Iowa 4-H CloverCast

National 4-H Opportunities

July 15, 2020 Iowa State 4-H Council Season 1 Episode 4
Iowa 4-H CloverCast
National 4-H Opportunities
National Congress favorite memories
Learning what National Conference is
Citizenship Washington Focus trip
Iowa 4-H CloverCast
National 4-H Opportunities
Jul 15, 2020 Season 1 Episode 4
Iowa State 4-H Council

Peyton, Theresa, and Emma join us on CloverCast: Sunburnt to look at National 4-H opportunities. Featured opportunities include National 4-H Congress, National 4-H Conference, and Citizenship Washington Focus. While they share their experiences and memories, they will also share information that can help you on your way to participating in these events yourself!  Be sure to tune back in on August 1st to hear about 4-H at County Fairs. 

Resources (things mentioned in the show):

Goals of our podcast:

1. To provide a safe opportunity for State 4-H Council members to engage with other 4-H’ers around the state in lieu of the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference. 

2. To reach current 4-H’ers and potential 4-H’ers through thoughtful, informational, and personal discussion centered around 4-H learning opportunities and experiences.

3. To provide State 4-H Council members the opportunity to grow themselves personally and professionally as they take part in and learn about each step of the podcast production process.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Peyton, Theresa, and Emma join us on CloverCast: Sunburnt to look at National 4-H opportunities. Featured opportunities include National 4-H Congress, National 4-H Conference, and Citizenship Washington Focus. While they share their experiences and memories, they will also share information that can help you on your way to participating in these events yourself!  Be sure to tune back in on August 1st to hear about 4-H at County Fairs. 

Resources (things mentioned in the show):

Goals of our podcast:

1. To provide a safe opportunity for State 4-H Council members to engage with other 4-H’ers around the state in lieu of the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference. 

2. To reach current 4-H’ers and potential 4-H’ers through thoughtful, informational, and personal discussion centered around 4-H learning opportunities and experiences.

3. To provide State 4-H Council members the opportunity to grow themselves personally and professionally as they take part in and learn about each step of the podcast production process.

[“Hey” Theme Music by Bensound]

Haley Jones: Welcome to CloverCast: Sunburnt. In this podcast, council members discuss 4-H opportunities, insight, and stories relevant to current 4-H’ers. Each episode will be hosted by different state 4-H council members, and you can tune in every other Wednesday throughout the summer on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen. This podcast is made possible by the partnership between the Iowa 4-H Foundation, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development. Now, here are today’s hosts:

Peyton Pangburn: Hi, I'm Peyton Pangburn. I'm from Worth County, and I've been in 4-H for nine years. 

Theresa Crawford: Hi, my name is Theresa Crawford. I'm from Poweshiek County, and I'm a nine-year 4-H member.

Emma Seipold: Hi, my name is Emma Seipold. I'm from Mills County, and I've been in 4-H for nine years. Thank you for joining us on our third official episode of CloverCast: Sunburnt. We appreciate everyone who has shared this show with others, and today we are going to be talking about national 4-H opportunities. So, national 4-H opportunities are trips that allow you to travel outside of Iowa and meet 4-H’ers from all across the country. So, Theresa and Peyton, what are some of the national opportunities you guys have been a part of? 

Theresa Crawford: Um, so this past November, I went on National Congress, uh, in Atlanta, Georgia - which, that was the first kind of national trip I'd taken with 4-H, and it was definitely a lot of fun. What about you, Peyton? 

Peyton Pangburn: Um, I was on the National Conference delegation in 2019. So, I traveled to Washington D.C. and was part of, you know, a nationwide–plus Puerto Rico and the Mariana Islands event that we work with the government and…

Emma Seipold: Nice! I was also a part of the delegation to National Congress last fall with you Theresa. And, last summer, back in June, I also got to go to Citizenship Washington Focus, which takes place in Washington D.C. And I got to explore D.C., and learn a little more about our government, and writing bills, and just meet new people from other states, too. So that was a lot of fun. Theresa, what were some of your favorite memories, or just things you want to share with everybody from National Congress? 

