Cynthia Kime, Altus 4H Club member, attended a week-long National 4H Congress from Nov. 29 - Dec. 3, 2013 in Atlanta, Ga. Cynthia was selected along with 18 other Oklahoma 4H youths to represent Oklahoma at this event,” said Gary Strickland, Jackson County Extension Educator.
“Cynthia had both a fun and educational time in Atlanta,” Strickland said. “She participated in educational and leadership programs, helped man the Oklahoma hospitality room, exchanged Oklahoma items with other delegates for the state items, listened and participated in National 4-H topic discussions, helped with community service, and got to see some of historic Atlanta, Georgia. Cynthia said that this will be a trip that she will always remember as part of her continued 4H experience.”
What is now the National 4H Congress started as an educational tour in Chicago, Ill. This annual tour was held in the Union Stock Yards during the International Livestock Exposition. Over 100 young men and women met to exchange ideas and receive recognition for individual accomplishments and community service.
The number of participants steadily grew, and by 1922, this annual event was designated to the National Boys and Girls Club Exposition. This annual meeting is officially considered the first national 4H Youth Congress.
Exhibit demonstrations and a popular parade became the annual program for 4H during the International Livestock Exposition. For 75 years, the National 4H Congress gave over 100,000 delegates, Extension staff, volunteers partner representatives, exhibitors and other friends of the 4H the opportunity to participate in a special event. There was no National 4H Congress in 1955, but two invitational events were hosted by the Southern region and Western region states. A rebirth of National 4H Congress in Memphis, Tenn., under the leadership of the Extension Service-USDA was seen in 1966. Memphis, was home of National 4H Congress until the event moved to Atlanta in 1998.