Southern Plains 4H Newsletter

Serving Nuckolls and Thayer Counties - December 1, 2020

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Note From Kylie

The word of the month for Southern Plains Extension in November was "nimble." We've pivoted to teach virtually as well as in person for school enrichment, learned to vote virtually for council members and council officers, and continued to plan programming that can be offered in person or on online for the unknown COVID-19 situation in 2021. Sixteen participants (half from Thayer and half from Nuckolls) crafted barn quilts at our barn quilt workshop in Nelson November 6-7. Over 100 Lawrence/Nelson students elementary students learned about where in Nebraska all the parts of their cheeseburgers come from - and were thrilled to learn that even pickles come from Nebraska! If you have ideas or requests for workshops, please let us know by filling out the survey found here.

COVID-19 Restrictions Effective Nov. 30th

Since our local health departments for both Nuckolls and Thayer are in the red zone on their COVID-19 Risk Dials, Nebraska Extension issued new guidance for programming on November 24, 2020. As a result, all Extension/4-H programs, meetings, and events must be delivered virtually effective November 30, 2020. Please watch your email and our Facebook page because we will send updates as information changes.

  • SPCT Fruit Fundraiser fruit pick up - we have emailed out a pick-up time sign up sheet to families so only one family will be present to pick up at a time. Mask wearing and social distancing will be required during pick up. Please follow the link for the fruit pick up sign up sheet here: Fruit will arrive Tuesday, December 8 in Nelson.
  • 4-H Club meetings (includes shooting sports practices) - all virtual.
  • 4-H Council meetings - all virtual
  • School Programs - all virtual
  • The Dec. 12 Beef Weigh in is postponed. The Feb. 6 beef weigh in is still scheduled.
  • YQCA - We have 2 programs scheduled for in-person instruction in late December. We are going to be optimistic and keep those on the calendar for right now. We cannot virtually teach the in-person slides we have due to YQCA rules, so if our counties are still in the red area for the risk dial in late December, we will have to cancel the in-person sessions. Taking the online version of YQCA is always an option. If you want to be proactive and sign up for the online version, you are very welcome to do so. If you do not have a credit card, we have codes for purchase in the Nuckolls County Office.

4-H Council Elections Results

Please welcome our new 2021 4-H Council members and officers! Adults serve two year terms with a max of 2 consecutive terms. Youth serve one year terms with a max of 2 consecutive terms.


Becky Funk

Laura Elledge

2021 Nuckolls County Officer Team:

Seth Going - President

Lea Rempel - Vice President

Laura Elledge - Secretary

Alesia Bauer - Treasurer


Our new adult council members are:

Michelle Dick

Carrie Anderson

Our new youth council members are:

Addy Crockett

Alyssa Malchow

Laiken Mumm

Braelynn Renz

AnnaMae Howe

2021 Thayer County Officer Team:

Christy Farnstrom - President

Sara Kresser - Vice President

Shawna Peterson - Secretary

Wade Heinrichs - Treasurer

SPCT 2022 Fruit Fundraising

Fruit Fundraising wrapped up and students sold $22,472 worth of fruit to help fund their 2022 trip to Washington, D.C.!

Top Seller: Nuckolls County with $11,629. Thayer sold $10,843. Since Nuckolls sold the most, fruit pick up will be in Nelson. Tues. Dec. 8 is our fruit pick up date. Fruit pick up starts at 5:30 pm. We have to limit to one family to pick up at a time due to COVID-19 restrictions. You can find the sign up time form here: Please wear a mask when you come to pick up your fruit. We will have hand sanitizer available.

Have questions about the 2022 Citizenship Washington Focus trip (nicknamed the Southern Plains Citizenship Trip (SPCT)?

We've created a FAQ page on our web site to help!



Living Tree

Order by: December 9

Pick up dates: Week of December 14

What's in your bag: 2 evergreen seeds (different varieties) potting soil, starter pot, hard copy of projects rules in Fairbook

Max number participants: 25 bags

Cost: $10

Picture Blocks

Note: This is an Intermediate level project - we recommend ages 12+

Order by: December 9

Pick Up Dates: Week of December 14

What's in your bag: Wooden blocks and hard copy of your photos, and links to instructional videos. The office will print your photos for you if you email them by December 9. Please choose 6 of your favorite photos, motivational sayings, or designs (scrapbook paper works well). They will be applied in 5 2x4 in and 2 2x2in (total of 7 photos).

