University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

4-H Issues Conference

4-H Issues Conference Logo

I've Got Issues! 

What about you?

Nov. 20-23, 2014

4-H Clover

Do you want to:

  • Learn how you can make a difference in your community?
  • Gain valuable skills and information on forming youth adult partnerships that address important issues?
  • Make friends, have fun and take part in an outstanding learning and living experience?

What is 4-H Issues Conference?

The Kentucky 4-H Issues Conference  is a four-day gathering of top student leaders from across the Commonwealth. The conference is held annually during the fall. It is open to high school students (preference is given to those in 10th & 11th grades) who display leadership potential and who will make a commitment to implement what they learn back home.  While at the conference, delegates participate in a mock process where they identify an important community issue, develop a plan and process for addressing the issues and present their proposal for grant money in front of a fiscal court.  While the money and court are fiction, the problems are real!  Delegates recieve valuable skill development in how to make a difference in their community! 

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Photos from the 2014 4-H Issues Conference

What do we do at 4-H Issues Conference?   While at the Kentucky 4-H Issues Conference, you will break out into action groups related to important issues that impact every community.  These are diverse and range from topics such as Environmentalism to Teen Stress!  In these groups, you will learn how to identify key assets and liablities in the community, formulate a plan to address issues of concern and develop a presentation requesting (imaginary!) funding from a fiscal court.  It's not all work, however!  Once this is finished you will have a chance to take part in the talent/variety show, enjoy the Saturday evening dance and relax during the recreate time. 

Creating change in your community works best when you have a dedicated team!  For this reason, counties are encouraged to send groups of 1-3 adults and 5-7 youth to the conference.  However, smaller groups or individuals are also welcome!

To help prepare you for your action group, all participants are asked to collect information about their topic (once registered and assigned).  A notebook or binder works well for the news articles, website and pamplets you might collect. 


First Year & Beyond!  We again have an opportunity for past Issues Conference participants to take part in a "level 2" conference at the same place and time!  If you are committed to making a difference, contact your 4-H agent for more information or email Mark Mains, State Specialist!


When/Where is 4-H Issues Conference Held?  Delegates at 4-H Issues Conference stay at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Center which is a lodge like setting on beautiful Lake Cumberland.  Delegates stay in lodge style rooms with 3-4 beds and private bathrooms.  All meals on-site are provided in the cost of the registration fee.

Conference Date:  November 20-23, 2014 (Registration begins at 5:30 pm ET, the conference ends before lunch on Sunday).  This conference is traditionally held beginning on the third Thursday of November, the week before Thanksgiving). 

Cost:  Registration fee information is available from your county 4-H agent (click here for a list of counties).  One check per county is preferred and should be made out to "Kentucky 4-H Foundation" with "Issues" in the memo. 

Registration Deadline:  (COUNTY DEADLINES MAY BE EARLIER THAN THE STATE DEADLINES LISTED!)  All registration are due to the State 4-H Office on November 7, 2014.  Payment is due, in hand, the following week on November 17, 2014.  Late payment may incurr addtional charges.  No late registrations are accepted.  There are no refunds, substitutions may be considered on a case by case basis. 


How do I sign up?  Start by contacting your county 4-H agent.  You do not need to be a current 4-H member to take part in this program.  You can find the contact information for your agents at this link.

The following information will need to be submitted to your agent for online registration:

The following additional information should be read/viewed to help prepare you for the conference:

The following promotional information can help individuals, club leaders or agents promote the program:


Grant Opportunities  Each year, the Kentucky 4-H Foundation provides several $500 grants to support the efforts of 4-H Issues Conference attendees in making a difference in their communities.  These grants are usually do in January and are only available to those youth who attended the Issues conference the previous November.  Please contact your 4-H agent for more information.  The grant forms are:


Planning Committee Opportunities  Issues conference delegates who attended the 2014 Issues Conference (either as Issues I or Issues II delegates) are eligible to apply for one of the committee member positions.  The requested paperwork is listed below.  ALL meetings should be attended so please make sure you are willing to make this committment before completing an application.


Agent/Staff Information (click here)


4-H Issues Conference Picture - Cafeteria Enjoy delicious meals at the Lake Cumberland 4-H Center!
These are just a few of the many "action groups" in which you participate at 4-H Issues Conference!

Revised 9/16/2014 (MAM