AMES, Iowa – Abbey Smith of Madison County has been selected to represent Iowa as a delegate for the National 4-H Congress entitled “Accept the Challenge” in Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 27 – Dec. 1. One of 22 Iowa youth attending, she is sponsored by the Iowa 4-H Foundation National 4-H Congress Endowment and will get a chance to listen to speakers, participate in workshops and serve the Atlanta community.
“National 4-H Congress is an amazing opportunity for Iowa 4-H’ers,” said Brenda Allen, Iowa State University Extension 4-H youth developmental specialist. “Not only do youth meet delegates from across the country, they also have the opportunity to hear nationally-renowned speakers and participate in thought-provoking workshops.”
The workshop topics include team building, cultural issues and leadership skills, and the community service projects take place in the Atlanta area. Tours of Atlanta, an international night and a trip to the Atlanta History Museum are among other things also included.
Smith, 16, is the daughter of R.W. and Cindy Smith of Adel. Through interviews and evaluation of support materials, she and the other 21 delegates were selected based on their citizenship, leadership and overall achievement in the 4-H program.
During her eight years in 4-H, Smith has been involved in the communication, veterinary science, horse and food and nutrition project areas, while receiving a state 4-H dog project award and top record book and citizenship awards at the local level. She has also helped younger members in her county learn about the horse and dog project areas.
“My favorite part of 4-H is helping the younger members with their animals,” she said. “The joy on a young member’s face when they do well in a class is indescribable, and I know that I helped them accomplish that.”
In addition to projects, Smith has served as her county 4-H council’s president and as a member of her county youth committee and area 4-H council. She has attended the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and is currently a junior at Adel-Desoto-Minburn High School.
“4-H has helped me gain leadership roles in my community and county,” she said. “It has also given me more citizenship roles, which will be important for the rest of my life.”
Two ISU Extension youth development field specialists, Ray Reynolds and Daleta Christensen, will accompany the Iowa delegates as chaperones.
For more information about 4-H, contact the Madison County office of ISU Extension. 4-H in Iowa is administered through the ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development program and headquartered on the ISU campus in Ames.
Hannah McCulloh, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-9915, email@example.com
Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, firstname.lastname@example.org