Thurston County 4-H News

January 2017

Upcoming Dates

Jan 2 - Office Closed - Happy New Year!

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

Jan 9 - Thurston County 4-H Council Meeting

Jan 16 - Office Closed - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan 18 - Joint Fair Board Meeting @ Pender Fire Hall (7:00 p.m.)

Jan 28 - Dakota-Thurston County Beef Weigh-In @ Pender Sale Barn (9-10:30 a.m.)

Feb 4 - Snow Date for Dakota-Thurston County Beef Weigh-In

Feb 12 - Thurston County 4-H Kick-Off @ Pender Lanes (1-4 p.m.)

Feb 13 - Joint 4-H Council Meeting @ Dakota City (7:00 p.m.)

Feb 15 - 4-H Enrollment & Volunteer Screening DUE in

Feb 15 - Joint Fair Board Meeting @ Pender Fire Hall (7:00 p.m.)

Feb 20 - Office Closed - Presidents' Day

Feb 20 - Butter Braid Sales begin

Mar 3 - General 4-H Scholarship Applications DUE

Mar 10 - Horse Stampede Entries DUE

Mar 13 - Thurston County 4-H Council Meeting

Mar 16 - Speech/Music Contest Registration DUE

Mar 21 - Speech/Music Contest @ Dakota City (7:00 p.m.)

Mar 24-25 - Siouxland Garden Show @ Sioux City

Mar 27 - Butter Braid Sales Orders DUE @ Extension Office

Need to Know

Out of the Office

Jennifer and Stacey have several upcoming dates they will be out of the office for meetings, conferences, and training's. If you need us Jan 24-26, email or leave a voicemail and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Dakota-Thurston County Fair Dates 2017

The Dakota-Thurston County Fair will be July 30-August 6, 2017. Pre-fair judging events will be July 26-31. Watch the newsletter and Facebook for more information and changes.

Member Information

4-H Online Enrollment and Re-Enrollment

NOTHING'S CHANGED!!! But since it's a new year we need you to re-enroll. 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.

If you are a volunteer for our program we also need to you to re-enroll in our online database. Again step by step information can be found at

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

Thurston County 4-H Kick Off Party

Thurston County 4-H Kick Off Party will be on Sunday, February 12th 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 able to enjoy an afternoon of FREE bowling followed by a pizza party. Invite your friends to show them what 4-H is all about.

2017 Nebraska 4-H Month (February) - Share Your Story!

What does being a Nebraska 4-H member look like? We want to know!

February is Nebraska 4-H Month, and we want to hear your 4-H story! Maybe it's showing a rabbit. Interview judging. Or zooming down the zipline. Share a short video or photo that show us your 4-H experience. Videos or photos may be shared through social media using the #NE4H and #TrueLeaders hashtags.

Video shared as a a #NE4H Video View may also be shared at the Nebraska State Fair and through state 4-H social media networks.

We look forward to seeing your 4-H story this February during Nebraska 4-H Month!

Butter Braid Sales

Thurston County 4-Hers will again have the opportunity to sell Butter Braids this year!

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-Her will be taking order from February 20 - March 27. orders will be delivered to the 4-Hers on April 6th at 5 p.m. at the Thurston County Extension Office. Proceeds from this fundraiser help fund 4-H activities throughout the year.

Speech & Music Contest

Please encourage your 4-Hers to prepare a speech or musical number this year for the Dakota/Thurston County Speech & Music Contest. Registration deadline is March 16th, with the contest being help March 21st in Dakota City at 7:00 p.m. Continue to look for more information.

Club of the Month

Each month a 4-H club is chosen as the Nebraska 4-H Club of the Month by the Nebraska 4-H Foundation. In order to be chosen, 4-H clubs must nominate themeselves by filling out the applications found at The club that is chosen as Club of the Month will be acknowledged for their achievements, service projects, and awards! Winners will receive a $50 check from the Nebraska 4-H Foundation and will be recognized statewide! Good Luck!

Ideas for 4-H Workshops

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 4-H Workshop opportunities for 2017. 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!

