4-H State Congress

4-H State Congress

Virginia 4-H State Congress is the premier, statewide annual 4-H event for outstanding 4-H teens and adult volunteer leaders. Its mission is to provide competitive and non-competitive educational experiences to Virginia teens and the adults who work with them, helping them to develop life skills and leadership abilities to become contributing citizens in their communities.


Celebrate a
100 Years of Hands to Larger Service
at the
100th Annual State 4-H Congress
June 21 - 24, 2022
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

The 100th Virginia 4-H State Congress will be held at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, from June 21 - 24, 2022.

Registration is now Open. Please click on Registration Tab for all of the information. 

  • March 29 - Information packet released to the system. 
  • April 26 - Registration system goes live. 
  • May 22 - Registration closes. 
  • June 1 - No refunds will be issued after this date. 

2022 State 4-H Congress Key Points (pdf) 

  • Cost to attend is $257 – Full Time Participant
  • Cost to attend as a One-Day Delegate is $50
  • Lodging will be in West Ambler Johnson (Air Conditioned Dorm)
  • Congress Headquarters will be in West Ambler Johnson Lobby
  • State 4-H Congress Registration will be completed using 4- H Online
    • Enrollment will occur through approved and active family profiles in 4- H Online. 
    • Tip sheets on the registration process are included in the registration section. 
  • Each district has up to $1,000, to provide incentives for their disticts. Districts chose how they would like the money spent.
  • Each unit will receive one first-time delegate scholarship for half of the registration cost ($128) and one full adult volunteer scholarship ($257). These scholarships cannot be used for Extension Faculty/Staff.
  • All 4-H adult volunteers attending State 4-H Congress must have completed a criminal background screening.  Enrollment through the 4-H Online system, with the correct volunteer role, will ensure the screening has been conducted. 
  • State 4-H Election packet has been emailed out to the 4-H Agent listserv.
  • 4-H Online Event Registration will close at 5 p.m. on May 22.
  • Please encourage your teens to apply for National 4-H Congress. To help them prepare for this process, please view the attached tip sheet or visit the following web link for more information regarding National 4-H Congress: http://ext.vt.edu/4h-youth/national-congress.html

 Any enrolled senior 4-H member and adult volunteer leader may attend Congress, but all must be registered under one of the following categories. The full fee is $257. Additional items, such as photos, slideshow, Congress memorabilia will be available for purchase during the registration process.

Registration Structure and Fees:

