Thurston Co. 4-H News

January 2022

Nebraska Extension - Thurston County

Jennifer E. Hansen, Extension Educator,

Stacey Keys, Extension Assistant,

Samantha Beutler, Office Staff,

Upcoming Dates

Jan 10 - Thurston County 4-H Council Meeting (6:30 PM @ Fire Hall)

Jan 17 - Office Closed - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan 24 - Special Seed Project Orders due to Extension Office

Jan 28 - KTIC Radio - Thurston County 4-H PSA Due

Feb 5 - Beef Weigh-in (10:00 - 11:30 @ Pender Sale Barn)

Feb 6 - Beef Weigh-in Snow Date (2:00 - 3:30 PM @ Pender Sale Barn)
Feb 6 - Thurston Co. 4-H Kick-Off Party (1 - 4:00 PM @ Pender Lanes)
Feb 6 - Butter Braid Sales Start

Feb 14 - Joint Dakota-Thurston County 4-H Council Meeting (7 PM @ Pender Fire Hall)

Feb 18 - Special Agronomy Project Seed Orders due to Extension Office

Feb 21 - Office Closed - President's Day

March 4 - Horse Stampede Registrations & Fees due to Extension Office

March 14- Thurston County 4-H Council Meeting

March 19 - Speech Contest & Favorite Foods Revue (Thurston County)

March 26 - Horse Stampede @ UNL - East Campus

March 26 - Chick Days @ UNL - East Campus
March 28 - Butter Braid Orders Due to Extension Office

April 1 - Thurston County 4-H Scholarship Applications Due

April 7 - Butter Braid Delivery @ 5 pm (Extension Office)

April 21 - Presentation & Music Contest (6:30 PM @ Emerson)


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4-H Online 2.0 is Now Open for Enrollment!

It's time to get enrolled in 4-H for the 2022 4-H year! Nebraska has transitioned to their new 4-H Online v2 platform. 4-H Online 2.0 is more user friendly and is compatible on cell phones. You will notice a new look! To enroll, visit

For returning families: Do Not create a new account; rather use your existing log-in credentials from 4-H online as used in previous years. Find instructions at

For new families, find instructions here:

Our county has a $5 enrollment fee to be paid by check.

Cloverleaf members pay your leader. All other clubs, TC Roughriders, Rosalie Feeders, and Independent pay by check to the Thurston County Extension Office.

Please contact us at 402-385-6041 with any enrollment questions.

Thurston County 4-H Kick-Off Party

Date: Sunday, February 6th

Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Location: Pender Lanes

On behalf of the 4-H Council, we invite new and returning members and their families to our annual Kick-Off Party for the 2022 4-H Year. Come enjoy an afternoon of FREE Bowling and FREE Pizza.

Get information about the new 4-H Online Platform, fundraising for the year, and pickup a copy of the Thurston County 4-H calendar with important dates.

Butter Braid Sales

Thurston County 4-Hers will again have the opportunity to sell Butter Braids this year! Your information will come in your enrollment packets (either at Kick-Off or in the mail). Be sure to read the letter because we have ONLINE OPTIONS for 2022.

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 February 6 to March 28, orders will be delivered to the 4-Hers on April 7 at 5 pm at the Thurston County Extension Office. Proceeds from this fundraiser help fun 4-H activities throughout the year.

KTIC Radio - Public Service Announcement

We’ve been approached by KTIC radio in West Point with the opportunity for 3-4 youth members to call in and record a 20 second PSA of why they love 4-H. If you would be willing to do this, please let our office know. You will call into the radio by Friday, January 28, between the hours of 7 am-5pm to record your PSA.

This is an awesome opportunity for our youth to get exposure and experience, plus promote Thurston County 4-H.

Below is a simple script that you may follow.

KTIC 4-H Radio Promo Script

Call 402-260-2300

Limit 20 seconds. Practice and time yourself so you are comfortable saying it for the radio.

“Hi, my name is ___________, from the ___________ 4-H Club in Thurston County. I love 4-H because … “

Let us know ASAP if you would be willing to do this and promote Thurston County 4-H. If we get no volunteers, we may start hand-picking you!

4-H Ambassadors

We would like to thank and congratulate Emily Luedert, Alexis Bodlak, and Mason Bodlak, for serving as Thurston County 4-H Ambassadors for the upcoming 2022 year!

4-H Month

Help youth and volunteers celebrate Nebraska 4-H Month all month long in February! Thurston County will celebrate February 13-19.
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Big Red Camps

Big Red Summer Camps will be held June 12-17, 2022. Registration will open around February 1, 2022.

Watch for more details coming soon!


2022 Special Garden Project

The Special Garden Project is open to all youth of 4-H age and it will give them the opportunity to learn about growing, harvesting, and exhibiting this unique flower. This project lets 4-H members try their hand at growing unusual vegetables and flowers. The project allows experienced 4-H gardeners to grow something fun, new, and different while letting those new to gardening get their feet wet in this project area.

