Extension and Ag Research News


N.D. Youth to Attend National 4-H Conference

North Dakota youth will among the delegates attending the 2009 National 4-H Conference.

Eight youth will represent North Dakota at the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C., from March 28 to April 2.

North Dakota’s delegates are: Megan Ruch, Cogswell; Alicia Widhalm, Milnor; Johnathan Myhre, Hoople; Blaine Novak, Fordville; Derrick Murphy, Shields; and Mercedes Ridley, Samantha Ridley and Thomas Ridley Jr., all of McLaughlin, S.D.

They were selected by the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s Center for 4-H Youth Development and Sitting Bull College. They will be among delegates from more than 100 land-grant colleges and universities in the U.S. and U.S. territories.

The aim of the National 4-H Youth Conference is to:

  • Create an experience for delegates to become familiar with government
  • Reinforce the 4-H program’s rich history and its value to the Cooperative Extension and land-grant university systems
  • Provide opportunities for delegates to engage with leaders from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service; land-grant university system; and those entities’ local, state and national partners
  • Enlighten delegates about the valuable work and research being conducted at land-grant universities
  • Stimulate delegates’ thoughts on key issues and move them to action in their local communities
  • Provide delegates with an opportunity to meet with their congressional representatives to discuss issues affecting their communities
  • Enhance leadership skills the delegates will need in the 21st century, such as adaptability, team building and communication
  • Gather feedback from youth, the 4-H program’s most important stakeholders

“This is a great opportunity for 4-H members to strengthen their leadership skills and gain knowledge that they can share once they are back at home,” says Rachelle Vettern, leadership and volunteer development specialist for North Dakota’s Center for 4-H Youth Development.

The North Dakota 4-H Foundation and National 4-H Council are providing funding for delegates to attend this leadership program. The National 4-H Conference began in 1927 as the National 4-H Club Camp. Delegates slept in tents on the National Mall grounds in front of the USDA. The camp, held annually except during World War II, recognized and developed junior leaders. Delegates attended training workshops and became acquainted with government while state 4-H leaders held their annual meeting.

The camp moved from the National Mall to the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md., in 1959 and became the National 4-H Conference.

For more information about the conference, visit http://4hconf.4-h.org/.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Rachelle Vettern, (701) 231-7541, rachelle.vettern@ndsu.edu
Editor:Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
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