Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES - A nonstop whirl of contests, workshops, elections and fun awaits more than 450 4-H members July 10-14 during State 4-H Conference at New Mexico State University.
The theme for this year's state 4-H conference is "4-H: More Than You Ever Imagined." Activities are for senior 4-H members, ages 14 to 19.
4-H members will attend workshops on rock climbing and western dance, and compete in contests from horticulture to parliamentary procedure. A new event this year is the livestock skill-a-thon, which tests contestants' knowledge of the livestock industry.
NMSU's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences awards 10 4-H scholarships of $500 to high point individuals in three presentation and seven general contests at the conference. Family and Community Education, 4-H Foundation and Pioneer Hi-Bred International scholarships, ranging from $500 to $1,000, are awarded based on 4-H achievement.
"Participation in the contests gives 4-H members a chance to compare their skills against how they finished the previous year or earlier in the year," said Danette McGuire, 4-H youth activities specialist. Participating in state conference gives members a chance to gain leadership and communication skills, she said.
Members who are not participating in contests or workshops can attend as voting delegates.
On July12, 4-H members will elect seven state officers. Nominees submit an application to the state 4-H office and campaign at the conference. Officers, along with ambassadors and diplomats selected in January, serve as 4-H's leadership team and help run statewide activities.
"4-H develops life skills in our young people today," McGuire said. "A lot of people think of 4-H as just agriculture, but we do so much more than that. We teach decision-making, problem solving and marketable skills members can use throughout their lives."
During the conference, 4-H delegates are chosen to go to the National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Ga. The awards are based on record books that document a member's participation in a project area over a 4-H career.
For more information about 4-H or the state conference, contact your county Extension office or call the New Mexico State 4-H Office toll-free at (888) 646-5204.
© 2013 New Mexico State University Board of Regents
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