The focus of the 2022 project is the Rubenza Cosmos. The flowers of the Rubenza are unique, the petals change color as they age. Pollinators and beneficial insects are attracted to the blooms all summer long. These cosmos make great cut flowers. Be sure to enjoy a bouquet of Rubenza indoors.

Be sure to visit to learn more about the project. Seed orders are due to our Extension Office by Monday, January 24, 2022!

2022 Special Agronomy Project

The Nebraska Extension Special Agronomy Project gives 4-H members an opportunity to experience a crop that is grown, was grown or has the potential to be grown in Nebraska. Youth participate by receiving seed and resources to grow the crop, research traits of the crop and determine the viability of that crop in the part of the state they live. The project allows 4-H members interested in agronomy to grow something fun, new, and different.

The focus of the 2022 Special Agronomy Project is Broomcorn Sorghum. Broomcorn can be used for ornamental uses in floral arrangements or harvested for broom-use prior to seed maturity. To participate in the Special Agronomy Project, you will enroll in the project through 4-H Online, but first call our extension office to reserve seed BEFORE Friday, February 18, 2022.

There are three ways to complete this at the county or state fair. First, an educational exhibit that can be in a poster format can include what you learned. Secondly, let your creativity go wild and create a video-type presentation explaining what you have learned, showing the growing process, etc. Finally, you can enter the crop itself. To do this, cut 4 stalks at the ground level and bound-together with supporting information about the project. For project specifications and details, be sure to go to the Nebraska State Fairbook at


Beef Weigh-In

We are hosting the Dakota-Thurston County Beef Weigh-in on Saturday, February 5, from 10:00 - 11:30 AM at the Pender Sale Barn. This is a request by families who wanted to return to weigh-in as it was cancelled last year due to Covid precautions. As families are requesting its return, we encourage all families to participate. However, it is not required unless you plan to participate in the Market Beef Rate of Gain Class and Return Bucket Calf Rate of Gain.

Attend the weigh-in to get your county only tags, EID tags, and DNA envelopes. Remember tags cost $3 each, so don't forget to bring along some type of payment.

Our snow day is Sunday, February 6, from 2-3:30 PM.

Please RSVP to 402-385-6041 so we know you are coming with your beef animals!

Changes to Bucket Calf Classes - County Only Fair Project

We are excited to announce changes to the Bucket Calf Classes for the 2022 D-T Fair. Now, exhibitors can return their bucket calf the second year and show in their own class with other returning bucket calves. Watch for the fairbook for specifics as we work out the details, but for now we know:

  • Your bucket calf must have been shown by you as 4-H Youth or 4-H Clover Kid at the 2021 D-T Fair, and must be shown by you at the 2022 D-T fair. (It can not have been shown by a sibling, relative, or other 4-H club member).
  • The class will be its own class as part of the bucket calf show.
  • You may weigh-in your return bucket calf at the Beef Weigh-In. This is not required unless you want to participate in the Return Bucket Calf Rate of Gain Class.
  • Clover Kids Ages 5-7, they are only allowed to exhibit a First Year Bucket Calf (not eligible for the Return Class).
  • Youth aged 8-14 are allowed to enter the Return Bucket Calf Class. (For example, if your child was aged 7 last year and showed their 4-H Bucket Calf, they may return their same bucket calf at 4-H age 8.) Clover Kids cannot participate in the Return Bucket Calf Class.
  • First Year Bucket Calves may have been born between January 1 and June 1 of the Current Year.
  • Record books are required for the First Year Bucket Calf Class and Return Bucket Calf Class.

All bucket calves and return bucket calves must have completed affidavits to the extension office by June 15th. All exhibitors 8+ must complete YQCA.

Farrowed & Owned Swine Cohort

Application Deadline: February 1, 2022

The Nebraska 4-H Farrowed & Owned Swine Cohort is an opportunity for youth interested in learning more about the swine industry. The program is designed to cultivate the next generation of leaders in the Nebraska swine industry. The goal is to enhance the educational value of the traditional 4-H swine projects by focusing on swine production, accurate and complete record-keeping, industry knowledge, and engagement by the 4-H member.

Youth participating in the Farrowed & Owned Swine Cohort will:

  1. Network with 4-H members across the state who are also participating in the cohort experience.
  2. Participate in learning opportunities hosted by Extension Swine Specialist Benny Mote about nutrition, feeding, genetics, and more.
  3. Gain knowledge related to their project and the swine industry as a whole.
  4. Maintain records related to swine management and basic care.
  5. Exhibit their Farrowed and Owned project animals at the Nebraska State Fair with the opportunity for special recognition as a result of participating in the cohort.

