4-H National Conference Highlight: Jared

Crawford county 4-Her Jared Rose learned about the "Science of Music" by partnering with the Smithsonian.

Jared is a Crawford County 4-H'er

Jared is a Crawford County 4-H'er

4-H for me has always been about so much more than the projects. It is about the experiences and the friends. This year I had the privilege and the honor to represent Pennsylvania at the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C. I was one of four delegates from PA, and over 250 from the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. All of the events of the week were held at the National 4-H Conference Center.

As National Conference is the less well known of the national 4-H events, I wasn’t sure what to expect going in. Delegates are split into groups of about fifteen other 4-Hers from around the country, called roundtables. These groups spend the week discussing a topic proposed by a government agency, culminating with briefing that agency on the group’s ideas. Topics for this year’s Conference included things like water conservation, social equity and the future of agriculture, and roundtable groups presented their ideas to agencies from the FBI to the House Committee on Agriculture. My roundtable discussed using music as a part of STEM education for the Smithsonian Institute.

For me, the best part of the week was seeing the impact that we had on the agencies we presented to. The directors and VIPs of the agencies came to see the briefings and meet the 4-Hers. Even more inspiring, the ideas that we had were taken seriously and even planned to be implemented and used. It is truly awe-inspiring to see the impact that 4-H can have on some of the most influential men and women in the world.

Once the work was done, there was time for fun. Visiting Washington, D.C. is something that every American citizen should do at least once. As one of the representatives we visited reminded us, that city belongs to us, and the politicians there work for us. The National Conference delegates took a night tour of some of the most famous monuments, and had the chance to do more sightseeing the next day. We had the opportunity to meet with our representatives and senators as well.

Though I have visited Washington D.C. several times, I always learn something new, and being there with fellow 4-Hers made this visit even more memorable. National 4-H Conference is an unparalleled learning experience, and a great way to make new friends.

If you have any questions about National 4-H Conference, please feel free to email me at jmrose@windstream.net.