Thurston County 4-H News

March 2020

Nebraska Extension - Thurston County

Jennifer E. Hansen, Extension Educator,

Stacey Keys, Extension Assistant,

Samantha Beutler, Office Staff,

Upcoming Dates

Mar 6 - Horse Stampede Entries DUE

Mar 9 - Thurston County 4-H Meeting

Mar 20 - Butter Braid Sales Orders DUE @ Extension Office

Mar 28 - Horse Stampede @ UNL-East Campus

Apr 1 - 4-H Council Senior Scholarship DUE

Apr 1 - Butter Braid pick up @ Extension Office (5 pm)

Apr 3-4 - Siouxland Garden Show @ Sioux City

Apr 6 - 4-H Leader/Parent Training @ United Church of Pender (6:30 pm)

Apr 13 - Joint 4-H Council Meeting @ Pender (7 pm)

Apr 13 - All Contest Day Registration DUE

Apr 18 - All Contest Day @ United Church of Pender (9:30 am)

Apr 19-25 - National Volunteer Week

Apr 24 - Office Closed - Arbor Day

Need to Know

Summer Help Position

The Thurston County Extension Office will be accepting applications for a full time, temporary, summer 4-H position from approximately mid-May to mid-August, state and end dates are negotiable. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have experience working with school age youth, and feel comfortable leading workshops and camps. Background knowledge of the Nebraska 4-H program is helpful but not required. Send cover letter, resume, and references to the Thurston County Extension Office 415 Main St., PO Box 665, Pender, NE 68047 or Application deadline is March 16, 2020 or until position is filled. For a complete list of job requirements and responsibilities visit For addition questions contact Nebraska Extension Educator, Jennifer Hansen at 402-385-6041.

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 I will be out of the office are:

  • February 18
  • March 10
  • March 24

NO Sheep & Goat Weigh-In

In 2019, the Sheep & Goat Committee's for the Dakota-Thurston County Fair decided to eliminate the Sheep & Goat Weigh-In, traditionally held at the end of May. Because of this decision there will be no Rate Of Gain class for sheep & goats at the Dakota-Thurston County Fair. Affidavit/ID sheets and scrapies tags are due to the Extension office by June 15th and are still required to exhibit at county fair and will be the responsibility of the families. Contact the office if you have questions or need help with this process.

Keep Up on Facebook!

To keep up with all the latest updates and see what our office is doing on the daily! Follow us on Facebook @UNLExtensionThurston!

Flood Resources

For those of you effect by the recent flooding, UNL & Nebraska Extension have a variety of resources available at If you need assistance with an individual question or situation please reach out to our office for help. We are here to support you during this time.

Member Info

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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 26-March 20, orders will be delivered to the 4-Hers on April 1st at 5 pm at the Thurston County Extension Office. Proceeds from this fundraiser help fun 4-H activities throughout the year.

Thurston County 4-H Leader/Parent Training

As things update and shift and change, we want to keep you in the loop so that you can have the best 4-H experience possible and have all the information you need.

Who: Anyone (Specifically 4-H Leaders & Parents)

When: April 6th @ 6:30 pm

Where: United Church of Pender

Why: Updated Risk Management Practices that everyone needs to follow, Positive Youth Development Practices for our 4-H youth so this experience is the best, general changes and questions that you might bring!

RSVP is due by April 6th at noon. Be watching social media and your mail for more information!

Dakota-Thurston County 4-H Ambassadors

4-H Ambassadors are 4-H teens (14-18) that applied and were selected to lead and take part in activities that help them become good citizens and leaders through civic engagement education. The mission of the program is to empower teen 4-H leaders with the knowledge and skills to be advocates for Nebraska 4-H & Youth Development in Dakota and Thurston Counties. This experience will strengthen their leadership abilities so they can serve as a positive role models for younger youth; building partnerships with teens, volunteers, and supporters of the 4-H program; and promote 4-H in Nebraska. For more information, please contact the Dakota County Extension Office (402)987-2140.

Spotlight on Current 4-H Ambassador "Alexis Bodlak"!