Program Components

  1. Youth must be 4-H age 10 – 18 as of January 1 of the current year, and enrolled in the 4-H swine project in a Nebraska county.
  2. 4-H youth must complete the Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) requirements annually and have a current Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) number.
  3. 4-H youth must meet all the State Fair livestock identification, nomination, and entry requirements by the deadline and are responsible for the fees associated with the process.
  4. 4-H member and/or their immediate family must have farrowed the animals entered in the farrowed and owned cohort.
  5. 4-H youth must actively participate in 75% virtual educational programs focused on swine nutrition, feeding, and genetics hosted by the University of Nebraska Extension Swine Specialist. Each session will be recorded. If a cohort member misses the live meeting, they have until the day of the following meeting to watch the recording in order to meet the participation requirements. All virtual sessions begin at 7:00 pm CST via zoom. Details are sent after registering.
  6. Maintain accurate production records related to raising the animal(s), including farrowing records of the sow. Record books should include information on the farrowed and owned litter pigs from birth until June 15th. From June 15th until the Nebraska State Fair, the record book should focus only on the pigs to be exhibited in the Farrowed and Owned program. Complete and submit the record book at the Nebraska State Fair to be used during the interview component of the program.
  7. Exhibit farrowed and owned project animal(s) at the Nebraska State Fair. All 4-H swine fairbook rules apply to the farrowed and owned animal(s). Farrowed and Owned swine entries count toward the overall quota of swine allotted per exhibitor.
  8. Complete survey at the conclusion of the program.


  1. Farrowed and Owned cohort animals will exhibit in the show within the 4-H breeding swine or 4-H market swine shows. There will not be a separate farrowed and owned show. The highest placing farrowed and owned animals in their respective class will move forward to champion and reserve champion selection.
  2. A Grand Champion and Reserve Champion Farrowed and Owned Market Swine and a Grand Champion and Reserve Champion Farrowed and Owned Breeding Gilt will be named.
  3. Interview based on 4-H youth’s experience and knowledge gained through the cohort learning opportunities. Intermediate and senior age divisions for the interview portion of the program will be based on entries.

    Learn more at

Livestock Information Series

The Nebraska 4-H Livestock Information Series is a resource for 4-H members, leaders, and parents to gain knowledge in various livestock-related topic areas. Each session, a new topic is covered with experts joining to share their experience and expertise. Extended learning opportunities and supporting documents are also available for each topic. Learn more at

Livestock Achievement Program

Nebraska Extension is pleased to announce the second year of the Nebraska 4-H Livestock Achievement Program. This additional opportunity for enrolled livestock project youth 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.

Applications/Sign up are due June 15th through the application form link on the website. Plan and Reports, as well as Project Records will be due August 10 via the completion form on the website. 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 or to apply, go to: Nebraska 4-H / Livestock Achievement Program

4-H Horse Stampede

March 26, 2022 @ UNL - Lincoln East Campus
$10 Entry Fee
Registrations, Art, & Exhibits due to Extension Office by Friday, March 4, 2022

The Nebraska 4-H Horse Stampede offers a variety of 4-H horse contests that do not require live animals, including public speaking, demonstration, quiz bowl, art, and photography contests. Youth have the opportunity to display their equine knowledge through these contests both as an individual and as part of a team. The 4-H Horse Stampede is held annually on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln East Campus. This year's event will be held Saturday, March 26, 2022.

There is a $10 entry fee per participant. Event shirts are also available for pre-order. All order forms, fees, and exhibits must be submitted to local Extension offices by March 4, 2022.

Nebraska 4-H Horse show dress code is required for all in-person contests. Please see pages 23-24 of the Nebraska 4-H Horse Show and Judging Guide for details. Exception: No hats or headgear are permitted.

For those interested, the 2022 4-H Horse Stampede will be held alongside UNL Chick Days, an educational event for small and backyard poultry producers and youth hosted by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Animal Science Department.

UNL Chick Days

March 26, 2022 @ UNL - East Campus

RSVP to by March 20, 2022 your interests, # attendees, and lunch order

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Thurston County 4-H 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. 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.

Jarvis Memorial Scholarship

The intent of the scholarship is to assist women who live 3 or more hours drive from Lincoln but wish to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Applicant must reside in Love Memorial Cooperative Residence Hall on East Campus.

If you have questions email Gloria Turnbull at

Application deadline: postmarked no later than March 15, 2022.

Application can be found here:

(One $500 Scholarship — Fall 2022/Spring 2023—non renewable)

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.

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 (about 1 hour per week; more time during a week when responsible for food preparation). The cost of living in Love Memorial Hall is less than half of what is charged for all other traditional dorms. Over a four year period this amounts to a savings around $24,000. More information about Love Memorial Hall is found at: Students may change housing preference by submitting a written request to the Housing Office.

For more information: Web -;

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

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