  • Full Congress Registration - $257/person
    • For both Youth and Adults
    • Includes
      • Lodging for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night in Air-Conditioned Dorms (double occupancy)
      • 9 meals
        • Breakfast on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
        • Lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
        • Dinner on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
        • 100th Annual Congress T-Shirt
  • One-day Competition Registration - $50/person
    • For both Youth and Adults
    • Includes:
      • 100th Annual Congress T-Shirt
      • One meal (either lunch in Dietrick Hall or Tuesday evening Picnic)
        • Preference needs to be listed on registration 
  • A La Carte Items
    • Additional One-Night Package - $65/person
      • Includes lodging on Monday, June 20th and Breakfast on Tuesday, June 21st
    • Cabinet Fundraiser
      • Congress Centennial Pin and Collector Virginia 4-H Pennant - $15
      • Congress Centennial Pin - $8
      • Collector Virginia 4-H Pennant- $8
    • Color Fun Run/Walk
      • $20 to participate; proceeds will help support State 4-H Congress
    • Digital 2022 Congress Slideshow - $5
    • Congressional Delegation Photo - $5
    • Unit Photos - $5
  • First-time Delegate Scholarship – 
    • The Virginia 4-H Foundation will provide each unit with one $128.00 scholarship to be used for a 4-H member attending Congress for the first time.  
    • VCE employees may NOT use this scholarship.
  • Adult Volunteer Leader Scholarship
    • Each unit may send one volunteer leader to Congress with a $257 scholarship courtesy of the State 4-H Office. 
    • VCE employees may NOT use this scholarship.
  • Virginia 4-H Cabinet Officers/Ambassadors and Advisors 
    • serving on the Congress Planning Team will receive $70.00 scholarships. (Congress cost to the Cabinet member = $187) 
    • Cabinet Members must register for Congress through their member profile within 4-H Online. 
      • Those recipients are:
        • Officers:
          • President:  Andrea Farag    
          • Vice President: Kaylee Arney
          • Secretary:  Burgin Peek
          • Reporter/Historian:  Noah Smith
          • Past President:  Cassie Sturgill
        • Ambassadors:
          • Central District: Alice Milton, Haley Roberts, Elizabeth “Lilly” Miller
          • Northern District: Kashvi Ramani, Eleni Kasianides, Samantha Whysong
          • Southwest District:  Hunter Joyce, Kelli Garrett, Harper Miller, Zackary Salyer 
          • Southeast District:  Gabrielle “Gabby” Baker, Kalani Coleman, Josh Cunnison
        • Mentors:
          • Becca Berglie
          • Chloe Jones
          • Charlie Sloop
        • Advisors:
          • Tonya T. Price, Ph.D.
          • Carly Wright
          • Crystal Peek
          • Hannah Bishop
          • Jocelyn Pearson
          • Jake Morgan 
  • Need-based Scholarships – 
    • There are a limited number of scholarships available. The final amount and number will be determined based on the number of applicants and need.      
    • To apply for a scholarship, please complete the short Google form at: https://forms.gle/utuideYA6dZmB6j57
    • Delegates will be required to make a deposit payment of $150.00, and will receive additional information about final payment after the selections have been made. 
    • If a scholarship is not awarded, the balance of the registration will be required to be paid.
  • Air Force Youth 4-H Event Scholarships – 
    • The Air Force 4-H Military Partnership Outreach & Support Project for Virginia is providing a limited number of 4-H event scholarships for youth ages 5 to 18 of Air Force Military-Connected families living in Virginia.  These scholars will be awarded on a first-come, first served basis.  Eligible youth may live on or near an installation or live in communities across the state.  Scholarships awarded can be used to assist with cost to participate in Virginia 4-H camping opportunities or State 4-H Congress. The military parent of youth must currently be serving in one of the following: Active Duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve, or Air National Guard. For more information please contact Louetta Jones - 4-H Military Club Director, at lojones@vt.edu or call 804-712-8467.

Educational Workshops
Workshop Descriptions
Wednesday Morning – June 22

Delegates will be asked to select their top five (5) Educational Workshop selections during the registration process. Once workshop capacities are established and final workshop times are assigned, delegates will be placed in one of their selections. Best efforts will be made to get all delegates in their top choices, but final workshop assignments will depend on interest and participation in the particular workshop. Workshop assignments will be distributed in the Congress Welcome packets. Once workshops are assigned, there will be no changes in workshop assignments upon arrival at Congress.

This workshop will focus on the principles, practices, plants and people of African descent who have, and continue to, contribute to agriculture in the Commonwealth and across the nation. Various plant materials, value added products and other products that students can interact with and show how involved agriculture is in Africa and America.

Agribusiness from A to Z: What's in it for me?
Most people, when they hear agriculture, think "farming". However, agriculture is farming and so much more. Less than 2% of the population farms while nearly 20% are employed in the broader agribusiness industry, providing farmers with the inputs and services they need, and converting raw farm products into the food, fiber, and fuel for all the rest of us. This workshop will provide insights on the wide variety of careers available in the agribusiness field (A to Z, agronomists to zoologists, and everything in between) and help attendees determine where they might fit in that broader context. Even if participants don't identify an agribusiness career of interest, since 100% of us eat, agribusiness affects us all! The workshop will incorporate hands-on activities and group discussions. Youth will learn about various agricultural careers, as well as the types of college majors that prepare one for those careers.

