Wednesday, November 6, 2019

2020 National 4-H Conference Applications Available - DUE 12/11/19

The application for National 4-H Conference is now open on 4-H CONNECT!

Conference is scheduled for March 28 – April 2, 2020 at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland just outside of Washington DC.  Our Texas 4-H delegation will travel to DC on March 27th.  National 4-H Conference is a working conference in which youth and adults, at the invitation of the Secretary of Agriculture, assist in the development of recommendations to help guide 4-H Youth Development programs nationally and in local communities. Registration is open on 4-H Connect until December 11, 2019.  There is no fee for a member to apply.  However, a fee of $2,000 will be due for members selected to participate by January 6, 2020.

We encourage senior 4-H members who are ages 15-18) to apply!  This is an amazing leadership and learning opportunity!  

National 4-H Conference
March 27 – April 2, 2020

National 4-H Conference is the Secretary of Agriculture’s premier youth development opportunity to engage youth in developing recommendations for the 4-H Youth Development Program. If you want to strengthen your leadership and/or citizenship projects, this is an excellent opportunity.

National 4-H Conference is a working conference in which youth and adults--at the invitation of the Secretary of Agriculture--assist in the development of recommendations to help guide 4-H Youth Development Programs nationally and in their communities. This event brings together youth, volunteer leaders, and state and county Extension staff members from across the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the Canadian Provinces.

As the sponsor for this conference, the National 4-H Headquarters--located within Families, 4-H, and Nutrition at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) --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 programming. Each delegate chooses an important societal topic to discuss in a roundtable situation with other delegates. From the roundtable discussion, the groups prepare a briefing to present to federal stakeholders. This experiential approach ensures that the conference is a meaningful experience for the youth and adult participants. Social activities in the evening, tours of monuments and museums and cultural entertainment round out the conference.

The quotes on the next page provide a true youth perspective of the experience!

The 2020 National 4-H Conference will be held at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center. The Center is located in a quiet, 12-acre campus-like setting in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and one mile from the nation’s Capitol, making it the perfect gateway to Washington, D.C.’s leaders, monuments and museums. The Conference Center is operated by the National 4-H Council. To read more interesting history on the National 4-H Youth Conference Center and National 4-H Conference, visit . Delegates will also have the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill, federal offices and maybe even a congressional office or two.

The National 4-H Conference requires youth who are focused and committed to working during the Conference and in their state. The Texas delegation will consist of 10-20 youth delegates, who will be required to engage in pre and post conference work and participate in all scheduled conference activities.  The minimum age requirement for a Texas youth delegate is 15 years old (must be by January 1, 2020). The maximum age for a Texas youth delegate is 18.

Applications must be submitted online and certified through 4HConnect by December 11, 2019. Choose ‘2020 National 4-H Conference’. A fee is NOT required to complete the application. County Extension Office personnel will certify the application, so please communicate with your Extension Agent of your intent to apply. Final selection of delegates will be made on the basis of the online application; you may be contacted for a telephone interview. The final selection of delegates will be announced on, or before, December 20, 2019.

The delegate’s share of registration, adult chaperone registration, lodging, airfare, meals, and transportation costs is $2,000.00. This registration fee will be due on or before January 6, 2020 payable through 4HConnect.

The Texas delegation will travel out of Houston, Austin or Dallas (depending on the cost of airline tickets and the geographical makeup of the delegation). All travel costs to the airport to meet the group is the responsibility of the delegate. We will be departing as a group from one location in 2020.


The following comments are direct quotes from Texas 4-H members who have attended National 4-H Conference.
The National 4-H Conference overall was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone that has an interest in a hands-on view of the United States’ government, leadership, and culture. Overall, this opportunity helped to further my development in professional communications, networking, and collaboration within a diverse and accomplished group.
I believe it is safe to say that the roundtable sessions were a primary focus of the conference, as the groups would later be presenting to varying congressional committees. With that mentioned the roundtable session topics covered a wide range and included the interests of every participant. I was very involved in my topic, “The Importance of Agriculture” because it is my personal mission to be a leader in the agricultural community. Due to this, I was very pleased when our facilitator challenged us to search for the most important issues opposing the future of agriculture. This required outside research and use of my applied knowledge.
National conference was, without a doubt, one of my favorite 4-H experiences. I learned an immense amount about a plethora of different subjects. I got to work with amazing people from across the world and work with the government to improve subjects directly related to youth and America’s future.
Of course, I learned a large amount in preparing my briefing to the Department of State. I advanced my public speaking skills and my research skills in preparing for my briefing. Furthermore, I learned a lot about having to collaborate with a group in order to make a presentation excellent. Time management was also put to the test as we put together a lengthy and detailed presentation in a rather short amount of time. The workshops we attended were also extremely useful. I learned about various leadership styles as well as how to resolve conflict. Something I learned that particularly stuck out was about 4-H across the nation. The program varies significantly from state to state. Even though Texas program is by far the best, from what I learned, there are certainly things we can learn from other state's programs.
National 4-H Conference was one of the highlights of my 4-H career.  Being surrounded by so many like-minded 4-Hers who shared the same passion and love I have for leadership and service. The week was packed full of round tables, key note speakers, workshops, recreation and presentations. I would highly recommend National 4-H Conference to members who are ready to be pushed outside of their comfort zones in order to become a better leader. This was an experience I will always remember. The week began with awkward hellos to complete strangers from all over the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico and ended with bittersweet goodbyes.

Ø  Apply now through December 11, 2019!
Ø  Texas delegation announced by December 20, 2019
Ø  Registration fee of $2,000 due January 6, 2020

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