Thurston County 4-H News

May 2016

Upcoming Dates

May 2 - Drop/Add 4-H Project DUE

May 2 - Favorite Foods & Presentation Contest Registration DUE

May 4 - Favorite Foods & Presentation Contest @ Dakota City (7:00 pm)

May 9 - Thurston County 4-H Council Meeting

May 12 - Northeast Regional 4-H Speech Contest Registration DUE

May 13 - Horse: County ID DUE & District & State Entries DUE

May 26 - Northeast Regional 4-H Speech Contest @ Norfolk (2:00 pm)

May 30 - Office Closed - Memorial Day

June 1 - Dakota-Thurston County Sheep & Goat Weigh-In @ Fairgrounds (6-8pm)

June 13 - Rabbit Tatto Party @ Extension Office (5:15pm by appointment)

June 15 - Quality Assurance Deadline

June 15 - Ak-Sar-Ben DNA DUE

June 15 - All Livestock Affidavits DUE

June 17 - Ponca Day Camp Registration DUE

June 19-21 - PASE/Life Challenge @ UNL

June 27 - Ponca Counselor Training

June 28 - Ponca Day Camp

July 4 - Office Closed - 4th of July Holiday

July 10-14 - State Horse Show @ Fonner Park, Grand Island

July 11 - Thurston County 4-H Council Meeting

July 20 - ALL Dakota-Thurston County Pre-Fair Entries DUE

July 27 - 4-H Clothing Day Judging @ Emerson

July 30 - Pre-Fair Clean Up

July 31-Aug 2 - Pre-Fair Judging Shows


Need To Know

Summer Workshops

We are excited to announce our summer workshops for youth. We will be holding several sessions every week in June and July. Several of these camps will be open to all ages but others, like the Clover Kid Camp, will be for either older or younger youth. Come join us for an exciting summer of learning. To register go here: or get more information follow this link:

  • Babysitting Clinic - June 1 OR 2 (same session offered twice)
  • Computer Coding Workshop - June 7 (same session offered twice, morning & afternoon)
  • Knitting Workshop - June 9
  • Barn Quilts Workshop - June 14 (Part #1) & June 16 (Part #2)
  • Young Entrepreneurs Camp - June 20-24
  • Ponca Day Camp - June 28
  • Clover Kid Camp - June 30
  • WeDo Lego Workshop - July 6-8
  • Robotics Workshop - July 6-8
  • Meals for Beginners - July 12

Horse ID Deadline

May 13th is the final day to get your Horse ID's to the office. This includes any that you might show at county fair. It is also the deadline to enter for the District and State Horse Contest. If you need more information go to: or

4-H Grow True Leaders Campaign

The National 4-H Grow True Leaders campaign has been launched. Connect with your family, friends, and community to create a social media Shout Out. Share "Shout Outs" through soical media including the #TrueLeaders and #NE4H hashtags. Represent 4-H and show those that 4-H is growing and has grown into True Leaders.

Dakota-Thurston County Fair Theme 2016

The Dakota-Thurston County Fair board has shared with us this year's theme. "Sew It, Grow It, Show It." If you have an idea how to incorporate this into your fair experience let your club leaders know!

Late Entry Policy

The Joint 4-H Council created the following rule at their November 5, 2012 meeting. Late fair entries will be accepted for one week following the entry deadline and will be accessed a $10 late fee per individual for the Dakota-Thurston County Fair.

4-H King & Queen Contest

It's time to be thinking about the 2016 Dakota-Thurston County Fair! If you are between the ages of 14 & 19, you are eligible to compete for the title of 4-H King or Queen. If you are interested, please read through the rules and complete the entry form available online at Applications will be due June 30th, with interviews taking place in July. If you have any questions contact Sandy Ahlers at

State Fair Book Updates & Changes

The 2016 4-H State Fair book is available online. The animal exhibits at this link: and the static exhibits at: The Dakota~Thurston County Fair book very closely follows the state fair book so as you begin thinking about your fair exhibits please feel free to check out the State Fair book. The 4-H pages of our county fair book are up online at

Member Information

Favorite Foods Revue Contest

Get your silver shined up, the tablecloth pressed and test your favorite recipe. It’s time to prepare for the Favorite Foods Revue Contest. The contest will be held on May 4th in Dakota City at 7 pm. Please Select and prepare a favorite recipe, plan a menu which includes a favorite food and a theme to go with it. Write the menu and recipe on a 4” x 6” card. Prepare a centerpiece and a place setting for one, on a standard size card table (you must supply your own card table). The favorite food may be displayed as the whole product or as one serving. Tables should be in place 30 minutes prior to judging. This contest is divided into Novice, Junior, Intermediate and Senior divisions. This is subject to change based on the number of youth entering the contest, contest may be divided into Junior and Senior Divisions. Check out the county website for more information:

Please pre-register if you want to participate by calling the office (402-385-6041) or email Stacey ( by May 2nd!