Theresa Crawford: Oh, I don't even know where to start with my favorite memories. There was, the whole trip was just so much fun. Um, and, of course, like, you can read up a lot about it, but you really don't get just how much of a vibrant experience it is. Um, just to show up to this big hotel conference center, and all of these other 4-H’ers from across the country are getting there the same time that you are, and everyone's like kind of confused as to what's going on, and it's this big, beautiful – it was this big, beautiful conference center ­– at least when we were there, they might change it. Um, but then just the experiences throughout all the week, or through the whole week, I think what stood out to me most was just how many different cultures, I guess, that we got to just experience there in Atlanta. I mean, learning about the history of Atlanta itself, as well as seeing other people come in with dances and, uh, all sorts of different foods we could try, um, it was just so much to try. It was a really great experience. 

Peyton Pangburn: Yeah, I definitely agree– 

Emma Seipold: And there's just so much at National Congress. It's kind of like State Conference on a national level. So again, you have fun workshops. Like, I went to a workshop that was all about drones, and I got to try a drone simulation, and then I got to actually try flying a drone, which was a lot harder than I thought it would be. What were some of the workshops that you went to? Do you remember? 

Theresa Crawford: Uh, yeah, so, definitely one of my favorite ones was one where a guy from The Ohio State University– uh, he made sure and said the Th e– um, came and he just did a bunch of science experiments with us, and it was just really funny. Um, we got to participate in a bunch of different science experiments. Um, and then, another one of my favorites was, uh, this one kind of tied into my service project, but I went, and I learned all about the Georgian poultry market. Or like, their whole industry around poultry and egg production, which is huge in Georgia. And then, the next day, during my service project, a group of us that learned about that were pulled out and we went and taught this ag literacy lesson to some fifth graders, um, which was a really awesome experience to be able to teach and share this knowledge with some students who probably hadn't even been on a farm before. Um, and then it was also just crazy   ‘cause the five of us that were in there, we were from all over the country, none of us were from Georgia, and we all learned about this the day before. Umm. And so, I think that was definitely an experience that I'm going to remember for the rest of my life. Did you have any great experiences with other people from different States? 

Emma Seipold: Yeah, I actually got to do the same thing that you did with the poultry lesson, and the really cool thing that I experienced with that was: The elementary school that I went to, they, uh, in a lot of their classes, they actually learn Spanish, and some of their classes are taught in Spanish, and one of the people–other delegates from state or…National Congress–was from Puerto Rico. And so, she spoke fluent Spanish, and it was really neat to see her try to interact with the students with Spanish too, so we can get in the Spanish and English like they do in some of their other classes. And yeah, that was really awesome. And…

Theresa Crawford: That is awesome. Yeah. 

Emma Seipold: Yeah. It was a lot of fun. And I also got to learn the 4-H pledge in Spanish, straight from one of the Puerto Rican delegates. That was an awesome experience, too. And then, I like just learning about 4-H in other states, and then how other 4-H’ers and other states do the process of getting to National Congress ‘cause it varies a lot from state to state. And so, it was really interesting to learn about 4-H and other states, and just how different yet, how similar, the 4-H program is. 

Theresa Crawford: Yeah. Yeah, there definitely were a lot of big differences. I know a lot of people, they got to be a delegate at National Congress because they, like, won their class at, uh, their state fair, versus us, we do an application and interview process. So, it was just really interesting to get to see, uh, just how 4-H is run differently through the whole country, which I think that's the biggest part of national 4-H opportunities, is being able to meet other 4-H’ers from across the country. Uh, Peyton, at National Conference, where– did you guys have a lot of opportunities to interact with other 4-H’ers from across the nation? 

