Hundreds of symbolic green clovers will cover the New Mexico State University campus July 9-13 as the annual 4-H state conference takes place in Las Cruces.
More than 275 students from counties around the state are expected to attend the conference to elect state officers and participate in workshops and contests to qualify for regional and national competitions.
"The state conference is important because it gives youth the opportunity to interact with others from around the state while participating in events that help develop them personally in leadership and teamwork," said Amy Zemler, 4-H youth activities specialist.
There to greet the 4-H'ers will be Matt Rush who grew up and lives currently in Roosevelt County. Rush is a 5th generation farmer and rancher who also travels around the country speaking about leadership skills and the importance of American agriculture.
Also there to welcome participants will be Jim Wand who is hypnotic not only in the sense of being an entertainer, but he has been involved in the field of hypnosis for more than 25 years. Wand's goal is to not only entertain but motivate young people by discussing topics such as cultural awareness and dealing with challenges of increasingly complicated student life.
Individual 4-H programs have also been working on a community service project and were challenged to raise at least 100 $1 bills for donation to Habitat for Humanity of New Mexico. There are 16 Habitat for Humanity affiliates throughout the state that help create affordable housing for very-low income households.
Zemler said that 4-H'ers are excited about this year's conference and the chance to not only show off their skills in areas like horticulture, range management and consumer decision making, but they are also looking forward to the dances, speakers and having fun.