Jefferson County 4-H

March 2021

4-H Highlights!

2021 Jefferson County Fair Dates & Theme

The 2021 Jefferson County Fair will be July 14 -18, 2021. The theme this year is "Lights, Camera, Action"!

Jefferson County Nebraska 4-H Youth Development YouTube Channel

We have a YouTube channel for all of our Jefferson County 4-H videos from events and projects that you can check out anytime! Our channel is named Jefferson County Nebraska 4-H Youth Development and can be found at this link: Make sure to check it out and subscribe to our channel!

COVID-19 Update

In-person 4-H club meetings and workshops are currently permitted as everyone has made progress to lower our county into the “Yellow” on the COVID Risk Dial. 4-H clubs must put some planning into hosting an in-person reorganizational meeting.

To allow for proper social distancing, please arrange to have access to a large enough space to spread out, have attendees sit as families, and strongly encourage using sanitizer and wearing masks. Think about using a heated shop, or garage, instead of a more confined family dwelling to gather at. Treats and activities that encourage close face to face exposure should be avoided at the re-organization meeting.

Please remember that the dial may return to the orange or red sections of the risk dial in the near future, so please be aware of the current risk dial setting. Let’s continue to work together to keep everyone safe and healthy and get our 4-H year off to a strong start. If you have questions about your plan or ideas please give Darci a call.

4-H Online Enrollment is Open Now

Enrollment is open for 2020-2021 Jefferson County 4-H. NOTE AGE CHANGE: All 4-H youth (ages 8-18) as of January 1, 2021 are required to enroll online every year. We encourage all members to enroll using a computer and not your mobile device. Enrollment instructions for new members can be found at the Extension Office or online at Call the office 402-729-3487 with any enrollment questions.

4-H Online Enrollment Link:

New 4-H Member Enrollment Instructions Link:

Re-Enrollment Instructions Link:

Clover Kid Enrollment Information

4-H enrollment is required for Clover Kids (ages 5-7) online at Enrollment deadline is April 1. Youth should select "Clover Kids" as their club and must select at least one Clover Kid project to complete enrollment. Selection of multiple projects online is not required to exhibit multiple projects at the county fair.

Enrollment Link:

Diamond Clover Forms

The Nebraska 4-H Diamond Clover program encourages 4-H youth to engage in a variety of programs, projects, and activities that will enable youth to acquire skills and abilities that will prepare them for success in the future.

The program consists of six levels that require a young person to plan and report a broad range of age-appropriate accomplishments. For each level, the Nebraska 4-H Diamond Clover 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 Diamond Clover program.

Diamond Clover Forms can be downloaded at Forms are due to the Extension Office April 1, 2021.

Volunteers, We Need You!

For 2021, all volunteers need to go through a screening to assist with 4-H related activities (including 4-H County Fair activities). There are two different types of volunteers, and screenings that go with these volunteers. You must fill out the form prior to volunteering.

  • Direct Volunteers – All 4-H Volunteers who work directly with youth (examples include: ring personnel at livestock shows, room monitors for contests, etc)– must complete the Direct Volunteer Form (Printable or Electronic or through 4HOnline – still open for volunteer enrollment) & DHHS Background Check ($5 fee). Must be approved prior to completing the volunteer activity. If you have enrolled as a volunteer on 4HOnline, then you have already done this!
  • Indirect Volunteers – Any person who provides support services for Youth Activities (examples include: opening gates, announcers, superintendents, 4-H Building host, weigh-in, etc.)– must complete the Indirect Volunteer Application (Printable or Electronic) and must be approved prior to completing the volunteer activity. If your volunteer has enrolled as a volunteer on 4HOnline or filled out the Direct Volunteer form, they do not need to fill out the Indirect Volunteer Application.

If you have a question regarding which of these volunteer roles you will be fulfilling, please contact the Extension Office (402) 729-3487.

Upcoming Workshops, Contests & Events

Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) Trip Fundraising Opportunity

Youth interested in going on the Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) Trip in 2022 or following years are invited to sell Eileen's Cookie Dough during the month of March to help raise funds for the upcoming trip. Sales are due in the office March 26th. Delivery will be on Friday, April 9th. Youth will make 40% of their sales for their trip accounts.