2017 Culinary Challenge Contest

The contest this year is focusing on dried beans, peas and legumes. In 2015, Nebraska was rated #1 in the nation in Great Northern bean production, 2nd for pinto bean production and 4th for all dry edible bean production. Nebraska produces equal approximately 1 billion servings of dry beans a year. 2016 was the “Year of the Pulse” (dried beans and peas) and we are happy to be able to continue the focus on dried beans, peas and legumes for the 2017 Culinary Challenge. Look for more info from the Culinary Challenge and the Nebraska Dried Bean Commission for menu, food prep, and recipe ideas in the future!

Continuing Education

Next Chapter Program

Nebraska 8th graders currently enrolled in 4-H (and those enrolled as 7th graders last year) will have received a letter pre-admitting them to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln by now. With this, they will have the opportunity to participate in Next Chapter, a unique partnership between Nebraska 4-H and University Admissions that connects students statewide with the resources of the University! This also means that students that meet academic requirements will be admitted after high school. Next Chapter also grants students access to personnel and resources like never before. Highlights will include:

  • Insightful conversations with 4-H alumni regarding campus life
  • Discussions with UNL professors about opportunities and expectations in college
  • Access to admissions and financial aid office personnel
  • Step-by-step lessons to prepare students for college throughout their high school career
  • Real-world connections between content and 4-H projects

All 8th graders that were enrolled in 4-H last year will be admitted to the Next Chapter program. Any new 8th grade student that enrolls in a traditional 4-H program will have the option to join Next Chapter at no additional charge. For those enrolling in Next Chapter only, standard 4-H fees will apply. Students will need to re-enroll annually, and successfully complete the current year’s program to advance to the next level. In order to do this, the student must be present for at least five lessons (out of a possible eight) per academic year, and complete the annual 4-H project designated by the educator. This programming will begin during the student’s 9th grade year.

As 8th graders, we will continue to provide information as the year moves on, but there are a few dates to look forward to now:

  • Now through February 15, 2017: enroll in 4-H Next Chapter program
  • March 2017: live online question and answer sessions with University students and professors will begin; tentatively scheduled to hold one per month
  • Early April 2017: Local 4-H district celebration for all new Next Chapter students and families
  • April 25, 2017: Statewide celebration for all Next Chapter students and their families in Lincoln

The University of Nebraska is excited to help students and their families make this exciting time of change easier by providing this unprecedented access to high school students. If you have any questions regarding this program, feel free to contact me for more information.

Nebraska 4-H Foundation Scholarships 2017

The Nebraska 4-H Foundation provides 4-H members the opportunity to apply for scholarships.

All scholarship applications must be submitted to

2017 Scholarships Available:

  • Donna Wampler Endowed Scholarship (due March 3)
  • Orscheln Industries Foundation Scholarship (due March 3)
  • Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply (due March 3)
  • The 4-H Legacy Scholarship (due March 3)
  • Rose and Guy Richard McDonald Scholarship (due March 3)
  • Horse Scholarship — Grand Island Saddle Club (due March 3)
  • Horse Scholarship — R.B. Warren 4-H Horse Educational Scholarship (due March 3)
  • Ron and Rita Horst Citizenship Scholarship (due March 3)
  • Kimberly Family Scholarship Fund (due March 3)
  • Renee Felt Schulte Scholarship (due March 3)
  • Tom Holman Scholarship (due September 23)

For guidelines and more information, please visit our scholarship guidelines and application form.

More information can be found at

NACEB Scholarship 2017-18


The Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards (NACEB) Scholarship Program 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 Sciences (CEHS) for an incoming student (freshmen or transfer student).
  • One $1000 scholarship for a current student (sophomore or higher) enrolled in CASNR or CEHS.

Note: NACEB may suspend this scholarship program at any time.


It is expected that each scholarship recipient make at least one presentation to a community, high school, or 4-H group discussing the importance of continuing one’s education at the post-secondary level, the positive experiences and benefits of studying in CASNR/CEHS and encouraging others to study in CASNR/CEHS.

