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Virginia Tech to host 96th annual 4-H Congress

students in a garden

4-H Congress participants take part in myriad educational activities during their time on campus in Blacksburg. Pictured here, students take an educational tour of Virginia Tech’s Hahn Horticulture Garden with Alex Niemiera, professor of horticulture and woody plants curator.

More than 500 eager 4-H members and volunteers will descend upon Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus June 27-30, 2016, for the 96th annual Virginia 4-H State Congress.

4-H State Congress is the premier 4-H event for outstanding 4-H teens and adult volunteer leaders. Its mission is to provide competitive and noncompetitive educational experiences for Virginia teens to help them develop the life skills and leadership abilities needed to become contributing citizens in their communities.

Each year, participants are offered dozens of workshops, showcases, and competitions to take part in during their time at 4-H State Congress. The activities cover topics such as communication and expressive arts, healthy living, leadership, service learning, animal science, and environmental science and outdoor education. Participants customize their experience by choosing to participate in the activities that most interest them.

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Living the Legacy — 4-H Forever

After 95 years, Virginia’s State 4-H Congress remains the premier 4-H event, drawing more than 450 young adults from across the commonwealth to the campus of Virginia Tech for four days of learning, leadership, and fun.

“4-H Congress provides members an opportunity to develop life skills and hone their leadership abilities while forging new friendships,” said Tonya Price, an Extension 4-H youth development specialist.

This year’s theme — Living the Legacy – 4-H Forever — drew upon the history of 4-H and its power to assist teens in developing leadership, citizenship, and life skills through hands-on educational programs.

During congress, delegates have the opportunity to compete in events like food challenges and extemporaneous speaking contests. They can also attend workshops to learn more about 4-H competitions like the electric challenge or cattle working. And while at congress, delegates participate in a service-learning project.

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4-H’ers honor the history of 4-H while working toward a better future at the 2014 State Congress

4-H'ers gather at the Virginia Tech War Memorial Chapel Pylons during a previous 4-H State Congress.

4-H’ers gather at the Virginia Tech War Memorial Chapel Pylons during a previous 4-H State Congress.

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 12, 2014 – More than 500 teens, volunteer leaders, and Virginia Cooperative Extension agents will gather on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus June 16-19 for the 94th annual 4-H State Congress.

This year’s theme, “Celebrating the Past, Making It Last,” draws on the history of 4-H and demonstrates the power of 4-H to assist teens in developing leadership, citizenship, and life skills through hands-on educational programs.

Special this year, State 4-H Congress will host a Centennial Celebration Luncheon to honor the 100-year anniversary of Cooperative Extension. Delegates will deepen their understanding of 4-H and Extension by viewing displays, a slideshow, and interviews of people whose lives have been impacted by 4-H. Special guest speakers, as well as 4-H alumni, retirees, and former employees, will join the luncheon.

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4-H Day at the State Capitol expected to draw more than 800 youth to Richmond Feb. 11

Several hundred 4-H'ers gather on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol in 2013.

Several hundred 4-H’ers gather on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol in 2013.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 10, 2014 – More than 800 4-H members will visit Richmond on Tuesday, Feb. 11, to meet with their legislators and learn about Virginia’s legislative branch of government for the annual 4-H Day at the State Capitol.

Virginia 4-H sponsors the annual trip to Richmond for 4-H’ers across the commonwealth to learn about the legislative process and to express their gratitude to state delegates and senators who support the 4-H youth development programs.

“More than 800 young people will be developing a better understanding of citizenship and will see how their state government works. 4-H members will present each representative with a shamrock plant as a way to thank them for making Virginia 4-H possible,” said Cathy Sutphin, associate director for 4-H, the youth development program for Virginia Cooperative Extension. “We are excited that a record number of 4-H members will be attending this year’s event.”

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4-Hers find the path to success paved in practicing leadership and good citizenry skills at 2013 congress

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 17, 2013 – Five hundred teens, volunteer leaders, and Virginia Cooperative Extension agents will gather at Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus June 17-20, for the 93rd annual 4-H State Congress. This year’s theme, “The Path to Success, Luck Has Nothing to Do with It,” draws on the six pillars of character that are the foundation of the 4-H philosophy and demonstrates how young people can live as exemplary citizens through the life skills they learn as 4-H members.

Miss Virginia 2012, Rosemary Willis, will open the congress on June 17. She will share her experience as a high school student who overcame great adversity after sustaining a brain injury that left her sedentary and unable to engage in regular exercise. Her experience caused her to discover the significance of exercise in her life and was a catalyst for her desire to educate the public about the importance of physical activity through her “get moving today for a healthier tomorrow” initiative.

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