Thurston County 4-H News

February 2018

Upcoming Dates

Feb 9 - Horse Stampede Entries DUE

Feb 12 - Joint 4-H Council Meeting @ Pender Fire Hall (7 pm)

Feb 15 - 4-H Enrollment

Feb 19 - Office Closed - President's Day

March 8 - Butter Braid Orders DUE @ Extension Office

March 10 - Horse Stampede @ East Campus

March 19 - Thurston 4-H Council Meeting *Date Change*

March 16 - All Contest Registration Deadline

March 20 - Butter Braid pick up @ Extension Office (5 pm)

March 24 - All Contest Day! @ United Church of Pender (9:30 am)

Need to Know

Busy Programming - Out of the Office

Seems that we are always busy. Either programming or more programming, so we might see the youth at some of our different events. To make sure we are in the office when you need us, we suggest calling or contacting us to make sure we will be around.

Days we know that we'll both be out of the office are:

Feb 2: All Day

Feb 14: All Day

Feb 15: All Day

Feb 22: All Day

Feb 23: All Day

March 22: All Day

March 23: All Day

Observation of 2018 Nebraska 4-H Month - February!!

For more than ten years, Nebraska 4-H Month has been observed during the entire month of February. As we look forward to continuing our support of the national 4-H marketing initiatives and promotions, we will continue to observe Nebraska 4-H Month during the month of February in a slightly different format. A formal promotional toolkit will not be provided for Nebraska 4-H Month; however, 4-H youth club and independent members are being asked to tell their 4-H story with a short video or photo and sharing it through social media using the #NE4H and #TrueLeaders hashtags. We also encourage you to reshare the messages being shared on the Nebraska 4-H Facebook and Twitter social media networks. Your county is also welcome to hold special celebrations, contests, and programs as you have in past years.

Feel free to include the following summary with your 4-H audiences regarding the 2018 Nebraska 4-H Month:

2018 Nebraska 4-H Month – 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 shows your 4-H experience. Videos or photos may be shared through social media using the #NE4H and #TrueLeaders hashtags. Or, if your story involves a community service project, submit your project on the 4-H Community Service Project Map at and the project will be shared through the Nebraska 4-H social media channels!

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

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 at 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.

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-Hers will be taking orders from January 28-March 8, orders will be delivered to the 4-Hers on March 20th at 5 pm at the Thurston County Extension Office. Proceeds from this fundraiser help fun 4-H activities throughout the year.

NEW Contest Format!

There's something new this year for Speech, Music, Favorite Foods, and Presentation Contests. Instead of finding time in your schedule for two contests we're going to get all of them done in one day. On March 24th at the United Church of Pender at 9:30 AM we will be holding all of the contests. So if you would like to participate in Speech, Music, Favorite Foods, or Presentation Contests we'll see you then. Pre-registration is due by March 16th to the Extension Office.

Select 2018 4-H Projects by Using the Online Search Feature!

All across Nebraska 4-H youth are beginning to select their 4-H projects for 2018! Let the Nebraska 4-H Pick Your Project help connect you with projects that fit your interests and skill levels!

The interactive, web-based Nebraska 4-H Pick Your Project is found online at Using the Pick Your Project, youth, volunteers, and parents will be able to search for projects by keywords, curriculum areas, knowledge levels, and geographic level.

As an added feature, the web-based Pick Your Project contains the same project codes that are shown in the 4HOnline Enrollment system, making it easier to match the exciting 4-H projects you are learning about in the Pick Your Project with the projects you are enrolling in through 4HOnline.

Explore over 150 Nebraska 4-H projects through the Nebraska 4-H Pick Your Project and find the 4-H projects that will help you grow throughout 2018!

Ideas for 4-H Workshops

Next summer seems so far away as we're buried under snow, but we're already looking to see how we can help you accomplish the projects that you plan on completing for fair. We are working on organizing our 4-H Workshop opportunities for 2018. Please share your ideas and possible resources with us. If you saw an exhibit at the fair this summer and think this is would be a great workshop topic, we are always open to suggestions!

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 themselves by filling out the applications found at The club that is chosen as Club of the Month will be acknowledge 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!

Continuing Education

Thurston County 4-H Council Senior Scholarship

The Thurston County 4-H Council is now offering a $150 scholarship to applicants that meet the following criteria.

