Nebraska Extension 4-H Volunteer Newsletter - March 2018

In the March Spotlight!

  • Next Chapter

  • Club: Money Management

  • Grab & Go: Passion & Strengths

  • PASE/Life Challenge

  • Crop Programming Opportunities

  • Issue Team: Healthy Children

  • Teens as Teachers

  • Fisheries and Wildlife

Here's Help for Your Student's Next Chapter

Today’s high school students have many choices facing them about further education after high school. Four-year degrees, junior colleges or certificate programs – which is the right choice for your student’s next life chapter?

To help with these life-altering decisions, Nebraska Extension partnered with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Admissions to create a statewide program for 4-H members to help families talk about colleges and careers beginning in the eighth grade.

Next Chapter at Nebraska is a college-readiness program that helps students prepare for and succeed by teaching the skills students need to reach their academic goals. The program is facilitated through Nebraska 4-H and recognizes that 4-H participation helps students acquire these important life skills.

The Next Chapter program pre-admits 4-H members to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and invites them to a celebratory event at UNL’s campus with their families in the spring of their eighth grade year. Whether your student plans to attend UNL or not, this is a great way to start the conversation about what’s next after high school.

As students advance into high school years, the Next Chapter program is there with college and career prep lessons and activities that will aid in their future success. These lessons are offered in various delivery methods in each county. Some have the opportunity to participate in Next Chapter activities in school, while others have out of school opportunities or participate in a club setting. In any method, these lessons and activities have the goal of preparing your student for a successful transition to college or trade school.

The program inspires youth to choose to continue their education after high school, promote awareness of higher education options, develop college and career readiness skills, help students match their interests with career choices and engage in 4-H opportunities.

Students participating in Next Chapter will identify career and academic goals, develop effective communication skills and practice public speaking, learn best practices for motivation, and explore interview skills.

To learn more about the Next Chapter program and how to get your child involved, please contact your local Extension Office.

Club Meetings: Money Management

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4-H is a publicly owned program, supported by tax funds, with a name and logo (the 4-H Clover) protected by federal law. Therefore, funds donated to 4-H or to programs and activities under the name of 4-H must receive the same accountability as required in the handling of public or tax funds. The money clubs receive from dues, bake sales and other fund-raising events is owned by the club, not by any one member or leader of the club. Because 4-H is a public organization, it is not “owned” by individuals the way a company is owned. Instead, 4-H is owned by the public and funds generated in the name of 4-H become public dollars.

It is required that 4-H Clubs funds be managed through a checking account that is established and held at a public financial institution if the club has or plans to have money. This includes club dues, accepting donations or holding a fundraiser. Nebraska 4-H also requires clubs to have an EIN number and comply with IRS laws in regards to filing requirements each year. Extension staff will help clubs meet these requirements, but the club is responsible for turning in a required treasurer’s report to the office each year in order for this happen.

These expectations allow leaders to help members learn about money management. A club treasurer is a great way to give youth members a chance to learn. The treasurer gets the experience of being responsible for working with the club to make a prediction of how much money they will spend and raise this year, receive all money for the group, keep a record in the check book of all money, deposit the money in the groups account in a local bank as soon as possible, pay for things the members have approved and report regularly at group meetings about the money they have made and spent.

The 4-H program is an educational program and does not recommend a group maintain more money than it needs to operate from year to year. Your club should not keep more money than was spent on expenses last year, unless you know of a future major expense for which you are saving.

Keep fundraising to a minimum. Raise money only for specific educational purposes.

Remember, 4-H is an educational program. Don’t let fundraising become so important that it gets in the way of learning, doing, and having fun!

For more support on handling 4-H funds, contact your Extension Office.

Grab & Go: Finding Passion & Discovering Strengths

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100 Dreams Activity

The 100 Dreams activity will encourage students to think about their passions and dreams. Hidden within their list may be a great idea for a business start-up!


Over the next few years, you will likely be asked several times “what do you want to be when you grow up?” A part of figuring out what you would like to do with your life, is to figure out what you are passionate about. Today we are going to begin to think of 100 dreams that you have for yourself. This exercise is a “life list” of anything you might want to accomplish during your lifetime. Similar to a bucket list. The point is to think about all the little and big things you want to try and achieve. For example, maybe you would like to meet a celebrity, learn another language, travel to Europe, or work at Google. Write it all down. You don’t have to share your list with anyone if you’re not comfortable sharing.


Have students work by themselves, then ask the group for any dreams they are willing to share as examples. Youth can keep adding to their 100 dreams list going throughout the coming weeks/months.


