Youth Program

The Tennessee Council of Cooperatives (TCC) is a non-profit organization established to promote “the cooperative way of business” through education and promotion of all types of cooperatives.

Program Overview

The Tennessee Council of Cooperatives sponsors up to four outstanding Tennessee youth to attend the National Institute on Cooperative Education (NICE) Youth Conference each year. The TCC youth delegates to this conference are selected because of their achievements in Tennessee’s 4-H and FFA programs. The TCC youth delegates are the alternates in the Level II, 4-H, Leadership and Citizenship projects and the alternates in the State FFA Star in Agribusiness and State Proficiency Competition.

For nearly three-quarters of a century, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) offered the National Institute on Cooperative Education (NICE), or its predecessor, the American Institute of Cooperation (AIC), as one of its educational conferences on cooperatives. In August of 2002, NCFC made the decision to streamline its educational opportunities in order to provide a better return on member investments of both time and money.

During the 2002 NICE, the last NCFC-sponsored youth event, a number of state delegations met to express interest in the continuation of the youth component of NICE. A decision was made to host the 2003 Diamond Anniversary NICE on the Virginia Tech campus, and to seek to rotate the conference to different universities in future years. This was actually a return to the model of the original AIC when the conference was hosted on university campuses. Since the conference is now focused solely on youth education, the return to the campus setting seems appropriate. Following the 2003 Diamond Anniversary Conference, participants decided to return to Virginia Tech for the 2004 conference with future conferences rotating to other venues in other states.

The conference is intended to provide a deeper understanding of cooperatives to the youth participants who are the cooperative members, customers, employees, directors, and leaders of tomorrow. Participants will gain an understanding of how cooperatives differ from other business forms and will hear cooperative success stories in both the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. In a team setting, attendees will serve as managers of a simulated cooperative store, competing with other stores in their market area for sales and profit. Teams will also analyze case studies, develop their own student-run cooperative, and participate in team-building and leadership development activities. The closing session will recognize the teams that have been the top performers in various conference activities. The Youth Scholar Program provides both educational and social activities.

Program Objectives

  • Increase the understanding of basic cooperative principles, how cooperatives are organized and operated, and how to use cooperatives.
  • Develop an understanding of the issues creating challenges and opportunities for cooperatives today.
  • Provide opportunities for participation and leadership development.
  • Encourage youth scholars to explore career possibilities with cooperatives.
  • Provide opportunities to become acquainted with cooperative leaders, members, educators, and other youth.

Previous 2012 & 2013 Progams

TENNESSEE 4-H’ERS ATTEND 2013 NICE CONFERENCE IN VIRGINIA

The 2013 National Institute on Cooperative Education (NICE) Conference was held July 27-31 on the beautiful campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Tennessee 4-H was represented at this event by Kirsten Beasley from Sumner County and Hunter Jones from Macon County. Hunter was recognized as one of two Outstanding Youth Scholars at the event.

The NICE Conference is held to educate youth in 4-H, FFA and other organizations about the importance of cooperatives in their communities and how these co-ops function. Conference attendees participated in educational sessions to understand the principles of cooperatives.

In small group sessions, they debated actual cooperative board cases and also had the opportunity to operate and manage their own mock agricultural supply cooperatives and make business decisions related to these co-ops. A new addition to the NICE conference was the opportunity for participants to form their own STUCO (student cooperative) groups and sell products and/or services for an actual profit.

 Kirsten had this to share regarding her participation in the conference…

The 2013 NICE Conference was an experience I will never forget. I was so honored to find out I had won the trip through a 4-H competition. The trip was so much more than I thought it would be! The delegates were put into teams where we ran student cooperatives to try to gain real profit. We also ran co-op simulations where we had to compete for profit in a real world market setting, and we were given board cases to learn how to make tough decisions in a competitive market. We toured a local cooperative feed mill, visited the natural bridge and had some fun at a dance. I became so close with everyone on my team; by the end of the week, we were like family. I learned so much about cooperatives and agriculture I never knew! It truly was a “nice” conference.

