MARSHALL - A Lyon County 4-H member will be representing Minnesota on a national level this spring. Alex Lessman, a Minneota High School senior and active 4-H member, has been selected as one of four Minnesota delegates who will attend the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 24.
In an interview last week, Lessman said the opportunity to attend the conference will be both an honor and an opportunity.
Lessman said he became interested in attending the national convention partly after hearing yearly requests for applicants.
"A couple years ago I looked into it, and I wanted to apply for it," he said.
The application process for the 2012 conference was a long one, with several different parts including a telephone interview for the top 12 finalists.
"I worked on it (the application) just about every day," he said.
Getting the news that he had been accepted as a delegate was "unbelievable," Lessman said.
"I can't wait for this opportunity - I can't wait for March to come," he said.
The 4-H National Conference is a working conference, Lessman said, with 4-H members from around the country participating in workshops and discussing ways to help keep the 4-H program strong in the future. Delegates will also visit the National 4-H Council in Maryland, and visit with national legislators at the U.S. Capitol, he said.
Delegates' work don't end when the conference does, Lessman said. Once he's back in Minnesota, it will be time to report on the things he's seen and learned. Lessman said he will be giving some presentations, including ones to Minneota community groups.
Lessman said his experiences as a state 4-H Ambassador will definitely be helpful as he prepares to be a delegate at the national conference. It's helped develop his public speaking skills, and helped him take on leadership roles, he said.
Participating in 4-H, he said, is something that can help you "continue to push your potential all the way."
For now, however, Lessman said he's focused more on preparing for the trip. The costs of attending the convention aren't covered by the University of Minnesota Extension, so he has been doing some fundraising.
"I've had some success with that in the last couple weeks," he said. "There's also the work I have to do getting educated about Minnesota 4-H."
Lessman said he's excited for the trip.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the country," and the different monuments in Washington, he said. But even more than that, he said, he's looking forward to "really just representing our area and our state."