Thurston County 4-H News

May 2021

Nebraska Extension - Thurston County

Jennifer E. Hansen, Extension Educator,

Stacey Keys, Extension Assistant,

Samantha Beutler, Office Staff,

Upcoming Dates

May 7 - Horse: District & State Entries DUE (strongly encourage you get your county horse IDs in too)

May 10 - Thurston 4-H Council Meeting

May 28 - Adventure Day Camp Registration Deadline

May 31 - Office Closed - Memorial Day

June 1 - Youth Leadership Conference Deadline

June 11 - F2F YQCA Certification

June 14 - Joint 4-H Council Meeting


  • Enrolled in 4honline
  • Enrolled in Projects
  • ALL Livestock affidavits (including county Horse)
  • State Fair Beef, Sheep, Swine, & Goat DNA & Nominations

June 28-29 - PASE/Life Challenge @ UNL

June 30 - State 4-H Speech @ UNL

July 5 - Office Closed - 4th of July Holiday Observed

July 10-14 - State Horse Show @ Fonner Park, Grand Island

July 21 - ALL Dakota-Thurston County Pre-Fair Entries DUE

July 21 - Dakota-Thurston YQCA Certification DUE

July 29 - Dakota-Thurston 4-H Fair Clothing Day

July 31 - Pre-Fair Clean Up

Aug 1-8 - Dakota-Thurston County Fair

Aug 10 - State Fair Animal & In-Person Contest Entries DUE

Save the dates!

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We are doing our best to keep you informed about all changes as things continue to shift. If you have questions please call or email FIRST! #thurston4Hstrong

COVID Update to Extension/4-H Programming Changes

As of April 28 2021, Thurston County is in YELLOW!

As state and local COVID-19 situations continue to change, Nebraska Extension has updated their guidance for programming. As of Monday, November 30th if the State DHM color phase or the Northeast Nebraska Health Department COVID-19 risk dial are in RED, ALL Extension/4-H programs, meetings, and events must be delivered virtually, until the color changes. This included 4-H Club meetings!

If the risk dial is ORANGE, it is recommended that programs, meetings, and events are held virtually and facial coverings are required for in-person meetings.

If the risk dial is YELLOW, facial coverings are recommended and to follow local guidance for risk color.

Congratulations to our solo Thurston County 4-H Senior!

Ashley Ostrand!

We are so proud of your 4-H & personal accomplishments! Oh the places you'll go!
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Member Info

DON'T FORGET - Enroll in 4-H Now!

Want to participate in 4-H Fair Activities? You MUST be enrolled by June 15th.

Visit to enroll for the 2020-2021 4-H year!

There is a $5 enrollment fee.

Cloverleaf Livestock: Pay Club

Rosalie Feeders, TC Roughriders, & Independent: Pay the Office Directly

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 NEW Thurston County volunteers will need to do a background check before Volunteer Enrollment will be complete!

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

Keep Up on Facebook!

For all you new members and for our previous ones, to keep up with all the latest updates and information as soon as possible! Follow us on Facebook @UNLExtensionThurston!

4-H Summer Info

Thurston County Summer Workshops!

We're keeping our fingers crossed that we can continue to plan for as much of an in-person summer as possible!


You'll find attached our full Summer Workshop Flyer! We can't wait to spend the summer with you!

4-H Adventure Day Camp

WHERE: Neligh Park Log Cabin, West Point

WHEN: June 4, 2021

7:45-8:00 a.m. Camper Check-in

8:00 – 3:30 p.m.

WHAT: Be prepared to have fun….

  • Wear clothes that can get dirty
  • Old tennis shoes


  • Bug Spray / Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Extra set of clothes
  • Life jacket

COST: $35.00 per camper

AGES: Youth ages 8 – 11 years as of Jan. 1 of the current year **Masks are not required; optional

Return the completed registration form ( and $35.00 per camper by May 28 to: Nebraska Extension in Cuming County, 200 S Lincoln, Room 50, West Point, NE 68788 Make checks payable to: University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Youth counselors ages 14-18 may also use this form, but will not need to include the registration fee. Come join us for a day of fun!

