Otoe County 4-H Wednesday What-Nots

November 24, 2021

What are you thankful for today? Today and every day, we are thankful for all our 4-H members, parents, volunteers, staff, and supports who are helping us grow the next generation of true leaders.

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Extension Office Closed

The Office will also be closed Thursday, November 25th and Friday, November 26th for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Otoe County 4-H Foundation Grants Due November 30th

The Otoe County 4-H Foundation has allocated funding to provide grants to the Otoe County 4-H members and 4-H clubs to strengthen 4-H in Otoe County. The mission of the Otoe County 4-H Foundation is to enhance 4-H programming, secure financial support for local 4-H programs, and to develop area youth for future generations. Successful grants would assist the 4-H Foundation in achieving its mission. Grant requests can be between $50 and $500. Deadlines for submitting grants are November 30th and February 28th each year.


All 4-H Clubs are encouraged to write a grant application, but 4-H Foundation policy is that

4-H clubs are limited to submitting two grants per year. Grant application forms can be found at otoe.unl.edu under the Otoe County 4-H tab and then clicking on Otoe County 4-H Foundation.

Cody Damme to Represent Nebraska at Nebraska 4-H Congress

Cody Damme is one of twenty-three 4-H youth chosen to represent Nebraska at the 2021 National 4-H Congress. The event will be held November 26 – 30 in Atlanta, Georgia. National 4-H Congress is an award program, which provides recognition to 4-H youth for their outstanding performance and achievements.


Nebraska delegates are selected for the trip to 4-H Congress by submitting an Achievement Application for state competition in one of five program areas. The selected 4-H’ers can only represent Nebraska at National 4-H Congress in one program area. Youth must be between the ages of 15 and 19 years of age. Damme was selected in the STEM program area.


The purpose of National 4-H Congress is to:

  • provide youth a high quality, relevant educational and cross-cultural experiences not otherwise obtainable within the state.
  • provide an experience focused on current themes of high interest to youth.
  • respond to the diversity of needs and program priorities from state to state.
  • create a learning environment comfortable for youth coming from diverse backgrounds and program experiences.
  • involve youth as full partners in planning, implementing and leading the program.
  • “salute” the contributions that youth currently do and make in their communities now and in the future.
  • enhance visibility for the 4-H youth development program and Extension.


Congratulation to Cody! We all hope you have a great time and we can't wait to hear all about what your learn!


For more information National 4-H Congress, please visit https://www.national4-hcongress.com/.

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Supporting Young People

This holiday season might be particularly special as some families were unable to gather last year. Be sure to take time for meaningful connections during these gatherings. Here are some fun and creative ways to connect to loved ones this holiday season: 4h.unl.edu/connecting-during-holidays.
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Special Education Day

December 2nd is National Special Education Day which commemorates the anniversary of our nation’s first federal special education law. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act made public education available to children with disabilities across the country.


In commemoration of National Special Education Day, we thank all the special education teachers for their hard work!

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2022 Otoe County Fair Theme

The Fair is the Place to BEE!

4-H Enrollment is Now Open!

The all new 4-H online enrollment system is now open! To enroll in 4-H, go to v2.4honline.com. The old login and password you used before will still work for this system. If you need help or have any questions, please contact the office at 402-269-2301 or you can follow the help guides found at https://extension.unl.edu/statewide/otoe/enrollment/.
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Safety Advice From Dr. Temple Grandin

While talking with Dr. Temple Grandin, she gave Cheryl and Erin some very good advice for keeping our 4-H livestock families safe at County Fair.


Come to the fairgrounds, record the train noise as they go by. Take the recording back and play it over and over to your animals between now and the fair. Make sure the volume is at the correct level. That way, when fair rolls around, your animals will be so used to the trains, they won't even notice them.

2022 Nebraska State Fair 4-H Livestock Schedule Announcement

The Nebraska State Fair, 4-H and FFA livestock shows will be held on separate weekends in 2022. While the final schedule is being determined, 4-H livestock shows will take place on Friday, August 26 - Sunday, August 28 and FFA will take place on the second weekend.

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Unified Showing 4-H Club Information

Unified Showing is in its third year of operation and this will be our second year in Otoe County! We are super excited to be continuing this journey and growing our reach. Unified Showing 4-H Club empowers youth with special needs by pairing them with buddies who ensure the safety of the youth showman and lamb. For those of you who are interested in Unified Showing, there will be a selection process for both showmen and buddies in which we can verify each individual.


The selected showmen would need to join 4-H and then our very own 4-H club - Unified Showing - Otoe County. This club will house both the showmen, the buddies, and adult leaders. We will also try to have 4-H meetings and hangouts once a month to ensure everyone feels comfortable and can make connections with other members. Parents and siblings will also be invited in order to form bonds with people who can better understand their experiences.


During the summer, practices will be held at our farm in southwest Lincoln once a week. Youth will practice with their designated lamb that my family owns. These practices will be approximately an hour and will include the showmen having the opportunity to lead their animals around and bathe, feed, and learn about them. Buddies will be at the practices and will accompany the showmen into the show ring to ensure both the animal and child safety. Family members will also be given the option of staying on site with their child or returning at the end of the practices.


At the end of the summer, the showmen will be able to see their hard work pay off as they will have their own class at the Otoe County Fair. This will be when they lead their sheep around the ring with the help of their buddies. The judge will also ask the youth questions about their lamb and themselves. At the end, they will be given a prize for participating and working so hard in Unified Showing.


The application process will begin January 1, 2022 and end at midnight March 13, 2022. The team will then be posted on the Unified Showing Facebook page on March 31, 2022 as well as notifications will be sent to all that applied.


