Eight 4-H members from New Jersey were selected to represent the state at the 90th National 4-H Conference held virtually from April 6-14. The New Jersey delegates who participated include Hannah Beck of Stewartsville, Warren County; Victoria Foster from Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County; Emily Hyson from Port Norris, Cumberland County; Jiya Mody of Martinsville, Somerset County; Olive Scaff of Cream Ridge, Monmouth County; Sumedha Sabbani from Robbinsville, Mercer County; Jack Saunders of Westfield, Union County; and Will Teitsma from Newton, Sussex County.
Each year the conference provides a forum for more than 250 4-H members, leaders and staff from 36 states and territories. These teens offer a voice in program development for future 4-H direction. The theme for this year’s conference was “Shaping the Future”.
I really enjoyed meeting and working with delegates from all different states. It was nice being able to collaborate with a group of people to create a presentation that could help initiate change in society. I also enjoyed the guest speakers. They were very informative and inspirational. I learned a lot from the speakers as well as the workshops! – Sumedha Sabbani, Mercer County.
The National 4-H Conference is the premier civic engagement opportunity for 4-H members (15-19 years old) who are actively engaged in 4-H programs across the U.S. and its territories. The conference is administered by the Division of 4-H and Youth of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 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.
National 4-H Conference helped me learn how to use the diverse ideas from many group partners to create a well-rounded project. The best part was working with a group of fellow 4-H’ers who were equally passionate about being part of the conference. The facilitators were so welcoming and helpful when we were putting our ideas together. Even though we were not in person there was still a strong bond created by all of us. -Emily Hyson, Cumberland County.
Conference delegates participated in an application review and interview process and were chosen based on their leadership and communication skills and active participation in the 4-H program. “They also share an overall knowledge of the mission of 4-H and a broad understanding of Cooperative Extension,” says Jeannette Rea Keywood, State 4-H Agent & National 4-H Events Coordinator, Department of 4-H Youth Development.
The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades K-13 (one year out of high school), on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, domestic partnership status, military service, veteran status and any other category protected by law.
For more information about the New Jersey 4-H Program, administered by Rutgers Cooperative Extension visit the website at http://nj4h.rutgers.edu