February 2023 Newsletter



Please be sure to like us on FB!

Nebraska Extension in the Central Sandhills

Don't forget to visit our Extension website at:

Nebraska Extension in the Sandhills

PLEASE SHARE WITH US YOUR NEWS so it can be included in our newsletters! Forward any 4-H news, events, or activities to Marcy at mandersen16@unl.edu


The opening date for statewide 4-H enrollment was October 17th. You can click on the link to enroll in the new system https://v2.4honline.com. The enrollment process should be the same as what we did this last year. Enrollment stays open through June 15, and you can add and drop projects during that time. Don't forget that you must pay your $10 enrollment fee for the process to be complete.

All leaders and volunteers also need to be enrolled on 4honline. There is no fee for adults to enroll. VOLUNTEERS - PLEASE NOTE THAT IN 2023, OUR 4 COUNTIES ARE DUE IN THE 5 YEAR ROTATION FOR ALL VOLUNTEERS TO DO A NEW BACKGROUND CHECK THROUGH DHHSS. Call the office if you need more information.

Big picture

February Project of the Month - YQCA

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals

Nebraska 4-H requires all youth enrolled in livestock projects to complete annual quality assurance certification through Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA). YQCA is a national multi-species quality assurance program focused on three core pillars: food safety, animal well-being, and character development.

YQCA certification is required for all 4-H members enrolled in any of the following projects:

  • Beef (bucket calf, feeder calf, breeding beef, market beef)

  • Dairy Cattle

  • Goat (breeding meat goat, dairy goat, meat goat)

  • Poultry

  • Rabbit

  • Sheep (breeding sheep, market sheep)

  • Swine (breeding swine, market swine)

Nebraska 4-H members ages 8-18, who are enrolled in any of the livestock projects listed above are required to participate in an annual YQCA training. Annual training requirements may be satisfied by completing either an online web-based training course or a face-to-face instructor-led training course.

The YQCA curriculum is broken into four levels: Junior ages 8-11, Intermediate ages 12-14, Senior ages 15-18 and Young Adult ages 19-21. Three or four levels of content focused on food safety, animal well-being and character are outlined for each level. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • The Basics of Animal Identification

  • Daily Animal Care

  • Administering Animal Health Products

  • Providing Quality Care

  • Herd Health Plan

  • Providing Quality Feed

  • Sharing The Story

  • Goals To Success

  • Ethics In The Show Ring

Web-based annual training is available through the YQCA learning management system at yqcaprogram.org. The online YQCA course costs $12 per individual regardless of age.

Each session purchased includes three modules - a knowledge builder, a skills lab, and a quiz. The knowledge builder is where content is delivered. The skills lab provides an opportunity to apply the content. The quiz test knowledge. To receive certification, 80% must be achieved on the 10-question quiz. These modules, completed in their entirety, will provide 2-3 hours of experience.

Face-to-Face YQCA training is also available to satisfy annual training requirements. In-person YQCA training courses cost $3 per individual regardless of age. You must sign up for the training through yqcaprogram.org.

All students must take the pre-test after signing up for an instructor-led course. Instructors will not be able to mark students as complete before they take the pre-test. Students will access the pretest by signing into their YQCA account and then clicking on the blue username. In the drop-down menu, students will select “Enrolled ILT Trainings” and click the Pre-Test button. After Instructor-Led training, students then must complete a post-test in the same area.


The deadline to complete the annual YQCA training is June 15th. Please check your local county information to ensure that you meet the deadline for county fair exhibition.

4-H members who exhibit at the Nebraska State Fair will need to have their YQCA training requirements met by the date of entry for those respective shows.

Please contact the extension office at 308-645-2267 or Shaniya Albertus at s.albertus@unl.edu if you have any questions.

Local Training Dates: Will be announced as soon as possible.

Big picture

*State Fair DNA Nominations*

New for 2023! All livestock in contention to exhibit at the 2023 Nebraska State Fair and/or the Aksarben Stock Show will be required to submit a DNA nomination. All 4-H/FFA BREEDING livestock, market livestock and FEEDER CALVES will now be required to submit a DNA sample/envelope to be eligible to exhibit at the Nebraska State Fair. DNA nominations for the Nebraska State Fair are due to the Extension Office on June 15, 2023 by 4 p.m.

