Washington County Weekly 4-H Update

December 18, 2020


  1. Achievement Celebration - Decoration Results
  2. Nebraska Extension DHM Phase/Covid-19 Risk Dial Guidance
  3. New 4-H Year Begins! Enrollment is Open
  4. State Level 4-H Achievement Applications - Due January 15
  5. 2021 Special Garden Project
  6. 2021 Special Agronomy Project
  7. Virtual Learning Opportunities
  8. 4-H Winter Camps
  9. 2021 Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest
  10. Nebraska Cattlemen's Classic Youth Judging Contest
  11. 2021 4-H Horse Stampede
  12. 2021 District 4-H Horse Shows
  13. Animal Science "Inspiring Your Future" Scholarship
  14. The National Western Catch-A-Calf Program
  15. Fed Steer Challenge - Deadline Extended
  16. Other Statewide Events and Resources



December 24th & 25th...........................Office Closed for Christmas Holiday

January 1................................................Office Closed for New Year Holiday

January 15.............................................State 4-H Achievement Applications Due

March 27................................................4-H Horse Stampede - East Campus-Lincoln

June 28 & 29...........................................PASE & Life Challenge Contests, East Campus-Lincoln

June 30...................................................State Public Speaking Contest, East Campus-Lincoln

July 30 - August 4, 2021........................2021 Washington County Fair

Results for Best Decorated Vehicle Contest

The results are in for the Best Decorated Vehicle Contest held during the Washington County 4-H Sunday Afternoon Drive-thru Celebration. Thank you to all of the families who participated in the contest as well as the families who were able to attend the celebration. There were three categories for the contest, Best 4-H Theme, Best Holiday Theme and Best Pandemic Theme. There were no entries for the Best Pandemic Theme. Voting happened on our Washington County Facebook Page.

Winners will receive a $25.00 Casey’s Gift Card. Gift Cards will be mailed directly to each family. The winners are:

  • Tied for the Best 4-H Theme—Hernandez Family
  • Tied for the Best 4-H Theme—Mary Larsen
  • Best Holiday Theme—Murch-Shafer Family

Nebraska Extension DHM Phase/Covid-19 Risk Dial Guidance

Nebraska Extension DHM Phase/Covid-19 Risk Dial Guidance

Follow Most Restrictive Guidance: State DHM or Local Health Department Covid-19 Risk Dial


4-H Clubs (events, activities, meetings)

Recommend meeting virtually; Facial coverings required for in person meetings; Follow additional local/county guidance.

Effective November 30, 2020

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2021 4-H Year - Enrollment is OPEN

Nebraska 4-HOnline Enrollment Link: https://ne.4honline.com/Login.aspx?403D4050364539525371705375593D

Please note that the 4-H project history has been cleared and you must enter the project name and the number of years you have participated in it. You will find your history by going into your Family Account and choosing Member Reports.

You might also notice that the Virtual Robotics project shows up in the project history but has been removed this year as the curriculum is no longer available.

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Achievement Applications

    • Don’t forget! State-level 4-H Achievement Applications are due January 15th! The Nebraska 4-H Achievement Application is a standard application form used for the selection of county and state award winners, including delegates to National 4-H Congress and National 4-H Conference, as well as Nebraska 4-H Foundation scholarship award recipients. Learn more at 4h.unl.edu/achievement-application.

2021 Special Garden Project – The Tasty Hakurei Turnip

The Nebraska Extension Special Gardening Project lets 4-H members try their hand at growing unusual vegetables and flowers. The project allows experienced 4-H gardeners to grow something fun, new, and different while letting those new to gardening get their feet wet in this project area. 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 related careers. The 2021 Special Garden Project is focused on the tasty Hakurei Turnip. These are not your grandmother’s turnips. Hakurei is a white salad turnip that is smooth, round and at its best when harvested under 2”. The roots can be eaten raw or cooked and the tops can also be cooked.

STEP 1 - Enroll in 4-H and from the project list select “PS: Horticulture (D) – Special Garden Project”. To enroll in 4-H, go to: https://ne.4honline.com. By enrolling through 4-H Online, youth will have access to the OneDrive folder with the educational materials including the growing newsletter & evaluation.

STEP 2 – Order your seeds by completing the Google form (https://go.unl.edu/4hspecialgardenproject-seedorder-2021). Seed packet are $0.50 per packet/youth and will be paid upon receiving. ORDER DEADLINE – Friday, January 29, 2021.

