Thurston County 4-H News

January 2016

Upcoming Dates

Jan 1 - Office Closed - Happy New Year!

Jan 6 - 4-H District Career Portfolio's DUE @ Extension Office

Jan 11 - 4-H Council Meeting

Jan 18 - Office Closed - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan 26-29 - Office Closed - Jennifer and Stacey out for meetings

Jan 31 - Thurston County 4-H Kick-Off @ Pender Lanes (1-4 pm)

Feb 6 - Dakota-Thurston County Beef Weigh-In @ Pender Sale Bar (9:00-10:30)

Feb 8 - Joint 4-H Council Meeting @ Pender (7:00 pm)

Feb 15 - Office Closed - Presidents' Day

Feb 16 - 4-H Enrollment & Volunteer Screening DUE

Mar 4 - General 4-H Scholarship Applications DUE

Mar 7 - Butter Braid Sales Orders DUE @ Extension Office

Mar 12 - Horse Stampede @ UNL-East Campus

Mar 14 - Thurston County 4-H Council Meeting

Mar 22 - Butter Braids pick up @ Extension Office (5:00 pm)

Mar 28 - Speech/Music Contest Registration DUE

Mar 31 - Speech/Music Contest @ Pender (7:00 pm)

Thurston County 4-H Kick Off Party

Thurston County 4-H Kick Off Party will be on Sunday, January 31st from 1- 4 pm at Pender Lanes, in Pender. All Thurston County 4-H’ers, their families and friends are invited to attend. You will be able to enjoy an afternoon of FREE bowling followed by a pizza party.

Speech and Music Contest

Please encourage your 4-Hers to prepare a speech and musical presentation this year. Registration deadline is March 28, with the contest being held March 31, 2016 a the Church of Pender at 7:00 p.m. There will be more information in the next newsletter.

Out of the Office

Jennifer and Stacey will be out of the office January 26-29 for an in-service. If you need something, leave a message or email and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. The office will be staffed again on Monday, February 1st.

Dakota-Thurston County Fair Dates 2016

The Dakota-Thurston County Fair will be August 3-7, 2016. Pre-fair judging events will be July 31-August 2. Watch the newsletter and Facebook for more information.

Member Information

4-H Online Enrollment and Re-Enrollment

Remember how last year we all had to learn something new when it came to enrolling for 4-H online? Guess what? This year nothing's changing and you're all going to be pros. There are step by step sheets at For both new families and families that already have profiles. If you already have a profile make sure you DO NOT make a new profile.

Ok there is one new thing. But it's just for VOLUNTEERS. If you are a volunteer for our program we also need to you enroll in our online database. The office manually put those of you from last year in the system so you have profiles. Again step by step information can be found at When you enroll as a volunteer everyone will need to send in a background check. Everyone in the North East District is being re-screened this year. Please remember to do this so that we may continue to have your help in our 4-H program.

If anyone of you has questions please call the office and we'll do our best to work through any issues.

If you have any problems or question you are more than welcome to call or set up an appointment to work on it at the office. (Even after hours if you let us know when would work best for you.) Your enrollments will be due online by February 16, 2016.

2016 Project Resource Central

The Nebraska 4-H Project Resource Central is available online. You can locate it at:

Curriculum changes to note:

  • New financial literacy curriculum
  • New career development curriculum
  • New landscape design curriculum
  • Revised entomology curriculum

As we continue to create more consistency across 4-Honline, the State Fair Book and Project Resource Central the following changes have been implemented.

  • Project level identifier changed to match 4-Honline
  • State Fair contests now listed
  • Additional clover kid projects listed

Butter Braid Sales

Thurston County 4-Hers will again have the opportunity to sell Butter Braids. What is a Butter Braid? A Butter Braid is a frozen pastry dough that you thaw, let rise, bake and frost. It is a mouth watering delicious homemade pastry.

Butter Braids are available in a variety of flavors. Thurston County 4-Hers will be taking orders from January 31 to March 7. Orders will be delivered to the 4-Hers on March 22 at 5:00 p.m. at the Thurston County Extension Office. Proceeds from this fundraiser help fund 4-H activities throughout the year.

