National 4-H Conference
The National 4-H Conference is a working conference in which youth and adults, at the invitation of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, assist in the development of recommendations to help guide 4-H Youth Development programs nationally and in their communities. Check out the National 4-H Conference website for more conference details.
What are the qualifications for youth applicants?
To be eligible as a delegate, a youth must:
- Be 15 years old by January 1 and not older than 19 by June 1 (in the year of conference attendance).
- Be at least a sophomore in high school. (Note: Selection preference will be for youth delegates who are sophomores and juniors in high school during the school year ending just before the conference.)
- Have experience and leadership involvement in local, county, regional, and/or state developmental committees, advisory groups, councils, etc.
- Be concerned about community issues and motivated to design and carry out action plans to address identified issues through "Taking it Home" community action plan requirement (pre-, during-, and post-conference expectations).
- Have flexibility to meet changing situations and have growth potential and a curiosity about situations, people, and events.
- Demonstrate strong interpersonal and speaking skills.
- Commit to all of these pre-conference expectations:
- three conference calls
- studying and reporting knowledge of Minnesota 4-H program via e-mail
- one webinar
- study of pre-conference materials from National 4-H Conference staff
- come to a group consensus on "Taking it Home" community action plan expectation whether to accomplish individually or as a group.
- Complete the Paying it Forward "Taking it Home" community action plan agreement.
- Share your experience with identified stakeholders through a video presentation designed individually or by all Minnesota youth delegate National 4-H Conference participants.
- Be willing to receive the resources necessary to make you successful.
Selection of Minnesota delegates
A committee of Extension educators and a program coordinators will select youth to attend. Consideration for selection is based on contents included in delegate nomination/recommendation forms and interview (as outlined under "Steps to application process" below). 4-H program staff are encouraged to seek qualified youth candidates for nomination.
How much does it cost?
In 2017 the fee for a selected Minnesota delegate to attend the national 4-H Conference was $990. Nominees are encouraged to seek financial support for the registration fee from their local 4-H Council/Federation and other local community organizations. County 4-H Federations/Leaders/Councils are encouraged to help defray some of the cost if their 4-H member is appointed to attend this National Conference. The National 4-H Conference is supported in part by the Minnesota 4-H Foundation.
Cost should not be a barrier to participation. In addition to potential support from your local 4-H program, selected delegates may be eligible for additional scholarship support from the state 4-H office. Contact Jacquie at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What will we do at the conference?
Attendees have the opportunity to share ideas, meet 4-H members from across the nation, bring back new ideas and skills, share personal stories with members of Congress, learn about National 4-H headquarters and USDA, study social issues identified by federal agencies and report group findings and solutions back to the federal agency, bring back an action plan to be carried out through "Taking it Home" community action plan process.
Is there an expectation upon returning home?
- Delegates may be asked to share their experience with stakeholders and/or funders.
- Delegates will be asked to work either individually or together to design and carry out an action plan to address an identified community issue. Delegates will be asked to share with peers in their home county "lessons learned and new ideas" and recruit others to carry out this identified "Taking it Home" community action plan.
Judith A. Conway
University of Minnesota
Extension Center for Youth Development
4100 220th Street West, Suite 100
Farmington, MN 55024