Shortly after the order deadline, the Washington County 4-H staff will contact those who ordered the Special Garden Project seeds to inform them how and where they will receive their seeds.

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2021 Special Agronomy Project

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 https://cropwatch.unl.edu/special-agronomy-project.

Contact our office by Friday, January 29, 2021 to order your seeds.

Virtual & At-Home Educational Resources

Looking for educational resources you can use from home? We've got you covered! 😉

Nebraska 4-H is now offering a variety of virtual learning experiences, such as Living Room Learning and Boredom Buster Challenges. We've also collected some of our favorite activity guides that are perfect for hands-on learning at home.

Check out our virtual and at-home educational resources at https://4h.unl.edu/virtual-home-learning.

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Winter Fun Pack

    • Worried about keeping your children busy during winter break? We’ve got you covered with our new Winter Fun Pack! It’s full of hands-on activities that youth can easily do with materials found at home. With 5-days’ worth of activities including family engagement opportunities, the Winter Fun Pack is just what you need to help fill the time at home during winter break. All the resources can be accessed for FREE at 4h.unl.edu/winter-fun-pack.
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Supporting Young People

    • The holiday season is quickly approaching. Children and youth often anxiously await the holidays which can mean a time to gather with family, share gifts, and participate in traditions. This year however gatherings and celebrations might look a little different. Changes to these traditions and routines might add to youth’s feelings of anxiety, sadness, or depression. Check out these strategies for helping youth cope with holiday stresses: 4h.unl.edu/helping-youth-cope-holiday-stresses.
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Photography Showcase

    • Whether it’s your favorite photo you’ve taken this fall or one you took to the county fair, we want to see it! Submit your favorite photo for a chance to be showcased. The 4-H photography showcase offers members a project exhibition opportunity beyond traditional print media. 4-H’ers are invited to submit their favorite photo they’ve taken for a chance to have it showcased online for thousands of 4-H fans to admire. Learn more and submit a photo at 4h.unl.edu/photography-showcase.
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Cat Science

    • Ever wonder how cats became domesticated? Interested in learning more about caring for a feline friend? How about showing a cat in 4-H or exploring careers related to cats? We’ve got answers to all these questions and more in our NEW Companion Cat Science online course! The course is free and open to all youth, parents, and leaders interested in advancing their knowledge of cats and the 4-H cat project. Youth do not need to be enrolled 4-H members to participate. Learn more at 4h.unl.edu/companion-cat-science.
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Companion Animal Webinar Series

    • We’re excited to kick off our NEW Companion Animal Webinar Series next week! During our first webinar, we’ll be discussing basic small animal wellness. The Nebraska 4-H Companion Animal Webinar Series is great for leaders, parents, and senior aged youth who want to advance their knowledge in companion animal-related topic areas. Webinars will be hosted on the first Thursday of each month at 6:00 PM CT/5:00 PM MT. Learn more at 4h.unl.edu/companion-animal-webinar-series
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4-H Winter Camps

Hello Friends of 4-H Camp!

  • We had so much fun at our Virtual December Days Camp that we decided to plan another online session over winter break! If you need some camp fun over the break then join us for WINTER BREAK VIRTUAL CAMP! We will do an art project, cooking and STEM activity! This Virtual session will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 29th from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm CT. Ages: 5-14

  • We are also planning an IN-PERSON event at the Nebraska State 4-H Camp in Halsey, NE. This event will take place from Saturday, January 16th to Monday, January 18th. See the beautiful Nebraska National Forest during wintertime and have a blast at camp! We will enjoy sledding, snow-people, hot chocolate and more! Transportation option from Lincoln or Omaha is available! *All CDC recommendations will be followed including: social distancing, masks and enhanced sanitizing procedures. Ages: 8-14

For more information on either of these events and online registration please visit this site: https://4h.unl.edu/camps-centers/school-year-camps

2021 Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest

The springtime severe weather season is quickly approaching and that means it’s time for the annual 2021 Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest. The contest, sponsored by Nebraska Association of Emergency Management, the National Weather Service the Nebraska National Guard and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, is part of the annual Severe Weather Awareness Week effort produced by Emergency Management Directors/Coordinators across Nebraska.