The trip was sponsored by the Tennessee Council of Cooperatives, and Chelsea Rose from the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association accompanied the two 4-H members on the trip. Both our 4-H delegates were awarded the trip as runners-up in the Level II leadership and citizenship competition at Tennessee 4-H Congress in Nashville last March. They attended the conference along with three Tennessee FFA delegates to form the complete Tennessee delegation. Youth from nine states were in attendance at the conference.

Steve Sutton

Director

4-H Youth Development

** Saturday and Wednesday Airport Shuttle Service arranged by the Virginia Cooperative Council, Allen Melton and Phil Miller

** Campus Points of Interest:

Hahn Horticultural Gardens
Lane Stadium
Cassell Coliseum
University Bookstore
Squires Student Center
4/16 Memorial
Duck Pond

(All times are local to Blacksburg, Virginia Eastern Daylight Time)
Saturday, July 27, 2013

** Dress code for Saturday is comfortable and casual attire that is tasteful and appropriate. See
official dress code for more information.

** Conference Headquarters Office is located in the Ag Econ Departmental Conference Room on
second floor Hutcheson Hall (217-I). It will serve as the strategy room for all cooperative
simulation computations, STUCO headquarters, conference storage, and the conference office.

1:00 – 6:00 pm Conference Registration NICE Dorm: New Hall East
(540 Washington Street SW, Blacksburg, VA 24060)
Conference packets and sling bags distributed by assigned team
Room keys distributed at front desk of New Hall East
Individual sign-up for youth attendees to assist with various conference aspects:
News of the Day
Conference Photos
Sunday Morning Devotional
DRAFT Conference Program
(subject to minor revisions)
NICE 2013
National Institute on
Cooperative Education
Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA

July 27-31, 2013
2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 pm Campus Tours
Campus tours will be repeated every hour from 2:00 until 4:00 pm. Tours will begin and
end at the New Hall East lobby. Tours will be led by a VT Ambassador and will consist of
a one-hour walking tour of various sites on the VT Campus. All tour participants must
complete an information sheet prior to the tour.

6:00 – 6:15 pm Welcome & Orientation Hillcrest Dining Room………….…………………… Phil Miller
(All NICE participants to attend)
6:15 – 6:30 pm Youth Scholar Ice Breaker Hillcrest Dining Room and Vicinity………….….. Jennie Gentry
6:30 – 8:30 pm Pizza Party and Get Acquainted Exercises Hillcrest Dining Room ………………… Jennie Gentry
approx. 7:15 pm Adult and Student Worker Orientation Hillcrest Lounge ………….Phil Miller
(required for all adult and student leaders)

Phil Miller will discuss the role of adult and student leaders, explain rules and roles, and
will recognize group leaders and volunteer assignments for each of the following (small group meetings possible):

STUCO
Cooperative Case Studies: Patsy Whitehead & Mary Lou Mays
Monday Box Lunch
Cooperative Simulations: Adam Shiflett and Eric Stogdale
Conference Photos
Sunday Morning Devotional: Allen Melton
Outstanding Youth Scholar Competition: Martha Arterburn
Airport and Weather-related Transportation
8:30 – 9:00 pm All You Need to Know about Cooperatives – Part I
Hillcrest Dining Room …………………….Turner Gravitt
An overview of the essential cooperative principles
9:00 – 9:45 pm Introduction to STUCO
Hillcrest Dining Room …………… Phil Miller.
Youth scholars will be assigned to groups to form a student cooperative that will operate
to earn a profit over the coming days
9:45-10:15 pm Introduction of SongFest/Talent Show Activity
Youth Leaders will be assigned to groups to assist and answer questions
10:15 pm State Meetings (on your own)
All NICE conference participants will meet with their individual state leaders…….Return
to New Hall East

