University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program

National 4-H Conference

National 4-H Conference logo

National 4-H Conference 2021
"Shaping the Future"
April 10 – 14, 2021

The 2021 National 4-H Conference will be held virtually.The format will be a little different from previous years.

Delegates will be assigned a collegiate facilitator (4-H alumni!) who will guide participants in Roundtables to explore current issues affecting youth and the role 4-H can play in addressing them.

Delegates work together in the four weeks prior to the conference to prepare briefings on important topics. During the conference, delegates will virtually present their prepared briefings to federal officials in Washington, D.C.



4-H youth members ages 16 - 19 who have not participated in the National 4-H Conference

Completed applications must include the following

  • Online application with 4-H Resume attached
  • Two references submitted online.

Please review the 2021 Conference information and schedule before completing your application.

References should include one each of the following

  • 4-H Staff (employee): Program Rep, Program Assistant, 4-H YD Advisor, or County Director
  • 4-H Member or recent 4-H alumni (not over 21 years of age)

References should not be from family. Reference will only be accepted through the provided survey. Additional Letters of Reference will not be accepted.

Submit by 8:00 am February 22, 2021


Please contact Jenna Colburn at with questions.


Sponsorship of California 4-H's delegation

Thanks to a generous sponsorship from the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation through the California 4-H Foundation, all costs are covered for the California 4-H delegation.


National 4-H Conference team 2019
National 4-H Conference team 2019

About the National 4-H Conference

The National 4-H Conference is the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture's premier youth development opportunity to engage youth in developing recommendations for the 4-H Youth Development Program.

This event brings together youth, volunteer leaders, and state and county extension staff members from across the United States, the U.S. territories, and the Canadian provinces. 


Sponsored by the National 4-H Headquarters

As the sponsor for this conference, the National 4-H Headquarters is charged with sharing the recommendations that emerge from the conference with the Secretary of Agriculture, national extension program leaders, and others who determine 4-H programs. At the same time, the National 4-H Headquarters ensures that the conference is a meaningful experience for youth and adult participants.


Purpose of California’s Delegation to the National 4-H Conference

  1. Provide opportunities for California youth and adults to participate in and contribute to 4-H on the national level.

  2. Assist California 4-H Youth Development in strengthening youth-adult partnerships and involving youth, volunteers, and staff in 4-H decision-making.

  3. Provide a system for an exchange of 4-H Youth Development programming ideas among states.

  4. Make legislators aware of the tremendous impact of the 4-H program.


2021 Conference Highlights

Theme: Shaping the Future

Keynote Speaker

Michelle Cummings M.S, a former Kansas 4-H member, is the Big Wheel and founder of Training Wheels, a known leader in the Team Development industry. She is also the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer for Personify Leadership, a Leadership Development organization. Michelle is an accomplished author and a dynamic, sought-after speaker in the areas of leadership, team building, and experiential learning. Michelle has created a wide variety of facilitation, debriefing and team building activities that have collectively changed the way trainers and educators work.

Welcome Statement

Provided by the Secretary of Agriculture or designated representative


National 4-H Conference experience

Providing the Youth Perspective on Physical Activity Messaging

Every spring, 4-H clubs send delegates to the National 4-H Conference to put their skills into practice by addressing a challenge posed by a federal agency. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) challenged a group of 4-H members to identify different adolescent ‘activity styles,’ or personas, and to provide the youth perspective for how to communicate the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to adolescents. Read more on the News Blog


Watch the videos below to learn more about different aspects of the National 4-H Conference


My favorite part of the conference


Meeting with legislators

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