Applying to Virginia Tech: Common App, SRAR, and Ut Prosim Profile
In this workshop, youth will work with the Director of Student Recruitment in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to learn more about the different components of the college application process. Participants will also hone their skills to produce your best application possible. Get a step ahead of the crowd by participating in this workshop! Preference will be given to incoming seniors.

Are you ready for an interview? 
Let’s get prepared for your next interview! Youth will learn the ins and outs of the interview process. They will get tips in preparing a cover letter and resume, practice interview questions with each other and learn the importance of a good first impression. Additional hands-on activities will include how to make good eye contact, a proper handshake, proper dress, and preparing an elevator speech. These various skills and activities will assist in preparing for future job and scholarship interviews. Youth will also be exposed to differences in cultures and how to navigate in different settings. Role plays will be incorporated for youth to gain a better understanding of the interview process.

As You Go - The Importance of Structural Conformation in the Movement of the Horse
The beauty of a horse in motion is truly something to behold, but structural conformation and foot health are the basic foundations for a sound horse that moves comfortably and correctly. This workshop will allow participants to study the physical conformation of the feet and legs of the horse, understanding correct angles, hoof deformities and challenges, and learn how structural correctness, or incorrectness, can affect the comfort and ability of the movement of the horse. Workshop attendees will get hands-on introductions to safe handling of the horse, while learning how to assess structural conformation both through physical exam and movement observation. Students will be hands-on with the handling of the horses - assessing bone structure, foot and hoof health and conformation. Students will also observe various movements and gaits of the horse, while learning to determine soundness via movement. The use of movement sensors will provide an opportunity for participants to capture real-time data on how the horse moves and what that information can provide in terms of soundness assessment.

Colors in Fruits and Vegetables, their importance, and how to measure strawberry red color
Participants will learn about the different pigments in fruits and vegetables, such as carotene in carrots, lycopene in tomatoes and anthocyanins in strawberries. Also, they will gain a better understanding of the health benefits of these pigments and why they should be included in our diets based on the USDA Food Guide. Youth will extract anthocyanin pigments from strawberry samples and observe how differences in multiple varieties of the fruit are measured. This workshop will involve hands-on experimentation to learn how to measure strawberry red color through trial and error.

Create with Artificial Intelligence
Technology will play a critical role in the lives of all students and adults in the days to come. It is believed that everyone should have the knowledge on how to create, rather than simply consume, technology. In this session, participants will create their very own video game in just a few minutes by describing the logic of the game. The system will convert sentences into game code. Youth will get to be creative and at the same time, learn about game design, abstraction, decomposition, logic and critical thinking, as well as working with artificial intelligence. The artificial intelligence inside the platform will guide youth through the process with suggestions and feedback. Learn to think like a computer scientist! No prior programming experience necessary for this workshop.

Dairy Judging 101
Dairy cows are incredible. They love foods that we hate, and they make foods that we love. A cow’s job is to take grass and the leftovers from food and fuel production and give us milk, butter, cheese and ice cream. But did you know that what a cow looks like affects how well she does this job? Just as there are dog shows to identify the best dogs and horse shows to identify the best horses, farmers around the world bring their cows to shows to compete and identify cows that are better at their job than anyone else. So, what do the best cows look like? And what does all this mean for the planet and the almost 8 billion people inhabiting it? The second half of the workshop takes place at the William M. Etgen Large Animal Learning Center on campus where youth will come face to face with dairy cows. Dr. Katharine Knowlton is the coach of the VT dairy judging team and has a passion for teaching kids about cows. She conducts workshops all over the United States for 4-H and FFA members on judging cows.

DNA: Extraction, Helix and Careers
Learn all about what DNA is made of and how it works in this workshop! Participants will tour Virginia Tech’s Genomics Sequencing Center (GSC) at Steger Hall. GSC is a dedicated multi-user resource for the development and application of state-of-the-art, Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies. GSC is a “one-stop shop” providing rapid, cost-effective project planning and execution, and genomic, transcriptomic, and functional-genomics services. Workshop participants will also spend time in the laboratory to conduct DNA extractions from cheek cells and build double strand DNA complex from edible items. Discussion topics in the workshop will include various forensics techniques.