11:00 pm Lights Out
Sunday, July 28, 2013
** Dress code for Sunday is comfortable and casual attire that is tasteful and appropriate. See
official dress code for more information.
** Outstanding Youth Scholar Interviews will take place in assigned rooms as scheduled.
8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast Dietrick Food Court
9:00 – 9:15 am on your way to Hillcrest Dining Room
9:15 – 9:30 am Welcome and Conference Overview
Hillcrest Dining Room ………………………………………… Phil Miller
9:30 – 10:30 am Keynote Address
Hillcrest Dining Room ………………………………… Matt Lohr
10:30 – 11:00 am All NICE Participants must attend their choice of the following sessions:
Non-Denominational Devotional
Hillcrest Dining Room ………………………… Allen Melton
Get-Acquainted Session Part II
Hillcrest Lounge ……………………..…….. Phil Miller
11:00 – 11:30 am Break & Team-Building Exercises
Hillcrest Dining Room ………………………… Jennie Gentry
11:30 – 12:00 am All You Need to Know about Cooperatives – Part II
Hillcrest Dining Room ……………………..Turner Gravitt
12:00 – 12:45 pm Lunch Dietrick Food Court
1:00 – 1:30 pm All You Need to Know about Cooperatives – Part III
Hillcrest Dining Room ……………………Phil Miller
1:30 – 2:30 Introduction of the Cooperative Simulation
Hillcrest Dining Room … Adam Shiflett and Eric Stogdale
2:30 – 3:15 Refreshment Break and STUCO Co-op Meetings
Hillcrest Dining Room
3:15 – 4:30 Cooperative Simulation, Decision #1
Hillcrest Dining Room …. Adam Shiflett and Eric Stogdale
4:30 – 5:30 pm Cooperative Case Study Introduction
Hillcrest Dining Room …..Patsy Whitehead and Mary Lou Mays
5:30 – 6:30 pm Dinner, Dietrick Food Court
6:30 – 7:00 pm Break (on your own)
7:00 – 7:45 pm Cooperative Case Study Continued
Hillcrest Dining Room …… Patsy Whitehead and Mary Lou Mays
7:45 – 9:45 pm Cooperative Challenge #1: Team Building
Hillcrest Dining Room ………………………….. Jennie Gentry
9:45 – 10:15 pm Ice Cream Social
Hillcrest Dining Room and Vicinity
10:15 pm State Meetings
All NICE conference participants will meet with their individual state
leaders…………………..Return to NICE Dorm: New Hall East
11:00 pm Lights Out

Monday, July 29, 2013
** All NICE participants should wear their official conference t-shirt (received during registration)
and comfortable pants and shoes that are appropriate for walking. Buses will be boarded for
Natural Bridge and local historical sites immediately following the morning sessions. There will
not be time to return to the dorm before departing for the tour. Except for notebooks and
workshop supplies, students and leaders should only bring items to Hillcrest Dining Room that
they plan to take on the tour. Notebooks can be left in Hillcrest Dining Room during the tour.
Personal items should not plan to be left in Hillcrest Dining Room during the tour.
7:15 – 8:00 am Breakfast Dietrick Food Court
8:00 – 8:15 am on your way to Hillcrest Dining Room
8:15 – 9:30 am Cooperative Simulation, Decision #2
Hillcrest Dining Room………………… Adam Shiflett and Eric Stogdale
9:30 – 10:30 am Cooperative Case Study Continued
Hillcrest Dining Room ……Patsy Whitehead and Mary Lou Mays
10:15 – 10:45 am Boxed Lunch Team Prepares for Departure

10:30 – 10:45 am Board Buses for Natural Bridge and local historical sites
** All participants receive box lunch w/drink as they enter the bus
11:00 – 8:00 pm Tour of Natural Bridge and local historical sites
** Dinner at local restaurant at end of tour
8:00 pm Buses Depart for return trip to Blacksburg
10:30 pm State Meetings
All NICE conference participants will meet with their individual state
leaders…………………..Return to New Hall East
11:00 pm Lights Out

