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N.D. Youth Attend National 4-H Conference

North Dakota youth help shape national 4-H policy.

Four North Dakota youth have helped shape national 4-H policy and learned how to make a difference in their communities.

The youth attended the 2011 National 4-H Conference in Chevy Chase, Md., during the first week in April.

The National 4-H Conference is the secretary of agriculture’s premier youth development opportunity. It allows youth to help form recommendations to guide 4-H youth development programs nationally and in communities. This event brings together youth, volunteer leaders, and Extension specialists and agents from across the U.S, U.S. territories and Canada.

North Dakota’s delegates to the conference were: Justin Zahradka, Walsh County; Deann Berntson, LaMoure County; Colby Hennessy, Mountrail County; and Bobbi Jo Kronberg, Dickey County.

“My favorite part was meeting all the amazing people from North Dakota and other states,” Berntson says.

Through citizenship excursions, conference sessions and roundtable discussions, delegates explored specific topic areas, learned how to mobilize social change on issues that directly affect them, and developed ideas of how 4-H programs can support these objectives and develop young people to meet the challenges of the future.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke to the youth about the future of agriculture and education, from the challenges to the opportunities.

4-H also became a presence at several federal agencies during the conference. The 4-H'ers prepared and delivered presentations on several issues affecting youth, including bullying and environmental conservation, to those agencies.

To see three of the recorded webinars created from the roundtable presentations, visit http://4hconf.4-h.org/postconference.aspx.

“My favorite part of the 2011 National 4-H Conference was having the privilege of being introduced to a group of admirable students from North Dakota and around the nation, and having the opportunity to work with a team of 15 students to create and give a presentation to the National Forest Service,” Zahradka says.

Delegates also had the opportunity to meet with aides of U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.; U.S. Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., and U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., on Capitol Hill Day to represent North Dakota youth and discuss state 4-H programs.

The North Dakota 4-H Foundation provided funding for the delegates to attend the conference.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - April 27, 2011

Source:Katie Tyler, (701) 857-7677, katherine.tyler@ndsu.edu
Editor:Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
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