Those youth who completed their 4-H Achievement Applications last fall, will be eligible for a full scholarship to this camp! Just let the office know!

Thurston Summer Intern!

We have hired Allison Claussen as our summer intern for 2021! We're excited for her to join us on May 17th and learn what Extension is all about for the summer!

Register for the *NEW* 2021 4-H Youth Leadership Conference (YLC)

High School students (ages 14-18)! We are inviting you to join us for the Youth Leadership Conference, July 1-3, 2021, at the Nebraska State 4-H Camp in Halsey, NE. Register here: by June 1st to claim your spot in this amazing experience. The cost for YLC will be $200. We’ll be taking advantage of some traditional camp activities while integrating leadership workshops and speakers to bring together and develop the leaders of Nebraska 4-H!

Stacey is a part of this planning team for this amazing summer event, so if you have any questions, just ask!!!

2021 Nebraska 4-H Summer Camps!

Want to spend a week of your summer enjoying the outdoors, trying new activities and making new friends?! Join us at Nebraska 4-H Camps for summer 2021! Our summer camp is located in the middle of the Sandhills in the beautiful Nebraska National Forest near Halsey. Our week-long overnight camp programs are open to all youth ages 8-15. You do not need to be a member of 4-H to attend camp (invite all of your friends to join!). We also have leadership opportunities and jr. counselor positions available for ages teens ages 15-18. A typical week at 4-H Camp includes a variety of outdoor adventure activities such as canoeing, zipline, high ropes course, archery, crafts, campfires and more! Charter bus transportation options will also be offered select weeks from UNL East campus in Lincoln or Raising Nebraska in Grand Island.

For more information and full camp descriptions please view the electronic 4-H Camp brochure:

Please reach out to the Camp Program Director, Katie Zabel, with any questions!

Big Red Camps!

Registration for Big Red Camps is open! We will be pushing out information on the Big Red Camps Facebook page. We do have a landing page with information and registration on our website This lists general information as well as camp specific information. Various scholarships are available and links to that information can also be found on the site. If anyone has any questions, please let me know. We would appreciate it if you would share out and like the information posted out via social media in the coming weeks.

If you are unfamiliar with Big Red Camps, they are residential, career exploration camps held at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. By participating in a camp, youth get the opportunity to explore the Nebraska campus, meet people from across the country, spend time investigating an interest or potential career, and have a lot of fun! During the week-long camps, participants will work with our university faculty to explore the topic of their particular camp. New this year, we are adding in some fun and engaging professionalism and employability skills programming throughout part of our time together, and youth participants will be able to earn a digital badge to add to future scholarship applications and their own resume. After spending several fun-filled days on campus, participants' families are invited to attend a special capstone event where youth showcase their achievements. Big Red Camps will take place the week of June 13-18, 2021. Early bird registration ends on April 5, 2021. Topics and costs vary so please visit the website for more information.

Announcing the 2021 4-H Project of the Year Featuring TEC Box Educational Kit

Nebraska 4-H is thrilled to announce the first-ever Project of the Year, focused upon Entrepreneurship and featuring the TEC Box Educational Kit! The Project of the Year provides the perfect 4-H Club project and is also a great way for new youth and families to get started in 4-H.

This year’s Educational Kit introduces youth to the exciting world of entrepreneurship through the TEC Box curriculum! The kit includes the curriculum and materials youth need to complete four hands-on activities. The activities help youth think for themselves, practice empathy and solve problems as they learn about entrepreneurship. Youth will invent their own product to make bicycles safer and develop a new game that can be enjoyed with family and friends. These activities and lessons lay the groundwork for a county and state fair eligible exhibit: Class F531006 - Entrepreneurship Challenge.

The TEC Box Educational Kit includes a printed facilitator guide and one youth workbook, inflatable 4-H kickball, sports cones, washi tape, felt, yarn, pipe cleaners, foam, and dice. Kits are only $25 plus shipping and may be ordered through the UNL Marketplace.

