Southern Plains 4-H

Serving Nuckolls and Thayer Counties - June 2020

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Thank you all so much for your time and input as we work through this difficult and unprecedented time. The well-being of our 4-H families and communities drives our decision-making process and decisions will be based on state and local health department direct health measures, Governor Rickett’s guidelines, and UNL extension guidelines. For Fair 2020, the goal is to provide positive youth development experiences while making sure the most current health guidelines are followed. At the writing of this newsletter, June 1, no decisions have been made regarding the 2020 Nuckolls County Fair or the 2020 Thayer County Fair. Both ag societies will meet later this week, and we will send out an update when we have information.

At this time, in-person 4-H and extension programming is restricted until June 15. This includes 4-H Club meetings.

Thank you again for your patience and input. I really appreciate it, particularly since I am still learning the particulars of this role in my first year in this position. We'll be in touch soon!


Speeches, PSAs, Presentation Contest 2020 RESULTS

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COVID-19 Disruptions UPDATE - Livestock Entry 2020

Due to the challenges of COVID-19 for families and educators, the extension of restricted in person 4-H events through June 15, and the closures of offices and schools, 4-H and FFA, in consultation with the Nebraska State Fair Livestock Committee, have decided to extend the state fair livestock nomination deadline from June 15 to July 1. Exhibitors will be required to submit their DNA envelopes to their county office or FFA Advisor and have completed their online nomination through along with submitting payment online by 11:59 PM CST on July 1.

Extension Staff and FFA Advisors must have completed DNA envelopes in their possession by July 1. Those staff will then be required to postmark all DNA envelopes to the Aksarben Stock Show office by July 6 and have all nominations validated by Friday, July 10 in Show Stock Manager.

COVID-19 Disruptions UPDATE - State Horse Show 2020

Message from Dr. Lena Luck, Youth Horse Specialist

We are still working on plans for the State 4-H Horse Show and what this will look like for this summer. We are still unsure how things will be by mid-July and if we will have approval for the state horse show. But regardless there will be some changes for this year. One of those will be how we collect entries for the state horse show. In order to reduce in-person contact, we will be moving the entry process all online, requiring families to enter and pay for their youth directly into ShoWorks and submit all paperwork through Box. We will send entry information to the counties for verification once received (4-H enrollment, advancement levels passed, Horse ID’s, 2 and 3 year old ID’s etc.).

Once we have all the details determined we will send information to you for how your youth submit entries to the state horse show, including a detailed how-to information sheet. So, please be patient with us as we work through the details. We are not collecting any entry information or payments at this time and will keep you updated.




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The National Agricultural Law Center's next free webinar will be held on Wednesday, June 3rd at noon EDT/11 a.m. CDT, and will discuss the slaughter and processing of meat and poultry in the U.S.

With meat and poultry processing crippled by COVID-19 closures, some producers with a backlog are seeking other means to process their stock, including smaller processing facilities. Additionally, interest is growing in the necessary steps to open and maintain these types of facilities. However, there are numerous considerations for both groups to examine. This webinar will outline the authority for slaughter and processing of meat and poultry, the differences between state and federal oversight, proposed legislation, and additional challenges facing small processors.

Details and registration for this webinar can be found here:

Tractor Safety Trainings - Changes for 2020 - Hybrid webinar and in person

New plans for the tractor safety training courses that were originally scheduled around the state are designed to protect the health of the students and trainers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will take the first day of the course online through the eXtension Foundation Campus website. After successfully completing the online course and testing, the required driving test will be offered at five locations across Nebraska July 27-31, 2020.

Teens 14 or 15 years of age who work on farms, or others who are interested in learning about safe farming practices, are encouraged to register for the Course. Anyone under age 14 is not eligible to take the class, however, students who are 13 now and turn 14 before driving day may proceed with the online class. Federal law prohibits children under 16 years of age from using certain equipment on a farm unless their parents or legal guardians own the farm. However, certification received through the course 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 online course will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program, including quizzes which students must pass to attend the driving portion of training. Once a student is registered, they will be sent a training manual, course paperwork and a link to the online course.

The onsite driving training and exam 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 and utility-task vehicles (UTVs).

In order to protect students and trainers, the number of students on site will be limited to allow proper physical distancing. Coordinators will schedule three per hour to drive. All students and trainers will be required to wear a mask at all times during instruction and driving. Masks will be provided along with instructions for proper use. Equipment, steering wheels, control knobs, and hitches will be disinfected before and after each student completes his or her testing. Students who have had a fever or persistent cough within 14 days of testing will be required to reschedule their driving test. Additional driving tests may be added in August to accommodate students who are unable to attend the 5 scheduled trainings.

