Thurston County 4-H News

April 2019

Upcoming Dates

April 1 - 4-H Council Senior Scholarship DUE

April 5-6- Siouxland Garden Show@ Sioux City

April 7-13 - National Volunteer Week

April 8- Joint 4-H Council Meeting @ Dakota City (7:00 pm)

April 11 - Butter Braids pick up @ Extension Office ( 5:00 pm)

April 15- Nebraska 4-H Camp Early Bird Registration DUE

April 26- Office Closed- Arbor Day

May 1- Drop/Add 4-H projects DUE

May 10- Horse: County ID DUE & District & State Entries DUE

May 13- Thurston County 4-H Meeting

May 17- Norhteast Regional 4-H Speech Contest Registration DUE

May 27- Office Closed -- Memorial Day

May 29- Dakota- Thurston County Sheep & Goat Weigh- In @ Fairgrounds (6:00-8:00 pm)

May 31- Northeast Regional 4-H Speech Contest @ WSC

May 31- Ponca Day Camp Registration DUE

Need to Know

Office Assistant Position

Our part-time Office Assistant position is open at the office, which may mean that there isn't always someone in the office as Jennifer & Stacey are often out programming. But please call, email, or text us if you need something urgently and to check if someone will be in the office.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this position, please send them our way.

"The Thurston County Extension Office will be accepting applications for part time (15 hrs/week) position as an office assistant. This position requires a person who is a self-starter, highly self-motivated and flexible. Qualifications are: customer service skills; a working knowledge of Microsoft Suite, Internet, and financial management; organizational and communication skills and a valid Nebraska driver’s license. Must pass a criminal background check and the 4-H volunteer screening. Additional information about this position can be found online at at or at the Extension Office. Cover letter, resume and references may be sent to Nebraska Extension in Thurston County, 415 Main Street, PO Box 665, Pender, NE 68047. For more information please contact Nebraska Extension Educator Jennifer Hansen at 402-385-6041. Thurston County is an Equal Opportunity Employer."

Busy Programming - Out of the Office

Seems that we are always busy. Either programming or more programming, so we might see the youth at some of our different events. To make sure we are in the office when you need us, we suggest calling or contacting us to make sure we will be around.

Days we know that we'll both be out of the office are:

April 10, 11, & 17.

Flood Resources

For those of you effect by the resent flooding, UNL & Nebraska Extension have a variety of resources available at If you need assistance with an individual question or situation please reach out to our office for help. We are here to support you during this time.

4-H Foundation Announces Flood Relief Fund to Support Nebraska Families

The Nebraska 4-H Foundation has created a Flood Relief Fund to support children, youth and families impacted by the recent storms and floods.

There is another fund that may be of interest to your 4-H families and friends. The 4-H’ers Helping 4-H’ers Fund offers a giving opportunity to 4-H clubs and councils as well as individuals and businesses to support 4-H youth and families.

Information on both funds is available on the Nebraska 4-H Foundation website:

If you have questions or need additional information, please call or email Stu Shepherd at

Middle School Summer Career Exploration Camp

May, 28-31. 9 am - 2:30 pm daily. Beemer, NE

Grades: 6-8 in the 18-19 year

Registrations are on a first come first serve basis with preference given to students qualifying for Free and Reduced Lunch.

Explore Careers! - Pathways 2 Tomorrow is sponsoring one four-day camp at local colleges, businesses, and P2T in Beemer for Middle School students.

This camp allows campers to:

  • Explore the NDE career clusters
  • Hear guest speakers
  • Tour businesses
  • Participate in hands-on classroom/networking activities

Apply by noon on April 15th

Check it out at for detailed program information and application materials.

2019 Big Red Summer Academic Camps

The 2019 Big Red Summer Academic Camps, to be held June 9-14, 2019, are just around the corner! New camp for 2019 is Animation! Also offered for this summer are: Engineering, Outdoor Nebraska, Unicameral Youth Legislature, Filmmaking, Teaching, Veterinary Science and Weather and Climate Science.

Big Red Summer Academic Camps are residential, career exploration camps held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Youth will have the opportunity to explore the UNL campus, meet people from across the country, spend time investigating an interest or potential career, and have a lot of fun! During the week-long camps, participants will work with UNL faculty to explore the topic of their particular camp. After spending several fun-filled days on campus, participants' families are invited to attend a special capstone event where campers will showcase their achievements.

