More than 500 teens, volunteer leaders, and Virginia Cooperative Extension agents will attend the 91st annual 4-H State Congress at Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus from June 20 to 23.

This year’s theme, “4-H on Fire: This Is Why We’re Hot,” will allow teens to show their passion for the leadership, citizenship, and life skills they learn through 4-H.

As Extension’s youth development service, Virginia 4-H engages youth ages 5 to 19 in hands-on educational programs and activities designed to help them gain the knowledge, life skills, and attitudes needed to further their development as self-directing, contributing, productive members of society. Contact your local Extension office for more information about 4-H State Congress and other Virginia 4-H events in your area.

Cynthia Kinser, the first woman to serve as chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court and a former 4-H’er, will share words of wisdom about civic engagement during the opening assembly. Author, coach, and renowned motivational speaker J. Thurman will also empower 4-H delegates to maximize their potential at an evening assembly on the first day.

During the event, 4-H delegates will participate in fun and educational workshops that cover animal science, communications and expressive arts, healthy living, environmental education, and technology and engineering. Whether 4-H’ers are learning about the history and care of alpacas, discovering the art of ballroom dancing, receiving first aid training and certification, finding out the basics of beekeeping, or building LEGO robots, they will have plenty of opportunities to show off their skills and expand their horizons.

New in 2011, the State 4-H Cabinet is sponsoring a service project to support Heifer International, an Arkansas-based nonprofit dedicated to relieving global hunger and poverty. The Bills for Beef campaign will allow 4-H members across the commonwealth to support Heifer International’s work to provide gifts of livestock, plants, and education on sustainable agriculture to financially disadvantaged families around the world. The 4-H State Cabinet has asked each delegate to raise at least $5 to support this effort.

Virginia 4-H will also continue the Congress Heroes program. Through this initiative, youth share information with corporate and private partners to help generate funds to support Virginia 4-H and to provide an avenue for 4-H’ers to have their congress registration fee sponsored.

The 2011 4-H State Congress will also give participants a chance to compete for awards in dozens of areas, with the winners advancing to regional and national contests. There will also be dances, sporting events, and a banquet.

As always, 4-H delegates will experience what life might be like as a Virginia Tech student. In addition, Virginia Tech representatives will answer questions and promote their programs at a career and college expo. Other colleges, universities, and technical schools in Virginia have been invited to participate.



Share this story