BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota 4-H members from Day, Clark, Haakon/Jackson and Pennington Counties traveled to Washington DC to attend the National 4-H Conference this April.
"The trip to DC was life changing! I met new friends, saw national monuments and was able to work with other students from all over the US to present a topic that I was excited to speak about," said Sage Gabriel, a 4-H member from Haakon/Jackson Counties.
Other South Dakota 4-H members to travel with Gabriel include: Kayla Fischer, Day County; Emily Foiles, Clark County; Mary-Katherine Schlichte, Pennington County and Jaicee Williams, Pennington County.
The trip was sponsored and funded by the 4-H Livestock Industry Trust Fund.
More about the National 4-H Conference
The National 4-H Conference is a premier professional and leadership development event for 4-H members, ages 16 to 19, from across the U.S. and its territories.
The conference is administered by the National 4-H Headquarters of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Held annually, except for several years during World War II, the camp's mission is to assist in the development of the next generation's leaders. Delegates attend training workshops, become acquainted with government and have the opportunity to meet with state leaders.
During the conference, all participating youth attended several roundtables focused on the following topics:
- Conservation: Department of Agriculture (USDA); Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS)
- Juveniles: Department of Justice (DOJ); Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
- Opioids: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); National Institute of Health (NIH); National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- Preparedness: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD)
- Social Media: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- Texting: Department of Transportation (DOT); National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
South Dakota's youth also participated in the following workshops:
- Revive Civility
- Speaking for 4-H
"The people were great and the memories were even better. I will never forget about the trip that helped me realize that it doesn't matter how old you are to make a change in your community," said Jaicee Williams, a 4-H member from Pennington County.
The youth were selected to attend based on involvement in 4-H Citizenship and community service, and the leadership skills that they have developed through 4-H activities. To learn more about how you can become involved in South Dakota 4-H as a member or volunteer, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing icon.
South Dakota 4-H
SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.
South Dakota 4-H members and SDSU Extension staff who attended and are pictured here include: (left to right) Amanda Bachmann, SDSU Extension Pesticide Education & Urban Entomology Field Specialist; Emily Foiles, Day County; Connie Strunk, SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist; Jaicee Williams, Pennington County; Mary-Katherine Schlichte, Pennington County; SD Representative Kristi Noem; Kayla Fischer, Day County; SD Senator John Thune; Sage Gabriel, Haakon/Jackson Counties; Donna Bittiker (former SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director) and Amanda Stade, SDSU Extension State 4-H Events Management Coordinator.