Presentation Contest

The 2016 Presentation Contest will be held in conjunction with the Favorite Foods Revue on Wednesday, May 4th at 7:00 p.m. in Dakota City. All 4-H members are encouraged to prepare a presentation this year at the contest. This is an excellent activity to showcase your talents. Check out the county website for more information:

Please pre-register by calling the office (402-385-6041) or email Stacey ( with the following information by May 2nd!

Registration Information:


4-H Age (as of January 1, 2016)

Title of Presentation

Type of presentation: (Poster, power-point, multi-media)

Interview Judging Contest

You are invited to Northeast Nebraska in May for an special area Interview Contest competition. All the same rules and requirements will remain in place.

We will conduct the area Interview Contest at the Norfolk Life Long Learning Center. We will be sending out more information as the event date nears but for now…

  • Reserve the Date: May 26th
  • Interview Contest resumes and Cover letters will be due: May 12 to Mary Jarvi at the Norfolk District office.
  • Ribbons and Trophies will be awarded.
  • Intermediate and Sr. Division eligible.

Please direct your questions to : Kim Bearnes

4-H PASE/Life Challenge Contest

Each summer, over 500 4-H'ers convene at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus to test their skills in animal science and family and consumer sciences during PASE (Premier Animal Science Events) and Life Challenge. Teens compete in a variety of different contests including: livestock, meats and poultry judging, livestock skillathon, livestock quiz bowl, life challenges and clover challenge. While on campus, young people have the opportunity to take part in faculty-led workshops, campus tours, and special sessions by UNL recruiters. This year the contests are June 19-21 at the UNL East Campus. Contact the Extension Office if you would like more information or would like to participate.

2016 4-H Photography Nebraska Exhibit Theme

Nebraska Exhibit Print: Help us celebrate the national “4-H Grows Here” campaign. For both Unit II and Unit III will capture photos of people and places that illustrate 4-H growing and thriving in Nebraska! Your photos should tell a story about how “4-H Grows Here” in your local community. Please print and include the 4-H Grows Here! logo in your photos. The logo can be accessed at

Nebraska 4-H Club of the Month

Each month, a 4-H club will be chosen as the Nebraska 4-H Club of the Month. In order to be chosen, 4-H clubs must nominate themselves by application the second Friday of the month before. Each club chosen will receive a $50 cash card from the Nebraska 4-H Foundation along with a certificate that the club can display. The Club of the Month’s story will be featured on the Nebraska 4-H Foundation Facebook and Twitter pages, website, and blog. More information can be found at

Family & Consumer Sciences

Nebraska Mystery Foods Event

The Second Annual Nebraska Mystery Foods Event will be held on Friday, June 3, 2016, at Raising Nebraska, located in Grand Island, NE. This event challenges teams of youth ages 10 to 18 to use their creativity, nutrition knowledge, and decision making to make a dish onsite which includes mystery ingredients. This event is open to all youth. More information will be coming soon!

2016 Nebraska State Fair 4-H Culinary Challenge Contest

The 4-H Culinary Challenge Contest will require youth will to demonstrate healthy decision making through nutrition, food preparation, menu planning, and food safety, utilizing foods and nutrition curriculum. County teams of two 4-H members will have the opportunity to advance to the 4-H Culinary Challenge Contest, which will be held the first weekend of the Nebraska State Fair. A challenge ingredient will be selected each year, highlighting a Nebraska commodity-food product. The 2016 challenge ingredient is SQUASH. For more information contact the Extension Office.


4-H Summer Camps

Attention youth! Are you ready for a fun adventure this summer? Consider joining youth around the state for an awesome adventure. The 4-H camps are open to everyone between the ages of 5-18 (do not have to be a 4-H member). There are over 40 day and night camping programs and trips offered for youth to enjoy at the three locations (Halsey, Gretna, and different destinations). Please contact the extension office for a camp brochure or visit the Nebraska 4-H Youth Development website at Come make memories this summer at Nebraska 4-H Camps!!

Camperships Available

As the camping season is right around the corner, we know many of you are receiving requests for assistance to offset camp expenses.

Again this year, with the support of the Nebraska 4-H Foundation, we are able to offer a limited number of $100 camperships to assist families who may not otherwise be able to send their child to camp. You do not have to be enrolled in 4-H to request this support. If you know of somebody who might be interested in requesting a campership please have them contact the Extension Office. We will help them take the right steps and even give them a recommendation.

