Pair travels to D.C.

Locals selected to attend national 4-H conference

Kristie Kowalski

Kristie Kowalski

Kristie Kowalski, 17, a local member of the Mohave County Interstate Exchange 4-H Club and Cotey Noble, 18, a member of the Mohave County Interstate Exchange 4-H Club and Thundering Hoofs 4-H Club represented Arizona at the 78th National 4-H Conference in Washington D.C.

They were two of four members selected state-wide to represent the University of Arizona's Agriculture and Life Sciences' 4-H Youth Development Program.

"It is quite an honor to be selected as a delegate to National 4-H Conference. It is one of the crowning culminations of these young people's tenure in the 4-H Youth Development Program," said Eugene Sander, dean of the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

"It's been several years since Mohave County has seen this honor. We have been very fortunate in having youth selected, but two in the same year was fantastic, a tribute to what these fine young people have accomplished," said Gerald Olson, local 4-H Youth Development agent for Mohave County.

Kowalski, an eight-year 4-H member and a junior at Kingman High School, and Noble, a five-year 4-H member and a senior at Kingman Academy of Learning High School, traveled to Washington D.C., March 29 to April 3 to attend the conference at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center.

They met with representatives of the United States Department of Agriculture as well as United States congressmen and senators.

While at the conference, they toured historic sites and monuments, learning about government in action.

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

Kowalski and Noble submitted their resumes and application and were selected for a personal interview for which they had to prepare a five minute speech.

As society becomes more environmentally conscious, how can the 4-H Youth Development Program aid in enhancing socially significant and relevant programming to increase the environmental awareness of our clubs, our communities, our country and our world.

Ed Begley, Jr. was the keynote speaker for the 2008 National 4-H Conference.

When it comes to taking personal responsibility for the environment, few individuals can match the record of actor and activist Begley, known for turning up at Hollywood events on his bicycle. He served as chairman of the Environmental Media Association and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

Begley first came to audiences' attention for his portrayal of Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the long-running hit television series "St. Elsewhere," for which he received six Emmy nominations. Since then, Begley has moved easily between feature films, television and theater projects such as "Batman Forever," "The Inlaws," recurring roles on "Six Feet Under," "Arrested Development" and was most recently featured in "Veronica Mars" and "CSI: Miami."

The National 4-H Conference is a working conference in which youth and adults, at the invitation of the U.S. secretary of Agriculture, assist in the development of recommendations to help guide 4-H Youth Development Programs nationally and in their communities.

This event brings together youth, volunteer leaders and state and county Extension staff members from across the United States, the U.S. Territories and Canadian Provinces.

When the conference began in 1927, it was known as the National 4-H Camp and delegates slept in tents on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Since 1959, the conference has been housed at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md. The Conference Center is operated by 4-H s private partner, the National 4-H Council.

As the sponsor for this conference, the National 4-H Headquarters at the U.S. Department of Agriculture 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.

The program is built upon the Cooperative Extension System's belief that young people can be significant partners in addressing the issues that face our nation, especially those affecting the youth.

Each year, a National Design Team of Extension educators, 4-H youth and 4-H adult volunteers analyze current youth issues and determine the most effective ways to address them.

The program combines plenary sessions, seminars, discussion groups and a service learning experience. The nation's most outstanding community leaders, speakers and educators present the most current and timely information available.

The program is designed to help 4-H young people develop the knowledge base and leadership skills to positively affect change in our world.