Tuesday, July 30, 2013
** Dress code for Tuesday is comfortable and casual attire that is tasteful and appropriate. See
official dress code for more information.
7:15 – 8:00 am Breakfast Dietrick Food Court
8:00 – 8:15 am on your way to Hillcrest Dining Room
8:15 – 8:45 am Megatrends in Agriculture and the Role of the Next Generation
Hillcrest Dining Room……………….. Dr. Dave Kohl
9:00 – 9:15 am An Overview of Virginia Agriculture and Opportunities
Through Virginia tech
Hillcrest Dining Room ……. Dean Alan Grant
9:15 – 10:00 am Cooperative Case Study: Presentations
Hillcrest Dining Room ……. Patsy Whitehead and Mary Lou Mays
10:00 – 10:15 am Break Hillcrest Dining Room
10:15 – 12:00 pm Cooperative Challenge #2
Hillcrest Dining Room ………………………………… Jennie Gentry
12:00 – 12:45 pm Lunch Dietrick Food Court
12:45 – 2:00 STUCO sales
2:00 – 2:30 STUCO closing meeting
Hillcrest Dining Room ……………………………….Phil Miller.
2:30 – 3:30 Employment and Education Opportunities
Hillcrest Dining Room …………………………..Panelists
3:30 pm All STUCO inventory, reports and revenue to be turned in
3:30 – 4:30 pm Cooperative Simulation, Decision #3
Hillcrest Dining Room………………… Adam Shiflett and Eric Stogdale
4:30 – 4:45 Return to New Hall East
4:45 – 5:45 All youth and adults to prepare for Banquet
**The dress code for the banquet is formal, church-type attire. See official dress code for more
information.
5:45 – 6:00 on your way to the Bowman Room adjoining Cassell Coliseum
6:00 – 7:30 pm Banquet Bowman Room
7:30 – 8:00 pm Return to New Hall East to prepare for dance
8:00 – 11:30pm SongFest/Talent Show, Karaoke, Dance and Refreshments Hillcrest
**Refreshments will be provided compliments of the Virginia Cooperative Council.
**Dress code for the dance is comfortable, casual attire that is tasteful.
11:30 pm Dance concludes …….Return to New Hall East
State Meetings. All NICE conference participants will meet with their individual state
leaders.
11:59 pm Lights Out

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
** Dress code for Wednesday is comfortable and casual attire that is tasteful and appropriate.
See official dress code for more information.
7:15 – 8:15 am Breakfast Dietrick Food Court
8:15 – 8:30 am on your way to Hillcrest Dining Room
8:30 – 9:30 am Cooperative Simulation Decisions, Discussion, Results
Hillcrest Dining Room …… Adam Shiflett and Eric Stogdale
9:30 – 10:30 am Keynote Address
Hillcrest Dining Room ………………………………. Robert Mills
10:30 – 11:00 am Closing Session……………………………………. Phil Miller
Final Remarks
Lunch is on your own

** All rooms should be vacated and all room keys must be returned to the front-desk of the dorm
by 1:00 pm. There is a $50.00 fee for each room key that is not returned.
** All linens provided by the NICE Conference must be returned to the front lobby at check out.
Any linens not returned will be charged to the appropriate state delegation at cost.
** All trash must be placed in dumpsters beside the dorm…nothing is to be left in the room.
_______
Dress Code: The dress code and behavior of all NICE Conference participants should reflect a
high level of integrity, taste and respect. Comfortable and casual attire that is tasteful and
appropriate is accepted. Pants and tops should not be revealing in any way. Khaki pants and tops
with collars are preferred. Conservative shorts, jeans and attractive T-shirts are acceptable.
Short-shorts, mini-skirts, baggies, ripped and torn clothing, low-cut pants or tops, halter tops, tube
tops, strapless tops, bra-less tops, spaghetti straps, vulgar, obscene, suggestive or revealing
clothing (no bare midriffs) are not appropriate clothing for adults or students at NICE. Caps will
not be permitted inside facilities. Participants wearing clothing deemed inappropriate by
conference leaders will be asked to change. For the Tuesday night banquet, all conference
participants (adults and students) are asked to wear more formal, church-type attire (sport coat
and ties, long pants, button-up shirts for males; skirts, dressy pant suits, or dresses for females).
Participants will be allowed time to change into casual clothes before the dance on Tuesday
night. All conference participants will be provided with an official t-shirt to be worn on Monday for
the trip to Natural Bridge and local historical sites.
Parking: Vehicles (automobiles, vans, buses, etc.) parked on the VT campus and not displaying
a proper parking permit will be fined or towed at the owner’s expense. NOTE: Parking permits are
NOT required on Sat. and Sun. So, park as close as you can to New Hall East upon arrival.
Vehicle info will be collected at registration, and you will be issued parking permits for Mon. –
Wed.