2021 4-H Public Speaking Contest

Developing 4-H’ers self-confidence and effective public speaking skills are two goals of the Nebraska 4-H public speaking contest. The local contest date has been set for Monday, April 5, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. You must pre-register for the contest by Wednesday, March 31st by calling the office or sending an email to Top three winners from each age division (except novice) will be selected to advance to the Regional Speech Contest at UNL East Campus in Lincoln in May. The top seniors in the Regional contests will advance to the State Contest held during the State Fair to compete for a $500 U.S. Savings Bond and a college scholarship. Resources to help you prepare for the Public Speaking Contest available at

We follow the same rules as the regional contest. Ages are as of January 1, 2021.

Age Divisions
Four age divisions are used in the 4-H Public Speaking Contest and are based on the

4-H member's age (the age of the youth before January 1 of the current year).

  • Novice Division: 4-H ages eight (8) and (9)
  • Junior Division: 4-H ages eight (8) to ten (10)
  • Intermediate Division: 4-H ages eleven (11) to thirteen (13)
  • Senior Division: 4-H ages fourteen (14) to eighteen (18)

    Speech Category Rules

    • Length of Speeches:
      • Novice Division: May recite a poem, read/tell a story
      • Junior Division: 1 to 3 minutes.
      • Intermediate Division: 3 to 5 minutes.
      • Senior Division: 5 to 8 minutes.

    Screenprinting Workshop - April 5th

    There will be a screenprinting workshop held on Monday, April 5 from 9:00 am - Noon at the 4-H building at the fairgrounds taught by Jacie Milius. Registration fee will be $15 and will include all supplies. The workshop is limited to 12 participants and reservations are due March 26th so the supplies can be ordered! Youth will learn the basics of screenprinting and make a t-shirt with their own design during the workshop. Space is limited to contact the Extension Office to sign up soon!

    Camp Counselors Needed!!!

    We are looking for teens who would like to become camp counselors for Camp Renegade and Camp Venture. We are always looking for responsible and energetic teens. Must be 14-18 years old. Here is the camp counselor application form: There will be a mandatory Camp Counselor Training held on Thursday, May 27th at 6:15 pm in Fairbury at the 4-H Building. Applications are due May 1st!!!
    Big picture
    Big picture

    Citizen Washington D.C. Focus Trip Information

    Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 and how long it will be a significant health threat, our Washington D.C. group of Gage, Jefferson and Saline counties has decided to postpone a trip until 2022. We just don’t want the youth to spend that kind of money and not be guaranteed even if we are able to go that we would get to see and do all the things we would like to do and have done in the past.

    With that being said, this gives youth more time to fund-raise for the trip. If you have ideas or suggestions of new fundraising, please contact the office!

    Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the new changes to the CWF trip program requirements, the payment plan, or fundraising opportunities. As always, we are open to suggestions, especially regarding fundraising!

    Animal Information

    Quality Assurance Training

    With new COVID-19 guidelines, we are now able to offer in-person YQCA training as long as we stay in the yellow or green categories of the risk dial. We plan to have a training on Friday, March 12, 2021 from 11 am to Noon at the 4-H Building, Fairgrounds. Youth must pre-register with the Extension Office in order to attend so we can ensure adequate spacing for all participants. Families must sit together while at the training. Please watch for updates on when we will have additional trainings and if the risk dial goes back to orange or red, we will not be able to hold the training at that time and will contact participants. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

    Horse Advancement Levels Testing

    Horse Advancement Level Testing

    Winter months are a great time to work on Horse Advancement Levels. Information and study materials are found in the Horse Project Member Manual and Advancement Level Manual at the Extension Office. We also have the Nebraska 4-H Horse Show & Judging Guide available.


    New Opportunities for Nebraska State Fair 4-H Youth Livestock Exhibitors

    Here’s what is NEW!

    4-H BEEF

    In our beef area, we will now be offering:

    • a feeder calf show
    • a junior breeding heifer class to all of our breeding classes
    • 4-H members will now be eligible to show up to a total of 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.

