Southern Plains 4H Newsletter

Serving Nuckolls and Thayer Counties - January 4, 2021

Note From Kylie

Happy Holidays from Nuckolls and Thayer County extension! Nuckolls and Thayer were in the red zone for COVID-19 cases the first part of December, which forced some postponements and cancellations, but we've been in the orange for the second half of December. We've held 2 Youth for the Quality Care of Animals sessions (one in Nelson and one in Byron), distributed $22,000 worth of fruit sales for the CWF fundraiser, and prepped for our Babysitting Clinic on January 4. We've also been working on some virtual pre-recorded videos for school enrichment, made growth goals for 2021 and reflected on and assessed 2020, and made tentative plans for programming in 2021. Let us know what kinds of workshops we can bring you in person or virtually this next year by filling out the survey under "Tell Us What You Need" below. Thank you for your patience and grace during the unprecedented times that made up 2020, and we look forward to growing 4-H in Nuckolls and Thayer Counties in 2021.

Tell Us What You Need

We want to hear YOUR ideas for workshops and programming in Nuckolls and Thayer for 2021! 4-H and extension wants to help entertain and educate you even with COVID-19 disruptions. Would you and your dog attend an obedience workshop? Are you interested in learning about archery? If we held a ranch horse skills clinic, would you come?

TELL US by filling out this survey.


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If you have any issues with 4-H Online, please email or call your local extension office! We do not want tech frustrations to make this difficult.

4-H Online home page:


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Local YQCA In Person Sessions

Nebraska 4-H requires all youth enrolled in beef, hogs, sheep, goats, rabbits, and poultry to complete YQCA annually. Enroll in 4-H Online and then register for one of these local sessions:

Mon., Jan 25 @ 7:00 p.m. - Nuckolls County Fairgrounds

Mon., Feb. 8 @ 7:00 p.m. - Thayer County Extension Office

**PLEASE NOTE - the locations may change due to local COVID-19 restrictions**

If you have previously tested out of YQCA, this year is the year to re-test. Check out test out option details below.

YQCA Test Out Options

YQCA test out option: If you are currently age 12 or 15 (calendar age, not 4-H age) or will be turning 12 or 15 before June 15, 2021, you are eligible for the test-out option for your youth quality assurance. This test-out option is good for 3 years. You are not required to pay for the test out option if you do not pass the test. If you do not pass, you are eligible to then pay $3 for an in person training or pay $12 to do the online training. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the extension office. You can find the sign in portal here.
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Fed Steer Challenge 2020 Results

The Fed Steer Challenge cultivates the next generation of leaders in the Nebraska cattle industry by providing youth opportunities. This challenge enhances the educational value of traditional 4-H beef projects and provides affordable options to reward production merit and market animal carcass value; accurate and complete record keeping practices; industry and research knowledge; and producer engagement with the 4-H member.

Congrats to Thayer County's Lacey Schmidt, who earned first place in the showcase presentation and third place overall. Check out all of the results here.

Cattlemen's Classic Livestock Judging

Entry deadline is Feb. 5 for the 2021 Nebraska Cattelman's Classic Livestock Judging Contest. If you interested in being on a Nuckolls-Thayer team, e-mail Kylie ( We will try to arrange for some practicing and for carpooling to the contest.

You can find the flyer here: Youth Classic Judging Contest 2021


The 4-H Photography Showcase offers a project exhibition opportunity beyond traditional print media. 4-H'ers are invited to submit their favorite photo through the online submission form. Submissions are accepted on a continual basis. However, youth may only submit one photo per month. Photos will be selected from submissions and showcase online by Nebraska 4-H, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The 4-H Photography Showcase is open to all enrolled 4-H members. Visit for submission guidelines and the submission link.


Virtual Companion Animal Contest Information

Find the complete details here.
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Horse Webinar Series

Tune in January 11th! with Equine Specialist, Dr. Lena Luck! Topic: Changes to the 4-H Horse Program for 2021. To register in advance for the webinar please go to: The webinar will also be recorded if you cannot attend in person and you will be able to find it along with all the previous webinars at: If you have participated and/or watched previous webinars please fill out a short survey so that we can better meet your needs in the future and provide a better experience.

