By Peyton Pangburn, Worth County 4-H Member
AMES, Iowa -- As delegates to the National 4-H Conference, five Iowa 4-H members are grateful for the opportunity they had to play a contributing role in government, and work with other youth from across the United States on current youth issues.
Brendan Mass, Eric Keller, Kelsie Kinne, Peyton Pangburn and Julia Quisley represented Iowa 4-H at the national conference, April 6-11 in the Washington, D.C., area.
“This conference is a pinnacle 4-H experience, and a prestigious opportunity for 4-H members across the country,” said Bonnie Dalager, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H youth program specialist.
Participants were chosen through a selective application and interview process a year ago, where they were evaluated on their experience and skills in leadership, communications and civic engagement.
“Being selected for this opportunity was so rewarding. There really isn’t anything else like it, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience,” said Pangburn, a delegate from Worth County.
Keller, a Tama County delegate, said being selected for opportunities such as the National 4-H Conference “represent a lot of hard work and are a reminder to me of many life lessons that 4-H has taught me over the years.”
National 4-H Conference is a working conference. Delegates participate in extensive roundtable sessions and workshops over the course of two days in preparation for presentations to partners at government bureaus and agencies. Out of a selection of 16 topics, Iowa delegates contributed to ag challenges, safe driving, mental health, cyberbullying and healthy relationships roundtables. Partnering organizations included the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Senate.
Other aspects of the trip included the chance to see the city with a monument tour, and the opportunity to meet with members of Iowa’s congressional delegation. The Iowa 4-H youth had personal meetings with Senators Joni Ernst and Charles Grassley, and Representative Dave Loebsack; as well as meetings with the staff of Representatives Steve King and Abby Finkenauer.
“National 4-H Conference will be an experience these accomplished young people will cherish for years to come,” said Dalager. “I hope they’ll continue to advocate for the topics that they feel strongly about to benefit their communities and our world.”
Iowa’s delegates to the 2019 National 4-H Conference
Brendan Mass, Mills County, is the son of Nathan and Sandra Mass. An eight-year 4-H member, he has participated in the beef project, his county council, and Region 17 Leadership Council, as well as many other aspects of the 4-H experience. He attends Treynor High School, where he is involved in many student-led organizations ranging from Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 to SPY Church Youth Group.
Eric Keller, Tama County, is the son of Ryan and Melissa Keller. An eight-year 4-H member, Keller has completed projects in communications, leadership, woodworking, animal science, food and nutrition, veterinary science, photography, and 4-H Shooting Sports, and has exhibited many livestock projects. Keller is homeschooled and active in his county council, as an Iowa 4-H Safety and Education in Shooting Sports Ambassador, and as a National 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador. He received the 2018 Iowa 4-H Foundation's Contributing Youth Award and took sixth place in muzzleloading in the 2017 4-H National Shootings Sports Championship. He has also received the state project communications and poultry awards.
Kelsie Kinne, Worth County, is the daughter of Kevin and Sarah Kinne. A six-year 4-H member, she has participated in sewing and needle arts, food and nutrition, home improvement, visual arts, and dairy goats. She attends Central Springs High School and is a member of the Golden Banner 4-H Club. Kinne has been involved in various leadership roles in 4-H, including club historian as well as being a part of her county council.
Peyton Pangburn, Worth County, is the daughter of Donald and Bryn Pangburn. A seven-year 4-H member, she has participated in swine, horse, poultry, photography, visual arts and communication project areas. She attends Northwood-Kensett High School, where she is a member of the student council. She has also been president, vice president and secretary of her 4-H club. In 2017 she received a state project award in swine. Peyton is also a member of the livestock judging team, serves on Worth County 4-H Council, and is a swine junior superintendent for the Worth County Fair.
Julia Quisley, Worth County, is the daughter of Dave and Chris Quisley. Quisley has participated in beef, woodworking, sewing and needle arts, leadership, and citizenship. She attends Northwood-Kensett High School and has been president, vice president, and secretary of her 4-H club. She has also participated in State Council and her county council.
Photo: From left to right are Eric Keller, Julia Quisley, Kelsie Kinne, Peyton Pangburn and Brendan Mass – Iowa’s delegates to the 2019 National 4-H Conference.