National 4-H Conference

2021 National 4-H Conference will be held virtually, more information will be available at a later date after we receive more information from National 4-H Council.

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 the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, 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 justin.lieck@wisc.edu or 608-263-5971.

Additional Information

Where: Washington D.C.

When: Saturday – 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.

Qualifications:

  • 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

Costs:

  • Cost is approximately $1,300.
  • 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.

Promotional Flyer

Delegate Information

Experience Timeline

TBD 2021 – 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.

TBD – Attend all conference and travel

July 31, Oct. 31, Jan. 31, and April 30 – Submit ‘Report Back’ form to Wisconsin 4-H Educational Programs, 130 Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., Madison WI 53706

More Qualifications

  • 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.
  • Live at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center
  • 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.

Applications

Applications

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 at a date TBD. 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.

2021 National 4-H Conference Application Packet (updating)

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