Southern Plains 4-H

Serving Nuckolls and Thayer Counties - APRIL 2020

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2020 Enrollment Good News

Hello 4-H members, families, and friends!

Greetings from lovely Nora, Nebraska, where I am working from home as part of UNL Extension's efforts to lessen COVID-19 risks. While I am working from home, our extension office staff are still in the office, and we are all glad to answer questions via call or e-mail. We finished the fairbook this week, and you can find the 2020 Fairbook here.

I just wanted to say thank you for your patience and grace as we navigate how to best serve you in a pandemic. Our 2020 enrollment is the highest it has been in the last three years, and I think these numbers are something to celebrate. They illustrate the hope and support we all have for 4-H positive youth development even in difficult times. I'm looking forward to working with you, no matter what delivery format, and no matter what kind of programming happens in summer 2020. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns about 4-H programming. I would be glad to listen. Stay safe and healthy! --- Kylie, 4-H Educator

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4-H Activity Worker/Volunteer Screening Process Has Changed

All Nebraska 4-H activity workers/volunteers are screened in order to ensure a safe, positive and nurturing environment for all youth involved with Nebraska 4-H programs and provide protection for the child, volunteer, educator, 4-H Council, Extension Board, and Nebraska Extension. All volunteers (teens and adults) and staff who work directly with youth are required to complete the volunteer screening every five years. In addition, all volunteers are checked against the National Sex Offender registry annually. Be assured the volunteer screening process is confidential.

Nebraska 4-H's criteria for who qualifies as a direct volunteer and therefore must complete a DHHS criminal background check has broadened in 2020.

In order to help us stay organized and to help you stay informed and connected to county announcements and events, if you are planning on helping as a superintendent, club leader, or 4-H Council member, please register as a volunteer via 4-H Online, and then complete the volunteer screening via the provided Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) link within the 4-H Online portal. We will be sending out letters to our volunteers in the near future to remind you to complete the screening if you have not done so already.

If you have any questions, please call your county extension office. We do not want screening confusion to be a burden to our volunteers. We cannot have a strong 4-H program without you.

Nebraska 4-H Virtual Learning Opportunities

Looking for learning opportunities you can do from home? We've got you covered! Nebraska 4-H is now offering a variety of virtual learning experiences, such as Living Room Learning and Boredom Buster Challenges. We've also collected some of our favorite activity guides that are perfect for hands-on learning at home.

Talk Good Tuesdays - The workshop delivery will be virtual but the skills will be real!

To help exhibitors hone their skills for the speech/PSA/presentation contest, Kylie will lead four virtual workshops via Zoom the four Tuesdays in April from 3:30-4:30.

Tues. Apr. 7 – Speech Writing and Presenting

Tues. April 14 – PSA Writing and Presenting

Tues. April 21 – Presentation Writing and Presenting

Tues. April 28 – Professional Polish

To sign up and receive the Zoom link or for more information, e-mail

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DATE: Wed. May 13

TIME: 7:00 pm

PLACE: Deshler Fairgrounds, Deshler

PSA Contest Divisions:

Clover Kids: 5–7 years old (Clover Kids receive participation ribbons only — no premiums given.)

Junior (8-10)

Intermediate (11 to 13)

Senior (14 & older)

The state theme for the 2020 Public Service Announcement (PSA) is "Inspire Kids to Do".

Speech Contest Divisions:

Novice- (10 & under – including clover kids!) 4-Her has never competed in a speech contest before. May recite a poem, read or tell a story. Under 3 minutes in length. Clover Kids will receive participation ribbons only – no premiums given.

Junior- (8 - 10)- Must be an original speech relating to

4-H. Under 3 minutes in length.

Intermediate- (11-13)- Must be original speech relating to

4-H. 3-5 minutes in length.

Senior- (14 & older)- Must be an original speech relating to 4-H. 5-8 minutes in length.

Presentation Contest Divisions:

Junior – 9 and under – not eligible for State Fair

Senior - All participants must be 10 years old on January 1.

The 4-H Presentations Contest includes two types of presentations: Illustrated and Teaching (Trade Show Exhibit). For specific details, please see the Fairbook. Special topic presentations will have the opportunity to be showcased at special facilities at the Nebraska State Fair.

Illustrated Presentation (No special topic)

Illus. Presentation Special Topic: Nebraska Agriculture

Illus. Presentation Special Topic: Nebraska Agriculture, Food

Teaching (Trade Show) Presentation

Kylie’s note: For the Neb. Ag. food option, exhibitors might have the chance to cook in the Raising Nebraska Presentation Kitchen and feel like a celebrity TV chef. It’s wicked cool.

Check the Fairbook for more details.

Updates to Horse Level Testing due to COVID-19

Horse Advancement Level Update

Due to the COVID-19 situation and social distancing, there will be changes in 4-H horse Advancement Level Testing. In order to abide by social distancing recommendations, skills and demonstration testing are on hold. Learn more details - here.

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Flash Sale for Online Version through April 30

In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the YQCA Board is announcing a 25% flash sale on web based certification in April! Here is how to take advantage of this opportunity.