If you have any questions about Unified Showing or to request an application form please contact me via Unified Showing Facebook group page or at my email address amnwalbrecht@gmail.com.


Thank you future participants,

Allison Walbrecht

Unified Showing 4-H Club Project Leader

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Special Garden Project 2022

The 2022 Special Garden Project will be the Rubenza Cosmos, whose flower petals change color as they age. What is the Special Garden Project? This project gives youth the resources to try growing a new or unusual plant. Learn more at 4h.unl.edu/sgp.
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Shooting Sport Leader Certification

A 4-H Shooting Sports Leader Certification Workshop is scheduled for February 5 - 6 in Lincoln at the Nebraska Games & Parks Outdoor Education Center in Lincoln. The deadline to register for the session is January 26.


Adult volunteers over 21 years of age or apprentice leaders between 14 - 20 years of age are eligible to become certified. Four project areas will be offered at he the workshop - rifle, pistol, coordinator, and archery. Participants will learn under expert instruction from members of the Nebraska State 4-H Shooting Sports Training Team.


The registration fee is $110.00 per person for initial certification and those individuals adding an additional discipline except for Apprentice Instructors. The registration fee for Apprentice Instructors (14 - 20 years of age) is $90 for the workshop. This fee includes meals, supplies and program materials.


Participants are requested to bring their own mask and hand sanitizer. Face coverings are required to be worn inside the Outdoor Education Center.


For more information and registration link, visit https://4h.unl.edu/shooting-sports. Registration is available only online at https://go.unl.edu/ingu. Please contact the Extension Office if you are interested in attending this workshop.

Become an Otoe County 4-H Foundation Youth Member

The Otoe County 4-H Foundation is seeking applications for a youth member. We would like you to apply if you are in 9th, 10th or 11th grade!


The Otoe County 4-H Foundation meets on average of four times a year. They host a banquet, usually in February. The Otoe County 4-H Foundation provides scholarships to 4-H members attending 4-H camp, participating in national 4-H events, and pursuing a post-secondary education. The foundation board members really appreciate input from youth as they consider how to support new 4-H opportunities for Otoe County 4-H members.


Currently, Lexis Bruns-Morris serves as the youth representative, with her term ending February 1, 2022. If you are selected, your term of office would be February 2022 through January 2023.


If you are interested in applying to be an Otoe County 4-H Foundation board member, please complete the application that are being mailed to you next week and return to the Extension Office by Monday, January 3, 2022. Or the application can be downloaded at https://go.unl.edu/9et6.

Camp Winter Crafting Event

This Saturday, come out to the State 4-H Camp at Halsey and join in on a day full of winter crafting fun! Create a personalized door hanger or wreath. All ages are welcome. Register now at 4h.unl.edu/school-year-camps.
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Awards to Pick Up

The list is shrinking but there's still quite a few that need to stop by to pick up awards from the Achievement Celebration.
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Fed Steer Challenge

Time is running out for youth interested in participating in the 2022 Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge! Applications are due December 1st. Applications are available at 4h.unl.edu/fed-steer-challenge.

4-H Horse Advisory Committee

There are only a few days left to submit applications for the 4-H Horse Advisory Committee. Be sure to get them submitted by 5:00 pm CT on December 3rd. The online application form is available at 4h.unl.edu/horse-advisory-committee.

Livestock Information Series

Looking for help with your livestock project? The Nebraska 4-H Livestock Information Series provides resources for 4-H members, leaders, and parents looking to gain knowledge in various livestock-related topic areas. Resources include everything from videos and handouts to hands-on activities and lesson plans. Plus, new resources are still being added. Check it out at 4h.unl.edu/livestock-info-series.

December In-Person YQCA Trainings

All 4-H members enrolled in beef, dairy goat, meat goat, poultry, rabbit, sheep, and swine projects are required to complete Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) training to exhibit their livestock. This training must be completed by June 15.



The first in-person trainings will be Wednesday, December 29 for all ages at:

  • 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. at Morton James Library, Nebraska City or
  • 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. at the Fair Center, Syracuse



Pre-register online at https://yqca.learngrow.io/. The cost is $3.00 to attend an in person training and that fee is collected when you register online. Once training has been completed, youth will be marked as completed, you will receive an email to log back into your account to print of their certificate. Please either download and email this certificate to otoe-county@unl.edu or print a copy and drop it by the Extension Office. We are not able to see the certificate or certification number on our end.

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Interested in YQCA as a Club Lesson?

If your club is interested in have a YQCA as lesson at one of your club meetings, please contact Erin at 402-269-2031 or via email erin.steinhoff@unl.edu. She will be more than happy to come to your meetings to put on a session for your club members!
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Otoe County November & December 4-H Calendar

  • November 25th: Thanksgiving - Extension Office closed
  • November 26th: Extension Office closed
  • November 30th: Otoe County 4-H Foundation Grant Applications Due
  • December 1st: Fed Steer Challenge Applications Due
  • December 3rd: 4-H Horse Advisory Committee nominations due
  • December 8th: 4-H Foundation Meeting
  • December 14th: 4-H Council Meeting
  • December 20th: Ag Society Meeting
  • December 24th: Christmas Eve - Extension Office Closed
  • December 29th: YQCA Training
  • December 31st: New Year's Eve - Extension Office Closed

Nebraska Extension in Otoe County


Deb Weitzenkamp, Unit Leader, Extension Educator, deb.weitzenkamp@unl.edu

Erin Steinhoff, Extension Assistant, erin.steinhoff@unl.edu

Cheryl Goff, Office Manager, cheryl.goff@unl.edu