Smith County 4-H’ers Attend 77th Annual 4-H Congress

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On March 10-13, 2024, three Smith County 4-H’ers had the opportunity to join nearly 300 youth from across the state as they attended the 77th Annual Tennessee 4‐H Congress. State 4-H Congress is considered by many as Tennessee 4-H’s premier citizenship experience.

Emmy Bibbings and Levi Ferrell attended as delegates from Smith County, and Gabe Harville attended as a competitor in the statewide public speaking and leadership portfolio competitions. Emmy and Levi are both 9th grade homeschool students, and Gabe is an 11th grader at Smith County High School.

Emmy Bibbings served as a Senator and our County Reporter at 4-H Congress. She said, “Congress was a wonderful endeavor and extremely educational! It gave me insight into state government and allowed me to meet students from all over Tennessee.”

Over the course of three days, these Smith County 4-H’ers got to act out roles as senators and representatives, debate and vote on mock bills, participate in 4-H Congress elections, meet with our state legislators, take a trip to the zoo, and enjoy dinner in downtown Nashville.

The Smith County delegation met with Representative Michael Hale and Senator Paul Bailey at the State Capitol on Monday, March 11. Our 4-H’ers also got to visit with Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture Carol Coley McDonald, Tennessee Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Brian Wright, and Tennessee Farm Bureau President Eric Mayberry.

Levi Ferrell, who served as a Representative, said, “Participating in 4-H Congress gave me a deeper understanding of our government and my responsibility as a U.S. citizen. This experience is one I will take with me for the rest of my life.”

Gabe Harville, who has previously attended 4-H Congress and served as the 2022-2023 4-H Congress Speaker of the House had this to say: “Tennessee 4-H Congress is the premier 4-H event. It has allowed youth to learn the importance of government, citizenship, and leadership for the past 77 years! Congress is definitely a favorite 4-H event, and I look forward to it continuing its legacy!”

4-H Congress is a fun and educational experience that empowers youth to be active citizens and leaders in their communities. We are incredibly proud of Emmy, Levi, and Gabe for representing Smith County so well!

If you have any questions about the many opportunities that Smith County 4-H can offer our local youth, please email me at or call our office at 615-735-2900.