Big Red Summer Academic Camps are open to all youth grades 10th-12th including recent high school graduates. All housing and food is provided for participants throughout the duration of the camp. Partial and Full scholarships available!!! FULL SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE for the Discover Teaching Camp! Early Bird registration ends April 15th!

More information about Big Red Camps is also available online at

Member Info

All Contest Day! Results

4-H Youth showed off their skills at the Dakota& Thurston County All Contest Day held at St Luke’s Lutheran Church in Emerson, Nebraska on Saturday morning March 23rd. 4-H’ers participated in Public Speaking, Favorite Foods and Music Contest. Judges for the event were LaRita Stewart and Robin Johnson.

Music Contest Results:

VOCAL SOLOS- Junior Division

Annika Jensen (Blue)

VOCAL DUET– Junior Division

Khloe Swanson & Brylea Mosser (Purple, Best of Show)


Alexis Bodlak (Purple)

DANCE INDIVIDUAL – Junior Division

Amaryn Bodlak (Purple)

DANCE GROUP – Junior Division

Rachael Bousquet, Makenna Maise, Jenni Olson (Blue)

Codi Olson & Calie Cockburn (Blue)

Favorite Foods Contest Results:

Junior Division

Grand Champion: Payton Hermelbracht

Reserve Champion: Shaylee Sanderson

Purple: Payton Hermelbracht, Shaylee Sanderson, Khloe Swanson, Jenni Olson

Blue: Annika Jensen, Brylea Mosser, Harper Jensen

Intermediate Division

Grand Champion: Nate Sanderson

Reserve Champion: Rylie Hermelbracht

Purple: Nate Sanderson, Rylie Hermelbracht

Blue: Codi Olson, Calie Cockburn

Public Speaking Contest:

Junior division:

Rylie Hermelbracht – My Family in 4-H (Purple, Grand Champion)

Payton Hermelbracht - CloverkId Sheep Project (Purple, Reserve Champion)

Senior Division:

Adreanna Dunn – Deer Hunting (Purple, Grand Champion)

All three 4-H’ers earned the privilege to compete at the Regional Public Speaking Contest to be held in Wayne on May 23rd.

Drone Workshop Open to 4-H Families

We have a new business in Fremont that is called “Infinite 8” and they work with drones. They are hosting a beginner drone workshop and shared the details with me. I thought I would pass this along to you to share with your 4-Hers/families as well.

Drone Workshop Open to 4-H Families

4-H Families are invited to attend a Drone Workshop at Infinite 8 in Fremont on Wednesday, April 10th at 5:30 pm. This workshop will have presentations from a licensed drone pilot and an opportunity for Q&A. The workshop will cover the basics, such as how to become a drone pilot. Additional content will be formulated through the Q&A.

If you are interested in Drone Technology and would like to experience and learn from the professionals, please plan to attend.

What: Drone Workshop

When: Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Time: 5:30 pm

Where: 544 N. Main Street, Fremont, NE

Conducted by: Infinite 8

Cost: FREE!!!

Tractor Safety certification

The most common cause of agricultural-related death in Nebraska is overturned tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Employing anyone uncertified under age 16 is a liability risk for farmers if those children operate such equipment.

Nebraska Extension’s Tractor Safety & Hazardous Occupations Courses take place at 12 Nebraska locations this year for teens 14 or 15 years of age who will work on a farm. Anyone older than 15 is also welcome to attend, but those under age 14 are not eligible to take the class. Extensive training on tractor and ATV safety occurs during in-class lessons with hands-on activities. Instilling an attitude of safety and a respect for agricultural equipment is the primary goal of the course.

The first day of classroom instruction includes hands-on demonstrations, concluding with a written test. Classroom instruction will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. Students are required to pass the test before taking the driving test on day two. The second day will include a physical driving test with equipment operation and ATV safety lessons. To receive certification, students must demonstrate competence in hitching and unhitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course. In most locations, instructors will offer an ATV simulator experience to learn about safe behaviors and laws for ATVs and UTVs. Students will also complete homework assignments for the second day.

Instructors for the course include staff members of Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health: Aaron Yoder, PhD, Ellen Duysen, Daniel Kent, and UNMC student Jill Oatman.

