Sioux County Newsletter

December 2020

Calendar of Events

December 8th 4-H Council Meeting via Zoom

December 14th Pick up Holiday Kits starting day

December 22nd Last day to pick up Holiday Kits before Christmas

December 24th-25th Extension Office is closed

New COVID Guidance

Effective Monday, November 30th, Nebraska Extension staff and volunteers are being required to move 4-H programming to virtual for counties who are in the Red on the COVID risk dial. For all 4-H programs, Club Meetings, Special Interest group meetings (including robotics and shooting sports), and 4-H Council meetings are to be held virtually only. Please contact the Extension Office or Melissa Mracek at if you need resources for how to meet virtually. See the chart for the guidance requirements.

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Holiday Project Kits

While we may not be able to meet face-to-face, 4-H projects will continue on through the holidays!! We are providing kits for youth and families to participate in a variety of activities during this holiday season. The kits will be able to be picked up starting on December 14th through December 22nd. The first kit is a holiday wreath kit. Youth will get rings and supplies to create their own greenery wreath. There will also be extra supplies for the youth to create a greenery wreath and take it to a business that has donated to 4-H in town.

The second kit is a kit for the entire family! Families will be provided supplies to create bath fizzies, hot chocolate bombs, clay ornaments, and LED Holiday cards. Some of these items may make great gifts for others!

There will be 14 Holiday wreath kits and around 10 family kits. The cost for the Family kit is $10 and the wreath kit is $7. Please reserve your kit before they are gone by contacting the Extension Office at (308) 668-2428.

ADDED BONUS: Kits will also be available for the December Clover Kid activity for FREE!!

2021 Special Garden Project

The Special Gardening Project is an opportunity for 4-H members to grow unusual and fun projects in their gardens. Each year, a new plant is selected as the focus for all members enrolled in the project. Youth receive seeds which they plant and cultivate using project resources provided throughout the experience. Youth then have the opportunity to exhibit cut flowers or harvested vegetables or present their experience through a poster or report. The project is designed to challenge youth interested in horticulture by introducing them to new and unique growing experiences and foster real-world problem-solving skills through a guided horticultural experience. This year the Special Gardening Project is focused on the unique, Hakurei Turnip. These are not your grandmother's turnips. Hakurei is a white salad turnip that is smooth, round and at its best when harvested under 2". The roots can be eaten raw or cooked, and the tops can also be cooked. To register for the Special Garden Project, youth need to visit 4-H Online and register for the project by January 15th. Youth will be notified when seeds have arrived to the office. They will also receive information about how to grow and harvest their produce.

National Shooting Sports Competition

Nebraska will be hosting the 4-H Shootings Sports National Championships at the

Heartland Public Shooting Park and Events Center in Grand Island on June 20-25, 2021. This event will involve 4-H youth from across the nation competing in nine disciplines. These include: Compound Archery, Recurve Archery, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, .22 Rifle, .22 Pistol, Shotgun, Muzzleloading, and Hunting Skills.

Nebraska has selected or will be selecting teams to represent our state in all the disciplines. However, we are seeking eligible youth interested in participating in the 2021 4-H Shootings Sports National Championships in smallbore pistol, muzzleloader or hunting skills discipline.

Participants must have passed their 14th birthday before January 1 of the current year and may not have passed their 19th birthday before January 1 of the current year in which the 4-H Shootings Sports National Championships is held.

4-H youth who are interested in participating in Smallbore Pistol, Muzzleloader or Hunting Skills are required to complete the online “4-H Shooting Sports National Championships Interest Form.” This form can be found at - . Deadline to complete the online Interest/Intent Form is December 18th, 2020, 5 pm CST.

A selection process, if needed, will be announced if there is sufficient interest from youth in participating in the 2021 National Match. Please share this with your club members.

Feel free to contact Steve Prichard at (402)395-2158 or (308)536-2691, or if you have any questions.

Animal Science Scholarship Opportunity

The University of Nebraska – Lincoln wants to share an awesome scholarship opportunity for high school seniors and transfer students who are admitted animal science majors looking to enroll in the Fall 2021 semester at UNL. This is the inaugural year for the Animal Science: Inspiring Your Future Scholarship Contest and they will be awarding ten $5000 scholarships. Students are encouraged to tell a digital story about an individual or animal who has inspired them to pursue an education and career in animal science. This can be done via video, essay, pictures, a combination of those things, or really any medium that allows them to comfortably express themselves. The website link is below that lists out the contest details and link to apply and submit the digital story. All entries must be submitted by Noon on February 15th!

Inspiring Your Future Scholarship Contest Website

4-H Photography Showcase

The 4-H Photography Showcase offers a project exhibition opportunity beyond traditional print media. 4-H'ers are invited to submit their favorite photo online at Submissions are accepted on a continual basis. However, youth may only submit one photo per month. Photos will be selected from submissions and showcase online by Nebraska 4-H, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The 4-H Photography Showcase is open to all enrolled 4-H members.

