Thurston County 4-H News

July 2017

Upcoming Dates

July 4 - Office Closed - 4th of July Holiday

July 10 - Thurston County 4-H Council Meeting

July 16-20 - State Horse Show @ Fonner Park, Grand Island

July 19 - ALL Dakota-Thurston County Pre-Fair Entries DUE

July 26 - 4-H Clothing Day Judging @ Emerson

July 29 - Pre-Fair Clean Up

July 30 - Aug 1 - Pre-Fair Judging Shows

Aug 2-6 - Dakota-Thurston County Fair

Aug 7 - Post Fair Clean Up

Aug 10 - State Fair Animal and In Person Entries DUE

Aug 22 - State Fair Exhibits DUE @ Extension Office (noon)

Aug 25-Sept 4 - NEBRASKA STATE FAIR

Sept 4 - Office Closed - Labor Day

Sept 6 - State Fair Exhibits ready for pick up

Sept 11 - Joint 4-H Council Meeting @ Pender (7 pm)

Sept 14 - 4-H Career Portfolios DUE @ Extension Office

Sept 28-Oct 1 - AKSARBEN Stock Show

Need to Know

Busy Programming - Out of the Office

Summer is a busy time of year for all 4-Hers, including staff. 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. We hope that you will join us on some of these days for the programming we are providing.

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

  • July 4 - all day
  • July 6 - morning
  • July 10 - afternoon
  • July 11 - all day

Nebraska 4-H/Nebraska FFA License Plate

Take your support of “Making the Best Better” and “Learning to Do” wherever you go with the new license plates showcasing Nebraska 4-H and Nebraska FFA! The Nebraska 4-H Foundation and Nebraska FFA Association in cooperation with the Nebraska FFA Alumni, have teamed up to create the first ever license plate supporting the two largest youth organizations in Nebraska. Similar to other organizational specialty license plates, there must be 250 applications received before the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles will begin issuing this organizational plate. Order yours today by filling out the application form at http://ne4hfoundation.org and mailing it along with the $70 fee to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation. Be one of the first 4-H and FFA license plate owners and show the world you are an advocate of these outstanding youth organizations. Show your support of using your “Head, Heart, Hands and Health” to promote “Premier Leadership, Personal Growth and Career Success.”

Fair Information

Fair Entry Information

ENTRY DEADLINE IS JULY 19TH!

Each family will be receiving a packet sometime toward the beginning of July that will have entry forms for the 2017 Dakota-Thurston County Fair. Once again this year we hope to personalize the forms so they contain most of the information the office needs. You just need to fill in class #'s, animal ID's, etc. These forms will be DUE back to office by July 19th.

Clothing Day

Clothing day is Wednesday, July 26th at the Emerson-Hubbard High School (Pre-entries are dune July 19th). STEAM Clothing 1, STEAM Clothing 2, Beyond the Needle, Knitting, Crocheting, Attention Shoppers, Shopping in Style, Quilt Quest, and Clover Kid sewing are entered on Clothing Day. (NOT ON FAIR ENTRY DAY).

Late Entry Policies

The Joint 4-H Council created the following rule:

1) 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.

New Market Sheep Class

New Market sheep class for 2017 Prospect Lamb Class: Maximum weight in the Prospect Lamb Class is 100 pounds. Any lamb 101 pounds or over will be shown in the Market Lamb Class. Prospect Lambs are not eligible for overall Market Lamb.

$15 Outfit Challenge

NEW IN 2017!!

Do you love to shop? The $15 Outfit Challenge is open to ANY 4-H member. No need to be enrolled in a clothing project to participate. Limit one entry per person. Must be a purchased outfit. Outfits may be selected and purchased from garage sale, thrift store, consignment store, or resale show (such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, or store bargain at the mall, etc.). Cost of outfit must be $15 or less, not including shoes, accessories, or undergarments. A one page entry form must be included with the exhibit that lets the judge know about where it was purchased, cost, and why selected. Outfit will be displayed at the fair.

Preference is that this project be entered on 4-H Clothing Day, Wednesday, July 26th at the Emerson-Hubbard High School. But will also be accepted at Entry Day, Wednesday, August 2nd.

Fair Floriculture & Horticulture

As you are working in your gardens this summer, please record information found on your seed packages (i.e. variety, growing time, etc) to prepare for interview judging. All Floriculture and Horticulture exhibits must have cultivar or variety name on entry card or the exhibit will drop one ribbon placing. It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to have this information recorded. For more information on how to prepare your exhibits for fair, please stop in the extension office to review publication 4-H 226. Thanks!


