December 2022 Newsletter

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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. Please note, this year the Nebraska State 4-H Office will impose a statewide enrollment deadline date that will assist counties in having a consistent timeline for processing membership enrollments. Once that date is announced from the State 4-H Office, it will be released from the Extension Office. What does this mean? ENROLL EARLY and don't miss the statewide deadline to be a Nebraska 4-H member!

All leaders and volunteers also need to be enrolled on 4honline. There is no fee for adults to enroll. Our counties will be up for rescreening this year as well. I will release more information as we get it. This is also the year that all volunteers in our 4 counties will need to be screened through the DHHS. Call the office if you need more information.

4-H Project of the Month- Food and Nutrition

Christmas is a wonderful time of year to sit down and celebrate the end of another momentous year and the holidays with our loved ones. In my family, we love to gather around a table full of food with our holiday tradition of oyster stew and chili on Christmas Eve. Christmas day, the family will come over, bringing with them desserts and salads, usually all old family recipes that have been enjoyed year after year. Food is a tradition that brings us together for every holiday or big event in our lives.

Once again, 4-H has many opportunities for those that love food and traditions as much as I do! The 4-H Foods and Nutrition project encourages youth to explore safe cooking practices and healthy eating. In this project, youth learn about many different cooking methods to improve their knowledge of cuisine. Youth can use this knowledge to compete at county at state fair with delicious homemade goods! Many of the classes include baked products but youth can also explore the art of food preservation with freezing, drying, and canning. There are also in-person cooking contests held at state fair, where youth can explore cooking proteins on a grill.

Food is something we need every day, but many people fail to really understand the complexity of the relationship food has with our body. By participating in the 4-H foods and nutrition project, youth are exposed to the raw ingredients they are putting into their bodies. They are able to understand the science and chemistry behind baking and preserving while also getting to know what the best choices or for fueling their body. We want to encourage youth to explore a healthy and fulfilling relationship with their food.

So, this Christmas, as you gather with your families, encourage everyone to share their love of food with the youth in your household. Cooking together is an incredible way to bond with each other and learn something new. For more information visit go.unl.edu/foods. Project examples include baked products, family food traditions, candy, cake decorating, freezing, drying, boiling water canning, pressure canning, and many more.

If your 4-Her is interested in working on a foods and nutrition project and you want more information, please contact the 4-H Assistant Shaniya at s.albertus@unl.edu.

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  • Attention, middle school educators! Nebraska 4-H is hosting an all-new Career Chat Live on Tuesday, December 8. Presented in partnership with EducationQuest Foundation, Career Chat Live offers middle-school students the opportunity to engage virtually with real-world professionals from across various career fields. Learn more at 4h.unl.edu/career-chat-live.

“Making the Best Better: Youth Directed Experiences”!

This opportunity is designed for youth to highlight work they are doing in human development through leading experiences for other young people. These experiences may be through their role as a camp counselor, intern or teens as teacher, workshop teacher, babysitter or day care employee, junior leader, or simply as an older 4-H member coaching those younger in their club or project area.

Youth are highly encouraged to apply on their own behalf but they may also be nominated.

Through this showcase of their experience,

Youth will show evidence of skill development working with other young people.

Youth will be aware of how their experience applies to their development and their future decisions.

Youth will discuss their experience and analyze what young people in their care learned.

Young people will be asked to submit the following questions via qualtrics application, along with a photo or video of themselves as they interact with the young people they worked with.

How have you worked with young people?

    • In what setting?
    • What kinds of activities did you do?
    • Did you assist an adult or older youth leading or supervising any youth care, supervision, or activities?

Tell us about your experience.

    • What skills did you use when doing these activities?
    • What did you observe as you worked with the young people in this setting?
      • What went well? What challenges did you encounter? How did you pivot to navigate something that did not go as planned?
      • What did the young people you worked with learn? What skills were they developing?

How have you grown as a result of this experience?

    • What did you enjoy the most? Why?
    • What did you learn and how will you apply this to future activities or decisions?

Participants will get a chance to come to Campus to visit and speak with faculty in the areas of Education, Child Youth and Family Studies and Extension, while also enjoying the Life Smarts contest where their experiences will be highlighted. Prizes will also be awarded for submission.

Apply HERE before December 14th.

What is Life Smarts? Life Smarts is national consumer program designed to create consumer savvy young people through a quiz bowl competition. The NE competition will be held on December 14th in Lincoln, NE at the East Campus Union. While the deadline for participation has passed, we invite you to come and check it out and visit about how you may get youth involved in 2023!

Contact Michelle Krehbiel or Ashley Benes with any questions.

Martha and Don Romeo Scholarship

The Nebraska Association of Fair Managers will award a $500 scholarship to one qualifying 4-H male and a $500 scholarship to one qualifying 4-H female who are graduating seniors in the State of Nebraska and who plan to continue with post high school education. The scholarship will be awarded at the annual NAFM convention in January.