Hello! I am Alexis Bodlak, a Thurston County Cloverleaf Livestock Club 4-H Ambassador. I have been involved in 4-H for nine years now, and I have loved every minute of it! Throughout the years I have participated in all aspects of the 4-H program. I enjoy competing in the public speaking and music contests as well as working on projects to showcase at fair. Through my participation in 4-H I have been presented with many leadership and community service opportunities. My most impactful 4-H experience has been taking on the role of a 4-H ambassador. During my first year as an ambassador I have been able to become more involved and in touch with my community.

As an ambassador, I have many responsibilities. I interact with youth in my community and strive to give them positive leadership experiences through 4-H. I enjoy working with kids in my community at the numerous 4-H day camps we have during the summer. Another exciting part of my ambassadorship has been celebrating the achievements of my fellow members. During fair week I was able to hand out ribbons to competitors in the livestock shows and assist with the Prince and Princess contest. At the end of the 4-H year I was able to present awards at our annual 4-H banquet. At many different times during the year I also worked with members of my community to spread the message of 4-H.

After looking back on my first year as a 4-H Ambassador, my perception of 4-H has changed drastically. I strongly believe that the experiences I have had during my first term as an ambassador has greatly impacted who I am today. Working in my community to help others develop their leadership skills has made me into the leader I am today. I have learned that a true leader must know how to effectively communicate with others, lead by example, and work hard. I have developed all of these skills during my year as a 4-H ambassador. I no longer view 4-H as just a as pastime or a club, but as an organization that will shape me into the leader I want to be!

4-H Club Requirements

With the end of a year we have asked our 4-H Clubs to hand in some year-end wrap up things (finances). In future years we will also be asking for the minutes from your club meetings, following the 4-H Policy Handbook’s definition of a club.

8.1 Definition of a Club:

Nebraska 4-H and 4-H National Headquarters define a 4-H Club as: an organized group of at least five youth from three different families who meet regularly with adult volunteers or staff for a long-term, progressive series of educational experiences and have enrolled in 4-H Online.

8.2 Structure of a 4-H Club:

4-H Clubs are to be structured as follows:

  • Enrolls at least 5 youth members from at least 3 families.
  • Is advised by adult staff or volunteers who have been screened and trained in accordance with the Nebraska 4-H Policy and Procedure Handbook.
  • Conduct a minimum of 6 regular club meetings (virtual or face-to-face) per year, with many holding 9-12 regular meetings throughout most or all of the year, and often supplemented by project meetings, camps, fairs, and other 4-H learning activities.
  • Selects youth officers or youth leaders to provide leadership to the club.
  • Meets in any location — a home, community center, military installation, library, public housing site, school, afterschool program, and/or many other places.
  • Helps youth and parents/guardians adapt in cases of mobility — linking them to 4-H programs in other counties and states. Meets interests and needs of youth in same-age or cross-age groupings and using single project or multiple project formats.

Our office takes care of making sure some of these policies are followed but this is requirement that needs to fulfilled to be considered a 4-H Club and therefore hold money in the name of 4-H, which all our clubs do. This doesn’t have to come solely from the club leader, please coordinate with the secretary of your club to get this information to the office in the following years.

If you have questions or concerns please let the office know.

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!

County Fair/Events

All Contest Day

All Contest Day will include Speech, Music, Favorite Foods, and Presentation Contests. It will be held on April 18th at United Church of Pender in Pender @ 9:30 AM where all the contests will take place. 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 April 13th to the Extension Office or go here: . Come express yourself and show off your amazing talents.

To get more information about specific contests go to:…/thurston/all-contest-day/
To pre-register go to:
See you on April 18th!

Contest Submission Policy *NEW*

The Joint Dakota-Thurston County Fair has a new policy for contest submission.

"Video submission is allowed for Speech, Music, & Presentation contests, under extenuating circumstances and with approval from Extension Staff prior to the event. It must be recorded in front of and by Extension Staff or 4-H Council members."

Fair Grounds Clean Up

There will a fair grounds cleanup day on April 4th starting at 9 am. We will be doing a spring cleanup prior to our District Fair Meeting on April 5th.

Exhibitor Livestock Policy *UPDATED*

The Joint Dakota-Thurston 4-H Council has an updated policy for livestock exhibitors.

