Otoe County 4-H Wednesday What-Nots

November 10, 2021

Extension Office Closed

The Office will also be closed Thursday, November 11th in observation of Veterans Day.

We will also be closed on Friday, November 12th to attend the Dr. Temple Grandin presentation in Kearney.

4-H Enrollment is Now Open!

The all new 4-H online enrollment system is now open! To enroll in 4-H, go to v2.4honline.com. The old login and password you used before will still work for this system. If you need help or have any questions, please contact the office at 402-269-2301.
Big picture

Awards to Pick Up

Congratulations to all of our 4-H'ers and leaders that received awards at Achievement Celebration on Sunday night. If you're name is on the list below, we have something for you! Please make arrangements to come pick up your awards from the Extension Office.
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Horse Advisory Committee

The Nebraska 4-H Horse Advisory Committee is now accepting applications for new members. This committee, made up of 4-H volunteer leaders and Extension personnel, provides guidance and assistance in carrying out program activities. Learn more at 4h.unl.edu/horse-advisory-committee.

Special Agronomy Project Evaluation

Just a friendly reminder to those who participate in the 2021 special agronomy project. Please complete this short evaluation.


Youth will have the option of entering a drawing to win a gift certificate and free kit for next year’s special agronomy project. Please complete by December 10th.

Otoe County 4-H Foundation Grants Due November 30th

The Otoe County 4-H Foundation has allocated funding to provide grants to the Otoe County 4-H members and 4-H clubs to strengthen 4-H in Otoe County. The mission of the Otoe County 4-H Foundation is to enhance 4-H programming, secure financial support for local 4-H programs, and to develop area youth for future generations. Successful grants would assist the 4-H Foundation in achieving its mission. Grant requests can be between $50 and $500. Deadlines for submitting grants are November 30th and February 28th each year.

All 4-H Clubs are encouraged to write a grant application, but 4-H Foundation policy is that

4-H clubs are limited to submitting two grants per year. Grant application forms can be found at otoe.unl.edu under the Otoe County 4-H tab and then clicking on Otoe County 4-H Foundation.

National Corn Growers Association Scholarship

FLAGship Program



The NeCGA Future Leaders in Ag Scholarship Program (FLAGship Program) is open to Nebraska high school seniors or college freshman who are continuing their education in state. The Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) will award up to five $2,000 scholarships to high school seniors or college freshman in the state of Nebraska.

To be eligible for this scholarship students must be a member of NeCGA or the son/daughter of an NeCGA member. The application for the FLAGship Program must include one letter of recommendation, a current resume, as well as proof that the student is continuing their education. Students are asked to explain how they will be an advocate for agriculture in their future careers as well as what issues they feel the ag industry is currently facing.

Applications typically open after the first of the year. If you have questions regarding the scholarship or the application process, please call the office or email Katherine Bynre, the Director of Grower Services, at kbyrne@necga.org.

The National Corn Growers Association also has a number of scholarship programs for college students. Use the consolidated application to apply for the NeCGA scholarship AND national scholarships! For more information about those programs, click here.

Big picture

Nominations Sought for Nebraska Young Artist Awards

The Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts is seeking applications for the 25th annual Nebraska Young Artist Awards.

The Nebraska Young Artist Awards annually recognize 11th-grade students from Nebraska who are gifted and talented in the areas of visual art, dance, music, theatre, and film and emerging media arts. These students exemplify the pinnacles of creativity in one of the fine and performing arts.

For the areas of music, dance, theatre, and emerging media arts, students must submit an application online, which includes uploading a sample of their work and a letter of recommendation from a teacher. Full instructions for the online application process are available at http://go.unl.edu/nyaa.

Visual art students will also submit an online application via Slideroom. The School of Art, Art History & Design will again host the Nebraska Young Artist Awards/ Statewide Invitational Exhibition, which will be on display virtually next spring. Faculty jurors will select the recipients of the Nebraska Young Artist Award, who will be invited to the day of activities in April.

The deadline for online applications in all categories is Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. Visit http://go.unl.edu/nyaa for full instructions and a link to the online submission in Slideroom.

The winning students in all categories will be invited to a special day of recognition on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.

Honored students will take tours of the arts facilities, attend classes, meet faculty and college students and have lunch. Their parents will also be invited, and they will also take tours, as well as receive information on careers in the arts and college curriculum. The day will conclude with an awards ceremony.