    4-H SWINE

    In our swine area,

    • We will be offering a breeding gilt show. This breeding gilt show will include 9 purebred classes as well as a crossbred class.
    • In our market swine show, we will be creating a more diverse show by including 9 purebred classes.
    • We will also be adding new “Farrowed and Owned Breeding and Market Swine” divisions. The Nebraska 4-H Farrowed and Owned Swine Cohort is an opportunity for youth interested in learning more about the swine industry and is designed to cultivate the next generation of leaders in the swine industry. The goal of the Nebraska 4-H Farrowed and Owned Swine Cohort is to enhance the educational value of the traditional 4-H swine projects by providing unique opportunities focusing on swine production as goal of the member’s project, along with accurate and complete record-keeping, industry knowledge, and engagement by the 4-H member.
    • 4-H members will now be eligible to show up to a total of five swine projects. A 4-H member is limited to exhibiting three market hogs and two breeding gilts

    4-H SHEEP

    • 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.

    4-H GOAT

    • 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.
    Big picture
    Big picture
    Big picture
    Big picture

    4-H Cat Club

    A message for all cat interested youth:

    Do you like cats? What about learning how to care for or show them? Maybe you have heard about the 4-H Cat Club in the past and wanted to join, but couldn't make the monthly meetings.

    Do we have good news for you, or what? We are pleased to introduce this year's self-paced Cat Club! No more being bummed that you missed the hour long meeting every second Thursday. You will now have access to monthly lessons and activities that you can complete on your own time. The first lesson can be found here on September 5th:

    If you are interested, please stay tuned and register today!

    Big picture
    Big picture
    Big picture
    Big picture

    Special Opportunties

    Jefferson County Farm Bureau Student Mini Grant!

    Once again the Jefferson County Farm Bureau is offering the Student Project Grant program.

    The grant is offered to all Jefferson County FFA & 4-H students.

    The application can be found on our website at:, applications much be postmarked by March 15, 2021 and application interviews will be on March 21st. Please contact Judy Zimmerman at 402-729-2728 with any questions.

    Big picture

    Online Horticulture 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 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

    Virtual Field Trips

    Join Nebraska 4-H as we go on-site to learn more about science, agriculture, technology, and more! Virtual Field Trips offer facility tours, educational experiences, and additional resources for teachers. Virtual Field Trips are perfect for youth in 7th-12th grades. Each session will be recorded and made available for on-demand viewing. Youth do not need to be 4-H members to participate.

    There are also numerous field trips that have been archived to view at your convenience. Check them out. See the link below to view of all the tours available.

    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

    Workshop Ideas

    We are looking for ideas for workshops in 2021. We would like to hear ideas of what you would be willing to attend. We would also like to hear from you regarding what times would work best for most people, after school, 1⁄2 days when school is out, etc. Please contact the Extension Office 402-729-3487 and let us know what YOU are interested in.


    Just as a reminder, check out our Facebook page! The page name is "Jefferson County Extension & 4-H Youth Development". Along with our newsletter, we will be using this page to update our members about upcoming events, activities, and deadlines. We also hope to use this page to provide information about community outreach opportunities, scholarships, and research that is important to our followers. The staff will do our best to keep this updated and inform you all of what is going on at the office, Jefferson County, and in Nebraska.

    Calendar of Events


    12 - YQCA Training, 4-H Building, Fairgrounds

    26 - Eileen's Cookie Dough orders due @ Extension Office

    28 - YQCA Training, Gage County Extension Office


    1 - Diamond Clover Applications Due

    2 - YQCA Trainings, Wilber Legion Building

    5 - Screen Printing Workshop, Fairgrounds

    5 - County Public Speaking Contest, Baptist Church, Fairbury


    1 - Camp Counselor Applications Due

    31 - Extension Office Closed, Memorial Day


    28/29- Camp Renegade @ Camp Jefferson


    1/2 - Camp Venture @ Camp Jefferson

    14 - 18 - Jefferson County Fair, Fairbury

    Nebraska Extension is a Division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln cooperating with the Counties and the United Sates Department of Agriculture.

    Nebraska Extension educational programs abide with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the United States Department of Agriculture.