A social media post announcing the 2021 4-H Project of the Year will be shared this afternoon from Nebraska 4-H; please reshare it through your 4-H social media channels.

If you have any questions regarding kit contents and ordering, feel free to contact Tracy Pracheil (; if you have any questions regarding the TEC Box curriculum, feel free to contact Jacie Milius (

Fair Information

Trophy Donors Needed

Be looking for your trophy donor letters! Have someone new who might like to donate and support our 4-Hers? Have them contact the Dakota County Extension Office.

Trophies will be presented at the 2021 Dakota-Thurston County Fair at a cost of $20.00 awards please contact the Dakota County Extension Office.

Trophies add great incentive for our 4-H'ers to excel. Please remember at fair time and throughout the year that ribbons are awarded for the merit of the project and items such as trophies should be based on competition.

State Fair Rabbits - 15 day CVI

All 4-H rabbits exhibiting at the 2021 Nebraska State Fair must have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) within 15 days of exhibition. The CVI must list the Nebraska State Fair as consignee and will need to have the official identification (ear tattoo) listed on all rabbits being exhibited during the State Fair. The health papers will be checked by a representative of the State Veterinarian’s Office.

2021 Nebraska State Fair and Aksarben Stock Show Livestock Update: BVD Testing

We have just been informed that the Nebraska State Fair has removed the BVD testing for cattle prior to arrival at the Fair. This requirement also has been removed for cattle exhibiting at the AKSARBEN Stock Show. We will continue to pass along more information as it becomes available.

NEW State Fair Livestock Classes and Divisions!!

It is with great excitement that Nebraska 4-H will be offering new livestock classes and divisions at the 2021 Nebraska State Fair! With the decision to shift 4-H and FFA livestock shows to the two different weekends, this provided the opportunity to offer new shows and programs for 4-H.

Here’s what is NEW!


  • Entry Limit: 4-H members will now be eligible to show up to a total of five goats maximum, if at least two are breeding does. In no case will a 4-H member exhibit more than three market goats.


  • Entry Limit: 4-H members will now be eligible to show up to a total of five sheep maximum, if at least two are breeding ewes. In no case will a 4-H member exhibit more than three market lambs.
  • Minimum entry for breed classes will be 3 instead of 5


  • NEW: Breeding Gilt Show
  • NEW: Purebred Market Classes
  • NEW: Farrowed and Owned Breeding and Market Swine
  • Entry Limit: A 4-H member is limited to exhibiting three market hogs and two breeding gilts


  • NEW: Feeder Calf Show
    • Revised Minimum Age: Born between January 1 through April 2021
  • NEW: Junior Breeding Heifer Class
  • Entry Limit: A 4-H member is limited to exhibiting up to five beef animals. A 4-H'er can exhibit up to two market beef, three breeding heifers and two feeder calves as long as the total number of entries does not exceed five beef animals.

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Family Responsibilities:

  1. Exhibitors will be required to enroll in 4-H and the required projects by the county deadline in 4H Online.
  2. Exhibitors showing market animals at State Fair must have a signed and sealed official DNA envelope with hair samples for DNA verification turned into their county office and have completed the online nomination in Show Stock Manager along with submitting payment online by June 15. Any animal carrying an 840 EID tag will require the exhibitor to obtain a Premises ID. Contact the local Extension Office for details. (It is recommended that you make a copy or a photo image of completed envelope you turn into your county.)
  3. Exhibitors showing breeding beef, breeding swine, breeding sheep and breeding goats at State Fair will need to complete an online nomination along with submitting payment online in Show Stock Manager by the June 15 deadline.
  4. Exhibitors will be required to complete Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) for the enrolled livestock projects by the August 10.
  5. Exhibitors will notify the County Extension Staff of any retags that may occur up to time of check-in at the State Fair.
  6. Exhibitors will select which animal nominations they have chosen to show at State Fair on the State Fair entry website. All nominated and validated animals will be automatically listed as a choice option for entry registration.
  7. Exhibitors will be required to bring the breed registration association paperwork to check-in at State Fair for animals wanting to show in a breed class. The registration papers must show the exhibitor’s name, a co-owner who is an immediate member of the exhibitor’s family or the family farm, ranch name or parent’s name.