What you provide: Tape, glue stick, pictures

Cost: $10

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  1. Log-In at or click here.
  2. Update all contact information that has changed
  3. Select your projects
  4. Verify the number of years that you have been in 4-H- this must be accurate!

Each member, leader, and direct volunteer must re-enroll in 4-H every year. Log in with the email that you created the account with. If you forgot or do not remember your password, please click on " I Forgot My Password" and a temporary password will be sent to your email. If you have further problems, please contact the Extension Office.

4-H Ages (As of January 1st)

CloverKid: 5-7

4-H Age: 8-18


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Nuckolls-Thayer 2021 Market Beef Weigh In Dates - Sat. Feb. 6 9-11AM

Sat. Dec. 12 is POSTPONED due to COVID-19 restrictions

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December 2020 YQCA Dates

Nebraska 4-H requires all youth enrolled in beef, hogs, sheep, goats, rabbits, and poultry projects to complete Youth for the Quality Care of Animals annually. Enroll/reactivate your membership in 4-H Online and then register for one of these local sessions:

Tues., December 22nd @ 3:00 p.m. - Nuckolls County Fairgrounds

Mon., December 28th @ 3:00 p.m. - Byron Public Library

Enroll in an in person or online YQCA session here:

Youth Masters of Beef Advocacy Learning Cohort

Applications due December 14th by 5:00 p.m. CST.

To register, go to the following link: MBA Cohort Registration. Once registered, you will get information about logging into both Zoom sessions and the MBA site. For questions, contact Brianna Buseman, Youth Meat Extension Educator, at

The program will run December 16- January 6th. Youth who join this statewide learning cohort will gain tools and resources for being a beef advocate, work as a group to become a strong ambassador for the beef community and be able to answer tough questions about beef and raising cattle. The group will meet initially on December 16th to introduce the program, get to know their cohort and learn more about the beef industry as a whole. During the cohort timeframe, youth will complete the Masters of Beef Advocacy program online through National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. In addition to completing the online program, youth will have the opportunity to continue discussion with their cohort through a series of discussion boards, additional learning resources and activities to help put what they learn into action. Youth will then log-in on January 6th for a celebration webinar to mark their completion of the program, learn more about beef in Nebraska and discuss careers in the beef industry.


Jan. 4 Southern Plains Babysitting Clinic


Monday, January 4 @ Nuckolls County Fairgrounds in Nelson

10am to 3pm

Ages 11+ (boys and girls welcome!)

4-H membership not required but encouraged

- Craft a healthy snack and learn to make a kid-friendly lunch (that you will eat yourself)

- Learn basic first aid

- Design fun activities

- Market your babysitting business

Masks are required, and social distancing and all current DHMs will be followed.


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!

NEW Special Agronomy Project

The Nebraska Extension Special Agronomy Project gives 4-H members an opportunity to experience a crop that is grown, was grown or has the potential to be grown in Nebraska. Youth participate by receiving seed and resources to grow the crop, research traits of the crop and determine the viability of that crop in the part of the state they live. The project allows 4-H members interested in agronomy to grow something fun, new, and different.

To kick-off the inaugural year of the special agronomy project, youth will explore teosinte. The plant looks and is very similar to corn, in fact it is believed to be the wild ancestor of today's corn!

Teosinte produces stalks that produce several small ears with a cob and hard, trapezoidal kernels. Being related to corn, the care is very similar so we will plant and fertilize like corn. Plant the seeds 1-2 inches deep, 8 to 12 inches apart. Teosinte is a tropical grass, so wait till soils are warm before planting. Teosinte can take up to 180 days to mature but we can still admire it's similarities to corn! For more information, go to

Enroll for the Special Agronomy Project through 4-H Online. There is a small enrollment fee of $0.50 for this project which covers the cost of seeds. Then, contact your local Extension office and let them know how many seed packets you need by February 1st.


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


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4-H Calendar At a Glance

The Nuckolls and Thayer County Extension Offices will be closed December 25th and January 1st. Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!


Sat. Dec. 12 - Beef Weigh In @ Kile Vet Clinic in Superior 9-11am - POSTPONED

Tues. Dec. 22 - YQCA @ Nuckolls County Fairgrounds - ON STAND BY

Mon. Dec. 28 - YQCA @ Byron Public Library - ON STAND BY


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


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

JUNE 2021

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

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