Watch What Happens
Land Grant University 4‑H Departments send delegations of 4‑H youth between ages 15 and 19 to participate in the National 4‑H Conference. Delegates work together in the four weeks prior to the conference to prepare briefings on important topics. During the conference, delegates will virtually present their prepared briefings to federal officials in Washington, D.C. 4‑H youth also have the opportunity to engage in personal development experiences that increase their knowledge, resources, and skills while discussing topics affecting youth and 4‑H programming nationwide.
Delegates not only learn while at the conference: they are empowered to create positive social change in their communities and have the opportunity to practice and apply their skills in a real-world setting.
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.
The Division of Youth and 4‑H (DY4‑H) extends an invitation on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture, to the more than 100 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities across the U.S. and U.S. Territories to send a delegation to the National 4‑H Conference. Each land-grant institution has a process by which it selects delegates to represent their 4‑H program at the National 4‑H Conference. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a delegate, contact your land-grant college or university’s State 4‑H Program Office.Find Your State 4‑H Office
National 4‑H Conference is a working conference – and the work begins before delegates arrive.
At the conference Youth Delegates participate in Roundtables to explore current issues affecting youth and the role 4‑H can play in addressing them. Prior to the conference, each youth chooses a topic and works together with others to develop a presentation of findings and discussions to share with federal agency’s key decision makers.
Delegates study the roundtable topic information sent to them by National 4‑H Conference and research their topic within their state. Delegates should be well informed about their local 4‑H program, local/state 4‑H demographics, 4‑H programming within the state, the role of Cooperative Extension and the land-grant university in 4‑H, and most importantly, the basic history and structure of 4‑H. This preparation allows them to jump into the topic discussion and bring perspective from their state during the four-week planning period prior to the conference.View Roundtable Topics
Each delegate to the National 4‑H Conference will need to be registered for the conference. Each land-grant institution has a designated conference delegation coordinator who manages the registration process for their delegation. Completed and signed forms should be returned to the delegation coordinator at the State 4‑H Program Office. Delegation Coordinators will process individual registration as part of the state delegation.
Find more information on how to register and appropriate forms, on the registration page.View Registration Information
Youth Leadership Team & Roundtable Facilitators
The National 4‑H Conference Program Committee, under the direction of the Division of Youth and 4‑H, is responsible for the logistical planning and execution of National 4‑H Conference. Members consist of high school students, college students, Extension staff members, and Division of Youth and 4‑H staff members representing 4‑H programs at the local, state and national level. The committee is made up of approximately 30 members (youth and adults) who work together through a variety of opportunities to develop the programming and logistics of National 4‑H Conference.
The overall Program Committee is comprised of 2 subgroups – the Youth Leadership Team and the Roundtable Facilitators – each with specific planning and implementation objectives. The Youth Leadership Team (YLT) has up to six youth members, two Extension staff members from states, and one member of the Division of Youth and 4‑H. There are sixteen roundtable facilitators and one lead facilitator.
Delegation Chaperones are valuable participants in National 4‑H Conference and Youth-Adult Partnerships are essential to a successful conference.
- Delegation Chaperones must be at least 25 years old or Extension Staff professionals.
- Adult volunteers should be selected by their respective land-grant institution 4‑H Program Office and meet their 4‑H program's chaperoning requirements.
- All chaperones are required to go through the eXtension online chaperone training (password is N4HRM) or a chaperone training provided by your state/LGU. You are encouraged to participate in two pre-conference webinars.
Delegation Chaperones responsibilities include:
- Ensure the health and safety of their state delegates, as well as all youth delegates.
- Be informed about any delegates' special needs and communicate special needs as appropriate.
- Serve as the "adult voice" and provide guidance to all youth delegates at all times.
Before the Conference
- Be familiar with the Conference Handbook (Coming Soon)
- Complete chaperone training and participate in the pre-conference webinars
- Assist delegates with conference pre-work which will include preparing for round table topics
- Review the delegate and conference program/schedule with delegates
- Attend all conference and special events
- Manage registration for their delegation
- Participate in the Adult Advisor orientation. Adult Advisor workshops are optional, but encouraged
- Check in with the Conference Office as needed
- Facilitate meetings with their delegations during designated time, including reviewing the next day’s program, talking about work done in delegate round tables, and planning for application of skills learned when youth have returned home
- Report emergencies to Conference staff as needed
- Enforce the dress code
- Address Code of Conduct violations and are prepared to remove delegates from virtual participation early if necessary
- If ill, arrange for another delegation adult advisor to supervise your youth delegates and report this to Conference staff
If you have questions contact National 4‑H Conference at 240-386-7350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference Key Dates
Conference Dates: April 10 – 14, 2021 (Virtual)
January 12, 2021: Registration information available
January 26, 2021: Registration opens
February 16, 2021: Chaperone orientation webinar 3PM Eastern
March 5, 2021: Roundtable assignments
March 8, 2021: Facilitator contacts delegates
March 12: Registration closes
Please check back soon for updated dates and schedule details.
At the conference Youth Delegates participate in Roundtables to explore current issues affecting youth and the role 4‑H can play in addressing them. Each youth chooses a topic prior to the conference. During the conference, youth develop a presentation on their findings and discussions to share with a federal agency’s key decision makers.
Delegates study the roundtable topic information sent to them by National 4‑H Conference and research their topic within their state. Delegates should be well informed about their local 4‑H program, local/state 4‑H demographics, 4‑H programming within the state, the role of Cooperative Extension and the land-grant university in 4‑H, and most importantly, the basic history and structure of 4‑H. This preparation allows them to jump into the topic discussion and bring perspective from their state.
Please review this list of Roundtable Topics and indicate your first three choices on the conference registration form.
2021 Rountable Topics
- Career Paths
- Civil Discourse
- Cyber Bullying
- Healthy Families
- Natural Resource Preservation
- Next Generation Agriculture
- Optimal Health
- Pressure and Stress
- Science Education
- Transportation and Youth
- Value of Extension Programs
- Youth Apprenticeships
- Youth and Opioids
Taking It Home
Empowering and mobilizing 4‑H youth to create positive social change in their communities in a meaningful and genuine way.
As a National 4‑H Conference delegate, we expect you to spend time prior to, during, and after Conference planning, implementing, and evaluating an idea/program that you would like to work on back in your local community or state. The following resources are designed to assist you and your adult partner in the process.
Resources to Assist Adult Partners in Understanding Civic Engagement
Note: These resources have been recommended by various 4‑H staff across the country. Inclusion in this list does not constitute any endorsement of these resources by 4‑H National Headquarters.
Center for Disease Control
University of Minnesota Center for Youth Development
Registration to attend the National 4‑H Conference is coordinated through each state’s 4‑H program office. Youth and adult participants are selected by their respective state 4‑H program and attend the conference as part of a group delegation. NO individual registrations are accepted.
2021 Payments and Fees
- Program expenses
- Exclusive Conference Box containing 4‑H swag, 2021 conference t-shirt and conference materials
- Youth Delegates – $325
- Delegation Adult Advisors – Free
Payment methods include P.O.; credit card (Visa, MasterCard and Discover); and check.
If a member of your delegation is unable to attend, you must send an email cancellation notice to email@example.com no later than February 23, 2021, for a full refund. If your cancellation notice is received after cancellation date there is no refund.
For questions contact National 4‑H Conference at 240-386-7350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Meeting Information
Pre-conference meetings will be scheduled via ZOOM. Meeting invitation will be sent out after delegates are assigned to groups based upon topic of interest to prepare briefings.
Meeting links for dates and times April 10-15 will be sent separately following registration.