Thurston County 4-H News

June 2016

Upcoming Dates

June 1 - Dakota-Thurston County Sheep & Goat Weigh-In @ Fairgrounds (6-8pm)

June 13 - Rabbit Tatto Party @ Extension Office (5:15pm by appointment)

June 13 - Thurston County 4-H Council Meeting

June 15 - Quality Assurance Deadline

June 15 - Ak-Sar-Ben DNA DUE

June 15 - All Livestock Affidavits DUE

June 17 - Ponca Day Camp Registration DUE

June 19-21 - PASE/Life Challenge @ UNL

June 27 - Ponca Counselor Training

June 28 - Ponca Day Camp

July 4 - Office Closed - 4th of July Holiday

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

July 20 - ALL Dakota-Thurston County Pre-Fair Entries DUE

July 27 - 4-H Clothing Day Judging @ Emerson

July 30 - Pre-Fair Clean Up

July 31-Aug 2 - Pre-Fair Judging Shows


Aug 8 - Post Fair Clean Up

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

Aug 23 - State Fair Exhibits DUE @ Extension Office (Noon)


Need To Know

Summer Workshops

We are excited to announce our summer workshops for youth. We will be holding several sessions every week in June and July. Several of these camps will be open to all ages but others, like the Clover Kid Camp, will be for either older or younger youth. Come join us for an exciting summer of learning. To register go here: or get more information follow this link:

  • Babysitting Clinic - June 1 OR 2 (same session offered twice)
  • Computer Coding Workshop - June 7 (same session offered twice, morning & afternoon)
  • Knitting Workshop - June 9
  • Barn Quilts Workshop - June 14 (Part #1) & June 16 (Part #2)
  • Young Entrepreneurs Camp - June 20-24
  • Ponca Day Camp - June 28
  • Clover Kid Camp - June 30
  • WeDo Lego Workshop - July 6-8
  • Robotics Workshop - July 6-8
  • Meals for Beginners - July 12

4-H Grow True Leaders Campaign

The National 4-H Grow True Leaders campaign has been launched. Connect with your family, friends, and community to create a social media Shout Out. Share "Shout Outs" through soical media including the #TrueLeaders and #NE4H hashtags. Represent 4-H and show those that 4-H is growing and has grown into True Leaders. Nebraska 4-H won the challenge to have Jennifer Nettles give a shout out to one of #TrueLeaders here in Nebraska. Keep up the good work.

Tractor Safety Courses Planned

The 2016 Tractor Safety Trainings will be held in seven locations across the state during May, June, and July.

Any youth 14 or 15 years of age who works on a farm or ranch other than his/her parents’ is required to be certified through a tractor safety course. Extension Educators and field specialists will teach the 2-day courses.

The training in this area will be June 20-21, 2016 at Wayne County Fair Grounds, Wayne, NE.

Cost for the course is $60, which includes all course materials, lunch both days and breaks. Registration is requested a week prior to class. For details or to register, contact the Nebraska Extension Office in Thurston County at 402-385-6041.

Fair Information

State Fair Book Updates & Changes/County Fair Books Available

The 2016 4-H State Fair book is available online. The animal exhibits at this link: and the static exhibits at:

The Dakota~Thurston County Fair book very closely follows the state fair book so as you begin thinking about your fair exhibits please feel free to check out the State Fair book. The 4-H pages of our county fair book are up online at And is also available at the office.

Fair Entry Information

Each family will be receiving a packet sometime toward the beginning of July that will have entry forms for the 2016 Dakota~Thurston County Fair. Once again this year we hope to personalize the forms so they contain most of the information the office needs. You just need to fill in class #’s, animal ID’s and etc…

Late Entry Policy

The Joint 4-H Council created the following rule at their November 5, 2012 meeting. Late fair entries will be accepted for one week following the entry deadline and will be accessed a $10 late fee per individual for the Dakota-Thurston County Fair.

4-H King & Queen Contest

It's time to be thinking about the 2016 Dakota-Thurston County Fair! If you are between the ages of 14 & 19, you are eligible to compete for the title of 4-H King or Queen. If you are interested, please read through the rules and complete the entry form available online at Applications will be due June 30th, with interviews taking place in July. If you have any questions contact Sandy Ahlers at

2016 State Fair Discount Tickets

To order the discounted $5 State Fair tickets for 4-H Exhibitor Families please contact the Extension office. The absolute final deadline is August 10th to order these. Tickets will then be available for pick up at the Extension office after August 25th.