Applicant Criteria:

  1. Applicant must be a current High School Senior.
  2. Applicant must currently be an enrolled member of the Thurston County 4-H Program. And have been enrolled in 4-H for at least the past two years.
  3. Applicant must have completed and turned in their 4-H Career Portfolio for at least the past two years.
  4. Application must be completed and returned to get proper signatures to the Club Leader by April 1st of the current calendar year. Club Leaders will then turn all collected applications to Nebraska Extension in Thurston County. After submission, applications will not be returned.

Scholarship Information:

  1. One $150 will be awarded to all applicants who meet the criteria.
  2. Scholarship will be awarded after receiving written notification of scholarship recipient’s second semester enrollment. For those students enlisting with the military, notification of basic training completion will be the equivalent.
  3. Scholarship monies will be sent directly to the scholarship winner.

This application is due to your 4-H leaders by April 1st. We hope you consider participating. This process and application will be reviewed by the 4-H Council in three years to reaccess needs.

The application can be found here:

Ag Academy

About Ag Academy

Ag Academy is an up and coming program offered by the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. It is offered to high school students interested in getting a kick-start to their college education. This program allows students to earn credits toward a certificate while still in high school. Students can then attend NCTA to complete an associate degree.

How to Apply?

  1. Visit our website
  2. Click the link labeled: Dual Credit or Distance Learning

  3. If you do not currently have an NUID you will need to create one. Once you have created your NUID and Password, proceed to step number 4.

  4. Once you have an NUID you may login and complete your application.

  5. Be sure to hit submit at the end of the application process.

SAVE your NUID and password! You will need them again!

Please allow 3-5 business days for your application to be processed.

Getting Started

Get to know Canvas

Canvas is a new learning management system at NCTA that some instructors may have opted to use this semester. It's a lot like Blackboard, but there are some differences. Here's a list of tips and links to help you get the semester off to a smooth start.

Student Links:

  1. Be sure to bookmark the login URL for Canvas:
  2. Students may self-enroll in our student training course (Canvas login using your Blackboard credentials required)
  3. Use the help button to get Canvas Help - the live chat system works great!
  4. Be sure to install the Mobile App: Apple or Android
  5. Be sure to set up your profile
  6. Be sure to set your notification settings
  7. Remember to click the courses icon to set what courses show on the dashboard

Plant Science

Youth Crop Scouting Competition

Nebraska Extension also offers the 5th annual Crop Scouting Competition for Nebraska youth. This contest is at the ARDC near Mead, Nebraska on July 26th, 2018. The event includes indoor and outdoor events. Teams of junior high and high school students (those completing 7-12th grades) are invited to participate.

Clubs or other organizations may enter a team composed of three to five participants. An adult team leader must accompany each team. Team leaders could be FFA advisors, crop consultants, extension staff, coop employees, etc.

Top-scoring teams win prizes: $500 for first, $250 for second, $100 for third place. Top two teams are eligible for regional competition in August at Nebraska.

Teams are expected to know basics of scouting corn and soybean fields. This includes crop staging; looking for patterns of crop injury; disease, insect and weed seedling identification; etc. Other topics may include but are not limited to, pesticide safety, nutrient disorders, and herbicide injury.

More information about the crop scouting competition and instructions on how to register a team are available online at

Teams must be registered by July 16th. This program is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, Nebraska Independent Crop Consultant Association and Nebraska Extension.

Animal Science

2018 4-H Horse Stampede

The 4-H Horse Stampede is held annually on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln East Campus. This year's 4-H Horse Stampede will be held Saturday, March 10, 2018. This event offers a variety of 4-H horse contests that don't require live horses, including public speaking, demonstration, quiz bowl, art, and photography contests. Youth have the opportunity to display their equine knowledge through these contests both as an individual and as part of a team. There is a $10 entry fee per contestant. A Brown Bag Lunch is available through a pre-order form. Along with lunches, T-shirts will also need to be pre-orderedin order to secure a shirt. For more information go to Entry forms are due to the office by February 9th.

Scholarships for 4-H/FFA students to Nebraska Women in Ag Conference

The annual Nebraska Women in Agriculture Conference will be held Feb. 22 – 23, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, Kearney, Neb.

The Women in Agriculture Conference is one of the longest-running women’s conferences of its kind in the country. The theme for this year’s conference is, “Growing our future, valuing our traditions.” Over 30 concurrent workshops will be hosted over the two-day event that focus on production risk, market risk, financial risk, human risk and legal risk.