Preparing Flowers & Plants for Fair

You can’t control what the weather does to your plants but you do control how you prepare your exhibits.


  • Select the best. The judge will note flaws!
  • Choose the same cultivar and color.
  • Harvest with care. Cut your flowers in the evening or early morning, whichever is closest to judging time. Cut the stem several inches longer to allow for trimming. Use a clean, sharp knife to make a smooth, even cut.
  • Remove foliage from the portion of stems in the water.
  • Conditioning flowers reduces stem blockage and promotes quick water uptake.
  • The container should be a good size and shape. The opening should be large enough that stems don’t have to be forced into the neck, yet small enough that blooms don’t fall in and become waterlogged.
  • Grooming flowers is the last step. Carefully remove all insects, soil and spray residue from the foliage, stems and blossoms and avoid bruising.
  • Remove faded blooms, petals and ragged leaves. Remember, grooming shouldn’t be evident.
  • Review rules and double check the required number of stems in the fair book.
  • Label with the flower name and cultivar or variety name so the judge can base the placing on the proper criteria.


Tips for Exhibiting Houseplants


  • Potted plants should be free of insects, diseases and damaged leaves.
  • Plants grown as houseplants must be used. No annual flowers or annual plants.
  • Foliage houseplants are judged on quality and appearance of leaves and stems. Color should be bright, clear, and typical of the cultivar.
  • Flowering houseplants are judged for their display of flowers but should not show foliage damage.
  • Plant size should be about one-third larger than the container in spread, fullness, and height. Good branching and a compact plant are most desirable.
  • Plant shape should be symmetrical. Unevenly developed plants indicate poor rotation practices in relation to light exposure.
  • Use clean containers in proportion to plant size. The color, texture, and style of the container complement the plant without drawing attention away from it.
  • Use a good quality soil or potting mix. Do not use soil from outdoor gardens.
  • Plants need to have been grown in the container for 6 weeks and are well rooted.
  • Good grooming practices keep houseplants healthy and attractive. Remove dead or damaged leaves and wipe with a damp cloth to remove dust.
  • In Dish and Desert Gardens, all plants used should have similar growing requirements, leaf shapes and textures varied, and not too busy or too sparse.· Follow the exhibit guidelines and label all house-plants with the plant name on the entry tag.

Fair Livestock Reminders

  • Cats & Dogs must have current vaccinations. Forms are available on our website. http://extension.unl.edu/statewide/thurston/affidavitsid-forms/
  • Bucket Calf record books need to be turned in prior to the show by NOON ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 3RD. http://extension.unl.edu/statewide/thurston/4H%20BUCKET%20CALF%20PROJECT%20RECORD.pdf
  • Rabbit Exhibitors - When you enter your animals Monday, July 31st, from 6-8 pm we are asking that you check your animals in with either the superintendents or Extension Staff. We want to try and ensure that our show programs are accurate. Your assistance on this will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • Bedding - The fair board will be supplying bedding for livestock projects, which will consist of sawdust. If you have special needs for your projects, it is your responsibility to bring the supplies. If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Luedert.
  • Stalling Horses - The Dakota-Thurston County Fair Board voted in 2010, "That if a horse is showed, it must be stalled. No veterinarian excuses will be accepted. This applies to all horses exhibiting at the 4-H Horse Show, no exceptions." Horses must be stalled at the fair grounds on Thursday, August 3rd by 8:00 pm.
  • Livestock Check-In - Wednesday, August 2nd, from 6:30-8:30 pm is livestock check-in time at the fair. Before you unload your livestock trailer, please stop by the livestock office and check-in. In order to verify exhibitors and livestock that are on the fairgrounds. This will help us with the correct stall assignments and correct show programs. Reminder: Swine ear tags need to be purchased for $1 at the time of check-in.
  • Early release of animals - Please refer to page 9 of the fair book for the following rule: All live animals, 4-H/FFA, Open Class (except cats, dogs, household pets/birds) will remain on the grounds for the duration of the fair. No early release. Also see page 25 for the following statement from the Fair Board: Penalty - Premiums will be pulled for exhibits leaving the fair grounds prior to the aforementioned release time.