All on-site classes begin at 8:00 A.M. and end times will vary, depending on the number of participants.

June 20 & 21, Wayne Fairgrounds Register call: 402-375-3310

Thank you for keeping our youth safe.

Club of the Month

Each month a 4-H club is chosen as the Nebraska 4-H Club of the Month by the Nebraska 4-H Foundation. In order to be chosen, 4-H clubs must nominate themselves by filling out the applications found at The club that is chosen as Club of the Month will be acknowledge for their achievements, service projects, and awards! Winners will receive a $50 check from the Nebraska 4-H Foundation and will be recognized statewide! Good luck!

N|150 Celebration - Flat Herbie Tour the Town

Flat Herbie is here to celebrate this milestone. Cut out Herbie and make him part of your community by taking him on a tour of your town. Snap a picture of him at local events, favorite landmarks, or 4-H activities. Upload the pictures to your social media channels with #N150Herbie or email us at We encourage everyone (students, faculty, staff, 4-H families, and alumni) to get in on the fun with Flat Herbie throughout 2019!

The first 12 individuals to participate and tag #thurston4h will receive a N|150 Lighted Bouncy Ball.

County Fair

Showing Dress Code *Changes*

17. 4-H Dress code - All exhibitors of livestock are required to wear a predominately white, black, or grey 4-H t-shirt (Extension Office approved) or plain white long sleeve shirt (button down with collar) no ruffles or fancy lace), and dark blue denim jeans. Exhibitors wearing plain white shirts must wear a 4-H armband. Exhibitors of large animals and/or horses are required to wear hard sole shoes. Dog exhibitors need to wear soft soled shoes. Horse exhibitors see equine section for specific dress code guidelines.

18. FFA Dress Code - FFA Shirt and dark blue denim jeans.

19. 4-H’ers participating in the Bonus Auction should adhere to Dress Code rules #17 & #18

Bonus Auction *Change*

The Bonus Auction Committee has removed Breeding Beef as an eligible exhibit for the Bonus Auction. Eligible exhibits are as follows:

  • Beef - Bucket Calf, Feeder Calf, Market Steer/Heifer
  • Swine - Market Gilt/Barrow
  • Sheep - Market Lamb
  • Goat - Market Goat
  • Rabbit - Champion from Meat classes - G961 - Classes 901, 902 & 903
  • Poultry - Champion Brioler from class G951-916

N|150 Stepping Stone Showcase

4-H members are invited to show their creativity and University of Nebraska pride by creating a stepping stone that represents the N|150 milestone. Stepping stones will be exhibited at local counties fairs, and one stepping stone from each county will be chosen to be displayed at the Nebraska State Fair at the Raising Nebraska landscape.

  • Stepping stones may be made out of any materials. Keep in mind that fairgoers may step on the stones while on display, therefore, they should be durable.
  • Stepping stones should be 8 inches by 8-inch squares.
  • Design: N|150 themed or In Our Grit, Our Glory themed
  • Each county will select one for display at Raising Nebraska. It will not be eligible to be judged in any other class at State Fair.

Photography Unit 3 Exhibit Print

4-H members enrolled in Mastering Photography Unit 3 are invited to celebrate N|150 by exhibiting in the Theme Print (Class B182060) at their local counties fairs. The top exhibit(s) from each county will be selected to advance to the Nebraska State Fair. February 15, 2019 marks 150 years of history to appreciate, impact to unpack, and stories to tell. How has the University of Nebraska impacted you, your family, or your community? How can you tell this story through photography?

Dakota Thurston County Fair Activity Passes

This pass is a $30 value and is being sold for $15

The Pass includes 1 entry into each of the following events:

  • Tractor Pull
  • Dueling Pianos
  • Extreme Bull Riding

If you are interested in purchasing these passes, please contact the Fair Manager at

Fair Book Changes

Animal Science

An exhibitor (4-H or FFA) is limited to two market animals & two breeding heifers. Any combination of classes is allowed. *Change*

Market Beef - animals must be registered by the official breed association to be exhibited in breed classes