Peyton Pangburn: Yeah, we definitely did–it wasn't in the same style as yours. So, one thing that has always confused me with the naming of these things is that, like, State Conference is so much more similarly structured to National Congress, and then National Conference is completely different, and it's kind of ironic that the one that's in DC isn't called Congress. That's– Yeah, I never got– I never got that, but regardless, um, we did have some, but we don't– we're not structured in like a workshop-style. Almost all the delegations are like, under 10, some states have more than others, and not every state is represented. I know the year I went was like, the first time Arizona had had a delegation in like, years. When you go to National Conference, you sign up for a round table, and you're only on one for the week, and my round table was healthy relationships, and so, I worked with the Department of Health and Human Services and 11 other 4-H’ers, plus our, um, youth leadership team. I really liked that because you see them, like, the whole week, as opposed to like a workshop where it's like, hit and miss. And so like, we're really, really close now. And, um, so we worked, like I said, with the, um, Department of Health and Human Services, and we– basically, you get three days and you have to address all of your challenge questions. So, we– first, we just started by doing, like, a lot of talking about what our–as a group’s–opinions were about all of our challenge questions. And so, um, we were actually working specifically with the, um, Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, within the Department of Health. And so, um, you get that– you get your three days. So, then, we have to come up with materials. We had to– we had like a slideshow, everybody spoke, um, and we had a packet, and some other things that are basically like our suggestions for things that the APPP could do to, like, get out their information and reach youth in, like, an effective way. And, then, we go to the Department of Health and, um, present that all to them. So, we were in like a little boardroom and got to meet them. They were a lot of fun and very receptive. Besides your round table, you also get the opportunity to meet with–or at least the Iowa delegation, I don't know if every delegation does this–but when you go with Iowa, you get the opportunity to meet all of your, um, like, congressmen that are available. So, we met- we met with, um, Grassley and Ernst in their offices. Then, the other one from Congress that we actually got to meet with was Dave Loebsack. So, his office was probably the most welcoming because it was a one-on-one meeting, and, um, the other two–like the senators–have kind of like, a coffee hour, that we were just part of that's open to anybody, and then we did get to meet with them, like, kind of personally at the end, um, and which was nice. And then we also toured like the Smithsonian, so we didn't get to see all of them. So, we went– we went to the, um, space and…

Emma Seipold: Air and Space?

Peyton Pangburn: There. Yeah. Air and Space museum, and so, one of our delegates, he knew like, everything. He was our tour guide. It was the most fun, I think that was like one of our first days together too, and I think one thing that I like about like National Conference, is the fact that there were only five of us on that trip. And so–and actually three of them were from Worth County, so I knew two of them going in–we were such a close-knit group by the end of it, and it was just so much fun. And I think that, like with Congress, you probably know more of the people to start with, but you might not get to know them as closely–at least the group as a whole–and I guess, but I don't know, ‘cause I never did go on that one, but like, National Conference is great because it really brings you together as, like, a delegation.

Theresa Crawford: Yeah, that's awesome! What time of year does Conference happen? 

Peyton Pangburn: Conference, so it's kind of complicated as far as like, applying for it. So, you can apply to Conference as a sophomore because you won't go until your junior year. Otherwise, you'd probably be applying for it as a junior–um, of high school, I should say. And, um, so I applied for Conference in 2018 on the application process, and so then, I went in April of 2019–kind of like right– right after the interviews for like, that year’s. So, I was like, I was at National Conference waiting to hear if I'd gotten on State Council, so, yeah. Yeah. What, what time of year does Congress travel?

Theresa Crawford: So, we go in November, we actually leave the day after Thanksgiving. So, that was a lot of fun. Got home from Thanksgiving, started packing for Congress. Probably should have packed before that, but it's fine. 

Emma Seipold: There are lots of Christmas trees up everywhere, and that's where we got our pictures taken. So, it was definitely fun to be there that time of year.

Peyton Pangburn: I know at National Conference; we have a fair amount of free time outside of our round table workshops. The Iowa delegation gets there a day early to get you settled in, and give you the time to tour around D.C., and then you also get a monument tour with a little bit of free time, and some other things. So, like, when you're in Atlanta, do you get a lot of free time to explore?

Emma Seipold: I mean, we got time with our own delegation, with the Iowa group. We didn't exactly go out and wander around by ourselves in Atlanta, but we got to see some things for ourselves. And, the nice thing about National Congress is that your state can kind of pick certain things, like where are you to go to eat or…just the different sites you want to kind of walk around and see. And the nice thing, also, about being in Atlanta, was that there were some really neat places you could see within walking distance of the hotel. And, like Theresa said, the hotel itself was just pretty neat. 