This year, the poster contest is open to all third grade students in Nebraska public and private schools as well as home-schooled third students. Teachers are encouraged to have students participate while teaching them about hazards of severe weather in Nebraska. While not specifically designed to promote tornado awareness, tornadoes are the most common theme chosen for posters. Lightning and flooding, which are also products of severe thunderstorms, are also good topic choices.

The first-place winner in the state contest wins a $125 gift card. The second-place winner receives a $100 gift card and the third-place winner receives a $75 gift card. The Nebraska Association of Emergency Management provides the first, second and third place gift card awards. The fourth place poster winner receives a $50 gift card sponsored by the National Weather Service.

For more information on how to enter go to: www.naem.us

2021 Nebraska Cattleman's Classic Livestock Judging Contest

2021 Nebraska Cattleman's Classic Livestock Judging Contest registration form can be found here:


We hope that you'll join us in Kearney, NE on February 13th for another great contest at the Nebraska Cattleman's Classic. One thing to note again is that it will be official dress and the entry deadline is February 5th.

2021 4-H Horse Stampede

The 2021 4-H Horse Stampede is scheduled for Saturday, March 27th on UNL’s East Campus. This is an outstanding opportunity for youth interested and a part of the 4-H Horse program. If you have questions, please contact our office.

The Horse Stampede includes:

  • Speech Contest: (Individual event)
    • Junior Division: (age 10-13 as of January 1)
    • Senior Division: (age 14-18 as of January 1)
  • Demonstration Contest: (Individual or Team of two)
    • Junior Division: (age 10-13 as of January 1)
    • Senior Division: (age 14-18 as of January 1)
  • Art Contest:
    • Elementary: (age 8-11 as of January 1)
    • Junior: (age 12-14 as of January 1)
    • Senior: (age 15-18 as of January 1)
      • Champion Senior Art will be retained for use on the cover of the State 4-H Horse Show program in 2021
  • Photography Contest:
    • Elementary: (age 8-11 as of January 1)
    • Junior: (age 12-14 as of January 1)
    • Senior: (age 15-18 as of January 1)
      • Champion Senior Photography will be retained for use on the cover of the State 4-H Horse Show program in 2021

-Categories include:

*Careers with horses

*Horse health and/or nutrition

*Good husbandry/grooming

*Training and showing

*Human-horse bond

*Horse service or citizenship

The 4-H Horse Bowl is also a part of this event.

The primary objective of Horse Bowl contests is to provide an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H horse projects to demonstrate their knowledge of equine-related subject matter in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail. These contests will provide an educational experience for both participants and spectators.

Age Divisions

Junior: 10-13 years of age as of January 1 of the current year

Senior: 14-18 years of age as of January 1 of the current year

2021 District 4-H Horse Show Schedule

Monday, June 14......................Scottsbluff, NE

Tuesday, June 15.....................Burwell, NE

Wednesday, June 16...............Columbus, NE

Thursday, June 17...................Lincoln, NE

Friday, June 18........................McCook, NE

Animal Science: "Inspiring Your Future" Scholarship Contest - now live!

I wanted you all to be aware of a scholarship opportunity for high school seniors and transfer students who are admitted animal science majors looking to enroll in the Fall 2021 semester at UNL. This is the inaugural year for the Animal Science: Inspiring Your Future Scholarship Contest and we will be awarding ten $5000 scholarships. We want students to tell us 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!

Find all the information at:


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The National Western Catch-A-Calf Program

The National Western Catch-A-Calf program has re-opened the 2021-22 NWSS CAC Application website and the new deadline is January 15, 2021. Goto: https://nationalwestern.com/catch-a-calf-program/?fbclid=IwAR3LBfau6HJKcroQJmU7Q9RlYClb-qVSWTzpwXh7LhgHHzhA_7amYd_B2N0

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Fed Steer Challenge

  • Miss the application deadline for the 2021 Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge? Well, we have good news for you. The application deadline has been extended! Apply now at 4h.unl.edu/fed-steer-challenge.
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Washington County Extension | 4-H

Tracy J. Behnken, Extension Educator - tracy.behnken@unl.edu

Jaki Zahourek, 4-H Extension Assistant - jaki.zahourek@unl.edu

Mickayla Blender, 4-H Extension Assistant - mblender2@unl.edu

Mary Larsen, 4-H Support Staff - mlarsen9@unl.edu