Youth from around the state gathered for fun while learning and engaging in friendly competitions at the 2024 Texas 4-H Roundup presented by Texas 4-H Youth Development and held June 3-6 in Bryan-College Station.  

A large gathering of youths in Reed Arena.
More than 2,000 Texas 4-H youth, their families and others attended the 2024 Texas 4-H Roundup in College Station. (Texas A&M AgriLife)

Competitions, educational workshops, scholarships and service projects were all part of this annual invitational and qualifying celebration for Texas 4-H youth who placed in a district level roundup or signed up to compete in one of the invitational events. 

Texas 4-H Roundup is the pinnacle event of the state 4-H program, which is administered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Senior level 4-H members in grades 9-12 participated in this year’s event.

About 2,000 youth and family members attended the four-day event, which had “Ignite” as its theme. As one of the event highlights, more than $2.7 million in scholarships were awarded to 229 Texas 4-H members by the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation

“Participating students and their families throughout Texas come to Bryan-College Station in June to attend and participate in the Texas 4-H Roundup,” said Montza Williams, Ed.D., state 4-H Youth Development program director. “And while the event focuses on the competitions, anyone in Texas 4-H is welcome to attend the annual roundup. No special qualifications are needed to attend.” 

About Texas 4-H Roundup  

Competitors from throughout the state participated in 50 diverse competitions and 12 educational workshops representing the variety of projects offered through 4-H. They also participated in a college and career fair and two community service projects.

Female 4-H member plates a dish of food she cooked during the 4-H Food Challenge at the Texas 4-H Roundup
Students plate dishes in the food challenge during the Texas 4-H Roundup on Wednesday, Jun 05, 2024, in College Station, Texas. (Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife)

Following the college and career fair, a family and consumer sciences presentation, state council candidate speeches and various high-energy kickoff activities were three days of contests and educational workshops. Evening assemblies were held at Reed Arena and consisted of an awards ceremony from that day’s competitions, entertainment, live music and recognition of Texas 4-H scholars and volunteers,

One of this year’s scholars was Turner Sanders, a 10-year 4-H member from Huntington who received his scholarship from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

“My plan is to attend Texas A&M and study animal science and possibly get a second major in agricultural economics,” Sanders said. “I’ve always worked with beef cattle and have shown them as part of my 4-H work.”

Turner said as a career he would like to be involved in beef cattle ruminant nutrition or be an advocate for agricultural policy.

“Another aspect of 4-H that I really enjoyed was developing my leadership abilities,” he said. “I have been a state officer on the 4-H council and think I could be effective addressing ag policy issues in Austin because of my 4-H experiences.”

Public service emphasized at roundup

Williams said the 4-H program emphasizes public service as one of its “pillars” of youth development and Texas 4-H members are encouraged to become involved with service projects that benefit their communities.  

This year’s Texas 4-H Roundup participants had the opportunity to participate in two public service activities. One of those was the Quilts of Valor program, which involves volunteers designing and constructing patriotically themed quilts given to selected active-duty service members or veterans. The other was collecting supplies for the Bryan Animal Shelter and Aggieland Humane Society.

Army veteran Jill Markley draped in patriotically themed quilt made by Texas 4-H members and presented at the 2024 Texas 4-H Roundup in College Station.
Army veteran Jill Markley draped in a patriotically themed quilt made by Texas 4-H members as part of the Under Our Wings Program of the Quilts of Valor military recognition effort. (Texas A&M AgriLife)

During an evening assembly, 20-year military veteran Jill Markley was presented with one of the more than 50 quilts Texas 4-H members have made so far as part of the Under Our Wings Program, a youth and adult community service initiative of Quilts of Valor.

“I was really honored to receive a quilt,” said Markley, who served two separate tours of duty in the Army as a linguist. “It was very special to be recognized and have the support of the 4-H faculty and staff. And I was especially proud that my daughter was there because she is a member of a military family and has supported me throughout my military career.”

Markley said she is happy that young people in 4-H are learning about the value of military service and are making the effort to recognize those who have served and the sacrifices they have made for a greater cause.

For the animal shelter and humane society, Texas 4-H members collected a variety of items including 254 types of dog treats, 68 gallons of dish soap, 97 dog toys, 86 food bowls and 374 individual cleaning supplies.  

Igniting the 4-H experience

Robotics team cheering after thier robot defeats a challenger during competition at the 2024 Texas 4-H Roundup in College Station.
A robotics challenge was among the comeptitions at the 2024 Texas 4-H Roundup held in College Station. (Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife)

The theme “Ignite” was chosen for this year’s roundup to inspire Texas 4-H members to seek out and engage in activities and programs on topics that peak their personal interest, and that they might wish to pursue through higher education or as a career.

“Throughout this year, we hope the youth who attended the Texas 4-H Roundup, as well as all other members of Texas 4-H, will take the steps necessary to ignite their 4-H experience,” Williams said. “There are numerous projects – from public speaking to family and consumer sciences, photography, STEM, fashion, livestock, poultry and many more – where youth can find and ignite their particular passion in a fun and educational environment they can share with their peers.”   

For media inquiries, contact Callie Cline at 979-321-5286 or [email protected].  

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