• During workshops at the State 4-H Congress, delegates put their problem-solving skills to the test.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Following Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of 4-H members gathered on the University of Missouri campus for Missouri 4-H Week. This weeklong celebration features two major events for the 4-H program: 4-H Teen Conference and State 4-H Congress.

The 4-H Teen Conference, for 4-H’ers ages 11-13, kicked off the week with 209 youth delegates from 50 counties, said Megan Kershner, MU Extension state 4-H leadership and civic engagement educator. Organized by the Missouri 4-H Ambassadors, the event featured a variety of workshops, including “Ag Innovators” and “Snacks Around the U.S.,” all centered around the theme “Road Trippin’.” Keynote speaker Jim Spain, MU vice provost for undergraduate studies, inspired the delegates with lessons on leadership and service. A regional spirit contest added to the excitement, with the West Central region emerging victorious against stiff competition.

When asked what they enjoyed most about Teen Conference, delegates mentioned meeting new people, line dancing, staying in the dorms and, of course, being with their friends.

Following the Teen Conference was the State 4-H Congress, a three-day, two-night event for high school 4-H’ers. This year, 121 youth delegates from 42 counties experienced college tours, educational sessions and a disco-themed dance. The State 4-H Council played a crucial role in planning the event and led workshops on public speaking, line dancing, team building and basic medical skills.

Congress delegate Annie, from Dade County, expressed her excitement about attending Congress to meet with her friends from around the state, learn about new leadership opportunities and experience the Mizzou lifestyle.

A highlight of the Congress was the spirit competition, with the Southwest region winning the inaugural traveling State 4-H Congress Spirit Competition Trophy. Poet and speaker A’ric Jackson energized the delegates, encouraging them to pursue their dreams.

Missouri 4-H Week continues to be a vital opportunity for youths across the state to develop leadership skills, connect with peers and gain new experiences that will benefit them in their future endeavors, Kershner said.

About Missouri 4-H

Missouri 4-H grows today’s youth and prepares tomorrow’s leaders. With a blend of time-tested traditions and innovative hands-on learning, Missouri youth explore and find their spark in programs ranging from agriculture and conservation to aerospace and career development. Through clubs, programs, camps, in-school and after-school experiences, University of Missouri Extension faculty, staff and thousands of volunteers guide youth in developing essential skills, building confidence and fostering connections. Together, they inspire young people to make a real difference in their communities, their country and the world. To learn more about Missouri 4-H, visit

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