Extension and Ag Research News


National 4-H Congress inspires North Dakota delegates

The National 4-H Congress is one of several national and statewide leadership development opportunities available to North Dakota youth through 4-H.

Four young people from North Dakota attended the National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Georgia, and returned with experiences that will impact them for a lifetime. The North Dakota delegates were Alyssa Thomsen and Allison Brynn of Barnes County, Dylan Demmers of Cass County, and Mathea Nelson of Ramsey County.

“I had an amazing time at National 4-H Congress,” says Thomsen. “It was the experience of a lifetime, and I really enjoyed expanding my leadership skills, listening to the wonderful speakers that they had, and serving the Atlanta community and beyond with our service project. I got the opportunity to meet and make friends with 4-H’ers from across the country and talk with them about how 4-H is similar and different in their states.”

National 4-H Congress is an educational experience designed to help 4-H youth expand their leadership skills and make an impact in their own clubs and communities. More than 800 youth from across the country attended the event and participated in educational sessions and service-learning projects.

For Brynn, the experience was one she will never forget.

“I loved listening to the different perspectives to a situation as well as the differences between the states,” says Brynn. “Taking the skills I learned from the trip and the service trip I did at an elementary school, I hope to incorporate interactions with the older and younger kids, and I aim to grow the numbers in our small counties and find ways to encourage older youth to stay involved.”

“4-H congress was an amazing experience with incredible 4-H’ers from around the country,” adds Demmers. “I will cherish the friends and experiences I gained from my time there.”

Julie Hassebroek, North Dakota Foundation Board member, and Leigh Ann Skurupey, assistant director, NDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development, accompanied the North Dakota youth. Skurupey also served as a National 4-H Congress Board of Advisors member and program chair.

“It was a privilege to accompany the four youth from North Dakota to National 4-H Congress,” says Hassebroek. “The event featured amazing speakers and workshops. I witnessed the youth build confidence, develop leadership skills and make new friendships from across the country.”

Applications to serve as a 2024 delegate are due to North Dakota State University Extension 4-H Youth Development by Aug. 1, 2024. For more information, contact Rachelle Vettern, professor and leadership and volunteer development specialist, at 701-231-7541 or rachelle.vettern@ndsu.edu. 4-H is a program of NDSU Extension.

The North Dakota 4-H Foundation sponsored this educational opportunity.

NDSU Agriculture Communication – Jan. 4, 2024

Source: Rachelle Vettern, 701-231-7541, rachelle.vettern@ndsu.edu

Editor: Elizabeth Cronin, 701-231-7881, elizabeth.cronin@ndsu.edu

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