Save the Date for Ponca Day Camp

Come get a taste of camp in your own backyard at this year’s 4-H Ponca Day Camp. It will be held at Ponca State Park on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. All 4-H members and their friends ages 8-11 in Cedar, Dakota, Dixon, Thurston, and Wayne counties are invited to attend this hands-on camp. Camp sessions include - Mobile Science Lab, Animal Explorations, Honeybee Challenge, True North, True Courage, Lunch & Snacks, & Swimming. For complete registration/health statement please contact the UNL Extension Office in Thurston County. Registrations are due by Friday, June 17, 2016. More information can be found at: Come on! Camp can’t get any closer!

Plant Science

Nebraska Youth Range Camp

The 53rd Nebraska Youth Range Camp will be held June 6 – 10, 2016 at the Nebraska State 4-H Camp in Halsey. Please spread the word and encourage students to get their application in! Eligible students need to be between the ages of 14 – 18. We have an online application available this year and we will also accept applications by mail or email. You can find the forms here:

We will be teaching the new Range Judging rules that will be used this fall; come and learn it first!! The Nebraska Youth Range Camp consists of a four-and-a-half day dynamic curriculum that appeals to students with a wide array of interests including, but not limited to, rangeland management, conservation, ecology, animal science, and wildlife.

The students that attend this camp will be actively involved with field activities, lectures, hand-on experience, and recreational leadership and team-building activities that are all led by up to 20 of Nebraska’s most respected and dedicated leaders, teachers, and professionals from various agencies, colleges, and universities. Each student will be sent home with a binder that is filled with educational materials.

Financial sponsorship is available! The cost of Range Camp is $325 however, every student that attended last year received a substantial level of sponsorship from local Natural Resource Districts or the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition and nobody paid more than $100 to attend and some students attended for free!

Please direct questions to Shelly Kelly (Range Camp Co-Director) at or 308-214-0065.

2016 Nebraska 4-H Online Horticulture Judging Contest

The 2016 Nebraska 4-H Online Horticulture Judging contest is just around the corner. This year the contest will be available from June 10th at 8:00 a.m. until June 20th at 8:00 a.m. It is composed of three parts; general knowledge questions, plant part and seed identification, as well as a judging portion. It is open to all 4-H youth, as well as adults, and even Extension individuals. No password this year, the link listed below will take you directly to the contest.

Please fill in all of your information completely. The online contest should only be taken once by each participant, if it is taken multiple times the first score entered will be the one used. No study materials are to be used while taking the test. The contest will allow an opportunity for the participant to review the answers prior to submitting. Once submitted, the participants will see their score, but they will not be able to see which questions they missed. After the contest has ended, the participants can request to see their scores and their answers.

Study Materials for the Online Horticulture Judging Contest and the State 4-H Horticulture Judging Contest held during State Fair are the same and they can be found at:

Fifth Annual Innovative Youth Corn Challenge

Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Corn Board are offering the fifth 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, 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 will be given to the first, second, and third place teams. First place will receive $1,000, second place will receive $500, and third place will receive $250. Sustainability, crop scouting and “extra mile” awards will also be given, each worth $200.

To participate in 2016, youth must complete and return an entry form by March 15th to the Fillmore County Extension Office in Geneva, NE. Forms can be downloaded at For more information, contact Brandy VanDeWalle, Aaron Nygren at or Amy Timmerman

Animal Science

2016 Animal Exhibitor Handbook is Now Available

2016 Animal Exhibitor Handbook is now available and can be found online at under Handbooks. For any questions you may contact Brandy Wagner at

Poultry is BACK!

As of January 1, 2016, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) has officially lifted the ban on poultry shows, fairs and exhibitions that was put in place to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HP AI) last year.

This is very exciting news for many of you and we will all be happy to see the poultry back in the barns this year. 2015 was also a very good educational tool on learning more about biosecurity measures with poultry and other livestock.

As you are purchasing your birds for 2016 be sure to keep track of where you purchase these birds. This information will be needed at check in time.

Quality Assurance

This year all 4-H and FFA members showing livestock of any variety (except horses) will need to go to the Quality Assurance website to update their certification. There will be NO Quality Assurance trainings in your 4-H clubs this year.

Members showing: beef, sheep, goats, swine, rabbit, or poultry, will need to complete and pass 3 lessons in the appropriate age category. Be sure to complete the 3 lessons before the June 15th deadline. Nebraska youth can go to the course at If they have not registered for the course before, they can search for Nebraska Livestock Quality Assurance and register using the enrollment key “Nebraska”, however, if they are already registered, the course will appear in their course list. Questions concerning registration can be e-mailed to In order to keep the quality at the highest level and streamline the services offered, a $5 annual fee for all participants is being implemented.