NEW age of eligibility for 4-H State Fair contests!

From the Nebraska State 4-H Office

With each new State Fair season, brings new possibilities and opportunities for 4-H families in Nebraska. The opportunity for 4-H to continue having its own weekend allows more flexibility for new events, entry limits, schedules, and space. We want to continue to take advantage of that!As part of that process, we continue to explore age eligibility requirements for State Fair participation. After garnering user input, researching data from other events/shows/states, and looking that overall impact on youth development, the decision has been made to change the age of eligibility in 2023 to be 9 years of age before January 1 (of the current year) for all in-person events (livestock, contests, fashion shows). More information will be forthcoming. Please note, this change applies to State 4-H contests. The eligible age range for 4-H project enrollment is still 8-18, as of January 1. Clover Kids must be 5-7 years of age as of January 1.

Horse program changes for 2023

From State Staff

We’ve learned over the past few years how important developing programming to meet your needs in an ever-changing environment is to our mission of providing 4-H Horse Program youth with learning opportunities. With the changing needs and desires for the program, we are updating our events to better meet the current interests of youth. One of the things we consistently hear is the need for more hands-on learning, especially through workshops and clinics.

To meet that need, we are excited to offer a series of clinics during the summer of 2023 that will be led by Carla Wennberg, Western Collegiate Equestrian Team Coach from St. Andrews University. Carla brings a wealth of experience leading clinics and is a certified horse show judge for several associations across the country. Details on sites and dates will be forthcoming! Additionally, we have spent time reviewing the intent and outcomes of District 4-H Horse Shows. The intent of these shows was for youth to qualify for the State 4-H Horse Show. Throughout the years, the number of exhibitors who qualify has increased dramatically to a point where 80-90% of exhibitors qualify. These percentages, along with declining numbers indicate these District Shows are no longer serving the intent and instead causing an extra burden for families of exhibitors who want to participate in the State 4-H Horse Show. Hence, beginning in 2023, participation in a District 4-H Horse Show will not be required to participate in the State 4-H Horse Show. This is also similar to the process used by other state livestock events (i.e., State Fair, AKSARBEN, etc.) and will allow more youth the opportunity to experience the State 4-H Horse Show. As safety is always our most important concern, being able to provide more opportunities for learning through workshops and clinics will allow youth to increase their skills and further develop with their project horse(s) in preparation for the State 4-H Horse Show. Please let us know if there are any questions and thanks to the 4-H Horse Advisory Committee for their input into the process. Be on the lookout for equine related clinics across the state with nationally known Carla Wennberg from St. Andrews University in June 2023! Lena Luck, Equine Extension Specialist Grace Kim, Extension Horse Assistant

Big picture

Panhandle Best BB Gun and Air Rifle Competition Schedule

Harrison January 22, Mitchell January 29, Rushville February 5, Kimball February 12, Hyannis February 19, Alliance February 26, Ogallala March 5, Chadron March 12, State at Beatrice March 18-19.
Big picture
Big picture
All high school students and their families are invited to attend the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) Experience the Power of Red Visit Day on Thursday, February 23rd. This is a free event that enables students to learn more about careers and opportunities in our College as well as meet current UNL students, faculty and staff. The day will begin at 9 am in the East Campus Union and wrap up with lunch and a scholarship drawing by 12:30 pm. Students can learn more and register at casnr.unl.edu/visitday.
Big picture
  • Spark your imagination and passion! Ignite by 4-H is an inclusive teen event held in Washington, D.C., for four days of inspiring and engaging panels, respected speakers, workshop sessions, entertainment, and creating amazing connections. Explore the best 4-H has to offer in STEM, Agriscience, Healthy Living, and Emotional Well-Being. Discover exciting career paths and create an actionable plan to help create real change in your community. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss! Visit 4-h.org/parents/ignite-by-4-h to learn more.
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture