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N.D. Youth Attend National 4-H Conference

North Dakota 4-H’ers say that attending the National 4-H Conference was a worthwhile experience.

A delegation of 4-H youth representing North Dakota State University and Sitting Bull College attended the 79th annual National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C.

The North Dakota delegation was among more than 300 youth and adults representing 4-H programs across the country who gathered to exchange ideas, gain knowledge to share at home and develop recommendations to help guide the future of national 4-H youth development programs nationally and in their communities.

North Dakota delegates who attended the conference from March 28-April 2 were: Megan Ruch and Alicia Widhalm, both of Sargent County; Johnathan Myhre, Pembina County; Blaine Novak, Walsh County; and Derrick Murphy, Mercedes Ridley, Samantha Ridley and Thomas J. Ridley Jr., all of Sitting Bull College. This is the first year Sitting Bull College sent a delegation to the conference.

This year’s conference theme, “Pathways to Progress: Transforming Tomorrow,” reinforced the rich history of 4-H as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s flagship youth development organization.

Through citizenship excursions, conference sessions, focus groups and roundtable discussions, delegates explored specific objectives of President Obama’s administration and developed ideas of how 4-H programs can support these objectives and develop young people to meet the challenges of the future. The recommendations were delivered in the closing message to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and other USDA and 4-H officials during the USDA Assembly.

“One of my favorite parts of the trip was meeting all the people from across the country and seeing how 4-H differs from state to state,” Novak said.

“I think that I really enjoyed seeing the sights all over D.C. and meeting new people from different states and learning about them at the same time,” Ruch said.

Delegates also had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., on Capitol Hill Day to represent North Dakota youth and discuss state 4-H programs.

“My favorite part of the National 4-H conference was definitely meeting all the different 4-H’ers from across the U.S. from 43 different states and Canada and Puerto Rico,” Myhre said. “All the different people all have different programs from their state and it was really neat to get ideas for my club and community events.”

For more information about the conference, visit http://www.national4-hheadquarters.gov.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Brenda Vertin, (701) 231-7259, brenda.vertin@ndsu.edu
Editor:Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
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