Do-It-Yourself Cows
In this workshop, youth will learn more about the anatomy and physiology of the female bovine reproductive system with hands-on experience with reproductive tracts, as well as with the different reproductive technologies used in and out of the lab. Students will learn more about the processes of in-vitro fertilization and embryo transfer and their uses in cattle. They will have the chance to look at real bovine semen, oocytes and embryos and try their hand at determining embryo stage, fertilizing oocytes, and loading artificial insemination and embryo-transfer guns. Students will also learn how these lab technologies connect to real world producers and their cattle by having the chance to perform rectal palpation and ultrasonography. Be prepared to get dirty! You will most likely need a shower after this workshop! The use of coveralls, farm clothes, and rubber boots are extremely encouraged.

Early Plant Disease Detection: DNA Sequencing and Sensor Technology
Modern technologies, such as CRISPR gene editing, nanopore sequencing, robotics, remote sensing and hyperspectral imaging, will be utilized in this workshop to detect plant diseases and prevent crop loss. The use of nanopore sequencing and CRISPR editing will be demonstrated to detect pathogen genes from infected tomato plants.

Personality Assessment Workshop
In this workshop, participants learn about some of the most common personality types, what can influence an individual’s personality, and how to work with those whose personalities differ from theirs. Is your personality similar to your closest friends? Do you ever wonder why some of your peers act the way they do? Join the State 4-H Cabinet Northern District Ambassadors for a handful of fun activities to further explore your own personality and unique style.

Plant Propagation by Seeds, Cuttings, and More
Don’t mind getting your hands dirty and interested in learning how to reproduce plants from a single parent plant? Then this may be the workshop for you! Participants will start in the greenhouse classroom on VT campus for an introduction to plant propagation techniques. Next, the group will walk to the greenhouse for a hands-on learning opportunity for students to propagate plants to take home. Leading this workshop is Dr. Josh Kardos, an instructor with Virginia Tech’s School of Plant and Environmental Sciences.

Precision Agriculture in Cropping Systems
Precision agriculture is utilized in cropping systems to reduce inputs, apply inputs more efficiently, reduce farmer fatigue, improve yield, increase profit, and alleviate environmental concerns.  Some of the technologies used by crop farmers are autosteer equipment, variable rate sprayers, precision planting, precision soil sampling, and using drones to collect imagery.  In this workshop, you will learn about these technologies, see them demonstrated, and get to use selected precision ag tools.

Professions in Career and Technical Education
An introduction into the undergraduate major in career and technical education (CTE) at Virginia Tech will be provided during this workshop. Students will work together to investigate all the many careers options individuals with CTE degrees may choose from. Participants will increase their understanding of the available careers to CTE graduates through multiple hands-on activities and fun group work.

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: Finding High Quality Information Sources Effectively and Efficiently
A search in Google brings back millions of results. How do you effectively find high quality information for your topic of interest? In this session, participants will compare characteristics of a variety of sources, determine the authority and associated level of quality of each by category, and learn how to search for reliable information through a variety of resources (Google, Google Scholar, PubMed, MedlinePlus, and PubAg). The group will also discuss evaluation criteria and what it means if a source is “Open Access,” along with some of the pros and cons of this publishing model as a factor in evaluating sources of information. This workshop will take place at Virginia Tech’s Newman Library where participants will engage in learning how to properly research online resources in the computer lab.

STEM in Sports Turf Management: The Science Behind Virginia Tech's Worsham Field
This workshop will engage students with the many tools and technologies used every day by golf course superintendents and sports field managers to produce high-quality playing surfaces in an environmentally-sustainable manner. This hands-on workshop will highlight STEM principles used by turfgrass managers and will directly (and safely) connect students with various aspects of science (turfgrass and soils), technology (sensors and drones), engineering (specialized mowing and cultivation equipment), and mathematics (topdressing and field painting). Various VT Turfgrass faculty and research scientists will assist with the four STEM areas. Various sensors, tools, and equipment utilized in turfgrass management practices will be showcased and demonstrated. Participants will also get the opportunity to utilize some of these tools and equipment. Brief mini-experiments will be conducted to highlight how STEM principles are incorporated into the area of sports field management.

