Iowa youths begin term on State 4-H Council

Emma Bailey of Webster City among the new members

— Submitted photo Central Area Council members include, front row from the left: Leah Mosher, Marshall County; Lindsey Donnelly, Story County; Josie Noland, Boone County; back row, Jarrett Loseke, Webster County; Emma Bailey, Hamilton County; Claira Miller, Story County; and Ben Rima, Story County. Natalie Bretey of Boone County and Ashley Kahler of Story County were not present for the photo.

Thirty-nine Iowa youths, including Emma Bailey of Webster City, are beginning their 2018-2019 terms as State 4-H Council members following an induction ceremony during the 2018 Iowa 4-H Youth Conference, June 28.

These young leaders will serve as ambassadors for the Iowa 4-H Youth Development program throughout the state and in their local counties, said Haley Jones, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H youth program specialist.

To be considered for the State 4-H Council, each member submitted a written application and then participated in face-to-face interviews with a panel of 4-H mentors. This selective process focuses on how candidates communicate their leadership and communication skills, as well as their potential to contribute as a part of a large group.

“Council members have the opportunity to gain a variety of life skills including communication, leadership and professionalism. They are advocates for the Iowa 4-H program and that responsibility can help them further develop good character as they represent the 4-H program, state council group and themselves while serving in their ambassador counties across the state,” said Jones.

As a part of the council, members are responsible for organizing and implementing the annual Iowa 4-H Youth Conference, which brings over 700 high school students to the Iowa State University campus for three days each June. Council members also serve at the Iowa State Fair and other Iowa 4-H events, and visit counties to share with 4-H’ers how to get involved with state and national 4-H opportunities. The council members also coordinate, promote and oversee the 4-H’ers for 4-H fundraising campaign.

“Serving on state council presented me with numerous leadership, civic engagement and networking opportunities that no other organization that I am involved with has,” said Hope Dohlman who represents Howard County and will be serving her second term on the state council. “My leadership skills grew immensely through organizing the youth conference with my fellow council members, leading and speaking at 4-H events in both my home county and ambassador counties, and so much more.”

Council members attend multiple retreats throughout the year that focus on developing leadership, civic engagement, communication and personal life skills, while also providing opportunities to work as a team and make friends.

“The state council is typically made up of 40 youth from across the state but this year will be an exception as the council members have decided to leave the 40th spot open in memory of their fellow council member, Jacy McAlexander, who recently lost his courageous battle to cancer. Jacy had gone through the application and interview process and was accepted to serve his second term back in March prior to his passing,” said Jones.

The State 4-H Council members represent all parts of Iowa. They work to give back to their communities and help 4-H Youth Development best serve the youth of Iowa.