4-H Horse Stampede 2021

    • Entry forms are due to county offices by March 5, 2021. Counties must have entry forms to Grace Kim in the state office by March 10th.
    • Art and Photography Exhibits will also be due to county offices by March 5th and County offices should have Art and Photography exhibits mailed with entry forms that are due to Grace Kim by March 10th
      • Entries will be judged and mailed back to their perspective counties with ribbons and plaques by March 30th
    • Demonstration, public speaking, and Horse Quiz bowl is planned for in-person (March 27th) unless health restrictions change. These contests may be postponed to a later date or completed virtually.

Equine What to Know Wednesdays

Watch short “best practice” videos every Wednesday evening to apply to your everyday horse activities through UNL Horse Facebook!


Special Garden Project 2021

This project is open to all youth of 4-H Age and it will give them the opportunity to learn about growing, harvesting, and exhibiting a tasty vegetable; obtain the tools necessary to be successful gardeners, and learn about the wide range of plant-science careers. Last year over 1700 4-H members were enrolled in this project statewide.

The 2021 Special Garden Project is focused on the tasty Hakurei Turnip. These are not your grandmother's turnip. Hakurei is a white salad turnip that is smooth, round and at its best when harvested under 2". The roots can be eater raw or cooked and the tops can also be cooked. Each enrolled youth will have enough seeds to plant a 6 foot row of turnips.

Pre-Register at the Extension Office by January 14, 2021 to Reserve your seeds! We will need to order the seeds. Start planning your garden today!


4-H Winter Fun Pack

Looking for ways to keep the young people in your life engaged this winter? Check out the 4-H Winter Fun Pack - a collection of activities that youth can do on their own at home! Each recorded session of Living Room Learning is led by a Nebraska 4-H Youth Development professional. Getting started is simple: gather supplies, click the recording and let us do the teaching.

The materials required for this resource are all things you can find at home! This resource was created with all areas of 4-H in mind, including: Family Consumer Sciences, Environmental Education and Earth Sciences, Healthy Living, STEM, Communication and Expressive Arts and more!

Access the resources here and let the fun begin:


State Achievement Applications Due January 15, 2021

Don't forget! State-level 4-H Achievement Applications are due January 15!

The Nebraska 4-H Achievement Application is a standard application form used for the selection of county and state award winners, including delegates to National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Conference, as well as Nebraska 4-H Foundation scholarship award recipients. Learn more at

UNL Animal Science Scholarship

This is the inaugural year for the Animal Science: Inspiring Your Future Scholarship Contest and UNL will be awarding ten $5000 scholarships. UNL wants students to tell their digital story about an individual or animal who has inspired them to pursue an education and career in animal science. This can be done via video, essay, pictures, a combination of those things, or really any medium that allows them to comfortably express themselves. The website link is below that lists out the contest details and link to apply and submit their digital story. All entries must be submitted by Noon on February 15th!

Inspiring Your Future Scholarship Contest Website


2021 Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness poster contest

Submissions for the 2021 Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness poster contest for third grade students are open! Find the entry form here. The contest, sponsored by Nebraska Association of Emergency Management, the National Weather Service the Nebraska National Guard and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, is part of the annual Severe Weather Awareness Week effort produced by Emergency Management Directors/Coordinators across Nebraska.

This year, the poster contest is open to all third grade students in Nebraska public and private schools as well as home-schooled third students. Teachers are encouraged to have students participate while teaching them about hazards of severe weather in Nebraska. While not specifically designed to promote tornado awareness, tornadoes are the most common theme chosen for posters. Lightning and flooding, which are also products of severe thunderstorms, are also good topic choices.

The first-place winner in the state contest wins a $125 gift card.



Mon. Jan. 4 - Southern Plains Winter Babysitting Clinic @ Nuckolls County Fairgrounds

Sat. Jan. 23 - Beef Weigh In @ Kile Vet Clinic in Superior 9-11am

Mon. Jan. 28 - YQCA In Person Training @ Nelson 7 pm


Sat. Feb. 6 - Beef Weigh In @ Kile Vet Clinic in Superior 9-11am

Mon. Feb. 8 - YQCA In Person Training @ Hebron 7 pm

Sat. Feb. 13 - Nebraska Cattlemen's Classic Livestock Judging @ Kearney


Sat. Apr. 10 - State 4-H Indoor Archery Shoot @ Columbus


Mon. Jun. 28 - Wed. Jun. 30 - Premier Animal Science Events @ UNL Animal Science Complex in Lincoln (Meat Judging, Livestock Judging, Quizbowl, etc)


July 10-13 - Nuckolls County Fair 2021


August 12-15 - Thayer County Fair 2021

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The 4-H Youth Development program abides with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the United States Department of Agriculture.