Rules & Guidelines

  1. Youth Eligibility: Participants must be current 4-H members ages 8-18. Youth do not need to be enrolled in a photography project to participate.
  2. Number of Entries: Youth may submit 1 photo each month.
  3. Photo Release:
    • By submitting an entry to the showcase, the 4-H member grants permission to Nebraska 4-H the use and rights associated with the use of the photograph, in promotional publication, online, and other media, without compensation.
    • The 4-H photographer will be credited whenever and wherever the photo is shared, published, or reproduced in print or digital media.
  4. Photo Specifications:
    • Photos must be submitted in one of the following file formats: gif, jpg, png, bmp, eps, tif, pict, or psd.
    • The preferred photo orientation is horizontal.
    • Photos must be of sufficient resolution and size for digital sharing. Images should have a minimum resolution of 72 ppi (pixels per inch), but higher is preferred. Images should also be a minimum of 700 pixels on the shortest side (height or width), but larger is preferred. It is recommended to avoid cropping or resize images prior to submission. Generally speaking, images taken by modern digital cameras will be sufficient for submission without resizing or cropping.
    • If needed, selected images may be cropped or resized prior to being showcased. No other photo editing will be performed.
    • If submitting a photo that shows people, adult or youth, the 4-H'er must check with those people before submitting the photo.
  5. Submission: Photos must be submitted online through the official form. No in-person or email submission will be accepted. You will receive a confirmation email including a copy of the entry once the form is successfully submitted.
  6. Notification: If their photo is selected to be showcased, youth will be notified via the email address provided in their submission.

Black Hills Stock Show

Black Hills 4-H Youth Day is February 1st from 8 am until 1 pm. Black Hills Stock Show 4-H events include Beef Cook-Off, Livestock Judging, Livestockology, Horse Quiz Bowl, Hippology, and the Dog Show. Youth must turn 8 by January 1, 2021 and not turn 19 before January 1, 2021. Individuals may enter a maximum of two events. Participants should wear a button-down shirt, polo, or team shirt. Boots for Livestock Judging and Livestockology, otherwise closed toed shoes and denim dress pants. Entries are due January 8th. More information can be found at:

NEW: 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.

To kick-off the inaugural year of the special agronomy project, youth will explore teosinte. The plant looks and is very similar to corn, in fact it is believed to be the wild ancestor of today's corn!

Teosinte produces stalks that produce several small ears with a cob and hard, trapezoidal kernels. Being related to corn, the care is very similar so we will plant and fertilize like corn. Plant the seeds 1-2 inches deep, 8 to 12 inches apart. Teosinte is a tropical grass, so wait till soils are warm before planting. Teosinte can take up to 180 days to mature but we can still admire it's similarities to corn! For more information, go to

Contact Brandy VanDeWalle at or 402.759.3712 or Aaron Nygren at or 402.352.3821.

Companion Cat Science

Ever wonder how cats became domesticated? Interested in learning more about caring for a feline friend? How about showing a cat in 4-H or exploring careers related to cats? We’ve got answers to all these questions and more in our NEW Companion Cat Science online course! The course is free and open to all youth, parents, and leaders interested in advancing their knowledge of cats and the 4-H cat project. Youth do not need to be enrolled 4-H members to participate. Learn more at

Youth Masters of Beef Advocacy Learning Cohort

December 16- January 6th Applications due December 14th by 5:00 p.m. CST.

Youth who join this statewide learning cohort will gain tools and resources for being a beef advocate, work as a group to become a strong ambassador for the beef community and be able to answer tough questions about beef and raising cattle. The group will meet initially on December 16th to introduce the program, get to know their cohort and learn more about the beef industry as a whole. During the cohort timeframe, youth will complete the Masters of Beef Advocacy program online through National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. In addition to completing the online program, youth will have the opportunity to continue discussion with their cohort through a series of discussion boards, additional learning resources and activities to help put what they learn into action. Youth will then log-in on January 6th for a celebration webinar to mark their completion of the program, learn more about beef in Nebraska and discuss careers in the beef industry.

To register, go to the following link: Once registered, you will get information about logging into both Zoom sessions and the MBA site. For questions, contact Brianna Buseman, Youth Meat Extension Educator, at

Agenda for the MBA Learning Cohort:

Both zoom meetings will be recorded and distributed to those registered if unable to attend the live meeting.

o December 16, 6:30 pm: Zoom MBA Program Kickoff

o December 16-January 6: MBA program will be open and available for students to complete their training. During this time additional information, activities, and discussion prompts will be added to the Microsoft teams page for the cohort to interact with.

o January 6, 6:30 pm: Zoom MBA Program Wrap Up