After almost two years of anticipation, Macon County 4-Hers gathered with more 300 4-H members from across the state at the 74th Tennessee 4-H Congress.

Macon County 4-Hers attending were Delaney Turner (senator), Ella Flynn (representative) and Eli Johnson (representative).

Andrea Flynn served as a volunteer leader to help oversee activities and 4-Hers during 4-H Congress.

The 4-H members were selected as representatives or senators and debated bills in downtown Nashville, inside the Senate and House chambers while sitting in their local politicians’ seats. They were able to debate bills over minimum wage, COVID-19 vaccination mandates, compensation for college athletes, and the elimination of standardized tests.

They then toured the Tennessee State Capitol, the downtown Nashville area, and attended educational sessions at the Tennessee State University Campus on Aug. 16.

On Tuesday, they voted for the 2021-2022 Tennessee 4-H Congress

Officers, after listening to their campaign addresses, watched the history bowl contest (with Lelan Statom as moderator), completed a service project with the Tennessee Alliance for Kids with donations for TAK PAKS, rode the General Jackson Showboat, and attended the citizenship banquet.

Many 4-Hers from across the state brought in items for the Tennessee Alliance for Kids so that many kids can be gifted with essentials they may need.

On their General Jackson Showboat tour, Turner was recognized as the senior level I citizenship project winner. She received a silver bowl in memory of Leula Lee and a $500 scholarship.

Aidan Flynn was recognized as a citizenship level II finalist.

Ella Flynn was also recognized as leadership level I project finalist and the ninth-grade public-speaking winner. She received a Lute Truett Memorial Silver Bowl and a $100 cash award.

Ella Flynn’s speech contest was scored on a prepared speech about 4-H and an extemporaneous speech portion.

The 4-H Congress attendees then attended the citizenship banquet, which consisted of a meal, a 4-H hall of fame presentation, recognition of the 2021 Outstanding Friends of 4-H, and the installation of the 2021-2022 4-H Congress officers.

Turner and Ella Flynn, both of whom are state 4-H winners, were also able to sit at the head table with the dean of the University of Tennessee extension, dean of Tennessee State University extension, and more Tennessee 4-H Congress and extension staff.

The Congress attendees from Macon County, and across the state, enjoyed their time in Nashville learning about government, making friends, learning leadership and citizenship skills, and making many new memories.

— Submitted by Delaney Turner, Macon County 4-H Reporter

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