TEAM Building: Together Everyone Accomplishes More
In this interactive workshop, teen leaders will explore new ways to build on their leadership skills. Participants will also gain a better understanding of the effectiveness and importance of functioning as a team. There’s no better way of learning about team building, than actually participating in activities among your peers. So plan to be up and moving in this workshop!

Teens Enhancing Advancing Multi-leadership Skills (TEAM)
The Southeast District 4-H Ambassadors will host this hands-on workshop incorporating a variety of teambuilding activities that enhances communication, problem solving, trust and adaptability. Teen leaders will share leadership opportunities offered at the district and state level, as well as their experiences as State 4-H Cabinet members. Participants will gain first-hand insight from these TEAM members and how these skills prepared them for roles outside their communities.

Teens Teaching Youth (TTY)
Would you like to teach a 4-H class, program, or workshop? This workshop will help participants learn the organizational skills in writing a lesson plan, preparing activities, setting a budget and facilitating a great hands-on program for fellow 4-H members. Participants will build a lesson plan in small groups that they can take back to their localities to carry out.

Tick Safety in Virginia
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about ticks and tick-borne pathogens in Virginia will be provided through this workshop. Hand-on activities will include a tick collection session using standard flagging methods, as well as the opportunity to look at specimens under a dissection microscope. Participants will also learn how to make tick removal kits. Safety tips related to ticks and tick-borne pathogens will also be included in this session.

Tour of the School of Veterinary Medicine
Youth with an interest in careers within veterinary science will gain insight into what goes into this fascinating field during this workshop. Participate in an on-site visit and interactive tour of the School of Veterinary Science at Virginia Tech, learn about the process of becoming a veterinarian and experience a hands-on lab. Youth will also experience the practice lab, learning how to vaccinate and palpate.

Virginia’s Big Tree
Curious about Virginia’s biggest trees? Join professionals from the Urban/Community Forestry Association to discover how the Virginia Big Tree program got its start, as well as where these big trees can be found across the Commonwealth. Participants will learn how to measure height, crown, and circumference of a large tree. They will also gain an understanding of the various equipment utilized to make these measurements. Be ready to roll up your sleeves and take an active part in Virginia’s Big Tree Program!

What’s in a Major? Exploring Undergraduate Degrees at Virginia Tech
In this workshop, youth will hear about Virginia Tech’s undergraduate degree options in STEM and STEM-adjacent fields. Representatives from the different academic colleges on campus will share information about programs of study, degree options, career paths, and extracurricular opportunities. Participants will have the chance to look beyond the expected and learn more about programs that best fit your individual interests.

2014 State 4-H Congress

The major purposes of 4-H Congress are:

  • To provide a high-quality educational experience for 4-H youth ages 14-18 and adults that work with them.
  • To promote 4-H as a major statewide educational youth program.
  • To provide educational, recreational, and social experiences for youth that would not normally be available at a county or district level.
  • To enhance life-skill development through all 4-H Congress activities.
  • To provide educational experiences through the Great Summer Showcase, and competition that will enhance life skill development and support 4-H project work.
  • To provide competitive (judging, presentations, etc) events in each curriculum area.
  • To provide educational experiences that enhance life skill development and support 4-H project work.
  • To provide recognition for all competition area winners at a Congress-wide event.
  • To recognize outstanding support to 4-H Congress by a volunteer adult 4-H leader.
  • To promote an understanding of the value of diversity among Congress participants.
  • To enhance a delegate’s sense of personal and social responsibility through an environment that fosters independence, accountability, decision-making, and time management.

Come Celebrate a 100 Years of Hands to Larger Service

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2016 4-H Congress Closing Ceremony Video

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Virginia State 4-H Congress Logo


100th Virginia State Congress: June 21-24, 2022


Joi Saville