Nebraska 4-H’ers participate in National 4-H Conference
In early April, three 4-H delegates from Nebraska will make their way to the Chevy Chase, Md., to participate in the 2019 National 4-H Conference, including one from Morrill County.
This year, Nebraska has selected Bailee Lake from Morrill County, Benjamin Soria from Dawson County and Cole Jacobson from Cuming County. Being selected to represent our state at this conference is one of Nebraska 4-H’s highest honors.
National 4-H Conference is the pinnacle experience in 4‑H civic engagement, providing the opportunity for young people to connect, learn, engage, lead and impact their communities, their nation, and their world. The unique environment of the program allows delegates to engage with national 4-H leadership (including the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture) and to learn how to better youth-adult partnerships. The program reinforces the ties 4-H has to the cooperative Extension Service and the land-grant university systems that make 4-H possible.
During the conference, several roundtable discussions generate ideas for club and community improvement, encouraging students to implement these ideas in their home states. Some of this year’s roundtable discussion topics include mental health, bullying, entrepreneurship, and the effects of opioids on youth. Through the roundtable process, students also cultivate and hone valuable leadership skills including team-building, flexibility, and communications.
On Capitol Hill Day, delegates have the opportunity to become more familiar with the national government by meeting with the secretary of agriculture and Nebraska’s own senators and representatives to discuss prominent issues the students see in their home states and communities. While at conference, students will not only be given the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill, but also the chance to explore other historical monuments in our nation’s capital.
Upon returning from national conference, each member of the national conference team will complete a service project by June the following year. Service projects will be a part of Nebraska’s back home plan and may be either a group or individual program depending upon the strengths and ideas of the youth-adult team that participates.
The service project is the delegate’s opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills and develop a program that initiates community change.