Junior leader conference teaches life skills

Junior Leaders network with leaders and business people at the 2019 State 4-H Junior Leader Conference. This is the first year that the networking session took place.

INDIANAPOLIS — The 2019 State 4-H Junior Leader Conference was held June 18-21 at the University of Indianapolis.

The theme of the conference was “Super Leaders: the Next Chapter.”

Students participated in skill sessions and networking event. They also volunteered for a service project to support the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana.

“This is our first year we’ve done this networking session,” said Kaycee Ferguson, a student at University of Indianapolis.

“We wanted to do something to help the kids prepare, talk to adults, to network. We were really excited to see how it goes, because a lot of them will have to do it in college or down the line. We wanted to give them practice in a safe, comfortable space.”

Junior leader conference teaches life skills

Bruce Kettler, director of Indiana State Department of Agriculture, poses for a picture with several 4-H junior leaders. Kettler networked with students and shared encouraging words at the final conference dinner.

Leaders from around the state came to interact with the students.

Bruce Kettler, director of Indiana State Department of Agriculture, shared encouraging words with 4-Hers.

“To me, one of the most important things about 4-H is that it teaches a lot of life skills and responsibility,” he said. “When you’re taking care of livestock, you realize pretty quickly that they depend upon that daily care and attention.

“The life skills that you start to learn at a very young age are critical.”

When asked what advice he’d share with students going off to college, he encouraged them to explore.

“One of the benefits of the 4-H program is it allows people to explore a lot of different things without being committed long-term,” he said. “If they learn to explore through 4-H, and remember that as they go through their college years, that will serve them very well in the future.”

Junior leader conference teaches life skills

A 4-H license plate celebrates Indiana youth. Show your clover pride by purchasing one at your local BMV branch. Plate fees support programs for young people state-wide. A portion of the money from each plate goes back to 4-H in the county where it was purchased.

Erica Quinlan can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 193, or equinlan@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Quinlan.

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