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Local Youth Attends Annual Tennessee 4-H Congress

Janice Hayslett

4-H Congress4-H congress1For Immediate Release

Left to right top picture:  Malik Phipps, Deandra Bush, Representative Sherry Jones, London Smith and Lise' Smith

Left to right bottom picture:  Malik Phipps, Deandra Bush, Representative Gary Odom and London Smith

April, 2014

Contact: Janice Hayslett

Davidson County 4-H Agent

Phone: 615-862-5995

Local Youth Attends Annual Tennessee 4-H Congress

For the 67th year, 4-H members from across Tennessee gathered in Nashville for Tennessee 4-H Congress.  The annual event, which took place March 30-April 2, gives 4-H’ers the opportunity to learn about the day–to-day functioning of state government by assuming the roles of state representatives and senators.  Since its beginning in 1948, 4-H Congress has given more than 33,000 4-H’ers and volunteer leaders firsthand experience in state government.


Approximately 400 high-school age 4-H’ers from all over the state met to become legislators and form a “junior” state Congress.  They had the opportunity to debate and vote on youth-oriented bills in the House and Senate Chambers.  In addition to learning about government and their State Capitol, delegates competed in public speaking, poster and essay contests.  4-H’ers also competed in leadership and citizenship projects for college scholarship money and trips to the National 4-H Congress in Atlanta.  The theme for State Congress and for all 4-H programs in 2014 is “Tennessee 4-H: Geared for Greatness.”


“Tennessee 4-H Congress is one of the highlights for our 4-H program,” said Janice Hayslett, Davidson County 4-H Extension Agent. “The event helps youth better understand government and the legislative process and how they can be a part of this citizenship experience in order to make a difference.”


In addition to project competition and learning about state government, delegates participated in a number of other activities including the Tennessee 4-H Congress Pageant, luncheon on the General Jackson Showboat, the election of the 2015 Tennessee 4-H Congress officers, the inaugural ball and a service-learning project.


The theme for the 2014 Tennessee 4-H Congress service project was “Our Hands to a Larger Service.”  Delegates collected items for the LP PENCIL Box Foundation.  This organization provides much needed school supplies to Metro Nashville Public School teachers/classrooms.


“Service opportunities are a very important component of the 4-H program,” said Steve Sutton, Director, 4-H Youth Development.  “Last year, 4-H’ers statewide performed more than 71,500 hours of volunteer service at an estimated value of 1.6 million dollars.  Through the service-learning projects, our 4-H’ers learns that they can really make a difference in their communities.”


Representing Davidson County at the 2014 Tennessee 4-H Congress were Deandra Bush-Senator, Malik Phipps and London Smith-Representatives and Lise’ Smith-Volunteer Leader.     4-H Extension Agents in Davidson County are Janice Hayslett and Keisha Macklin.


4-H is the youth development program for the University of Tennessee and Tennessee State University Extension.  4-H teaches leadership, citizenship and other life skills to more than 184,000 youth.  4-H also has more than 7,400 volunteers.