901.Angus Steers

902.Shorthorn Steers

903.Hereford Steers

904.Crossbred Steers

905.Angus Heifers

906.Shorthorn Heifers

907.Hereford Heifers

908.Crossbred Heifers

909.Club Pen of 3

Breeding Beef

901. Commercial Breed Heifers

902. Limousin Breed Heifers

903. LimFlex Breed Heifers

904. Maine-Anjou Breed Heifers

905. Maintainer Breed Heifers

906. Red Angus Breed Heifers

907. Shorthorn Breed Heifers

908. Shorthorn Plus Breed Heifers

909. Simmental Breed Heifers

910. Foundation Breed Heifers

911. AOB (All Other Breeds) Breed Heifers

912. Angus Breed Heifers

913. Charolais Breed Heifers

914. Composite Charolais Breed Heifers

915. Chianina Breed Heifers

916. Gelbvieh Breed Heifers

917. Balancer Breed Heifers

918. Hereford and Polled Hereford Breed Heifers


· The written (only) Level 1 test must be completed by the fair pre-entry deadline (mid-July) for all youth meeting the minimum equine intermediate age level of 12 as of January 1st of the current year.

· If the written (only) Level 1 test has not been completed, intermediate age and up youth will not be allowed to participate in the Dakota-Thurston County 4-H Horse Show.

· Written Level 1 test will be administered by either a certified Level 1 or 2 horse leader or by the local Extension Office. Testing appointments will be required by the Extension Office.

Information about what will be covered on this test can be found at

Fair Book Notices

Cow-Calf Project

No embryo transfer calves, as class is based upon genetic transfer from mother to offspring.

Feeder Calf

If one of your feeder calves is out of your Returning Cow (First Calf-Cow/Calf Pair), then you would be allowed to have 2 entries in either the Feeder Calf Steer class or Feeder Calf Heifer class.

Family & Consumer Sciences

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Plant Science

Midwest’s Biggest Garden Event

LINCOLN — Spring Affair, the Midwest’s largest plant sale and garden event, will be Saturday, April 27 at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Arboretum Director Christina Hoyt said, “We love watching peoples’ faces as they walk into a huge pavilion full of fresh new plants, especially after a long winter like this.”

There’s a plant for every garden, with more than 800 different varieties of perennials, herbs, grasses, trees, shrubs and other plants available. They are selected for regional suitability, uniqueness and popular demand and provided by Bluebird Nursery, Inc., of Clarkson, Neb. It is sponsored by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum as an educational tool, fundraising event and to promote regional plants.

For information and inspiration, half-hour plant talks include: Landscape Designer & Urban Planner

Mark Canney on “The Suburban Landscape Re-imagined” at 10 a.m.; and Green Infrastructure Coordinator Justin Evertson on “The 10 best shrubs for the home landscape” at 11 a.m.

Admission to the sale is free. The plant sale, presentations, educational booths and vendors of garden-related items are all in Pavilion I of the Lancaster Event Center with plenty of free parking.

For best plant choices, the Spring Affair Preview Party is Friday night, April 26. This ticketed event from 6-9 p.m. includes hors d’oeuvres with friends, cash bar, live music and the first selection of plants before the Saturday sale. Tickets range from $32-$41. More at

Animal Science

Upcoming Area Shows & Contests

Youth for the Quality Care of Animals - YQCA

YQCA is available as an online program for youth everywhere in the United States. YQCA in-person workshops may be available to where state 4-H or FFA offices or stat/national livestock organization have partnered to have qualified trainers offer in-personal workshops. This is what Nebraska 4-H/FFA have adopted this year and so we will be using the new system. Instructions on how to use the online system can be found at:


Online – 3 modules @ $12 total (to receive full certification you must complete 3)

OR Face-2-Face training @ $3 total Scheduled for May 23rd, 9:30-11:30 am @ the Pender Fire Hall.

OR Test Out for Intermediate @ $36 or Senior @ $48

Thurston County 4-H Council has voted to provide scholarships for these fees of the online or face-to-face sessions after youth fill out a short form. Found here:

Any tradition 4-H member (8-18) in your family that is enrolled in a beef, goat, poultry, rabbit, sheep and/or swine project must be certified to show at county and state fair! If you have questions please contact us!

