Cooperative Extension Youth Represented at National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C.

PRAIRIE VIEW, TX – Five 4-H’ers who participate in the Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University 4-H events and are members of 4-H clubs in their respective counties recently received scholarships to serve as members of the Texas delegation at the 80th National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C. The National 4-H Conference, held March 20-25, brought 4-H’ers from around the country to the Nation’s Capitol for a host of meetings with 4-H leadership to share ideas and develop recommendations for the future of national and local 4-H youth development programs. 

National 4-H Conference

Pictured with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, center, are Andre Houston, JaMarcus Payton, Esmeralda Garcia and Gail Long - Program Specialist - 4-H & Youth.

“We were very proud this year to take five of our 4-H’ers from Harris and Fort Bend counties to attend 4-H Conference ,” said Gail Long, program specialist – 4-H & Youth, who also served as a chaperone for the youth. “These young people were part of a delegation of eight who attended from Texas.” 

National 4-H Conference

Shown with Congressman Ron Paul, center, are 4-H delegates Andre Houston, Myron Sias, Esmeralda Garcia, April Smart and JaMarcus Payton.

Timothy Sandles, Extension agent – 4-H, Cooperative Extension Program, Fort Bend County and Ida Houston, a 4-H volunteer from Harris County also served as chaperones for this year’s 4-H Conference. The Farm Credit System Foundation, Inc. granted scholarships to Land-Grant Universities and Colleges, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the 4-H Land-Grant University system, one of which is Prairie View A&M University. 

Pictured is the National 4-H Conference Prairie View A&M Cooperative Extension delegation, from left, Timothy Sandles, Extension Agent - 4-H in Fort Bend County, Andre Houston, Ida Houston - volunteer leader from Harris County, Esmeralda Garcia, April Smart, Myron Sias and JaMarcus Payton.

Students who received these scholarships and represented the Prairie View delegation were: Esmeralda Garcia, a 12th grader at North Forest High School, Harris County; Andre Houston, an 11th grader at Aldine High School, Harris County and April Smart, a 10th grader at Assets Academy in Fort Bend County. JaMarcus Payton, a 12th grader at North Forest High School, Harris County and Myron Sias, a 12th grader at Madison High School, Fort Bend County were also able to attend as part of the Prairie View A&M University delegation. 

The scholarships secured a place for the 4-H’ers in the conference focus groups, citizenship excursions, workshops, roundtable discussions and town hall meetings where they crafted recommendations for the future of 4-H programs. 

Delegates also met with their legislators during Capitol Hill Day to represent their states and to discuss state 4-H programs with congressional members and their staffs. “Our delegates had the opportunity to meet Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, District 18 and Congressman Ron Paul, District 14, said Long. “A banquet was held at the conclusion of the event to give everyone an opportunity to further share and discuss their experiences at National 4-H Conference. “ 

The National 4-H Conference is administered by 4-H National Headquarters of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Since the first conference in 1927, the conference, known as the “Secretary’s Conference,” continues to be USDA’s premier youth development opportunity to engage youth in developing recommendations for the 4-H Youth Development Program. 

Contact Gail Long at 936/261-5119, for more information. Interested persons can also visit  to learn about Cooperative Extension’s 4-H & Youth Development  programs or visit

Gloria J. Mosby, program director – Communications, Cooperative Extension Program 

Photo credits: Gail Long, program specialist – 4-H & Youth and “Courtesy of Washington D.C. National 4-H Conference staff”


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