The selection of the scholarship recipients will be made by the NAFM Scholarship Committee whose members will consider the following:

1. Each applicant must have exhibited his/her 4-H projects in a County Fair or at the State Fair within the last four years.

2. Each applicant must hold a 2.5 high school grade point average (based on a 4.0 system). Each applicant must also maintain a 2.5 grade point average for the first semester in college and carry at least 12 credit hours.

3. Each applicant must agree to apply the scholarship funds for tuition or fees at a two or four year college or its equivalent, to be judged by the committee.

4. Each applicant must have demonstrated support for his/her school and community.

5. Each applicant must exhibit during the application process a desire to achieve the goals of which he/she is capable.

6. Financial need will not be considered in the selection process.

7. One male and/or female finalist will be selected by the 4-H award committee in each local Extension Office.

8. Recipients are requested to personally accept the award at the Nebraska Fair Managers Convention.

Scholarship Application

The time has come to unveil the 2023 Special Garden Project plant (drumroll please….).

The 2023 Special Garden Project will focus on Mrs. Burns’ Lemon Basil. This herb can be used multiple ways. Lemon basil has a unique lemon flavor can be added to any recipe or used as a cut flower in arrangements to add scent and interest.

Youth should enroll for the Special Garden Project through 4-H Online. Once enrolled through 4-H Online, youth are then to call their local office to let them know they enrolled for the project. By enrolling through 4-H Online, youth will have access to the shared folder with the educational materials including the growing newsletter & evaluation.

The cost to enroll in the project will be around $0.50 per youth. Please let the CSA Extension Office know before January 15 if you would like to participate.

4-H CAMPS 2023

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will host the 2023 National 4-H Conference April 14-19, 2023 in-person at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia and online.

NIFA has administered the National 4-H Conference on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture in Washington, DC since 1927. Known as “the Secretary’s Conference,” this Conference is the flagship youth development opportunity of USDA. Today, the Conference remains true to its original intent to develop the next generation of leaders while continuing to be future focused. The Conference brings together young people, volunteer leaders, county and state Extension staff, Land-grant University faculty and administrators, as well as state and federal government officials from across the United States and its Territories. During the Conference, delegates will become familiar with the government and future career opportunities and share their voice with federal agencies and congressional committees.

To learn more about the 2023 National 4-H Conference, register to attend our National 4-H Conference Information Session on December 7, 2022 3:00-4:00 CST.

Now Recruiting Leadership Positions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is now accepting submissions from youth and adults to serve in leadership positions at 2023 National 4-H Conference. National 4-H Conference offers opportunities for youth to learn, practice, and apply civic engagement skills through roundtable discussions, federal agency briefings, and more. These unique and engaging experiences would not be possible without the Youth Leadership Team, Collegiate Facilitators, and Adult Advisors who provide leadership to conference activities and events.

How to Apply

Those interested in the following positions should review the National 4-H Conference leadership position descriptions, complete the National 4-H Conference Leadership Interest Form, and email the completed form along with resume to National4-HConference@usda.gov, using the subject line “National 4-H Conference Leadership Interest.”

Collegiate Facilitator (New and Returning)
• Up to 16 positions open for 2023 National 4-H Conference
• Submit interest by November 18, 2022

Collegiate Facilitator Adult Advisor
• 2 positions open for 2023 and 2024 National 4-H Conference
• Submit interest by November 4, 2022

Lead Collegiate Facilitator
• 1 position open for 2023 National 4-H Conference
• Submit interest by November 4, 2022

Youth Leadership Team (YLT)
• Up to 6 positions open for 2023 National 4-H Conference
• Submit interest by November 18, 2022

Collegiate Facilitator positions (new, returning, and lead) will require a signature from the State 4-H Leader or Land-grant University Director. This signature acknowledges that the individual must be enrolled as a 4-H adult volunteer through a local Land-grant University prior to interacting with youth participants.

For questions contact Annie Ceccarini and Andrea Wikiera.

Interested in becoming a Nebraska 4-H Shooting Sports Certified Leader?

    • All 4-H volunteers leading a Nebraska 4-H Shooting Sports program must attend a Leader Certification Workshop, and there happens to be some coming up this fall! Visit events.unl.edu/NE4H-Shooting-Sports to see all the upcoming workshops. Learn more about leader certification at 4h.unl.edu/shooting-sports-leaders.
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    • The Hixson Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts is now accepting applications for Nebraska Young Artist Awards! This program recognizes high school juniors who demonstrate talent in arts, music, dance, theatre, film, or emerging media. Award recipients are invited to a special campus visit that includes an awards ceremony, activities, career exploration, and networking. Learn more at arts.unl.edu/hlfpa/Nebraska-young-artist-awards.

Robotics Leader Needed in Hooker and Thomas Counties

Hooker and Thomas Counties will be looking for a robotics leader for the coming 4-H year. If you have any questions please call the Central Sandhills Extension Office at 308-645-2267.