Telephone and Cell Phones: Students bringing cell phones to NICE need to keep phones in
their rooms during all sessions and activities. Please do not use cell phones unless during free
time. Any youth bringing a cell phone must remember that if it is lost or stolen, it is their
responsibility and not that of NICE.
Portable Wireless Devices (CD Players//iPods/Blackberrys): It is understood that some youth
like to use these items for traveling and free time purposes. These items MUST stay in your
rooms during conference activities! Please also know that they are your responsibility and not
NICE’s if lost or stolen.
Visiting in the dormitory is permitted in the lobby and in the common areas only of floors. NO
boys in girls’ rooms and NO girls in boys’ rooms.

TENNESSEE 4-H’ERS ATTEND 2013 NICE CONFERENCE IN VIRGINIA

 

A total of (5) students and (1) chaperone to attended the conference at VA Tech. Kirsten Beasley and Hunter Jones represented the 4-H and Alyssa Kendall, Kristy Hatcher, and Bonnie Jo Craighead represented the FFA and Chelsea Rose represented the TCC.

As mentioned at the board meeting each year at NICE there is a competition for the Most Outstanding Student and this year Tennessee shined!  Hunter Jones from Macon County 4-H and  Bonnie Jo Craighead from Clay County High FFA (who is a Freshman at UTK) were the winners.

TENNESSEE 4-H’ERS ATTEND 2012 NICE CONFERENCE IN VIRGINIA

The 2012 National Institute on Cooperative Education (NICE) Conference was held July 28- August 1 on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. The theme for this year’s conference was “The View is NICE at the Top.”

Tennessee 4-H was represented at this event by Lynsey Jones and Holly Nehls, both are Senior 4-H members from Knox County. These students were awarded the trip as runners-up in the Level II leadership and citizenship competition at Tennessee 4-H Congress in Nashville last April.

FFA was represented by Cheyenne Hanloh, Daniel Deas, Spencer Sanders, and Station Camp High School Agriculture Teacher – Brad Kirkham.  These students were selected because of their achievements in the State FFA Star Agribusiness and State Proficiency Competition which was held in Gatlinburg last April as well.

The NICE Conference is intended to provide a deeper understanding of cooperatives to the youth participants who are the cooperative members, customers, employees, directors, and leaders of tomorrow. Participants gained an understanding of how cooperatives differ from other business forms and will hear cooperative success stories in both the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors. In a team setting, attendees will serve as managers of a simulated cooperative store, competing with other stores in their market area for sales and profit. Teams will also analyze case studies, develop their own student-run cooperative or STUCO and participate in team-building and leadership development activities. The closing session will recognize the teams that have been the top performers in various conference activities. The Youth Scholar Program provides both educational and social activities.

The youth and adults attending the NICE conference also toured the McCormick Farm & Workshop in Raphine, VA.  Cyrus McCormick, founder of the McCormick Harvest Machine Company which became part of International Harvester Company is credited as the “inventor” of the mechanical reaper.  The group also visited the Natural Bridge and the Natural Bridge Caverns all located in Virginia.

The trip was sponsored by the Tennessee Council of Cooperatives (TCC).  Mr. Todd Blocker, Director of Member Relations at TECA and a member of the TCC Board of Directors accompanied the students on the trip. Youth from Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and South Dakota also attended the conference.

Lynsey Jones and Holly Nehls with 4-H – Spencer Sanders, Cheyenne Hanloh, and Daniel Deas with FFA

Lynsey Jones and Holly Nehls –  4-H  Delegates Selected for 2012 NICE Conference