Omaha Fashion Week 4-H Collection

Nebraska 4-H is once again partnering with Omaha Fashion Week during their Spring Showcase. OFW Student Night will take place on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 and will exclusively feature high school designers, including a 4-H collection. This collection will consist of 10 garments from across the state and will be modeled by the 4-H member who made it. In order to create a complete and dynamic collection, interested 4-H members are invited to apply to participate in the show. The 4-H collection will be curated based upon the selection criteria as listed below.

Student Night Details:

When: Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Where (New Location!): Omaha Design Center (near TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha)

Hair and Make-up will be scheduled for all models starting at 3:00 p.m.

Runway rehearsal will take place at 5:30 p.m. The show starts at 8:00 p.m.

Ticket information will be available in January.

Selection Criteria:

Participants must be 4-H members.

Garments must have been exhibited at the Nebraska State Fair. Preference will be given to those who have participated in the Celebration of Youth Exhibition at the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery.

Garments should be fashion forward, runway appropriate and display high quality construction.

To Apply:

Complete the following application form:

Applications are due January 20th.

Ideas for Clover Colleges

Next year’s fair seems far away but we are already looking to see how we can help you accomplish the projects that you plan on completing. We are working on organizing our Clover College opportunities for 2014. Please share your ideas and possible resources with us. If you saw an exhibit at the fair this summer and think that it would be a great workshop topic, we are always open to suggestions!

Nebraska 4-H Club of the Month

Each month, a 4-H club will be chosen as the Nebraska 4-H Club of the Month. In order to be chosen, 4-H clubs must nominate themselves by application the second Friday of the month before. Each club chosen will receive a $50 cash card from the Nebraska 4-H Foundation along with a certificate that the club can display. The Club of the Month’s story will be featured on the Nebraska 4-H Foundation Facebook and Twitter pages, website, and blog. More information can be found at

2016 4-H Photography Nebraska Exhibit Theme

Nebraska Exhibit Print: Help us celebrate the national “4-H Grows Here” campaign. For both Unit II and Unit III will capture photos of people and places that illustrate 4-H growing and thriving in Nebraska! Your photos should tell a story about how “4-H Grows Here” in your local community. Please print and include the 4-H Grows Here! logo in your photos. The logo can be accessed at

2016 Special Garden Project!

The Special Garden Project is a way to offer 4-H members the chance to grow unusual and fun projects in their gardens. Last year over 1600 packets of carrot seeds were distributed across the state. 4-H members told me what they wanted to grow and this year the Special Garden Project is focused on the colorful, Jazzy Mix Zinnia. This cultivar comes in shades of burgundy-red, red, yellow, and orange with cream, red, or yellow tips. The 1-2” blooms are fully-double and semi-double. These zinnias are a great cut flower that can get 20-26” tall. On average it will take about 75-85 days for the plants to bloom.

4-H’ers enrolled in the Special Garden Project will:

* Receive a ‘packet’ of Jazzy Mix Zinnias (one packet per youth) in March

* Receive a newsletter about:

· Planting & growing zinnias

· Zinnia problems & insects

· Harvesting & using zinnias

· Exhibiting zinnias

* Be able to enter this unique flower at County and State Fair

Fifth Annual Innovative Youth Corn Challenge

Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Corn Board are offering the fifth Innovative Youth Corn Challenge contest. This contest, open to 4-H members (age 10 & older as of Jan. 1st) or FFA members (in-school members), guides participants through all aspects of corn production, as well as agricultural careers related to corn production.

As a team, youth will be challenged to implement a production practice different than normal to determine if they increased their yield. Economics and sustainability of the practice will also be considered. Yields, cropping history, and production information will be collected in the Corn Yield Challenge management summary.

Cash prizes and plaques will be given to the first, second, and third place teams. First place will receive $1,000, second place will receive $500, and third place will receive $250. Sustainability, crop scouting and “extra mile” awards will also be given, each worth $200.