Upcoming Shows & Events

Below is a list of upcoming shows and events. For more information about any of these events contact the Extension Office or go to

  • May 7 - Spring Fling Dressage Schooling Show, Lancaster Events Center, Lincoln
  • May 14 - Missouri Valley Horse Judging Contest, Valley County Fairgrounds, Ord
  • May 16 - Free Beef Fitting Clinic, Cuming County Fairgrounds, West Point
  • May 25 - 4-H Horse Judging Contest, Pitzer Ranch Arena, Ericson
  • May 27&28 - 12th Annual Lively Livestock Jackpot Show (Sheep, Goat, Swine), York County Fairgrounds
  • May 28 - Horse Trail Challenge Clinic, Maskenthine Lake Recreation Area in Stanton County
  • May 28 - Beef-A-Rama & Swine-A-Rama, Boone County Fairgrounds, Albion
  • May 29 - Goat-A-Rama & Sheep-A-Rama, Boone County Fairgrounds, Albion
  • June 3&4 - Midwest Livestock Jackpot Show (Swine, Goats, Sheep), Seward County Fairgrounds, Seward
  • June 4 - Phelps/Gosper Beef & Sheep 4-H Progress Show, Phelps County Fairgrounds, Holdrege
  • June 5 - 4-H Goat Hoof Trimming Clinic, Julie Addison's home, Wayne
  • June 11 - Wranglers Fitting & Show Clinic (Beef), Stanton County Fairgrounds, Stanton
  • June 12 - Hustler 4-H Progress Show (Swine, Sheep, Beef, Goats), Cuming County Fairgrounds, West Point
  • June 12 - Platte Valley Wranglers 4-H Horse Show, Fairgrounds, Wahoo
  • June 25 - The Final Drive - Sheep & Goat Progress Show, Fillmore County Fairgrounds, Geneva
  • June 25 - Wheeler County Progress Show (Beef), Bartlett Fairgrounds, Bartlett
  • June 27&28 - Massey's Show Lamb Camp, Wayne County Fairgrounds, Wayne

Sheep & Goat Weigh In

The Sheep & Goat Weigh-In will be held on Wednesday, June 1st from 6 to 8 p.m. at the fairgrounds. If you plan to show market sheep and/or goats, they must be tagged at the weigh-in. Please read over the guidelines below for female sheep and goats.

Scrapie Guidelines for Sheep and Goats - All female sheep and goats exhibited at the fair will need to have the official USDA identification (scrapie tag). This applies both to market and breeding animals, regardless of age. Wethers do not need the USDA identification. The tag must be in place at weigh-in on May 27th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the fairgrounds. Please visit the following website for more information at

Phelps County 4-H Small Animal Progress Show

Saturday, June 4th, 2016 at the Phelps County Fairgrounds in Holdrege. There will be prizes and raffle for exhibitors. Pre-registration is not required. Companion Animal and Cat Exhibitors are limited to four animal exhibits in the shows. Rabbit and Poultry Exhibitors are limited to ten animal exhibits in the shows.

Winners Unlimited Livestock Judging Camps




$250/person (includes meals, lodging, and materials)

Limited to 35 participants per session. First come, first-serve.

This camp is designed for 4-H and FFA members (age 12-18) looking to perfect their livestock evaluation and oral reasons skills. Brad Bennett, as well as 2016 team members will focus on proper evaluation with a special emphasis on reasons format, terminology, and delivery.

For more information, visit:, or contact:

Brad Bennett, Livestock Judging Coach | 402.472.8834 |

Nebraska Beef Ambassador Contest

June 10, 2016 at 10 a.m. CT at the Mid Plains College in Broken Bow, NE. Register by email to or call 308-760-6464. The Nebraska Beef Ambassador Contest provides an opportunity for youth to become spokespersons and future leaders in the beef industry. If public speaking or industry advocacy is your thing, you should compete.

2016 Nebraska District 4-H Horse Shows

  • June 13 - Kearney
  • June 14 - Chadron
  • June 15 - McCook
  • June 16 - Leigh
  • June 17 - Bloomfield
  • June 21 - Lincoln

All entries are due to the county office by May 13, 2016. All Level testing required for participation in the 2016 District 4-H Horse Show MUST be completed by May 13, 2016.

All entries fro the State Horse Show much be mailed by May 13, 2016. 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.

2016 Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Show July 10-14, 2016!

Tractor Safety Courses Planned

The 2016 Tractor Safety Trainings will be held in seven locations across the state during May, June, and July.

Any youth 14 or 15 years of age who works on a farm or ranch other than his/her parents’ is required to be certified through a tractor safety course. Extension Educators and field specialists will teach the 2-day courses.

The training in this area will be June 20-21, 2016 at Wayne County Fair Grounds, Wayne, NE.

Cost for the course is $60, which includes all course materials, lunch both days and breaks. Registration is requested a week prior to class. For details or to register, contact the Nebraska Extension Office in Thurston County at 402-385-6041.

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