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals - YQCA

YQCA is available as an online program for youth everywhere in the United States. YQCA in-person workshops may be available to where state 4-H or FFA offices or stat/national livestock organization have partnered to have qualified trainers offer in-personal workshops. This is what Nebraska 4-H/FFA have adopted this year and so we will be using the new system. Instructions on how to use the online system can be found at:


Online – 3 modules @ $12 total (to receive full certification you must complete 3)

OR Face-2-Face training @ $3 total Scheduled for June 11th, 9:00-11:00 am @ the Pender Fire Hall.

OR Test Out for Intermediate @ $36 or Senior @ $48

Thurston County 4-H Council has voted to provide scholarships for these fees of the online or face-to-face sessions after youth fill out a short form. Found here:

Any tradition 4-H member (8-18) in your family that is enrolled in a beef, goat, poultry, rabbit, sheep and/or swine project must be certified to show at county and state fair! If you have questions please contact us!

Here are some quick Log In Instructions:

1. Go to from your computer browser and select Sign In/Register Tab

2. Sign in and register using the 4-H Online box

3. Select the name of your organization from the pick list Nebraska 4-H Youth Development

4. Use your 4-H Online user name and password to start the process

5. Select the member name taking the course

6. Select the age of the member in the appropriate box

7. When the age is selected the appropriate courses will be selected

8. Select online choice (Instructor led class will be developed by your local instructor)

9. Select payment method credit card or if you have received a coupon code from your Extension Office you will enter it at this time to purchase the courses

10. After completing the three courses be sure to save and print out a completion certificate and take it to your Extension Office

11. If you encounter problems you can contact

Dakota-Thurston Fairbook is HERE!!

We've been in a transition with our digital files here in Extension, so our website is still a bit of a jumble! But I'm giving all you 4-H families access now! Let's get started on those summer projects!

NEW Fairbook Classes

Once the fairbook is available be sure to check out some changes/new classes.

  1. Rabbit Classes - changed to make organization when it comes time for the show easier!
  2. Clover Kid Classes - we've tried to make things funnel and reflect more of the traditional 4-H projects! We hope you all take advantage of the new classes!
  3. Lego Design Classes - Under Science, Engineering & Technology we've added classes where you can bring your Lego creations to fair and tell us all about what you learned in the process.

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Dakota-Thurston County Fair Store

Here is the link for the online Dakota Thurston County Fair store. The store will remain open until July 7th. All merchandise will only be available for pick up at the Fair Office on clean-up day and then throughout Fair week. Only limited short sleeve shirts sizes will be available for purchase at Fair. Be sure to shop online for the product you want!

Remember: Use of Copywritten Images

Per State Fair General Rules

Copyrighted writing, artwork, videos, and images may be used in 4-H educational exhibits under Fair Use for educational purposes of Copyright Law. In order to qualify for Fair Use, 4-H’ers must:

1) only use a small amount of the copy-written work,

2) add new meaning to the work to make it original,

3) rework it and use it in a totally different way, and

4) use it for nonprofit purposes (not to make money).

Giving credit to the original creator is also recommended.

4-H Projects

Call for 4-H Photography

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.

Link to more info: Nebraska 4-H Photography Showcase

Online Horticulture Judging Contest

The on-line horticulture contest will be offered June 4-21st 2021. Below is a blurb for newsletters. Let me know if you have any questions. Elizabeth

Do you know what it takes to pick the best fruit and vegetables out at the grocery store? Or do you know what judges are looking for when they judge your plants at the county fair? Have you ever wondered, what plant is that!?! We are excited to offer the opportunity to learn these and other important horticulture skills through the Online Horticulture Contest. The contest will be available June 4-21, 2021 at:

Horticulture judging contest consists of three parts. The first is identification of plant material. Participants identify the plants by common name from a plant list. Specimens may be alive or preserved plant parts like stems, twigs, leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, roots, bulbs, tubers, or plant products.

