As part of its 100th anniversary celebration, West Virginia 4-H will hold a state”conversation”Feb. 1-2 at WVU Jacksons Mill Center for Lifelong Learning near Weston.

Among the expected 150 participants will be West Virginia University President David C. Hardesty Jr. and West Virginia State College President Hazo Carter, who head the states land-grant institutions of higher education that coordinate the state 4-H program. Larry Cote, associate provost and director of Extension at WVU , will open the meeting Friday evening.

The purpose of the conversation is to collect the states best ideas on youth development programs, which will be carried forward to the National Conversation on Youth Development in the 21st Century. West Virginia will send delegates to that meeting Feb. 28-March 3 in Washington D.C. West Virginia already has held county conversations throughout the state.

Through clubs, special interest groups, camps, after-school programs and individual learn-by-doing projects, 4-H reaches 44,000 young people statewide. They are supported by more than 7,600 adult volunteers servings as their mentors. 4-H is a program of the WVU Extension Service.

4-H leaders decided to celebrate the organizations centennial not by building a monument to its history, but rather by developing a series of recommendations starting at the local level and ending up with one nationwide report on how youths and adults can work together to strengthen communities. The report will be presented to President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress.

For more information, contact Ann Berry Bailey, communications director, WVU Extension Service, 304-293-4221, ext. 3416.