The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 18, 2014

Cream of the crop: Two Limestone County 4-H students to attend national conference

From staff reports
The News Courier

— Two Limestone County 4-H students are among four 4-H Club members from Alabama selected to attend the National 4-H Conference in April in Washington, D.C.

Ivy Harbin of West Limestone High School and Rebekah Wood, a home-schooled student, will represent Limestone County April 5-10 in Chevy Chase, Md.

The students will join more than 400 youth and adults from across the United States, New Mexico, Puerto Rico and Canada.  Harbin and Wood will join Olivia Byrd of Fayette County and Seth Rankins of Lee County as they represent the state. Chaperones are Izette McNealy of Jefferson County and Daniel Sullen of Dallas County.

National 4-H Conference delegates have the opportunity to increase knowledge, resources and skills that empower them to make an impact on their community.

The conference is held by the 4-H National Headquarters of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The tradition dates back to 1927.

Harbin, a junior at West Limestone, has been involved in the Limestone County 4-H program since was in the fifth grade at Owens Elementary School. She said, “4-H has not only helped me become a better person, but a better leader.”

Wood, a sophomore who is part of the Way Home Homeschool Covering program, said “since being involved in the Limestone County 4-H Club program, it has enabled me to step out of my comfort zone and to understand my capabilities.”

During the National 4-H Conference, delegates — both youth and adults — will gather in various roundtable groups to discuss issues and formulate recommendations to address problems affecting youth around the globe.

The conference will also focus on leadership and citizenship skills that incorporate the four  “Essential Elements” of 4-H — belonging, mastery, generosity and independence.

Youth attending the conference are encouraged to give back to their communities.