The second is a knowledge portion, usually in the form of a true/false or multiple choice quiz. Questions will test the contestant's knowledge of cultural practices for horticultural crops, plant science, pesticides, horticultural careers and other topics related to the production, processing and consumption of horticultural crops.

The last portion is judging or placings. This is where four different plants, plates of vegetables, or containers flowers are ranked from best to worst based on a set of criteria. Classes are judged on the basis of condition, quality, uniformity, true-to-type, and size.

More details at:

More information about the Nebraska State contest can be found in the Fairbook .

4-H Plant and Insect Identification Contest

If you like plants and/or insects, here’s your opportunity to build skills and have fun too!

Attend to participate in one, two, three or all four contests!

Your interest - your choice! Bring a friend too!

4-H’ers may earn a trip to a state and/or national contest!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Agricultural Park Exhibit Hall Club Room, Fairgrounds - 822 15th Street, Columbus NE

(Entrance to Ag Park is at intersection of 10th Av. and 15th St.)

12:15 – Welcome and Instructions

12:30 PM - Horticulture Judging, I.D. & Quiz

1:45 PM - Tree Identification

2:35 PM – BREAK with Refreshments

2:45 PM - Entomology (Insect) Identification

3:45 PM - Grass and Weed Identification


Identify plant/insect samples for each contest. For horticulture, there is also 4 judging classes (vegetables, fruits, flowers, nursery stock). Study materials available at For information, contact your local Extension office or Kelly Feehan at or 402-563-4901.

Register here:

Animal Science & Agriculture

District & State 4-H Horse Registration - DUE May 7th!

District & State Horse show Entries are due online MAY 7TH!

Horse ID forms are due to your county extension office on May 7!

Here is a step-by-step video on how to register:

District and State Horse Show Webpage:

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Upcoming Livestock Shows

  • May 21, 2021, MIDWEST SWINE JACKPOT, Seward County Fairgrounds, Seward, NE
  • May 26, 2021, PITZER HORSE JUDGING CONTEST, Pitzer Ranch Arena, Ericson, NE
  • May 27, 2021, COLFAX & PLATTE COUNTY LIVESTOCK JUDGING CONTEST, Colfax County Fairgrounds, Leigh, NE
  • May 29, 2021, BEEF-A-RAMA & SWINE-A-RAMA, Niewohner Arena, Albion, NE
  • May 30, 2021, GOAT-A-RAMA & SHEEP-A-RAMA, Niewohnwer Arena, Albion, NE
  • June 5, 2021, CREAM OF THE CROP DAIRY CATTLE SHOW, Cuming County Fairgrounds, West Point, NE
  • June 13, 2021, HUSTLER PROGRESS SHOW, Cuming County Fairgrounds, West Point, NE
  • June 20, 2021, PLATTE COUNTY SWINE PROGRESS SHOW, Ag park, Columbus, NE
  • June 26, 2021, PAPIO VALLEY 4-H LIVESTOCK SHOW, Sarpy County Fairgrounds, Springfield, NE

UNL Livestock Judging Camp

June 9-11, Lincoln, NE

The UNL Livestock Judging Camp is designed for 4-H and FFA members looking to improve their livestock evaluation and oral reason skills. Activities will focus on proper evaluation with an emphasis on reasons format, terminology,

and presentation.

Registration is $300 per person and includes all meals, lodging, and materials. The registration deadline is May 21.

Questions? Contact

Blaine French at,


2021 Tractor Safety Training

All youth aged 14 and 15 who work on a farm or ranch other than their own MUST be certified through a Hazardous Occupations Course to obtain a Farm Husbandry Permit or “farm permit” without further testing.