Students selected to participate in the Nebraska Young Artist Awards will also be asked to nominate the teacher who provided them with the greatest amount of mentoring and support in the development of their special talents.

For more information or questions, contact the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at unlarts@unl.edu.

Midwest Dairy Seeks Applicants for Enhanced Nebraska Ambassador Program

The Dairy Ambassador Programs are educational and leadership opportunities for those who are passionate about dairy. Dairy Ambassadors will have the opportunity to connect with consumers and share dairy’s story while networking with their peers and industry professionals. The Dairy Ambassador Program for college students (enrolled full-time in a Nebraska post-secondary school) remains a strong part of the program. Additionally, Nebraska is excited to announce the addition of the Junior Dairy Ambassadors as a new opportunity for high school junior (11th grade) and senior (12th grade) students.

Dairy Ambassadors will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, including interacting with consumers at regional events, state fair, youth educational presentations and attend dairy industry meetings. Junior Dairy Ambassadors will also connect with consumers and peers to share dairy's story with their focus will be more on their local communities. The program is designed to shape future dairy champions who will promote the dairy community and support Midwest Dairy’s mission to give consumers an excellent dairy experience.

“Education is a cornerstone of our industry and is an important piece of mission to enrich the education of our future leaders and ultimately, our entire dairy industry,” says Tracy J. Behnken, Farmer Relations and Communications Manager. “Our Dairy Ambassador program has been very effective in encouraging growth, innovation and excellence in our industry and we’re looking forward to reviewing the applications of the many bright, young college, and now high school, students across our state.”

To be considered for the Dairy Ambassador Program, applicants must be enrolled in a Nebraska post-secondary school yet do not have to be majoring in agriculture or raised on a dairy farm. Applicants for the Junior Ambassador Program must be enrolled in a Nebraska High School as a Junior (11th grade) or Senior (12th grade). All applicants must be able to communicate effectively through writing and speaking and possess a passion for dairy. Ambassadors of both programs are expected to serve an 11-month term, starting January 10, 2022 and ending November 30, 2022. During their service, ambassadors will receive per diems and have approved expenses covered upon participation. After successful completion of the one-year program, Dairy Ambassadors are eligible to apply for a $1,000 scholarship while the Junior Dairy Ambassadors are eligible to apply for a $500 scholarship.

Students can apply at http://www.MidwestDairy.com, in the For Young Dairy Leaders tab/section, under Ambassador Programs then select Nebraska. More details can be found on the webpage plus the online application will be at the bottom of each program page. Be sure to select state as Nebraska for the Dairy Ambassadors and Nebraska-JUNIOR for the Junior Dairy Ambassador applications. Online applications are due DECEMBER 1, 2021. Selected ambassadors will be notified by JANUARY 10, 2022.

If you have questions, please contact Tracy J. Behnken at tbehnken@midwestdairy.com or 531-207-4291.

More details at: https://www.midwestdairy.com

Nebraska 4-H Foundation Scholarship Opportunities

The Nebraska 4-H Foundation offers 4-H members the opportunity to apply for scholarships. The Nebraska 4-H Foundation awards up to $22,000 worth of scholarships each year to 4-H’ers from across the state.

To apply for scholarships, 4-H’ers must submit the Nebraska 4-H Achievement Application for state-level review by January 15th. Youth must follow the application instructions available on the Nebraska 4-H Achievement Application webpage. If applying for multiple scholarships, only one Achievement Application should be submitted. An applicant must select the scholarship to which he/she feels qualified.

4-H youth may want to visit with the Extension Office in their county and the financial aid office at the college of their choice. There may be other grants, scholarships, or low-interest loans for which they may be eligible.

Scholarship availability may change at any time without prior notice. More information can be found at https://www.ne4hfoundation.org/scholarships/

National Western Stock Show Catch-A-Calf

Participants come from Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming to compete in the National Western Stock Show’s longest-running program of practical beef cattle management. In just over 80 years the Catch-A-Calf Contest has awarded nearly 3,000 steers to 4-H members hailing from the western United States.

The program began in 1935 when 10 boys caught 10 sponsored calves. The contest quickly caught on, and the program grew to include 52 calves by 1942. Soon after World War II, the program settled at 40 calves per year, which is where the number continues to stand today.

The program is designed so successful participants catch a calf, feed it, and return with the animal one year later as a market-ready steer at the National Western Stock Show. The steers are judged on production and carcass quality, while the participants are judged on showmanship, record books, and a personal interview.

