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N.C. 4-H celebrates 100 years

July 20, 2009

Media Contacts:
Dr. Marshall Stewart, head, Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences, N.C. State University; 919.515.1681 or
Dr. Mitzi Downing, North Carolina Cooperative Extension specialist and assistant professor, 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences, 919.515.8487 or 919.818.9460 (cell) or
Dave Caldwell, 919.513.3127 or or
Natalie Hampton, 919.513.3128 or
Information is also available at the 4-H host and hostess table at the entrance to the Jane S. McKimmon Center during Congress week.

The North Carolina 4-H program will celebrate its 100th year this week as 4-H'ers from across the state meet in Raleigh for the annual 4-H Congress and the program hosts the N.C. 4-H Centennial Homecoming Celebration.

4-H Congress is the highlight of the year for the state's 4-H'ers as delegations from every North Carolina county converge on Raleigh for a week of competition and other events. Events of note are listed below.

This year, Congress week will include the Centennial Homecoming Celebration. From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday (July 21) at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds Exposition Center, more than 1,300 former 4-H'ers and other guests will attend a dinner and program, sponsored by the North Carolina Farm Bureau. Confirmed speakers include North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, State Senator Dan Blue, Dr. Johnny Wynne, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University; and Larry Wooten, N.C. Farm Bureau president.

The evening will include an alumni reunion and program showcase, sponsored by Carolina Farm Credit, that will feature exhibits of historic and current 4-H programs. The reunion is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the fairgrounds.

Also on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Jane S. McKimmon Center on the N.C. State University campus, the inaugural class of the North Carolina 4-H Hall of Fame, sponsored by the North Carolina State Grange, will be announced. One hundred individuals will be recognized for their contributions to the 4-H program with induction into the Hall of Fame. The first 4-H Hall of Fame class was picked from nominations submitted by North Carolina Cooperative Extension county centers, 4-H groups, Cooperative Extension staff and others.

A Rockin' Clover Bash is scheduled immediately after the Centennial Homecoming Celebration, from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the Kerr Scott Building at the fairgrounds. Most of the more than 700 4-H'ers attending 4-H Congress are expected to attend the bash, which will feature a DJ and green and white balloon drop.

About North Carolina 4-H
The North Carolina 4-H program is the youth development program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, which is based at N.C. State and N.C. A&T State universities. More than 239,000 young people between the ages of 5 and 19 participate in North Carolina 4-H activities with the help of 23,000 adult and youth volunteers.

The 4-H program began in North Carolina as corn and tomato clubs in 1909 in Ahoskie. 4-H today includes activities ranging from rocketry to workforce development and nutrition programs along with camping at five residential facilities across the state. North Carolina 4-H today is a community of young people who are learning leadership, citizenship and 21st century life skills that will enhance their lives and prepare them to be tomorrow's leaders.

Selected 4-H Congress and Centennial Celebration Events

7:45 p.m. - 9:45 p.m. - Opening Assembly, Exposition Center, State Fairgrounds
The annual 4-H Honor Club tapping ceremony takes place during the opening assembly. The top half of 1 percent of the state's 4-H'ers are admitted to the Honor Club each year. 4-H'ers will also demonstrate their skill at sewing and modeling clothing during Fashion Revue, part of the opening assembly. The opening assembly also includes a parade of counties.

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Presentation competitions, Athens Drive High School, 1420 Athens Drive, Raleigh
Delegates participate in competitions designed to demonstrate their knowledge of subjects ranging from landscaping to sewing to wildlife. State winners, many of whom go on to compete in regional or national contests, will be named in 36 subject matter categories. Delegates not involved in competition will attend workshops on a variety of topics.

4 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Centennial Reunion, Kerr Scott Building, State Fairgrounds

5 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. - 4-H Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, McKimmon Center, Room 2C
One hundred individuals will comprise the first class of the 4-H Hall of Fame.

6 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Centennial Homecoming Celebration, Exposition Center, State Fairgrounds

9 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. - State 4-H officer campaign speeches and Rockin' Clover Bash, Kerr Scott Building, State Fairgrounds

9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Hands to Service
4-H'ers will participate in Hands to Service projects, spending the morning hours working with local non-profits and human service agencies. A list of service agencies and locations will be available at the 4-H host and hostess table in McKimmon Center or by calling Harriet Edwards, 919.515.9548.

State 4-H officers will be elected during the afternoon, and a banquet and farewell dance will be held from 7 p.m. - 11:45 p.m. at the Exposition Center, State Fairgrounds.

4-H Congress delegates will leave Raleigh Friday.

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Posted by Dave at July 20, 2009 08:45 AM