How did you feel creating your list of 100 dreams? Was it exciting? Was it difficult? Thinking about what you are passionate about may help you discover more about yourself and what you might like to do in the future for a job or career. As you look at your list of dreams, do you see any dreams that might give you an idea of what to do for career? What might be some first steps you could take toward achieving one of your dreams? Do you plan to continue adding to your list of dreams?

Instant Challenge Matrix- Destination Imagination

Copy the Instant Challenge Matrix and follow the directions for the activity. You may have participants create their design with the materials listed in the activity or draw a picture of their design instead.

Teamwork Discussion:

Did everyone participate in the activity? Did someone assume a leadership role? Did someone take the lead on designing? Why it important to know your team members strengths and talents when working on a project? Is there anything you would have done differently working with your team?

Contest: PASE/Life Challenge

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PASE and Life Challenge are just two of the state level events that 4-H youth can participate in during the summer. It is a two day event held each year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus. Both events offer career exploration opportunities, tours, presentations, and competitive contests. The PASE and Life Challenge events take place in June each year on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus.

PASE or the Premier Animal Science Event is designed to help youth learn about issues related to the animal industry, explore careers, compete against other 4-H youth from across the state, and have fun! Youth who participate in PASE have the opportunity to participate in livestock judging, meats judging, and poultry judging contests. A livestock skill-a-thon and quiz bowl are also available for youth to participate. 4-H members can participate in multiple different contests throughout the two days. Youth also have the opportunity to explore UNL East Campus through guided tours and meet with current faculty members and college students. PASE is open to any current 4-H members who is 10 and older before January 1st of the current year and can be registered through your local Extension office.

Life Challenge is a two day event designed to help youth learn about and face issues in the Family and Consumer Sciences field, explore careers, and interact with other 4-H youth from across the state. Youth who participate in Life Challenge have the opportunity to participate in family and consumer science challenges on topics such as clothing and textile science, food scarcity, child development, and entrepreneurship! Life Challenge participants also have the opportunity to explore UNL East Campus through campus tours with current students, meet faculty members and have fun meeting new friends. Youth who are at least 10 years of age, and older, as of January 1st of the current year are eligible to participate in Life Challenge and can be registered through your local Extension office.

Youth who participate in PASE and Life Challenge have the opportunity to stay on UNL East Campus in the residence halls. Experiencing East Campus like true college students for the duration of the contests. For more information PASE and Life challenge visit: For more information on how youth can participate for your county contact your local Nebraska Extension office.

Crop Programming Opportunities

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7th Annual Innovative Youth Corn Challenge

Do you enjoy being outside? Learning new things about crops? Considering a career involving crops, insects, diseases, soils, water or more? Do you want to help figure out how to feed our world’s growing population in a sustainable way?

Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Corn Board are offering the seventh Innovative Youth Corn Challenge contest. This contest, open to 4-H members (age 10 & older as of Jan. 1st) or FFA members (in-school members), guides participants through all aspects of corn production, as well as agricultural careers related to corn production.

As a team (2 or more participants), youth will be challenged to implement a production practice different than normal to determine if they increased their yield. Economics and sustainability of the practice will also be considered. Yields, cropping history, and production information will be collected in the Corn Yield Challenge management summary.

Cash prizes and plaques are given. First place receives $1,000, second place receives $500, and third place receives $250. Sustainability, crop scouting and “extra mile” awards are also given as cash awards.

To participate in 2018, youth must complete and return an entry form by March 15th to the Fillmore County Extension Office in Geneva, NE. Forms can be downloaded after January 1st at For more information, contact Brandy VanDeWalle at

Youth Crop Scouting Competition

Nebraska Extension also offers the 5th annual Crop Scouting Competition for Nebraska youth. This contest is at the ARDC near Mead, Nebraska on July 26th, 2018. The event includes indoor and outdoor events. Teams of junior high and high school students (those completing 7-12th grades) are invited to participate.

Clubs or other organizations may enter a team composed of three to five participants. An adult team leader must accompany each team. Team leaders could be FFA advisors, crop consultants, extension staff, coop employees, etc.

Top-scoring teams win prizes: $500 for first, $250 for second, $100 for third place. Top two teams are eligible for regional competition in August at Nebraska.

Teams are expected to know basics of scouting corn and soybean fields. This includes crop staging; looking for patterns of crop injury; disease, insect and weed seedling identification; etc. Other topics may include but are not limited to, pesticide safety, nutrient disorders, and herbicide injury.

More information about the crop scouting competition and instructions on how to register a team are available online at

Teams must be registered by July 16th. This program is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, Nebraska Independent Crop Consultant Association and Nebraska Extension.

What Is "Issue Team: Healthy Lifestyles for Children" up to?