Each recipient of this scholarship will be invited to attend the NACEB Annual Meeting and to speak to the members , briefly outlining her/his academic progress, career plans, and observations of her/his experiences in CASNR/CEHS.

If unable to attend, a written report is an alternative. An effort will be made by NACEB to assist each recipient with travel to the meeting. This support could be in the form of offered transportation with other attendees or reimbursement of mileage at the discretion of NACEB.


The entire application, review, and award process of the NACEB Scholarship Program will be overseen by the Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) and the Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences (CEHS) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Tiffany Heng-Moss, Associate Dean

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

PO Box 830702, UNL East Campus

Lincoln, NE 68583-0702

Applications may be found at:

Application materials must be received by March 17, 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact our office at 402-472-2201.

Plant Science

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 2600 packets of zinnia 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 tasty, Sunburst Summer Squash. Sunburst squash has yellow, scalloped shaped fruits with bright-green blossom ends. The plants are very productive and are an All-America Selection winner for its early fruit production and for producing a large number of fruits per plant. On average it will take about 52 days from seeding date until the squash is ready to harvest.


Youth should enroll for the Special Garden Project through 4-H Online. Once enrolled in 4-H Online, youth are then supposed to call their local office to sign up for the project (order the seeds). By enrolling through 4-H Online, youth will have access to the box folder with the educational materials including the growing newsletter & evaluation.

Sixth Annual Innovative Youth Corn Challenge

Do you enjoy being outside? Learning new things about crops? Considering a career involving crops, insects, diseases, soils, water or more? Do you want to help figure out how to feed our world’s growing population in a sustainable way?

Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Corn Board are offering the sixth 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 (2 or more participants), 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 $150.

To participate in 2017, youth must complete and return an entry form by March 15th to the Fillmore County Extension Office in Geneva, NE. Forms can be downloaded after January 1st at For more information, contact Brandy VanDeWalle at, Aaron Nygren at or Amy Timmerman at

Animal Science

Livestock Quality Assurance Transition Plan

We are excited to announce that Nebraska is part of a national team introducing a new QA Curriculum called Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA). The YQCA course will be available online 24/7 and we anticipate that the new course will be available on or about March 1.

  • From now through March 1, you can continue to use the current LQA online course. As in the past, youth completing the LQA online course will need to complete three new modules with an 80% or better. Youth must print and deliver module certificates to their local Extension office.
  • At the point where the new YQCA course comes online (March 1), the old LQA course will not accept new 2017 participants. Instead, youth will enroll with the new YQCA.
  • Note: For youth already in progress toward attaining the 2017 LQA module prior to March 1, youth will be able to continue their work and complete the required three modules.

Registration questions may be emailed to or 855-208-8037. There will be no technical support from December 23, 2016, through January 2, 2017.

Beef Weigh-In

The Dakota-Thurston County Market Beef Weigh-In will be held on Saturday, January 28, 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 exhibit 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, DNA will be taken (at a cost of $6/head). The snow date for the weigh-in will be February 4th.

All ear tags this year will be EID and therefore be purchased at a cost of $2 per tag.

Breeding beef projects are also welcome to come to the weigh-in and get tattooed, but are not required if you have other means for tattooing.

Youth Livestock Projects and the VFD Regulation

Effective January 1, 2017, all livestock producers that use antibiotic medicated feeds to prevent, treat or control animal health issues will be required to get a written order or directive from a Veterinarian to purchase and feed these feeds. The regulation will only affect antibiotics administered in feed or water for livestock.

Antibiotics are important to both human medicine and animal health, to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance in both areas; producer must follow the FDA Approved Labels. These labels determine what animal health issues can be treated with that specific antibiotic, dosage and proper administration.

The first step youth producers should take is to develop a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship by visiting with their veterinarian. Within this discussion, producers need to review their herd/flock health plan and evaluate vaccinations and treatment plans for the animals they care for. If you determine that medicated feeds should be used, plan on how to acquire a VFD Order from the veterinarian.

