2024 Southern Region Biennial Conference

Save The Date

April 8-11, 2024

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Welcome from Louisiana 4-H Program Leader – Dr. Toby Lepley

The LSU AgCenter and Louisiana 4-H Staff extend a warm and enthusiastic welcome to all 4-H Youth Development Specialists from across the Southern Region to the highly anticipated 2024 Southern Region Biennial Conference, scheduled in Lafayette, Louisiana, from April 8th to 11th. It is with great anticipation that we invite you to this gathering of passionate youth development professionals. This biennial conference has been thoughtfully designed to provide each of us with the latest insights, programming updates, and unparalleled opportunities in the realm of 4-H Youth Development. As you engage in discussions and idea-sharing sessions with fellow experts from the Southern United States, you'll be part of a transformative experience that propels our 4-H Youth Development mission forward. Beyond the enriching sessions, immerse yourselves in the vibrant Cajun culture and leverage the multitude of networking occasions that will undoubtedly forge lasting connections.

Together, let's foster growth, innovation, and a shared commitment to empowering the leaders of tomorrow. Your presence adds a unique dimension to this event, and we look forward to embarking on this journey of learning, collaboration, and cultural celebration with you.

A week of celebrating and connecting in the heart of Cajun Country

Louisiana 4-H is excited to welcome you to Lafayette, LA for the 2024 Southern Region Biennial Conference – Festival du Clover. We are happy for our colleagues from throughout the southern region to join us as we share with you our rich cultural history, delicious Louisiana cuisine and unique music of Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole Country. Get ready to tap your toes and tingle your tastebuds as we celebrate 4-H Youth Development!

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Registration Is Now Closed

Early Registration: $350 (December 1, 2023 - January 27, 2024)

Regular Registration: $375 (January 28, 2024 - February 17, 2024)

Late Registration: $450 (February 18, 2024 - March 5, 2024)

March 1, 2024 Deadline for Conference Refunds (less $25.00 fee)

View the Schedule at a Glance

Monday, April 8, 2024

3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Registration Ballroom Level
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Welcome Reception
  Remarks - Dr. Toby Lepley
  Acadiana Culture - Dr. Robert Richard
Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE)
537 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette, LA https://lite.louisiana.edu/
6:30 p.m. Dinner on your own

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Poster Set-up Ballroom Level
8:00 a.m. Breakfast Salons DEF
Poster Viewing Ballroom Level
8:45 a.m. Opening Assembly
 Master of Ceremonies - Dr. Toby Lepley
 Pledges - 4-H members
 National Anthem - 4-H Member
 Comments - Lafayette Mayor-President, Monique Blanco- Boule
 Keynote Speaker - Roy Petitfils
Salons DEF
10:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions Ashland A, Oaklawn,
Oak Alley, Ashland B
11:30 a.m. Lunch/Facilitated Discussion
12:30 p.m. Networking Event: "Who's Doing Your Job" & State Program Leaders Meeting
2:00 p.m. Break and Poster Viewing Hallway outside of Salon DEF
3:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions Ashland A, Oaklawn,
Oak Alley, Ashland B
4:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions Ashland A, Oaklawn,
Oak Alley, Ashland B
6:00 p.m. Cajun Style Dinner and Social - Dance Lessons & Live Music Vermilionville

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

7:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:15 - 9:15 a.m. Concurrent Sessions
9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions
11:00 a.m. Seminars on the Geaux
Gather for Tours & Brown Bag Lunch
Lake Martin Kayak Tour
Geaux Grilling
On Cuisine de Jardin
Hot Stuff Tour Avery Island
Lafayette Museum Tour
Think Rice
Swamp Tour
6:30 p.m. State's Night Out

Thursday, April 11, 2024

8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Closing Session
 Master of Ceremony - Dr. Toby Lepley
 Capnote Speaker - Tay Moore
10:30 a.m. Conference Adjourned

Although the distance is short, it is not advised to walk to surrounding restaurants due to the business of the roadways.

Casual Dining Options

Deano’s Pizza - Pizza with a Cajun Flair 305 Bertrand location closest to LITE Center (2.3 miles from hotel)

Agave Grill & Cantina - 525 Bertrand location closest to LITE Center (2.7 miles from hotel)

Twin’s Burgers & Sweets – 2801 Johnston St. (1.9 miles from hotel)

Café Bella – 301 Heymann Blvd (0.7 miles from hotel)

Hub City Diner – 1412 South College Rd. (0.6 miles from hotel)

Chris’s PoBoys – 1930 W Pinhook Rd. (0.7 miles from hotel)

State’s Night Out

SoLA Restaurant, within the conference hotel, DoubleTree Lafayette, Louisiana Hotel Dining (hilton.com)

Half Shell Oyster House, 3.7 miles from conference hotel, Half Shell Oyster House

Uncle T’s Oyster Bar, 6.3 miles from conference hotel, Uncle T's Oyster Bar | Seafood, Po-Boys & Oysters | Scott, LA (uncletsoysterbar.com)

Whiskey & Vine, .9 miles from conference hotel, Whiskey & Vine Cocktail Lounge (wvlounge.com)

Bon Temps Grill, 0.5 miles from conference hotel, Cajun & Creole Restaurant, Bar & Catering: Bon Temps Grill: Lafayette, LA

Don’s Seafood and Steakhouse, 2.4 miles from conference hotel, Dons Seafood (donsseafoodonline.com

Marcello’s, 1.0 miles from conference hotel, Marcello's Lafayette (marcelloslafayette.com)

Marcello’s Lafayette, 1.1 miles from conference hotel, 340 Kaliste Saloom Rd., *Reservations Recommended

Ruffino’s on the River, 3.6 miles from conference hotel, 921 Camellia Blvd., Lafayette, LA, Ruffino’s

Pour Restaurant and Bar, 3.3 miles from conference hotel, 1 Degaulle Square, Lafayette, LA, Pour Restaurant and Bar


* indicates attractions in the conference agenda

** indicates attractions in conference tour options

Acadian Village, Acadian Village - Weddings, Events, Field Trips - Lafayette

**Paul and Lulu Hillard Univeristy Art Museum, The Hilliard Art Museum at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (hilliardmuseum.org)

**Avery Island, #1 Hot Sauce Asked For By Name | TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce

**Jungle Gardens at Avery Island Jungle Gardens

Cajun Food Tours, Cajun Food Tours in Lafayette, LA

Acadian Cultural Center, Acadian Cultural Center - Lafayette - Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

*Vermilionville, Vermilionville (bayouvermiliondistrict.org)

Acadian Center for Hearts, acadianacenterforthearts.org

Alexandre Mouton House, History of the House – The Lafayette Museum

** Moncus Park, Moncus Park

** Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist (saintjohncathedral.org)

Longfellow-Evangeline Historic Site, Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site | (lastateparks.com)

Rip Van Winkle Gardens, Rip Van Winkle Gardens at Jefferson Island

Lafayette Regional Airport: 3 miles from the conference hotel, the new terminal opened November 2021 and ready to welcome you via American, Delta and United Airlines. https://lftairport.com/

Baton Rouge Metropolitan/Ryan Field: 64 miles from conference hotel. https://www.flybtr.com/

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport:127 miles from conference hotel. https://flymsy.com/

Double Tree by Hilton, 1521 West Pinhook Road, Lafayette, LA 70503

The conference hotel is DoubleTree by Hilton located on the Vermilion River. Rooms are available at the rate of $149/night/king bed, $129/night/double beds, $299/night/suite until Monday, March 18, 2024. Rooms can be reserved calling 800-222-TREE(8733) or by clicking here (link will be provided closer to conference) by Monday, March 18, 2023. Identify room block – Southern Region 4-H Conference. All reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card.

  • 24-hour Shuttle to Lafayette Regional Airport
  • Complimentary Self-Parking
  • Reservation deadline – Monday, March 18, 2024

Visit this link to access preferred rates.

Presentation proposals are now closed.

Summary of 2024 Biennial Sessions

Discover the uniqueness of the Louisiana culture and how 4-H programs are integrated as you participate in these seminars.

  • Lake Martin Kayak Tour – Egrets, herons, bullfrogs, alligators are just a few of the different animals you may spot as you enjoy kayaking in the moss draped cypress trees of this Louisiana swampland and wildlife preserve. You will learn more about the Louisiana 4-H Wetlands Ambassadors, Youth Wetlands Program and Marsh Maneuvers camp.
  • Geaux Grilling – Explore the Louisiana 4-H Grilling curriculum and meet the Louisiana 4-H Livestock Ambassadors while enjoying a visit to Gonsoulin Land and Cattle Company and LSU AgCenter’s Seafood Demonstration Laboratory at the Iberia Research Station.
  • On Cuisine de Jardin - Discover the school to table experience while visiting the many partners that collaborate on the School Garden effort. Tour stops include visiting with Master Gardeners at the Ira Nelson Horticulture Center, Moncus Park which is home to the Farmer’s Market and Savoy Family Treehouse, USGS Wetlands and Aquatic Center and one of the Lafayette school garden sites with speakers from Seeds to Success.
  • Hot Stuff Tour Avery Island – Visit the home of McIlhenny Tabasco sauce and Jungle Gardens
  • Lafayette Museum Tour – Enjoy the beauty of downtown Lafayette with visits to the Hillard Art Museum, Acadiana Center for the Arts and Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
  • Think Rice – You will be thinking rice after you explore the world of rice with a visit to the world recognized H Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station. The station covers about and includes more than 30 acres devoted to crawfish research. From a field tour to cooking demonstration, participants will learn all about rice and get to sample delicious rice and crawfish. The tour will feature the newly developed variety that is high protein, low glycemic index.
  • Swamp Tour - Discover and learn about the largest wetland in America with guides from Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat and Swamp Tours. Whether you want to adventure out on an airboat or a pontoon - you're sure to have a good time. Note: There is an additional fee to participate in this Seminar on the Geaux.

Welcome Reception Speaker - Dr. Robert Richard

DrRichard.jpg thumbnailWith ancestors from France and French-Canada and raised in a bilingual household, Dr. Richard is proud of the rich culture of the Acadiana region. Given the opportunity to speak two languages from birth and still does so today with family, friends, and acquaintances. The connection to the New Brunswick area of Canada is particularly strong through the language and culture with those connections continuing in spite of physical separation of over 270 years. Dr. Richard retired from the LSU AgCenter after 35 years of service then served 8 years as principal of a local Catholic elementary school. In retirement he hosts a French talk show on the local cable channel and plays as much golf as possible.

Keynote Speaker - Roy Petifilis

Roy Petifilis.jpg thumbnailRoy has worked with young people for the last 30 years as a youth minister, teacher, school administrator, school counselor and now as a psychotherapist in private practice where he specializes in counseling teenagers. He has written seven books, his latest being Helping Teens with Stress, Anxiety and Depression. He is a lifelong student whose passion is understanding and reaching teenagers. He consults with schools, churches and other organizations who seek to reach and influence today’s teens. Roy hosts a popular podcast Today’s Teenager and has given a TED talk, What Teens Want You to Know but Won’t Tell You. Roy lives in Youngsville, LA with his wife Mindi of 23 years and his two teen sons Max and Ben.

Closing Speaker - Antavion “Tay” Moore

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Antavion “Tay” Moore is a testament to the power of positive youth development. A native of Ringgold, Louisiana, Tay’s journey to becoming a change agent began in 4-H, the only club offered at his rural elementary school.

At an early age, Moore gained a reputation for being an academically gifted student. In 2020, he was named the Louisiana State 12th Grade “Student of the Year. As a senior in high school, Moore was chosen as one of twenty-four 2020 Ron Brown Scholars.

Throughout his life, Moore has exemplified his dedication to civic engagement. A former Louisiana 4-H state president, he served on the Louisiana 4-H Foundation, National 4-H Council Young Alumni Advisory Committee, and National 4-H Council Board of Trustees.

Currently, Tay is a senior at Louisiana State University studying political science and music. He is an active servant-leader throughout the state, volunteering with numerous programs throughout Baton Rouge. He is Co-President of LSU Collegiate 4-H, a pianist in the LSU Jazz Band and Chamber Jazz Ensemble, and was featured on LSU President William Tate’s “On Par with the President” podcast.

Moore’s dedication to rural community development has resulted in a plethora of accolades. In 2022, he became the first LSU student to be selected as a John Robert Lewis Scholar. Moore was invited as one of 72 students across the nation to participate in the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government's 22nd Annual Public Policy Leadership Conference, and was chosen to attend the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs “Emerging Public Policy Issues in Texas & the American South”, Moore was one of only 62students selected out of 705 candidates nationwide as a 2023 Truman Scholar, the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States.

Moore has advocated for positive youth development to government, private sector, nonprofit, and philanthropist leaders throughout the nation. Moore hopes his life story is an inspiration to all young people. He aspires to pursue a career in public service advocating for rural communities.

Grammy Award Winner Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band

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Chubby has had his band for over 34 years. He is the third generation Zydeco artist to come out of the Carrier’s family. He played his first gig on the drums with his daddy’s band at the age of 10 years old. At 14 years old he played his first gig on the accordion. In 1987 he joined Terrance Simien Zydeco band. He toured all over the world with Terrance for 2 ½ years. In 1989 he started his on band, Chubby Carrier & The Bayou Swamp Band. The band toured the United States, Canada and Europe. Playing Festivals, Fairs, and music venues all over the world. In 2010 Chubby won a Grammy award for Best Zydeco or Cajun album of the year. In 2011 he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Dr. Moriah Hargrave

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Dr. Moriah Hargrave serves her community in the Acadiana region of South Louisiana as a multilingual folklorist, health coach, and professional dancer. She founded the company Fleurish Forever™, directed and produced the documentary film First Cousins: Cajun and Creole Music in South Louisiana, and established her own dance business LA Danser™. Moriah created an innovative fitness program called ZydeFit® and operates as a partner with the 50-year old multibillion dollar health and wellness Juice Plus+ Company operating in more than 20 countries. Dr. Moriah Hargrave appreciates every opportunity to share her passion for health, culture, and dance at home and abroad.


Important Dates and Deadlines

  • November 1, 2023: Call for educational and poster session proposals
  • December 1, 2023: Proposals for educational and poster sessions due
  • December 1, 2023: Conference registration opens
  • January 15, 2024: Accepted educational and poster sessions notified
  • January 27, 2024: Early-bird registration ends
  • March 1, 2024: Deadline for conference refunds (less $25.00 fee)
  • March 18, 2024: Room block expires at the Double Tree by Hilton
  • March 5, 2024: Conference registration ends

Contact Information

Please feel free to contact a member of our planning committee for more information.


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The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture