January 19th.
This program is supported by the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation. For more information please go to www.Wis4HFoundation.org.This page is optimized for printing