"Exhibitors are responsible for adhering to all livestock rules. Violation of the stated rules will result in the animal being disqualified from competition. (Ex. Feeder Calf is disqualified, this means from Cow/Calf class, Feeder Calf class, and Showmanship class.) Any premium (physical or monetary, including bonus auction for that animal) will be forfeited. No refunds will be made."

4-H Horse Show Time Moved

The Horse Committee had the recommendation to move the time of the 4-H Horse Show to 9:30 am on Saturday, Aug 1, 2020. The Dakota-Thurston County Fair Board approved this time change. The start time of the 4-H Horse Show at the 2020 Dakota-Thurston County Fair with 9:30 am.

Continuing Education


(One $500 Scholarship — Fall 2020/Spring 2021—non renewable)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: postmarked by March 15, 2020

Who is Eligible? 1. Female born high school graduate (or soon to be) OR a UN-L student who has not resided at Love Memorial Cooperative Residence Hall (LMH) OR an undergraduate transfer student from

another college or university pursing any major for an undergraduate or graduate degree.

2. Applicant must be or been a member of 4-H or FCCLA or FFA (minimum of two years) or have taken a minimum of three semesters in Family & Consumer Sciences classes and live in or

attend school in the following Nebraska counties: Antelope, Arthur, Banner, Blaine, Box Butte, Boyd, Brown, Cedar, Chase, Cherry, Cheyenne, Custer, Dakota, Dawes, Dawson, Deuel, Dixon, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Garden, Garfield, Gosper, Grant, Harlan, Hayes, Hitchcock, Holt, Hooker, Keith, Keya Paha, Kimball, Knox, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, McPherson, Morrill, Perkins, Phelps, Pierce, Red Willow, Rock, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Sioux, Thomas, Thurston, Wayne, Wheeler. (Map on page 3)

3. Must have applied (minimum) or been accepted (preferred) to University of Nebraska -Lincoln.

4. Must have requested residency in Love Memorial Hall, a cooperative residence hall on East Campus. Residents rotate responsibilities for cleaning a portion of the Hall and planning/preparing meals (around 2-4 hours per week; more time during a week when responsible for food prepara-tion). The cost of living in Love Memorial Hall is less than half of what is charged for all other tra-ditional dorms. Over a four year period this amounts to a savings around $13,000. More informa-tion about Love Memorial Hall is found at: Students may change housing preference by submitting a written request to the Housing Office. For more information:

5. Web -;

Phone - (402) 472-3561; Switchboard—800-742-8800; Email:

What is the Process?

1. Once you have determined your eligibility, complete the application form.

2. Immediately secure references from two adults, one of whom must be or has been your 4-H leader, or FFA advisor or FCS teacher. They are expected to describe their involvement with you, describe your character and why they believe you have a financial need, have the maturity required to apply themselves toward a degree, and successfully live in a co-operative residential situation. Once the individual has agreed to provide a reference, give each the form and remind them of the postmark deadline date. Provide each person writing a ref-erence for you with a stamped envelope addressed as found below.

3. Submit your application, postmarked no later than MARCH 15, 2020 to:

Attn: Jarvis Scholarship

Gloria Turnbull

711 North Maine Ave

York NE 68467-3337

Selection Process and Preference:

A complete application consists of :

1) the application submitted by the student

1) the two separate letters of references by the postmark deadline.

The student needs to help the two reference people. Provide each of them the RECOMMENDATION page in ample time for each person to complete the form AND type or write their recommendation, mail by the postmark due date—MARCH 15, 2020. Unforeseen delays can happen for the student or

either of the reference people!

Mrs. Gloria Turnbull will confirm receipt of application and references by phone or email. If you have a preferred method for me to contact you, please indicate that in some way on your application. If you do not receive confirmation by 5 days after mailing, call (402) 362-6875 or email

Preference will be given to applicants who:

1. Exhibit substantial 4-H work, leadership ability in club work and/or community betterment

2. (FFA or FCCLA or FCS).

2. Demonstrate financial need for college assistance (disclose amount of other cash awards)

3. Have an aptitude for teamwork required in a cooperative residence.

The recipient and school will be contacted by APRIL 1. Presentation will be made through the recipient’s chosen school. An alternate will be named in the event the recipient’s plans change.