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The Problem: Nearly one in three children in the United States are overweight or obese. Obese children have an increased risk for chronic illness and miss more school days and have poorer academic outcomes than their normal-eight peers.

Issue Team: Healthy Lifestyles: Create community, school and home environments that promote healthy lifestyles for children and youth. With the goal of educating youth on good nutrition as well as promoting physical activity, Issue team: Healthy Lifestyles set out to find a well-established curricula that advocates for both.

The Solution: CATCH (Coordinated Approach To Child Health) promotes physical activity and healthy food choices in preschool through middle school aged children and their families. CATCH is based on the Center for Disease Control - Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model in which health education, school environment, and family/community involvement work together to support youth in a healthy lifestyle.

CATCH incorporates fun nutrition lessons with excited games specifically designed to keep all of the kids engaged in the activity the entire time. Some of the nutrition lessons include GO, SLOW, WHOA foods, Snacks, Screen-Time, Beverages, Breakfast, Fast Foods, and Bone Health. Many of the physical activities resemble the tried and true games that we grew up with but they’ve been CATCH-ified. For instance, tag no longer has the tagged sitting on the sidelines. Instead, the tagged step out, do an exercise and jump back in. Keeping all kids running the whole time.

CATCH produces lasting changes in dietary and physical activity behaviors. The main CATCH intervention trial found program effects for reducing fat consumption and increasing physical activity in children and adolescents. These changes were maintained three years post intervention. Better physical fitness in correlation with better academic achievement: 60 minutes of physical activity per day improved math and reading achievement among elementary school students.

CATCH is cost effective. A cost-effectiveness study found that cost-effectiveness ratio for CATCH, or the intervention costs per quality-adjusted life years (QALY), to be $889.68. Historically, the U.S. adopts health care treatments that cost less than $50,000 per QALY; therefore, the CATCH program is an excellent public investment. The CATCH program costs $68,125 less per person than the estimated present value of future costs incurred if the person were not exposed to the CATCH program.


CATCH website. (2017).

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Childhood Obesity Facts. Retrieved from

Teens as Teachers

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The 4-H youth development program knows the value of providing leadership opportunities for youth. 4-H youth can become leaders in many ways. Research shows that youth, who are involved in leadership activities, develop a greater sense of self-esteem, confidence, social competence, and more effective coping skills. Participating in the 4-H Leadership project is a great way for youth to learn valuable leadership skills and develop important personal skills. There are opportunities for young children and teens to lead in many places—at home, in clubs and youth groups, at school, and in their community.

In 1927, the 4-H pledge was adopted and included the importance of service in the third line. “I pledge my Hands to larger service.” Ever since then, every time a 4-H member recites the pledge, they are reminded of the importance of serving their “club, community, country and world.”

Young people are increasingly seeking out opportunities to improve the world by volunteering their service to projects they deem to be important. Communities enjoy benefits far beyond the financial aspects when youth contribute to service projects. When teens volunteer, this often results in them becoming life-long volunteers. Their community gains a generation of young people who care about where they live and are willing to make a commitment to improvement it.

Teens say the major reasons why they volunteer or teach younger youth within the 4-H program is to help them feel compassion for others; they can do something for a cause in which they believe; they believe that if they help others, others will help them. They think their efforts can have a positive impact on youth and their communities. Youth who volunteer, gain important job skills and experience while exploring career options. Young people who volunteer, expand their social circle and enhance their social awareness.

Adult mentors can encourage teens to volunteer by asking them to volunteer at an early age. Teens who volunteer can deepen their own content knowledge by teaching others. Those teens serve as positive role models to younger youth as well as their own peers. They learn to adapt to different situations and develop time management and supervision skills by teaching others. Skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

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Fisheries & Wildlife

If you have a passion for nature, love being outside, and want a career working with animals, the Fisheries and Wildlife degree program at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln might just be for you.

Within UNL’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Fisheries and Wildlife is a hands- on, experience focused major that can lead to many careers in the industry. The program has so many facets that it requires students to choose an option within the major to tailor the degree to what you want to study. The seven degree options range from Fisheries Ecology and Management, to Zoo Animal Care, and even Law Enforcement. You can also choose more than one option if there are multiple that interest you!

Students with this degree can go on to work at zoos, agencies at the local, state, or governmental level, non-profit organizations, nature centers, and many other establishments that manage our world’s fish and wildlife populations. They also are highly qualified for postgraduate programs if they are wantingwant to further their education. We have students who have taken this degree around the world as well. From studying in other countries such as Argentina and Botswana, to finding jobs in almost every US state, the demand for these positions is spreading across the globe.

If you would like more information about the Fisheries and Wildlife degree program offered at UNL or want to schedule a campus visit, please contact Carly Horstman at or 402-472-4445!

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