Successful completion of this training in Nebraska will allow youth to operate a tractor over 20 horsepower, and connect or disconnect an implement or any of its parts to or from a tractor. Students of any age over 13 may complete the driving course in any of the following locations after successful online class completion:

June 7 – Akrs Equipment, 49110 US Hwy 20 in O’Neill

Contact Debra Walnofer, 402.336.2760,

June 8 – Legacy of the Plains Museum, 2930 Old Oregon Trail #8500 in Gering

Contact Stacy Brown, 308.632.1480,

June 9 – West Central Research & Education Center, 402 West State Farm Rd., North Platte

Contact Randy Saner or Vicki Neidhardt 308.532.2683,

June 10 – Hall County Extension, 3180 Hwy 34, Grand Island

Contact Crystal Beissenherz, 308.385.5088,

June 11 – Cass County Fairgrounds, 8420 144th St, Weeping Water

Contact Sandy Prall, 402.267.2205,

For more information or to register, contact the appropriate Extension staff member above. 2021 Tractor Safety Registration Form

The Tractor Safety Training team has decided that if a family is having difficulty with the $40 registration fee for our course, we will provide waivers to cover the fee. We do not want anyone missing out because of monetary difficulties. Safety is first priority.

4-H/FFA District Livestock Shows at the Clay County Fair

Spring is finally here, and fair season is upon us! The 4-H Youth Development Program in Clay County, Spencer Iowa, is SO excited to offer a high-quality district showcasing opportunity at the Clay County Fair. The counties in Nebraska which are touching Iowa are eligible to participate in our district show. Could you help spread the word about this opportunity to your local families?

Youth can enter between July 2 at 8:00 am – August 1 at 11:59 pm. An active link will be available on our 4-H Clay County Fair Information page starting July 2.

New Opportunity* 4-H Livestock Achievement Program

Excited to announce a new opportunity for 4-H youth participating in livestock projects! The Nebraska 4-H Livestock Achievement Program is designed to promote all educational aspects of 4-H livestock projects including selection, production, leadership, and exhibition by recognizing youth striving to improve in their livestock project knowledge and leadership.

The program recognizes Members of Excellence across all 4-H livestock project areas, including: beef, sheep, meat goat, swine, dairy cattle, dairy goat, rabbit, and poultry.

The program consists of two levels that require 4-H members to plan and report a broad range of age-appropriate and project-related accomplishments. For each level, the Livestock Achievement Program provides a list of accomplishments from which 4-H members choose their goals. Each accomplishment is worth a specific number of points. Intermediates, ages 10-13, must complete 100 points worth of activities to receive the distinction of Intermediate Member of Excellence. Seniors, ages 14-18, must complete 150 points worth of activities to receive the distinction of Senior Member of Excellence. The Plan and Reports, linked on the webpage, show examples of the project related accomplishments they can choose or they can identify their own with approval of their local educator.

Youth completing the achievement program and receiving member of excellence recognition in the various species will be recognized during the Parade of Champions, 4-H weekend at the Nebraska State Fair.

For more information, go to: Livestock Achievement Program | Nebraska 4-H (

Ashley Benes

Cole Meador

Brett Kreifels

2021 4-H State Dog Show

Mark your calendars and reserve your hotel rooms!

The 2021 4-H State Dog Show will be BACK at the Nebraska State Fair this year! More information regarding the show can be found on the State Dog show webpage ( & the Nebraska State Fair webpage (

4-H Dog Achievement Program

The program consists of levels that require a young person to plan and report a broad range of age-appropriate accomplishments. For each level, the Dog Achievement program provides a list of accomplishments from which 4-H youth choose their goals. The accomplishments increase in quantity and difficulty for each level. At the beginning of the 4-H year, participants plan what to accomplish and at the end of the 4-H year, they report on their completed accomplishments. Successful completion of a level's Plan & Report form results in a 4-H youth earning that level of the Dog Achievement program.

More information can be found at:

For any questions, contact Grace Kim at

It is recommended on the program page that Plan & Report Forms should be to county offices at least 1 month prior to the county awards night for youth to be recognized.

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