Here are some quick Log In Instructions:

1. Go to from your computer browser and select Sign In/Register Tab

2. Sign in and register using the 4-H Online box

3. Select the name of your organization from the pick list Nebraska 4-H Youth Development

4. Use your 4-H Online user name and password to start the process

5. Select the member name taking the course

6. Select the age of the member in the appropriate box

7. When the age is selected the appropriate courses will be selected

8. Select online choice (Instructor led class will be developed by your local instructor)

9. Select payment method credit card or if you have received a coupon code from your Extension Office you will enter it at this time to purchase the courses

10. After completing the three courses be sure to save and print out a completion certificate and take it to your Extension Office

11. If you encounter problems you can contact

District & State Horse Show Changes

The horse advisory group have approved several changes for the 2019 4-H horse program. Here is the link to the webinar recording addressing these changes:

District Horse Show:

1. An individual and/or horse may enter ALL CLASSES level 2 classes at Districts, meaning 1 Western Pleasure, 1 Western Horsemanship, 1 Hunter Under Saddle, 1 Hunt Seat Equitation, 1 Reining, 1 Barrel Racing and 1 Pole Bending.

Fonner Park State 4-H Expo:

1. An individual and/or horse may enter all advanced classes (if they have passed their level 3), meaning 1 Advanced Western Pleasure, 1 Advanced Western Horsemanship, 1 Advanced Hunter Under Saddle, and 1 Advanced Hunt Seat Equitation as long as they ride a different horse then they competed with at the District Horse Show for level 2 classes.

2. There will be an additional age group for the following classes: Western Pleasure, Western Horsemanship, and Showmanship. For these classes only the age groups will be as follows: Elementary – 10 to 11; Junior – 12 to 14; Senior – 15+. All other classes will have only two age groups: Junior – 10 to 14 and Senior – 15+.

3. The addition of a Level 3 Miniature/Shetland Pony In-Hand Trail Class.

4. Trail will move to the outdoor arena on Monday following the conclusion of Showmanship. It will run all afternoon and we will not conclude the class until the evening so that anyone competing in the Horse Judging Contest/Hippology could compete in trail after the conclusion of those contests.

5. Trail will have only one judge and be judged using the 0 to infinity scale for scoring.

6. New class Miniature/Shetland Pony In-Hand Trail will be offered (Level 3 class).

7. English and Western Dressage Level 2 will ride: English - Training Level Test 3 ( or Western - Basic Level Test 4 (

8. English and Western Dressage Level 3 will ride: English - First Level Test 3 ( or Western - Level 1 Test 4 (

9. Schedule changes so please refer to the schedule posted on the webpage. Sometimes may be adjusted as we get closer and have a better idea of entries.

General Changes:

1. Helmet – ASTM/SEI approved safety helmets with a harness are required in ALL hunt seat classes. Hunting cap or derby is NOT acceptable in any classes.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Northeast Nebraska 4-H Horse Show

Make plans now to attend the Northeast Nebraska 4-H Horse Show on June 5th starting at 4:00 pm. The show will be held at the Ridge Ranch Arena (Ray and Dorla Hermelbracht) near Homer, Nebraska. This show will feature a clinic like atmosphere with one on one interaction with the judge, and ribbons will be awarded to all riders. Roping and working ranch classes will begin at 4:00 pm with pleasure, horsemanship, reining, pole bending and barrel racing starting at 5:30 pm. A pre-registration fee of $10 per horse and rider and $5 for the roping and working ranch horse events is due by May 30th. Registrations will be taken the day of the show at $15 per horse and rider and $10 for the roping and working ranch horse events. For more information or a registration forms go to or contact the Nebraska Extension in Thurston County at 402-385-6041.

2019 Nebraska District 4-H Horse Shows

2019 Districts Dates and Sites

  • June 10 - Bloomfield
  • June 11- Elkhorn
  • June 12- Ord
  • June 13- Ogallala
  • June 14- McCook

Reminder: All entries are due to the county office by May 10, 2019. All Level testing required for participation in the 2019 district 4-H Horse Show MUST be completed by May 10, 2019.

All entries for the State Horse Show must be mailed by May 10, 2019. These include Showmanship, Halter, All Cattle Classes, Hunter Hack, Dressage, Advanced Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Equitation, Western Pleasure and Horsemanship, Trail, 2 year old and 3 year old Western Pleasure and Working Ranch.

2019 Fonner Park 4-H Horse Show July 14-18, 2019

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