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Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > 4-H Events > National 4-H Conference

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National 4-H Conference

April 7-12, 2018

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 happens at the National 4-H 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.

Watch this video about the National 4-H Conference experience.

Download the 2018 conference brochure.


  • Nov. 10 - Application deadline postmark date (see application & selection tab)
  • December 5 or 6 (tentative) - Selected applicants interviewed by phone or skype
  • December 21 - Letters sent to all 2018 National Conference Minnesota applicants

2018 - timeline for selected delegates

  • January 27: $990 fee due for each selected Minnesota delegate
  • February 3: Deadline to request refund of fees
  • April 6 (not yet confirmed): Flight to Washington, D.C.
  • April 7 - 12, 2018 - Conference at the National 4-H Conference Center, Washington, D.C.
  • April 12 (not yet confirmed): Return flight to Minnesota
  • April - December: Complete and carry out Taking it Home Community Action Plan. Participate in evaluation.

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.

Expectations upon returning home

  1. Delegates may be asked to share their experience with stakeholders and/or funders.
  2. 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.

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.

Steps to application process

  1. 4-H staff must recommend and submit the recommendation from 4-H staff form to Diane Lambrecht/Judith A. Conway with deadline date postmarked no later than Nov. 10, 2017. Qualifications for eligibility are listed on the eligibility tab. Please send form directly to Extension staff identified; do not give to youth applicant.
  2. Youth delegate will take responsibility to identify and deliver the recommendation from a non-relative adult form to the adult reference of your choice (other than relative) as noted in the form. Youth delegate will also follow up to make sure postmark dates are met. Adult recommendation on delegate nomination/recommendation form is due to Diane Lambrecht/Judith A. Conway with deadline date postmarked no later than Nov. 10, 2017. Please send form directly to Extension staff identified; do not give to youth applicant.
  3. Youth nominated will fill out the delegate application materials and answer questions about themselves from their perspective. Nomination/recommendation form is due to Diane Lambrecht/Judith A. Conway with deadline date postmarked no later than Nov. 10, 2017. Youth are responsible to make sure that all steps are completed in the application process. Youth should contact their county 4-H program coordinator to see if there are additional county requirements.
  4. A 15-minute conference call phone interview will be held by the selection committee with the top 10 applicants. Phone interviews will take place tentatively during the day of either Dec. 5 or 6. Conference call or skype interview will consist of:
    • Interview questions
    • One-minute marketing speech on knowledge of the 4-H Youth Development program (with emphasis on telling someone unfamiliar with 4-H about the 4-H Youth Development program)
    • One-minute comments identifying a community issue and a possible community action plan that would address the issue

Youth delegates are asked to consider what skills are necessary to accomplish a successful phone or skype interview.

Please send all completed materials to:

Diane Lambrecht/Judith A. Conway
University of Minnesota Extension
4100 220th Street West, Suite 100
Farmington, MN  55024
Phone: 1-651-480-7703

The fee for a selected Minnesota delegate to attend the National 4-H Conference is $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 for more information. 


Judith A. Conway
University of Minnesota
Extension Center for Youth Development
4100 220th Street West, Suite 100
Farmington, MN  55024

For more information, visit the National 4-H Website.
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