Theresa Crawford: Yeah. So, we were at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta and it, like we've been saying, it's a super impressive, uh, conference center and hotel. And then Emma also mentioned like, going out to eat, and definitely one of my favorite parts of conference was just all the food. Uh, like we were in the south, so we ate a lot of like, chicken–fried chicken–we had chicken for breakfast, chicken for lunch, chicken for dinner. Um, and then there was also like a–we forgot the name of it, so we're calling it a world's food night, but that is not the name. Uh, but it was just essentially when there was food from like, all over the world and all different cultures, uh, just brought to the hotel. Um, and you know, we got dressed up nice and we were able to go and like, try all this different food and all these different desserts and everything. And that was so much fun. And then afterwards, there was a dance, which was super cool. 

Emma Seipold: Oh, yeah. 

Peyton Pangburn: The National Conference Center, National 4-H Conference Center, that you stay at has like a game room in the basement of the main building. So, there's, like, pool and that's where their conference or their like, stage area is, that you listen to any speakers that are there. So, we listened to like, the National 4-H Council, which is adults, um, that run it. They’re like– and they're the ones who control all the 4-H things. So that's kind of– I don't know if they speak at National Congress, but that's definitely the only opportunity I would have ever had to have seen or heard any of those people, so that was really interesting. 

Theresa Crawford: Did you guys fly to Conference, or did you drive? 

Peyton Pangburn: We flew. Um, I think that the national delegation for Conference has always flown because they're such a small number. Um, but that is one of the perks. 

Theresa Crawford: Yeah. I know we were very lucky that we got to fly–which they've been flying for a few years now, but from everyone that had told me about National Congress, they're like: “Mmm, Prepare for like, a Greyhound bus trip to Atlanta, Georgia with a bunch of people that you only somewhat know.” And then we flew, which was very nice. 

Emma Seipold: Yes. Peyton, I heard you earlier, mention the National 4-H Conference Center–I believe that's what it's called–and I'm glad you mentioned that because that's where we stayed for Citizenship Washington Focus, or CWF, as well. And, that is another really fun experience.  It takes place in D.C., obviously, because that's where the conference center is, and there's a couple of different ways you can go. I know that Iowa takes a delegation just from all over Iowa itself every year–I believe every year, but I went with my county. And so, we go about, I believe every three or four years, and we have our own little group in our county. and so, we use those several years to do fundraising so that we can lower the cost for ourselves as much as possible to go to D.C. And then, we flew, too, thankfully. We came a day early so that we could do a little more of our own sightseeing, so we actually go out there before most of the other states did. So, the first day, we got to go to the National Cathedral, which was really cool, and we went to a service there, and then we did a lot of our own sightseeing in D.C. And, every day there's a session, um, in this room that Peyton mentioned earlier, with a stage, and one of the big themes of, um, of CWF, is learning about the bill-writing process. So, that started with everybody getting split into random groups. So, I was in a group with kids from a bunch of other states, and then only like two people from my group. Each group had a different topic. I believe mine was about hunger and food insecurity. And then everybody got their own pamphlet with lots of different statistics related to that area, and just some background information on it, and then some of the issues that we're facing, and then each group had to try to come up with an issue that they wanted to solve and a bill that they want to eventually be put into law. In the end, there were about four different bills that whole group of states at CWF had to vote on, and so we had a day where everybody got to go up and just ask questions about the bills and, um, learn more about them, ask if they would consider changing something, give their own questions, and then all the groups took that information back with them, made the changes, refined it, and then another day we came up and it was just comments, and then after that, each bill got voted on. I think only one, maybe two of them, got passed, but it was a really cool experience to learn more about the bill writing process because they made it as much like real life as they possibly could, and I thought it was really interesting just to kind of pick apart the bills and try to see, like, where there might be a flaw or room for improvement, and just ask about that, and all the thinking and discussion that went into that, I really enjoyed. So that was a big part of CWF, and then the other big half of CWF is just the whole Washington D.C. experience. So, we saw, like I said, the National Cathedral, we went to the U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress, we saw the Lincoln Memorial, we went to a couple of the Smithsonian museums, and another really cool thing, I guess, was the Holocaust museum. Another thing I really enjoyed was going to the USDA farmers’ market because they had a lot of really neat stands. I think I got empanadas, and that was kind of a fun experience to just walk around and see people and be outdoors. And then again, I got to learn about other states’ 4-H programs. I actually met a group from Oklahoma who were doing a song, they were going to sing a song for the talent show, and it was a song that I know. And so, I asked, “Hey, can I join you guys?” So, I actually got to be a part of the talent show with a bunch of kids from Oklahoma, which was a lot of fun. 