The conference will feature three keynote speakers. Ruth Hambleton, the founder of Annie’s Project, will speak on empowering and educating women producers. Ann Finkner, Farm Credit Services of America senior vice president chief administrative officer, will share resources to help women recharge while dealing with complexity, stress and multi-tasking in agriculture. Lastly, Leslie McCuiston will share her story of being named America’s Pig Farmer of the Year.

Five $125 scholarships (full registration fee) available to University of Nebraska Lincoln College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) students.

Ten $62.50 scholarships (half registration fee) are available to Nebraska FFA, 4-H or Community College students. Students receiving a ½ scholarship are expected to pay the remainder of the registration cost during the registration period, or find a local sponsor.

Applicants will need to prepare a 3,000 character essay on "Why do you want to attend the Nebraska Women in Agriculture Conference? How will you use the information in your future studies/career?"


Hotel rooms and additional travel expenses are not covered by these scholarships. The application is now open. Applications must be submitted online by midnight Friday January 19, 2018. Scholarship recipients will be notified no later than January 26, 2018.

4-H Companion Animal Challenge

The 4-H Companion Animal Challenge will be held on Saturday March 10th at the Animal Science Complex. Contests include: Dog Skill-a-thon, Dog Quiz bowl, Companion Animal Demonstration Contest, Companion Animal Art and Photography Contests. This event allows youth to apply their companion animal knowledge but does not require them to have an animal! It will be held the same day as the 4-H Horse Stampede so that youth can compete in both events if they choose. We will ensure there are not schedule conflicts. Entries are due by Feb. 16th. For more information and registration forms:

Spring 4-H Rabbit Show

Opportunity to learn and practice your showmanship. Saturday, March 17, 9 a.m. Registration 7:30-8:30 a.m. Lancaster Event Center - Exhibit Hall. Great opportunity for youth to talk to other 4-H'ers about where to purchase a good rabbit for a 4-H project.

Nebraska Youth Pork Conference: "Makin' Bacon...and a WHOLE Lot More!"

High school aged youth who have a pork industry, meats, and/or culinary may have an interest to apply for our 3rd Nebraska Youth Pork Conference, “Makin’ Bacon … and a WHOLE Lot More!” to take place at the University of Nebraska Animal Science Department. The conference will be conducted Wed., May 30 (start ~ 1 pm) through Friday, June 1 (end ~ noon). This program is geared toward high school aged youth, 16 years of age or older. Students who will be graduating in 2018 are welcome and encouraged to join us!

For more information youth may go to where they can read more about the program and to apply online. Online applications (including a reference letter) are due Friday, April 13.

Submitting Animal Information into AKSARBEN Livestock Database

An IMPORTANT CHANGE from past years is that exhibitors will be responsible for submitting their animal information into the AKSARBEN livestock database online themselves prior to the nomination deadline. In the past, families turned in DNA envelopes and breeding nominations cards to the office, staff mailed them to AKSARBEN and the entry process was done manually by staff. This led to mistakes, missing entries, missing payments, etc. The database now has the capacity to accept animal information submitted directly by exhibitors as well as payments for the DNA process. We will provide step by step instructions for doing this once the database is open to accepting entries. We are excited for this process to be in place as it ensures responsibility on exhibitors and families with a number of safeguards in place for you and us to monitor success. Your families will have the ability themselves to edit incorrect information (wrong tag number, wrong birth date, etc.) up to the deadline. The County Extension Office/FFA Advisors will still continue to mail in the DNA collectors to the AKSARBEN office by the respected deadline. You will also have the ability to see what your families have submitted and you will still be validating those nominations throughout the nomination process. Once the information is in the database and has been validated by the County Extension Staff/FFA Advisor, it will then be available for exhibitors to make State Fair entries. Please note, any animal entry not in the database or had not submitted DNA will not be considered nominated and eligible for State Fair.

2018 Nebraska District 4-H Horse Shows

All entries due to county office by May 11, 2018. Note: ALL Level testing required for participation in the 2018 District 4-H Horse Shows MUST be completed by May 11, 2018.

Reminder: All Entries for the State Horse Show must be mailed by May 11, 2018.

2018 4-H Horse Show Dates and Sites

  • June 13th - Ord
  • June 14th - York
  • June 20th - Gordon
  • June 21st - Central City
  • June 22nd - Curtis
  • July 15-19 - State Horse Show - Fonner Park, GI

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