How Funds are awarded and funded:

Upon proof of residency at Love Memorial Cooperative Residence Hall, after the Fall Break, the recipient will be sent the first installment of $250; the second installment of $250 will be sent to the recipient follow-ing Spring Break if the student continues to meet the eligibility requirements. The total value of this

scholarship is $500. This scholarship cannot be renewed. It is available only to students NEW to residency in LMH.

This scholarship is supported by the Jarvis family and Gloria Turnbull. In addition to the monetary award, there is more than a 50% savings in housing costs and the family-like living environment of LMH.

Thurston County 4-H Council Senior Scholarship

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/Achievement Application 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.


9th Annual Innovative Youth Corn Challenge

Do you enjoy being outside? Learning new things about crops? Considering a career involving crops, insects, diseases, soils, water or more? Do you want to help figure out how to feed our world’s growing population in a sustainable way?

Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Corn Board are offering the ninth Innovative Youth Corn Challenge contest. This contest, open to 4-H members (age 10 & older as of Jan. 1st) or FFA members (in-school members), guides participants through all aspects of corn production, as well as agricultural careers related to corn production.

As a team (2 or more participants), youth will be challenged to implement a production practice different than normal to determine if they increased their yield. Economics and sustainability of the practice will also be considered. Yields, cropping history, and production information will be collected in the Corn Yield Challenge management summary.

Cash prizes and plaques are given. First place receives $1,000, second place receives $500, and third place receives $250. Sustainability, crop scouting and “extra mile” awards are also given as cash awards.

To participate in 2020, youth must register by March 15th to the Fillmore County Extension Office in Geneva, NE. Details can be found at For more information, contact Brandy VanDeWalle at

New 4-H Photography Showcase

The 4-H Photography Showcase offers a project exhibition opportunity beyond traditional print media. It is intended to help youth develop professional and technical skills as photographers while fostering creativity and encouraging self-expression. Through this opportunity, youth are encouraged to practice and apply skills learned in their photography projects throughout the year.

How Does It Work?

Each month, a new photo will be selected from the online submissions. Selections will be made based on creativity, timeliness, technical execution, originality, and appropriateness. The selected photo will be showcased across the Nebraska 4-H social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Youth photographers will be credited wherever and whenever their photo is shared or published.

This opportunity is open to all enrolled 4-H members. Photo recommendations, file specifications, rules, and guidelines for participation are available online at

For questions, please contact Danielle Dewees at

More details at:

2020 Online Horticulture Judging Contest

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 5-22, 2020 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 information about the Nebraska State contest along with a list of study materials can be found in the Fairbook Here you can find the written study materials for the knowledge portion, follow links to plant pictures for help with identification, and read how judging of plant material is done.
More details at:

Summer Opprotunities

Computer Science Summer Camp

The Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is pleased to announce a summer learning opportunity for high school students. We are hosting “Innovate: The Raikes School Way” and “Girls Who Innovate: The Raikes School Way”, computer science camps that will be led by Executive Director of the Raikes School, Steve Cooper. This opportunity was highlighted in a 2019 Forbes article, "STEM-Focused Summer Programs for Ambitious High School Students".

Students will participate in a two-week, project-based, on-campus camp, where they will learn basic programming skills, receive instruction from Nebraska faculty members, experience what classes can be like in the Raikes School, visit local businesses and research labs, and interact with Raikes School students and staff, all of whom play a key role in the competitive selection process to our program each year.

What: “Innovate: The Raikes School Way” & “Girls Who Innovate: The Raikes School Way”

For: High School Students (primarily the graduating class of 2021)
Where: University of Nebraska–Lincoln
When: July 12-25, 2020
Cost: $950 (limited need-based scholarship opportunities are available)
Programming Experience: None needed (in fact, no experience is preferred)
Application Deadline: March 27, 2020

Interested participants are able to find more details and application materials at This video below gives you a glimpse of what students can expect to experience.