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

Cost of the modified course is $40 and includes educational materials, online learning, onsite learning, and supplies. More information on the 2020 Tractor Safety Course, as well as a registration form, can be found at

Driving dates, site locations, and site coordinator contact information is below:

July 27 – Akrs Equipment, 49110 US Hwy 20 in O’Neill, contact Debra Walnofer, 402.336.2760,

July 28 – Legacy of the Plains Museum, 2930 Old Oregon Trail #8500 in Gering, contact Stacy Brown, 308.632.1480,

July 29 - West Central Research & Extension Center, 402 West State Farm Rd., North Platte, contact Randy Saner or Vicki Neidhardt 308.532.2683, or

July 30 – Hall County Extension, 3180 W. Hwy 34, Grand Island, contact Nancy Usasz, 308.754.5422,

July 31 – Cass County Fairgrounds, 8420 144th St, Weeping Water, contact Sandy Prall, 402.267.2205,

Looking for summer learning opportunities you can do from home? We’ve got you covered! Nebraska 4-H is excited to share our upcoming summer virtual learning opportunities with you. All experiences provide hands-on, virtually guided activities! We’re kicking off our summer sessions on Monday, June 1, with a new Boredom Buster Challenge and our first Virtual 4-H Camp. Family Fun Night and Living Room Learning are also starting next week! Plus, Virtual Field Trips and the 4-H Clover Fun Pack provide additional ways for youth to learn from home.

Be sure to visit our virtual and at-home learning page ( for more opportunities and resources this summer! Youth do not need to be 4-H members to participate or to utilize these resources. We look forward to learning virtually with you this summer!

STEM Virtual Learning

Code Camp: If you can read, you can code!


Register online at A Zoom link will be provided to registrants a few days prior to the workshop.

Select from any of these dates/times:

June 1 @ 9-10 a.m. CT via Zoom

June 1 @ 11-noon CT via Zoom

June 22 @ 9-10 a.m. CT via Zoom

June 22 @ 11-noon CT via Zoom

3D Modeling: Learn how a 3D printer works & create your own 3D print design. 3D prints will be mailed to the address used when registering. Youth must be at least 8 years old to participate.


Register online at A Zoom link will be provided to registrants a few days prior to the workshop.

Select from any of these dates/times:

May 11 @ 10-noon CT via Zoom

June 2 @ 10-noon CT via Zoom

June 23 @ 10-noon CT via Zoom

Boredom Busters

Boredom Busters is BACK beginning Monday June 1st at 2:00pm CT! Each weekly session of Boredom Busters over the summer will feature a theme and the lesson or activity will be something that you could potentially enter into the county fair! Click Here for information on the weekly sessions and to register! Boredom Busters is perfect for youth in 6th-9th Grade!

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 will be hosted once a month throughout the summer:

  • Tuesday, June 30th @ 11:00 AM CT/10:00 AM MT
  • Tuesday, July 28th @ 11:00 AM CT/10:00 AM MT
  • Tuesday, August 18th @ 11:00 AM CT/10:00 AM MT

Virtual 4-H Family Fun Night

Gather the whole family together for Nebraska 4-H's Family Fun Night! We'll guide you through an activity that's perfect for youth and adults of all ages. Family Fun Night will be hosted on Tuesday's at 7:00 PM CT/6:00 PM MT.

Living Room Learning

Living Room Learning offers hands-on virtually guided activities for youth. Each session focuses on a new activity that can be done with materials found at home. Session are hosted on Thursdays at 10:30 AM CT/9:30 AM MT.

Virtual 4-H Camp Opportunities

We would like to share a new online camp opportunity with you for youth ages 8-18! Choose from a variety of exciting, live, online programs that you can participate in right from your home! Meet and interact with other youth who have similar interests!

Please use these links to learn more about some of our virtual camp offerings that will be led by Nebraska 4-H, Camp Professionals, UNL Faculty/Staff and Industry Professionals.


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4-H Video Companion Animal Showmanship Contest:

Do you have a companion animal that you have great relationship with and want an opportunity to show them off? Look no further! Sign up for our Video Companion Animal Showmanship Contest for an opportunity to present your favorite pet from the comfort of your own home! From cats, rabbits, and rodents to birds, reptiles, and amphibians, 4-H youth are invited to record a 3-5 minute presentation demonstrating their knowledge about the care their companion animal requires. The contest is open to youth ages 10-18 who are enrolled in a companion animal project. Video submissions will be accepted from June 1st through August 10th. For questions, contact Lisa Karr ( For more details about the contest and how to register, visit:


Online 4-H Insect Identification Contest begins Friday, June 5

The Nebraska 4-H Online Insect Identification Contest provides an opportunity for participants to put their entomological knowledge to the test. The contest consists of insect identification and multiple-choice questions. Participants will gain knowledge about insects and entomology through this competition. This contest can serve as practice for county contests and the State Fair 4-H Insect Identification Contests.

The contest is open to all youth, as well as adults. Youth do not need to be enrolled 4-H members to participate. The contest will be available from Friday, June 5 through Friday, June 19, 2020.

Online 4-H Horticulture Contest begins Friday, June 5

The contest will be available Friday, June 5 through Monday, June 22, 2020

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The 4-H Youth Development program abides with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Volunteer Paperwork and Background Check UPDATE

Thank you to the volunteers who have completed their 4-H online enrollment and DHHS background check. All direct volunteers for Nebraska 4-H need to enroll in 4-H online as a volunteer AND complete a DHHS background check.

May 1

14 out of 48 are 100% compliant for Nuckolls County

15 out of 64 are 100% compliant for Thayer County

June 1

19 out of 48 are 100% compliant for Nuckolls County

18 out of 64 are 100% compliant for Thayer County

Kylie sent out letters to volunteers who are not compliant in early April. If you are unsure if you are compliant or if you can't find your letter, please email