Looking for Trophy Sponsors

One aspect of the 4-H program is awards and recognition. If you would like to donate a trophy for the 2015 Dakota~Thurston County Fair, contact the Extension Office. Trophies are $15 each. If you have suggestions for other ways to reward our youth please let the Extension Office or a committee member know.

Member Information

4-H Discounts

When purchasing items and supplies for 4-H exhibits and projects, ask if the store gives a discount for 4-H project supplies. 4-H members must be present at the time of purchase and have some type of 4-H identification. 4-H membership cards are available at the Extension Office that you can use as your 4-H identification.

2016 4-H Photography Nebraska Exhibit Theme

Nebraska Exhibit Print: Help us celebrate the national “4-H Grows Here” campaign. For both Unit II and Unit III will capture photos of people and places that illustrate 4-H growing and thriving in Nebraska! Your photos should tell a story about how “4-H Grows Here” in your local community. Please print and include the 4-H Grows Here! logo in your photos. The logo can be accessed at

Family & Consumer Sciences

2016 Nebraska State Fair 4-H Culinary Challenge Contest

The 4-H Culinary Challenge Contest will require youth will to demonstrate healthy decision making through nutrition, food preparation, menu planning, and food safety, utilizing foods and nutrition curriculum. County teams of two 4-H members will have the opportunity to advance to the 4-H Culinary Challenge Contest, which will be held the first weekend of the Nebraska State Fair. A challenge ingredient will be selected each year, highlighting a Nebraska commodity-food product. The 2016 challenge ingredient is SQUASH. For more information contact the Extension Office.


4-H Camp Counselors Needed

We are looking for outstanding leaders to assist at both of our 4-H Camps this summer. Youth ages 15-18 are an integral part of our program.

This is for youth that have great leadership skills and are looking for opportunities to grow their skills while working with younger youth, encourage them to become a camp counselor. Being a camp counselor is a great opportunity to refine and gain new leadership skills, as well as, build lasting friendships, gain confidence, and experience the outdoors all while having a fun experience.

We do not need a summer long commitment from counselors, counselors can sign up for the sessions that fit their schedule. Both the Nebraska State 4-H Camp in Halsey and the Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center in Gretna are accepting counselor applications.

Camp Counselor and Leader training takes place at both locations May 31-June 4


The training provides counselors with knowledge and skills to be a successful counselor while at camp. Youth will learn valuable youth development concepts, leadership skills and how to handle difficult and emergent situations.

Please contact Lindsay Shearer ( if you have additional questions!

4-H Summer Camps

Attention youth! Are you ready for a fun adventure this summer? Consider joining youth around the state for an awesome adventure. The 4-H camps are open to everyone between the ages of 5-18 (do not have to be a 4-H member). There are over 40 day and night camping programs and trips offered for youth to enjoy at the three locations (Halsey, Gretna, and different destinations). Please contact the extension office for a camp brochure or visit the Nebraska 4-H Youth Development website at Come make memories this summer at Nebraska 4-H Camps!!

Camperships Available

As the camping season is right around the corner, we know many of you are receiving requests for assistance to offset camp expenses.

Again this year, with the support of the Nebraska 4-H Foundation, we are able to offer a limited number of $100 camperships to assist families who may not otherwise be able to send their child to camp. You do not have to be enrolled in 4-H to request this support. If you know of somebody who might be interested in requesting a campership please have them contact the Extension Office. We will help them take the right steps and even give them a recommendation.

Save the Date for Ponca Day Camp

Come get a taste of camp in your own backyard at this year’s 4-H Ponca Day Camp. It will be held at Ponca State Park on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. All 4-H members and their friends ages 8-11 in Cedar, Dakota, Dixon, Thurston, and Wayne counties are invited to attend this hands-on camp. Camp sessions include - Mobile Science Lab, Animal Explorations, Honeybee Challenge, True North, True Courage, Lunch & Snacks, & Swimming. For complete registration/health statement please contact the UNL Extension Office in Thurston County. Registrations are due by Friday, June 17, 2016. More information can be found at: Come on! Camp can’t get any closer!

Ponca Day Camp Counselors Needed

Counselors age 14 years or older as of June 1, 2016, are needed for Ponca Day Camp on June 28th. You must attend a training workshop on June 27th. Training will be at the Haskell Ag Lab in Concord from 11:30 am-2:00 pm. Applications are due by June 17th. Please visit the website at for registration materials or contact the extension office to obtain an application form.

