|Happy New Year 2020!
It is an even year, which means that Texas 4-H Congress will be taking place at the Capitol Building in Austin, Texas during July 12-15, 2020! I wanted to take a moment to share some initial information about the event to help everyone start thinking about it. It is an incredible and prestigious leadership experience, and one of my personal favorites! More specific timelines and information will be released to us around the first week of February.
Texas 4-H Congress is a four-day mock legislative experience for 4-H members in grades 9th to 12th (at the time of the event). During this time, 4-H members assume the roles of senators, representatives, lobbyists, press corps, and/or special interest groups to gain a first-hand understanding of how the legislative process works. Bills that are written and sponsored by 4-H members focus on issues concerning Texas and Texas youth. These bills are assigned to the appropriate committee, debated in committee meetings, and then on the floor of the House or Senate. If a bill is successful in negotiation and the legislative debate in all three stages, it is delivered to the Governor of Texas 4-H Congress for his or her signature or veto. Copies of all the bills that are signed into law during Texas 4-H Congress are provided to the Office of the Governor for review.
For any Bastrop County 4-H youth interested in participating in Texas 4-H Congress, please read the information below and make sure you fully understand the process by which youth will be selected to attend:
State Congress is a unique opportunity that comes with unique requirements to be eligible to participate. District 10 4-H is guaranteed only a certain number of slots to attend the event. Youth apply for the process of being selected to attend the event. House and Senate responsibilities are assigned later by the State 4-H office to the youth selected to attend from each county. Each youth who is accepted to attend Congress must submit a bill.
Bastrop County 4-H Applicants will be ranked for selection using the following criteria:
- Quality of application (effort put into application)
- Grade level in school
- History of Behavior and involvement in 4-H Activities
General Timeline of selection & registration process:
- January – Initial information and County Application released
- February 26, 2020 – Bastrop County 4-H General Application is due
- February – Lobbyist & Press Corps applications open
- March – Lobbyist & Press Corps applications close
- April – Role Selections are made, Applicants are notified of selection, & Early registration opens in 4-H CONNECT
- May – Regular registration opens in 4-H CONNECT & Bill submissions close
- June – Late registration opens
- July – Bill Book is posted online and the event takes place and memories are made!
If selected, more specific expectations and instructions will be communicated around the end of March/early April regarding the following:
- Youth Roles
- Dress Code
- Behavior Expectations
- Confirmation of Bill Submission
The estimated cost for this event is approximately $350 per individual. The Bastrop County 4-H Council will reimburse 75% of the cost of Texas 4-H Congress. To be eligible to be reimbursed, youth must have attended the event and must complete the Sponsorship Application Form for the event.
For youth to be considered from Bastrop County 4-H, they must complete and submit the online application located at https://bastrop.agrilife.org/texas-4-h-congress/ at the bottom of the page by 12 Noon on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. If you have any questions at any time, please contact Mellanie Mickelson at the CEO at 512-581-7186 or MLMickelson@ag.tamu.edu.
Mellanie L. Mickelson
Bastrop County Extension Agent – 4-H & Youth Development
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services
P.O. Box 650 | 901 Pecan Street | Bastrop, TX 78602
p: (512) 581-7186 | c: (512) 522-9174 | f: (512) 581-7187
Website – https://bastrop.agrilife.org
Blog – www.bastrop4h.blogspot.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/BastropCounty4H