About the National 4-H Conference

National 4-H Conference delegates have an opportunity to increase knowledge, resources, and skills that will empower them to make an impact on their community in a meaningful and genuine way.

Background

The National 4-H Conference is the premier civic engagement opportunity for 4-H members (15-19 yrs.) who are actively engaged in 4-H programs across the U.S. and its territories. The conference is administered by 4-H National Headquarters of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This experience upholds a tradition dating back to 1927. Known then as the “National 4-H Club Camp”, delegates slept in tents on the grounds of the National Mall in front of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, DC. Held annually, except for several years during World War II, the camp served to develop the next generation of leaders. Delegates attended training workshops, became acquainted with government and had the opportunity to meet with state leaders. In 1958, the event name was changed to National 4-H Conference and, in 1959, the meeting moved from the National Mall to the newly founded National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, MD (right outside of Washington, D.C.).

National 4-H Conference Logic Model

The National 4-H Conference Logic Model stems from the Citizenship Mission Mandate logic models. National 4-H Conference is specifically focused on civic engagement, civic education, and personal development.

Delegates arrive at the National 4-H Conference Center ready to connect, learn, engage, lead and impact their communities, their nation and their world. Here is how it plays out:

  • Delegates self-select into round table topics during registration
  • Round table sessions are conducted during the conference where in a group, delegates:
  • identify and develop their perspective on the topic through research and deliberation
  • find and share their own voice by listening and contributing
  • develop a briefing on the topic that includes background information, facts, and recommendations
  • Workshops are conducted to enhance the delegates’ knowledge, competencies, and skills related to civic engagement
  • Every delegate, as part of their roundtable team, goes to a federal agency that has interest in their topic. The roundtable team presents their briefing to the federal agency representatives and engages in meaningful dialogue.
  • State delegations arrange visits to their Congressional delegations to on Capitol Hill. This continues delegates’ experience in developing and sharing their voice with decision makers
  • Delegates connect with each other throughout the conference through fun and educational opportunities
  • Delegates enjoy a true partnership with roundtable facilitators, the conference leadership team, adult advisors, and federal staff from 4-H National Headquarters and many other agencies.

Purpose

Provide an opportunity for 4-H members to:

  1. engage 4-H youth in personal development experiences that will increase knowledge, resources, and skills;
  2. discuss topics affecting youth and 4-H programming nationwide; and
  3. empower and mobilize 4-H youth to create positive social change in their communities in a meaningful and genuine way.

Objectives

  • Learn – Provide youth a broad- based learning experience in which they will acquire practical knowledge and skills to reinforce the attitudes and motivation that will give them a heightened sense of responsibility and capacity to connect as active members of their communities, nation and world.
  • Practice – Engage youth in hands-on educational activities in which they explore, practice and master existing and newly developed skills/knowledge in civic engagement, civic education and personal development.
  • Apply – Facilitate direct opportunities for youth to apply what was learned in real world experiences in which they develop leadership skills using their voices, work, ideas and/or behavior to make a difference in their community, country and world.

National 4-H Conference is the pinnacle experience in 4-H Citizenship, providing the opportunity for young people to connect, learn, engage, lead and impact their communities, their nation and their world.

 

Recorded Webinar: Enhancing the Framework: National 4-H Conference

Future Conference Dates

  • April 9-14, 2016
  • March 25-30, 2017