The Grand and Reserve Grand Champion participants sell their steers at the Auction of Junior Livestock Champions held on the final Friday of the Stock Show.

Applications for 2022-2023 are NOW OPEN and are due December 15, 2021. Apply below.
Please note, this program is only open to active 2021 4-H members ages 14-18 (who must be residents) in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska & Wyoming. Please refer to the Rules and Regulations for further information. https://nationalwestern.com/livestock-shows/catch-a-calf-program/

Livestock Achievement Program 2022

We are excited to announce the second year of the Nebraska 4-H Livestock Achievement Program. This additional opportunity for enrolled livestock project youth, is designed to promote all educational aspects of 4-H livestock projects including selection, production, leadership, and exhibition by recognizing youth striving to improve in their livestock project knowledge and leadership.

The program recognizes Members of Excellence across all 4-H livestock project areas, including: beef, sheep, meat goat, swine, dairy cattle, dairy goat, rabbit, and poultry.

The program consists of two levels that require 4-H members to plan and report a broad range of age-appropriate and project-related accomplishments. For each level, the Livestock Achievement Program provides a list of accomplishments from which 4-H members choose their goals. Each accomplishment is worth a specific number of points. Intermediates, ages 10-13, must complete 100 points worth of activities to receive the distinction of Intermediate Member of Excellence. Seniors, ages 14-18, must complete 150 points worth of activities to receive the distinction of Senior Member of Excellence. The Plan and Reports, linked on the webpage, show examples of the project related accomplishments they can choose, or they can identify their own with approval of their local educator.

Applications/Sign up are due June 15th through the application form link on the website. Plan and Reports, as well as Project Records will be due August 10th via the completion form on the website. Youth completing the achievement program and receiving member of excellence recognition in the various species will be recognized during the Parade of Champions, 4-H weekend at the Nebraska State Fair.

For more information or to apply, go to: 4h.unl.edu/livestock-achievement-program.

4-H Fed Steer Challenge

Nebraska 4-H is gearing up for another year of the Fed Steer Challenge, and applications are due by December 1st. The Fed Steer Challenge is designed to enhance the traditional 4-H beef project and provides youth an opportunity to learn more about the cattle industry. The program awards production merit and carcass value of the market animal, along with accurate and complete record-keeping, industry knowledge, and producer engagement. Learn more at 4h.unl.edu/fed-steer-challenge.

December In-Person YQCA Trainings

All 4-H members enrolled in beef, dairy goat, meat goat, poultry, rabbit, sheep, and swine projects are required to complete Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) training to exhibit their livestock. This training must be completed by June 15.

The first in-person trainings will be Wednesday, December 29 for all ages at:

  • 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. at Morton James Library, Nebraska City or
  • 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. at the Fair Center, Syracuse

Pre-register online at https://yqca.learngrow.io/. The cost is $3.00 to attend an in person training and that fee is collected when you register online. Once training has been completed, youth will be marked as completed, you will receive an email to log back into your account to print of their certificate. Please either download and email this certificate to otoe-county@unl.edu or print a copy and drop it by the Extension Office. We are not able to see the certificate or certification number on our end.

Big picture

Interested in YQCA as a Club Lesson?

If your club is interested in have a YQCA as lesson at one of your club meetings, please contact Erin at 402-269-2031 or via email erin.steinhoff@unl.edu. She will be more than happy to come to your meetings to put on a session for your club members!
Big picture

Otoe County 4-H Calendar

  • November 11th: Veteran's Day - Extension Office closed
  • November 12th: Dr. Temple Grandin presentation - Extension Office closed
  • November 15th: Otoe County Ag Society Meeting 7:30 p.m. Kimmel Event Center
  • November 18th: Volunteer Road Show SCC Beatrice
  • November 23rd: Otoe County Extension Board Meeting 7:00 p.m.
  • November 25th: Thanksgiving - Extension Office closed
  • November 26th: Extension Office closed
  • November 30th: Otoe County 4-H Foundation Grant Applications Due

Nebraska Extension in Otoe County

Deb Weitzenkamp, Unit Leader, Extension Educator, deb.weitzenkamp@unl.edu

Erin Steinhoff, Extension Assistant, erin.steinhoff@unl.edu

Cheryl Goff, Office Manager, cheryl.goff@unl.edu