Otoe County 4-H Wednesday What-Nots

November 3, 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.

2020-2021 Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Highlights is now available


We have a hard copy in the office if you are interested, let us know.

Otoe County 4-H Achievement Night - 5:00 PM, Sunday, November 7th

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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 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.

NE 4-H Fed Steer Challenge 2022!

The Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge is an opportunity for youth interested in learning more about the cattle industry and is designed to cultivate the next generation of leaders in the Nebraska cattle industry. The goal of the Fed Steer Challenge is to enhance the educational value of the traditional 4-H beef projects by providing an affordable option that rewards production merit and carcass value of the market animal, along with accurate and complete record-keeping, industry knowledge, and producer engagement by the 4-H member.

Components of the Program include two parts:

1. Raising a commercial steer

  • 4-H member selects and raises a commercial steer to finished market weight.
  • Utilize management and nutrition protocols similar to a commercial feedlot.
  • Maintain a detailed record book related to the management and feeding of the steer.
  • Exhibit steer in the 4-H Fed Steer Challenge class at the Nebraska State Fair where steers will be visually evaluated by a commercial cattle buyer representing a packer.
  • Sell cattle on a Quality and Yield Based Carcass Grid.
  • Following the live exhibition, steers will be transported to a commercial packer, harvested and carcass data collected.
2. Evaluation of 4-H member's knowledge and interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge related to their project and the cattle industry as a whole
  • Accuracy and details related to a record book
  • Interview with representatives from the cattle industry

Youth interested in participating in the Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge must:

  • Be an enrolled 4-H member and at least 14 years of age as of December 31 of the year current year.
  • Have the financial ability to purchase a market steer at the current market price in January (~$850) and obtain insurance for the market value of the steer.
  • Source a steer on their own or select a steer from a pool of identified program producers.
  • Obtain an official starting weight for their steer at a county 4-H weigh-in event. If their enrolled county does not have an official weight-in, youth may attend the weigh-in of any county.
  • Provide adequate facilities and adhere to YQCA practices to ensure proper management and well-being of the animal.
  • Actively participate in online and face-to-face educational programming offered by Nebraska Animal Science faculty. Must participate in a minimum of 90% of educational opportunities offered between January and December.
  • Exhibit Steer in the Nebraska Fed Steer market steer class at the Nebraska State Fair. At that time, steers will be harvested at a commercial packer and participants will be paid based upon the current market value.
  • Maintain accurate production records related to raising the animal, complete the record book, and submit to program organizers at designated time.
  • Additional educational and networking opportunities may be identified throughout the year and youth should make every effort to fully participate.

Applications are submitted via Qualtrics. Information, including the application link, can be found at https://4h.unl.edu/fed-steer-challenge.

2022 Premier Animal Science Event (PASE) & State Public Speaking Contest

Please mark down in your calendars the 2022 dates for Premier Animal Science Event (PASE) and the State Public Speaking Contest. The event is scheduled to be held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on East Campus. Additional information about these events will follow in the start of the new year.

Premier Animal Science Event: Wednesday, June 22 and Thursday, June 23

State Public Speaking Contest: Friday, June 24

Join us on a trip to Kearney to see Temple Grandin

We have only a handful of seats left, call the office if you want to be included.
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4honline 2.0 Transition

Nebraska 4-H will be transitioning to 4honline 2.0 during the month of October. Thus, public access will not be available after November 1. Once the transition is complete, we will let everyone know when re-enrollment can begin for 2022!

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.

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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!
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4-H Fed Steer Challenge

The University of Nebraska—Extension 4-H Youth Development and Department of Animal Science are accepting applications for the Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge 2022. Applications are due by December 1, 2021.

The Fed Steer Challenge is a contest/educational opportunity for youth with a desire to become the next generation of leaders in the Nebraska Cattle Industry. The goal is to enhance the educational value of the traditional 4-H Market Beef project by rewarding production merit and carcass value of the market animal, along with accurate and complete record-keeping, industry knowledge, and producer engagement by the 4-H member.

Recognition and awards will be based upon:

  • Carcass Merit and Carcass value
  • Record book
  • Project Presentation
  • Interview with representatives from the cattle industry

For more information go to: https://4h.unl.edu/fed-steer-challenge.


Space Cadet, your mission is launching…Welcome to Galactic Quest, the 2021 4-H STEM Challenge.

The four activities in this kit will take kids on a journey from a first look at the stars to cultivating crops on a far-off planet, all while offering kids fun ways to explore different aspects of STEM career pathways!


Blast off with this year's 4‑H STEM Challenge activity kit, Galactic Quest! Including everything you need to embark on four fun adventures, the kit will challenge kids to assemble, build and decode what it takes to live and work in zero gravity.


Developed by Clemson University, the kit takes kids ages 8-14 on an out-of-this-world adventure where they'll tackle some of the same questions as today’s top aerospace scientists and engineers! Learn more about the four unplugged, hands-on activities included:

1. Astro Adventure: Work as a team to gather the resources you'll need to live and work in space in this fun board game.

2. Stellar Optics: build a telescope to learn about physics and light.

3. Cosmic Claw: engineer a mechanical arm that works to harvest space crops.

4. Cyber Satellite: learn about cyber security and decoding to avoid obstacles in orbit.

For a limited time, get $5 off educator kits and $3 off family kits thanks to our signature partner, The United States Space Force. Shop now at https://shop4-h.org/products/galatic-quest?utm_campaign=STEMChallenge21&utm_source=stemchallengeemail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20211013&utm_term=&utm_variation=&_cldee=ZXJpbi5zdGVpbmhvZmY3OUBnbWFpbC5jb20%3d&recipientid=contact-66a017aa08ebe911910a001dd8b71c7f-3aa9ccca6af34a5fa7981c1da2ea2010&esid=6c966156-6928-ec11-910a-00155dcb39a8

Volunteer Road Show

Registration deadlines are fast approaching for the Volunteer Road Show events! Discover new opportunities for yourself and your 4-H youth, network with other 4-H volunteers, and build your skills as a 4-H volunteer. Learn more and register at 4h.unl.edu/volunteer-road-show. Beatrice registration deadline: 11/10
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Otoe County 4-H Calendar

  • November 7th: Achievement Celebration 5:00 p.m. Kimmel Event Center
  • November 9th: Otoe County 4-H Council Meeting 7:00 p.m.
  • 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