If you have any questions about the camp, please email

Animal Science

Upcoming Livestock Shows/Clinics


Small Animal

4-H Adult/Leader Advancement Level Workshop

This Advancement Level Workshop is geared towards helping Adults, Extension personnel, Volunteers, and leaders have a better understanding

and knowledge to work with the youth in their area to pass their advancement levels.

  • The workshop will be held on Sunday, March 8th, 2020 at the Animal Science Complex.
  • Topics include: advanced riding maneuvers, feed charts, nutrition, first aid, and much more!
  • For more information and registration: (registration includes, materials and lunch)
    • Early Registration will be now until February 24th, 2020 for $40
    • At the door: $50
  • Questions? Contact: Dr. Lena Luck ( or Grace Kim (

Tractor Safety 2020

Does your child, age 14-15, work on someone else’s farm or acreage nearby? Or do you employ a young person on your farm or acreage?

If the answer is yes, this little-known information is vital. Federal law prohibits youth under 16 years of age from using specific equipment on a farm unless parents or legal guardians own the farm. Certification received after a course provided by Nebraska Extension grants an exemption to the law, allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and to do field work with certain mechanized equipment.

The most common cause of agricultural-related death in Nebraska is overturned tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Employing anyone uncertified under age 16 is a liability risk for farmers if those children operate such equipment.

Members of the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health in the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health will provide a tractor safety course in May and June of 2020 in 11 towns across Nebraska in partnership with Nebraska Extension. The course provides extensive training on tractor and all-terrain vehicle safety with a variety of hands-on activities. Making safety a priority and respecting agricultural equipment are primary goals of the course.

Teens 14 years of age or older, who work on farms, are encouraged to register for the Nebraska Extension Tractor Safety & Hazardous Occupations Course. Anyone under age 14 is not eligible to take the class.

Cost of the course is $60 and includes educational materials, instruction, supplies, and lunch.

The first day of class will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program, hands-on participation, concluding with a written test which students must pass to attend the second day of training.

The second day of training will include a driving test and equipment operation and ATV safety lessons. Students must demonstrate competence in hitching and unhitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course. Instructors will also offer education about safe behaviors and laws for ATVs, utility-task vehicles (UTVs), and other off-road vehicles (ORVs).

Instructors for the course are members of the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health: Aaron Yoder, Ph.D., Ellen Duysen; UNMC graduate student Alyssa Damke; and Nebraska Extension educators Troy Ingram, Randy Saner, Chandra Giles, and John Thomas.

Classes begin at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m., depending on location, and end times vary depending on the number of participants. If classes do not fill to the minimum of 10 participants, an option will be offered to do Day 1 training online and Day 2 in person.

Dates, training site locations, and site coordinator phone numbers are below:

May 26 & 27 – Ord, Fairgrounds (308) 728-5071;

May 28 & 29 – Wayne, Fairgrounds (402) 375-3310;

June 1 & 2 – O’Neill, Plains Equipment, (402) 336-2760;

June 3 (first day is online) – Gordon, Fairgrounds, (308) 327-2312;

June 4 & 5 – Ainsworth, Evangelical Free, (402) 387-2213;

June 9 & 10 – Geneva, Fairgrounds, (402) 759-3712;

June 11 & 12 – North Platte, West Central Research, Extension and Education Center, (308) 532-2683;

June 16 & 17 – Kearney, Buffalo County Extension Office (308) 236-1235;

June 18 & 19 – Hastings, Adams County Extension Office (402) 461-7209;

June 29 & 30 – Gering, Legacy Museum (308) 632-1480

July 1 & 2 – Weeping Water, Fairgrounds, (402) 267-2205;

For more information or to register, contact the appropriate Extension office above for guidance on where to send the registration form.

2020 Tractor Safety Training Registration

2020 Nebraska District 4-H Horse Shows

2020 Districts Dates and Sites:

  • June 15- Scottsbluff
  • June 16- Burwell
  • June 17- Columbus
  • June 18- Lincoln
  • June 19- McCook

Districts Webpage-

Reminder: All Entries for the State Horse Show must be mailed by May 8, 2020. All Level testing required for participation in the 2020 District Horse Shows MUST be completed by May 8, 2020.

2020 Fonner Part State 4-H Horse Show is July 15-19, 2020

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