1. Only offered during the month of April (April 1 – April 30), YQCA will be offering a 25% discount on web-based trainings, making them $9.

o Those wishing to take part in the flash sale will need to purchase $9 web-based training coupons from YQCA. Coupon order form can be found here or may be obtained by emailing THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO RECEIVE THE DISCOUNTED PRICE.

o Once the order form and proof of payment is received, coupons will be issued and returned to the purchaser within 3-5 business days.

o Coupons MUST be used towards a web-based training by April 30, 2020.

Companion Animal Challenge Going Virtual

Due to COVID-19, the University has taken measures to help protect the UNL community and broader community. To decrease large group gathering instances, we have decided to continue the Companion Animal Contest through remote means. Find the details here.

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Market / Feeder Beef: June 15 DEADLINE!


*Livestock Affidavit, to county office.

*EID Tags required, available at office

*State, EID tag info, nominated on line by 4-H Family by June 15!

Go to Show Stock Manager to enter

Step by Step Instructions for Doing Nominations

*DNA Envelopes, if applicable, June 1, to county office. The office will not mail your DNA envelopes until you have nominated and paid your State Fair entries on Show Stock Manager.

*Premise ID, on file with county office (if you have done this in prior years, we have them)

*YQCA Training, completed by June 15, e-mail or bring certificate to the County Office


*Follow Veterinary Feed Directives, as outlined here.

Breeding Heifers, ALL Sheep, Hogs, & Goats: June 15 DEADLINE!


*Livestock Affidavit, to county office

*Registration Papers, if applicable

*State, animals nominated on line by 4-H family, June 15

Go to Show Stock Manager, to enter

Step by Step Instructions for Doing Nominations

*DNA Envelopes, if applicable, June 1, to county office

*YQCA Training, completed by June 15, e-mail or bring certificate to County Office


*All Breeding Heifers Need Legible Tattoo

*Lamb/Goats Need Scrapies Tags

*Hogs, EID Tag Required, notches not acceptable as ID

* Following Veterinary Feed Directives, as outlined here.


Sheep and Goat Weigh-in Scheduled

Date: May 19, 2020

Time: 6 to 7 pm

Place: Deshler Fairgrounds

This is OPTIONAL in Thayer County but required if you want to be considered for Rate of Gain.

Date: May 20, 2020

Time: 7-8:30 pm

Place: Nelson Fairgrounds

This is MANDATORY in Nuckolls County! ALL MUST WEIGH IN!


Rabbit, Dog, Cat, and Companion Animals: June 15 DEADLINE

Check list:

Rabbits, must be ear marked by ear tattoo and identified.

* Rabbit affidavit, to county office.

Dogs, must be immunized for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, and Rabies.

* Photocopy documenting all vaccinations must be on file at the office. Please use this vaccination form.

* Must have a wither height, on record at the office.

Guidelines for 4-H Dog Show 4-H 420, patterns, courses, and show equipment tips found here

Cats, must be immunized for Rabies, Distemper, Panleucopenia, Rhino Tracheitis, and Calici Virus. They must be vaccinated for Feline Leukemia or show proof of neg test in last 180 days.

*Photocopy documenting all vaccinations must be on file at the office.

Companion Animals, should be current of shots, if applicable.

* Photocopy documenting applicable vaccinations must be on file at the office.

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Here is a list of progress shows in the area that you may participate in, or just go to watch and learn.

Dawes County 4-H Progress Show, Chadron, NE, June 20

Fit and Feed Clinic, Pawnee City, NE, May 30

Livestock Judging Camp, Lincoln, NE, June 2 and June 3 to 5th Registration Here

Dog Days Dog Show, McCook, NE, June 20


Thayer County Livestock Exhibitors - Want to use your stay-at-home time to start your livestock record books? Visit, scroll to "Record Books" and click on the template and/or rubric. Completed record books are due Oct. 1 and will be judged and awarded ribbons. Please see Fairbook 2020 for more information.

Or, find the pdfs here:

Thayer County Livestock Record Book Template

Thayer County Livestock Record Book Rubric



DATE: June 9-10, 2020

PLACE: Geneva Fairgrounds

Youth aged 14 and 15 and working on a farm or ranch other than their own MUST by certified through a Hazardous Occupations Course. Successful completion of the course will allow trained youth to operate a tractor over 20 horsepower, or to connect or disconnect an implement or any of its parts to or from a tractor.

Register Here! 2020 Tractor Safety Training Registration


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DATES: June 5 through June 22

The on-line horticulture contest will be here before you know it. To start studying and preparing go to the link below for more information.

Horticulture Contest 2020


Here is a list of opportunities for those wanting to learn more about plants and bugs! This area can be fun, exciting, and challenging. Come learn with us!

4-H Plant and Insect Identification Contest, Columbus, June 25

Range Judging Contest, Thayer County, September 23

CWF Fundraising Opportunity

Pizza Cards

C&M Supply in Deshler has let the office know that they are willing to work with CWF 2022 4-H members who would like to fundraise with C&M's Godfather's pizza discount cards. For more information about if this fundraiser would be a good fit for you, please reach out to C&M Supply Manager, Shana Harding, 402-365-7200.


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Summer Programs at Eastern Nebraska 4-H at Gretna, NE

Summer Programs at State 4-H Camp at Halsey, NE

See Full Program Descriptions or Register Online

Big Red Summer Academic Camps, June 7-12

Open to all high school youth, grades 10 through 12.

Learn more here

Camp Scholarship Application , funds available to attend, apply here prior to registration.

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