Theresa Crawford: Oh! That’s super fun!

Emma Seipold: Yeah! Yeah, it was awesome. And speaking of Oklahoma, there was actually at least one person that I kind of saw around at CWF, and then, I saw her again at National Congress in the fall. And I thought it was her, and I thought she looked familiar, and I went up to her and I was like, “Hey! Did you go to CWF last summer?” and she’s like, “Oh my goodness!” like, “Oh my gosh! I recognize you!” That was really cool about having the chance to go to two national opportunities in one year, is that you can see some of those people again. 

Theresa Crawford: Yeah, that's awesome. Hey, do either of you guys do model UN or congressional debate? 

Emma Seipold: No, sorry! 

Theresa Crawford: No? I don't either, but I have– I know several people that do, and how you were describing CWF sounded very similar to, uh, I think congressional debate and model UN. I don't actually have very many experiences, but like, if that is something you're involved in, and you'd want to try that on a bigger scale, go to CWF, ‘cause that seems like a great growth on those state opportunities, to go to a national scale.

Peyton Pangburn: Definitely. And I would kind of echo that on National Conference side, is if you're looking at all to be involved with the government or like a political process at all, that is such a great opportunity because, like, you go into a government building, you talk with government people, you're working like you're a government, like, hire-ee. I mean, you're very much involved. And, I mean, having that kind of experience, I personally want to go into politics–maybe not domestic politics, I don't know how much I'd really be working in those buildings–but that was like, my first opportunity to really explore that, and, you know, like, I would definitely say that that was useful for me to get a feel for it, and, like, kind of re-solidify that that's what I want to do. And if you're one of those people, and you want to kind of see how you like it, then definitely apply for it. 

Theresa Crawford: And yeah, even if you're not sure, or you're not totally sure what these opportunities are even after listening to this podcast, apply for them, because it's a great experience just applying and interviewing, and then, uh, if you are selected, you get to travel across the country to have a really amazing, vibrant experience with national 4-H. 

Peyton Pangburn: I agree. Don't ever sell yourself short an opportunity to apply. If you don't get selected, that just gives you, like, practice to be better the next time, and if you do then, guess what? You don't have to worry about it again. And like, just to wrap up, you know, like for me, National Conference: That's a five day working conference, where you're split into round table groups, and that's where you're going to interact with National 4-H members, and then you go and you're partnered with an agency and you're trying to address a challenge topic, and eventually you'll get to go present to that agency. And then you also get the opportunity to see Washington D.C.

Emma Seipold: For Citizenship Washington Focus, or CWF, you get to spend a week in Washington D.C., learn about the bill writing process, while also getting to see all the sights and sounds of Washington D.C. 

Theresa Crawford: And National Congress is a four-to-five day conference, uh, held in Atlanta, Georgia, where you get to attend workshops, listen to a wide variety of speakers, uh, experience cultures of Atlanta and all over the world, and most importantly, meet 4-H’ers from all over the nation. 

Peyton Pangburn: So, besides the three topics that we've been talking about, there's also three national summits. There's a healthy living summit, a photography summit, and an AgriScience summit. And you get to those through other state 4-H opportunities, such as the camera corps, healthy living ambassadors, and STEM programs, and you should check those out too.

Theresa Crawford: CloverCast: Sunburnt has only two episodes left this summer. Continue joining us every other Wednesday to hear more from state council members. The next episode will be all about County fairs. Uh, so, Peyton and Emma, I've had so much fun talking with you guys today. I'm really glad we got the chance to do this.

Emma Seipold: Yeah, me too. I feel like we could have talked on and on about all of our experiences.

Peyton Pangburn: As is the nature of national opportunities, there's just a lot to talk about. 

Emma Seipold: Yeah, there is, there is. So that's why you just need to go ahead: apply, and just experience it for yourself!

All: Bye!

National Congress favorite memories
Learning what National Conference is
Citizenship Washington Focus trip