To participate in 2016, youth must complete and return an entry form by March 15th to the Fillmore County Extension Office in Geneva, NE. Forms can be downloaded at For more information, contact Brandy VanDeWalle at, Aaron Nygren at or Amy Timmerman at


Nebraska 4-H Foundation Scholarship 2016

There are several scholarships that a graduating 4-H member may consider. They are to relate their career plans and their most significant 4-H experience. Scholarships are due by March 4, 2016, to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation. More information is available at

NACEB Scholarship

The Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards (NACEB) Scholarship Program for the 2016/17 academic year includes the following:

  • One $1000 scholarship at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) or in the College of Education and Human Studies (CEHS) for an income student (freshmen or transfer student).
  • One $500 scholarship for a current student (sophomore or higher) enrolled in CASNR or CEHS.

All applications are due March 15, 2016. For more information, go to

America's Farmers Grow Ag Leaders Scholarship

Over $500,000 in scholarships available! The application is administered through the National FFA Scholarship Program, but you do not need to be a FFA member to apply. You can complete the application at

You need three farmer endorsements to be eligible for the $1,500 scholarship. Be sure to capture your unique student application ID when you start your application online. Your farmers will need it to complete the endorsement.

Applications are due by February 1, 2016. Endorsements are due by February 8, 2016.

Animal Science News

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Beef Weigh-In

The Dakota-Thurston County Market Beef Weigh-In will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2016, from 9:00-10:30 a.m. at the Pender Livestock Sale Barn in Pender. This will be our only weigh-day. All 4-H members who plan to exhibt market beef (market steer or market heifer) will need to plan on bringing their project to weigh day to have it identified. For those planning to exhibit at State Fair or Ak-Sar-Ben will also need to have DNA taken (at cost of $6 per head) as well as use an EID ear tag ($2/head). The snow date for the weigh-in will be February 13th.

25th Annual Nebraska Cattlemen's Classic

The Nebraska Cattlemen's Classic will be held February 13-21 in Kearney at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds. For more information go to

The 2016 Nebraska Cattlemen's Classic Livestock Judging Contest will be held on Saturday, February 20th. This is a great learning opportunity for youth as they progress through their judging careers, and an exceptional “warm-up” for State Contests to be held later this year. The Cattlemen’s Classic is a huge supporter of everything youth related, especially judging and they have graciously funded over $5,000 in awards. We would highly encourage anyone and everyone to attend. There will be 8 classes of cattle and will split into two divisions. Juniors (ages 8-13) and Seniors (ages 14-19). These ages are as of January 1, 2016. You’re more than welcome to move a Junior contestant up to the Senior division to make a full team, if necessary.

4-H Horse Stampede

4-H Horse Stampede is being held the same date, March 12, 2016 at the Animal Science Complex on UNL’s East Campus. Entries are due to county offices on Feb. 12th. Contests include:

· Demonstrations (individual and team)

· Public speaking

· Quiz bowl

· Photography and art contests

More information available at:

Companion Animal Challenge

The second 4-H Companion Animal Challenge will be held on March 12, 2016 at the Animal Science Complex on UNL’s East Campus. It provides youth a chance to participate in a variety of contests that do not require animals, but allow youth to learn more about their dog or other companion animals. Entries are due Feb. 19th. Contests include:

· Demonstrations (a presentation where youth demonstrate how to complete a task or related to the care of their companion animal)

· Photography and art contests (open to all companion animal projects)

· Dog Skill-a-thon

· Dog quiz bowl

The youth who participated in the event last year said that it was fun and they learned a lot. Youth do not need to be experts to participate in the event.

More information available at:

2016 Nebraska District 4-H Horse Shows

  • June 13 - Kearney
  • June 14 - Chadron
  • June 15 - McCook
  • June 16 - Leigh
  • June 17 - Bloomfield
  • June 21 - Lincoln

All entries are due to the county office by May 13, 2016. All Level testing required for participation in the 2016 District 4-H Horse Show MUST be completed by May 13, 2016.

All entries fro the State Horse Show much be mailed by May 13, 2016. These include Showmanship, Halter, All Cattle Classes, Hunter Hack, Dressage, Advanced Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation, Western Pleasure and Horsemanship, Trail, 2 year old and 3 year old Western Pleasure and Working Ranch.

2016 Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Show July 10-14, 2016!


Since you will be enrolling online this year, all personal, health, and permission forms will be located and filled out on 4HOnline. One important part that you see online is the Code of Conduct. Please read through it and remember that when participating in 4-H you are representative of the university of Nebraska-Lincoln, your club, your community, your country, and your world.
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