Plant Science

Nebraska Youth Range Camp

The 53rd Nebraska Youth Range Camp will be held June 6 – 10, 2016 at the Nebraska State 4-H Camp in Halsey. Please spread the word and encourage students to get their application in! Eligible students need to be between the ages of 14 – 18. We have an online application available this year and we will also accept applications by mail or email. You can find the forms here:

We will be teaching the new Range Judging rules that will be used this fall; come and learn it first!! The Nebraska Youth Range Camp consists of a four-and-a-half day dynamic curriculum that appeals to students with a wide array of interests including, but not limited to, rangeland management, conservation, ecology, animal science, and wildlife.

The students that attend this camp will be actively involved with field activities, lectures, hand-on experience, and recreational leadership and team-building activities that are all led by up to 20 of Nebraska’s most respected and dedicated leaders, teachers, and professionals from various agencies, colleges, and universities. Each student will be sent home with a binder that is filled with educational materials.

Financial sponsorship is available! The cost of Range Camp is $325 however, every student that attended last year received a substantial level of sponsorship from local Natural Resource Districts or the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition and nobody paid more than $100 to attend and some students attended for free!

Please direct questions to Shelly Kelly (Range Camp Co-Director) at or 308-214-0065.

2016 Nebraska 4-H Online Horticulture Judging Contest

The 2016 Nebraska 4-H Online Horticulture Judging contest is just around the corner. This year the contest will be available from June 10th at 8:00 a.m. until June 20th at 8:00 a.m. It is composed of three parts; general knowledge questions, plant part and seed identification, as well as a judging portion. It is open to all 4-H youth, as well as adults, and even Extension individuals. No password this year, the link listed below will take you directly to the contest.

Please fill in all of your information completely. The online contest should only be taken once by each participant, if it is taken multiple times the first score entered will be the one used. No study materials are to be used while taking the test. The contest will allow an opportunity for the participant to review the answers prior to submitting. Once submitted, the participants will see their score, but they will not be able to see which questions they missed. After the contest has ended, the participants can request to see their scores and their answers.

Study Materials for the Online Horticulture Judging Contest and the State 4-H Horticulture Judging Contest held during State Fair are the same and they can be found at:

4-H Horticulture Contest

A horticulture judging contest will be held on June 15, 7:00 p.m. at the Rhebb Acreage located 3 miles northeast of Norfolk, NE (84494 Saddle Rd). The program is open to all 4-Hers and interested adults. There will be prizes for first, second and third place finishers; snacks and fun for all. Contact the Wayne County Extension Office at 402-375-3310 for more information and to register. Pre-registration due by 5 PM, June 10. Directions will be given when registering. This would be a great way to practice for the 2016 Nebraska 4-H Online Horticulture Judging available from June 10th until June 20th.

Animal Science

Livestock ID's/Affidavits Due

If you are exhibiting: beef, sheep, swine, goats or rabbits at the Dakota~Thurston County Fair Livestock ID’s/Affidavits' are due to the Extension Office by June 15th. Absolutely no late paperwork will be accepted! Forms are available by stopping at the Extension Office or on the website at Almost all of the forms are PDF fill-in, so you can key in the information after downloading the form to your computer and then print out the form. Make sure the form is fully completed. No information will be taken via phone or e-mail.

DNA Samples Due

Just a reminder that Ak-Sar-Ben Feeder Calf & Market Swine DNA Samples are due to the Extension Office by June 15th at 4:30 pm.

Assistance with Rabbit Tattoos

We will be holding a rabbit tattoo party on June 13th from 5:15—7:00 pm at the Thurston County Extension Office. Anyone wishing to have help tattooing their rabbits is asked to make an appointment during this time by called 402-385-6041.

2016 Animal Exhibitor Handbook is Now Available

2016 Animal Exhibitor Handbook is now available and can be found online at under Handbooks. For any questions you may contact Brandy Wagner at

2016 Nebraska State Fair Livestock Schedule

The 2016 Nebraska State Fair Livestock Schedule is now available on the Nebraska State Fair website!

Along with the livestock schedule, you can also find the following documents available:

  • Livestock Rules and Regulations and General Information
  • Health Requirements
  • Arrival/In Place Schedule

Direct Link:

Poultry is BACK!

As of January 1, 2016, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) has officially lifted the ban on poultry shows, fairs and exhibitions that was put in place to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HP AI) last year.

This is very exciting news for many of you and we will all be happy to see the poultry back in the barns this year. 2015 was also a very good educational tool on learning more about biosecurity measures with poultry and other livestock.

As you are purchasing your birds for 2016 be sure to keep track of where you purchase these birds. This information will be needed at check in time.

