Wade Howard, a Senior Agriculture Leadership major at Texas Tech University recently served as a Collegiate Ambassador for the National 4-H Conference in Washington, DC. Wade was one of 13 collegiate 4-H members selected nationwide to serve as an ambassador and the only ambassador chosen from Texas. The event was March 22-29, 2012.
The National 4-H Conference is the premier professional and leadership development event for approximately 350 4-H members (15-19 years) 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.).
The purpose of the National 4-H Conference is engage 4-H youth in personal development experiences that will increase knowledge, resources and skills, discuss topics affecting youth and 4-H programming nationwide and empower and mobilize 4-H youth to create positive social change in their communities in a meaningful and genuine way.
The objectives of the National 4-H Conference is to 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, 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 and 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.