Copies of the VFD must go to you and your feed supplier/dealer before you can purchase or feed these feeds. Youth Livestock Participants may visit with their feed supplier/dealer to plan a nutrition/feed program prior to getting their project animals to discuss if medicated feeds should be used and if a VFD is required.

For more information visit the Nebraska BQA VFD Webpage at: Or Contact Rob Eirich, Extension Educator/Director of Beef Quality Assurance via email at:

Premise ID

All State Fair exhibitors will be required to obtain a Premise ID for 2017. This will not be required for county-only exhibitor unless the county chooses to do so. Further education, in partnership with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture will be coming out by January 10th for counties to use in print form via email blasts and newsletters. These resources will explain the reasoning behind both EID and Premise ID while also giving families a step-by-step process for obtaining the Premise ID.

While that is being developed, what follows is a brief explanation on why Premise ID will be required in 2017. Also attached to this email is a rough document going through the process of obtaining a Premise ID. This document is for your reference only and a more complete resource will come out by January 10th that can be easily disseminated to youth.

  • In 2016, through our partnership with NDA, we were able to obtain an exemption from USDA that did not require each exhibitor to obtain a Premise ID. Thus why each county extension office or fairgrounds has a Premise ID number.
  • That exemption will not be renewable for 2017, thus requiring this step. The Premise ID Application process can be completed online. That URL will be available in the coming resources.
  • Swine exhibitors, through completion of PQA, already have a Premise ID so they have already completed this step. They can continue to use the Premise ID generated through that program for other species as well.
  • Cattle, Sheep, and Goat exhibitors who do not have a Premise ID will need to obtain one. In some cases, a farm or ranch may already have a Premise ID in the parents (or other relative’s name). As long as the livestock are being housed and cared for at that location, the existing Premise ID should be used.

We are well aware that there may be some not willing to comply with the Premise ID step; however, this process is vital in our youth understanding the shape of the agriculture landscape and the world economy as it is changing. Source verification programs are becoming critical, and as the world population becomes more interested in where their food is grown, Premise ID will play a major role in our youth’s future in agriculture.

While acquiring Premise ID is the choice of a family/exhibitor, those who choose not to get the Premise ID will not be able to show at State Fair or AKSARBEN. Exhibitors can contact me ( and I can help to answer their questions.

Lancaster County Spring Rabbit Show

The Lancaster County 4-H Rabbit VIPS are hosting their annual 4-H Spring Rabbit Show on Saturday - March 25, 2017. For more information go to

2017 State Fair Livestock Fees

On December 9, the Nebraska State Fairboard voted to add a bedding fee onto the entry fee for all livestock exhibitors; the fee will be $15 for beef and dairy and $5 for sheep, goats, and swine. The Fairbaord also voted to add a $3 per head fee for 4-H & FFA market animals to help defray the costs of drug testing. These costs are in addition to the existing entry fees that will stay the same for 2017.

The Nebraska State Fair continues to be supportive of FFA and 4-H and values all that youth and families bring the Fair; however, escalating costs for bedding, bedding removal, etc. have forced them to reassess their fees. They are also aware that there are other costs for families including DNA sampling and EID tags. While this does add a financial burden; hopefully, by knowing early, families can make appropriate decisions about nominating animals and their plans for exhibiting.

2017 Nebraska District 4-H Horse Shows

All entries due to county office May 12, 2017. Note: ALL Level testing required for participation in the 2017 District 4-H Horse Shows MUST be completed by May 12, 2017.

Reminder: All Entries for the State Horse Show must be mailed by May 12, 2017. 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.

2017 4-H Horse Show Dates and Sites

  • June 12th - Lexington
  • June 13th - Taylor
  • June 14th - Wayne
  • June 19th - Hemingford
  • June 20th - Lincoln
  • July 16-20 - 2017 State 4-H Horse Show - Fonner Park


Code of Conduct

Since you will be enrolling online again 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 a representative the University of Nebraska, your club, your community, your country, and your world.
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2017 Thurston County 4-H Calendar

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