Quality Assurance

This year all 4-H and FFA members showing livestock of any variety (except horses) will need to go to the Quality Assurance website to update their certification. There will be NO Quality Assurance trainings in your 4-H clubs this year.

Members showing: beef, sheep, goats, swine, rabbit, or poultry, will need to complete and pass 3 lessons in the appropriate age category. Be sure to complete the 3 lessons before the June 15th deadline. Nebraska youth can go to the course at If they have not registered for the course before, they can search for Nebraska Livestock Quality Assurance and register using the enrollment key “Nebraska”, however, if they are already registered, the course will appear in their course list. Questions concerning registration can be e-mailed to In order to keep the quality at the highest level and streamline the services offered, a $5 annual fee for all participants is being implemented.

Upcoming Shows & Events

Below is a list of upcoming shows and events. For more information about any of these events contact the Extension Office or go to

  • June 3&4 - Midwest Livestock Jackpot Show (Swine, Goats, Sheep), Seward County Fairgrounds, Seward
  • June 4 - Phelps/Gosper Beef & Sheep 4-H Progress Show, Phelps County Fairgrounds, Holdrege
  • June 5 - 4-H Goat Hoof Trimming Clinic, Julie Addison's home, Wayne
  • June 11 - Wranglers Fitting & Show Clinic (Beef), Stanton County Fairgrounds, Stanton
  • June 12 - Hustler 4-H Progress Show (Swine, Sheep, Beef, Goats), Cuming County Fairgrounds, West Point
  • June 12 - Platte Valley Wranglers 4-H Horse Show, Fairgrounds, Wahoo
  • June 25 - The Final Drive - Sheep & Goat Progress Show, Fillmore County Fairgrounds, Geneva
  • June 25 - Wheeler County Progress Show (Beef), Bartlett Fairgrounds, Bartlett
  • June 25 - 30th Annual Papio Valley 4-H Show (Goat, Sheep, Beef), Sarpy County Fairgrounds, Springfield
  • June 27&28 - Massey's Show Lamb Camp, Wayne County Fairgrounds, Wayne

Phelps County 4-H Small Animal Progress Show

Saturday, June 4th, 2016 at the Phelps County Fairgrounds in Holdrege. There will be prizes and raffle for exhibitors. Pre-registration is not required. Companion Animal and Cat Exhibitors are limited to four animal exhibits in the shows. Rabbit and Poultry Exhibitors are limited to ten animal exhibits in the shows.

Winners Unlimited Livestock Judging Camps




$250/person (includes meals, lodging, and materials)

Limited to 35 participants per session. First come, first-serve.

This camp is designed for 4-H and FFA members (age 12-18) looking to perfect their livestock evaluation and oral reasons skills. Brad Bennett, as well as 2016 team members will focus on proper evaluation with a special emphasis on reasons format, terminology, and delivery.

For more information, visit:, or contact:

Brad Bennett, Livestock Judging Coach | 402.472.8834 |

Nebraska Beef Ambassador Contest

June 10, 2016 at 10 a.m. CT at the Mid Plains College in Broken Bow, NE. Register by email to or call 308-760-6464. The Nebraska Beef Ambassador Contest provides an opportunity for youth to become spokespersons and future leaders in the beef industry. If public speaking or industry advocacy is your thing, you should compete.

Prepare for PEDV Ahead of Show Season (from National Pork Board)

As swine show season starts to get underway, it's time to think about how to deal with the many questions and challenges associated with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV). Although the virus has less impact on the older, growing pigs headed for a show ring, the potential to spread PEDV and other pathogens rises since the pigs are commingled at weigh-ins and the exhibitions themselves. Regardless of PEDV's presence though, certain measures should always be a priority for anyone involved in swine shows. The National Pork Board has recently posted re-search and resources regarding PEDV (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus). They have also created the following resources that are available.

  • Swine Health Recommendations: Exhibitors of All Pigs Going to Exhibits or Sales
  • Swine Health Recommendations: Organizers of Exhibitions and Sales
  • Swine Health Recommendations: Biosecurity for Organizers of Weigh-ins or Tagging Events.

All Resources and information are available at

Also Nebraska 4-H has developed a document on the basic information on PEDV and includes:

  • How will PEDV affect 4-H projects
  • What is Nebraska 4-H doing
  • How will 4-H Market Hogs be identified
  • What can 4-Her’s do to improve biosecurity

All 4-Her’s enrolled in the Swine Project should be aware of this information. This document can be found on the web at: It is labeled “PEDV” and found under the Swine References and Forms heading.

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