Fair Grounds Clean-Up Days

Make sure you're on hand on Saturday, July 29th starting at 9:00 am for the pre-fair clean-up. All 4-H members and families are encouraged to attend and help clean-up the fair grounds. Committee chairs should be there to get together all the stuff they'll need for their shows and the projects that need completed. Brooms, rags, hammers, pliers, staple guns, and buckets, bring them along and plan on getting dirty! The fair board will be providing lunch at noon. Just as important is the post-fair clean-up, on Monday, August 7th. Everything needs to get put away, 9 am start time.

Note: The Extension Office Staff need heavy lifting help is setting up the Exhibit Hall. Help is needed moving fixtures, chairs, tables and more.

Looking for Trophy Sponsors

If you are interested in sponsoring a trophy for the 2017 Dakota-Thurston County Fair contact Tammy Peterson at the Dakota County Extension Office (402-987-2160). Trophy sponsorships are $15 each. You can designate the area you would like to support, if that area is taken, we will fill in as needed. Buckle sponsors are needed for the Round Robin Contest. Buckles are around $35 to $40 dollars each. Contact Tammy Peterson at the Dakota County Extension Office if you have questions.

Dakota-Thurston County Fair Celebrating 50 Years.

The Dakota-Thurston County Fair will be July 30-August 6, 2017. Pre-fair judging events will be July 26-31. The theme is 50 Years of Family Fun. Share your memories at the fair! Find photos, memorabilia, and other items to incorporate in your displays and exhibits. Be creative and enjoy the reminiscing.

The Fair Board is also looking to set up a schedule for each 4-H Club or Staff to do a short shift in the information window of the Fair Office. Let the Extension Office know if you're interested.

Dakota-Thurston County 50 Year T-shirts

They will be for sale at the Fair, but just in case anyone wants to purchase some before hand. There are multiple sizes in the colors shown. They are $10 each and you can contact Cherie (caconley@ntc.net) to place orders.

The sport grey color can be worn for showing livestock. Only the sport grey is considered appropriate for the 4-H Show dress code.

Parking Passes

Parking passes for 4-H families are available again this year. They are no charge and will be available at the fair grounds clean-up day on Saturday, July 29th. The intention of the passes is to prohibit excess vehicles traveling through the fair grounds and camping area. Visit with a fair board member if you have any questions or concerns.

Campsites - Dakota/Thurston County Fair

If you need a campsite for the county fair this year please contact Sherry Slaughter H (402-863-2352) or C (402-380-8888). You can also contact Mary Paeper C (402-922-1299) and leave a voicemail or text with your name and the information will be forwarded to Sherry. The pricing is the same as last year. If there are no spots left, you can be put on a waiting list.

Free Breakfast @ Fair

Farms Pride will be putting on a free breakfast on Friday, August 4th during the fair, from 7-10 am. It is open to all 4-Hers, families, friends, and fair goers.

Fair Movie - Moana

Saturday, August 5th, 2017 inside the Exhibit Hall, starting at 9:00 P.M. FREE for anyone. Parents: Please consider volunteering with this event. Help is need chaperoning, serving popcorn and drinks. Enjoy a great movie with our youth and volunteer at the same time. This year’s movie will be “MOANA”.

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State Fair Info

State Fair Schedule and Handbook

The 4-H State Fair Schedule has now been posted online for 2017. The schedule can be found online on the public pages as well as in the employee resources and in the State Fair Book under General. http://4h.unl.edu/state-fair

2017 State Fair Livestock Fees

The price breakdown for each animal entry that a State Fair 4-H livestock exhibitor will pay upon the time of pre-entry in ShoWorks. Please remind your families that this will be per animal and the total they will see in ShoWorks will not be broke down like you see below. This chart may be helpful as you work with families on State Fair entries this summer. These charges do not include things done before fair like tags and DNA samples.


Species Fees Total

Breeding Beef $18+$15 $33.00

Market Beef $18+$15+$3 $36.00

Dairy $10+$15 $25.00

Market Sheep $5+$5+$3 $13.00

Breeding Sheep $5+$5 $10.00

Market Meat Goat $5+$5+$3 $13.00

Breeding Meat Goat $5+$5 $10.00

Market Swine $5+$5+$3 $13.00


Entry Fee: Beef-$18, Dairy-$10, Sheep/Goat/Swine-$5

Bedding Fee: $15 Beef/Dairy, $5 Sheep/Goat/Swine

Drug Testing Fee: $3

State Fair Tickets

4-H livestock exhibitors (Beef, Sheep, Swine, Rabbit, Poultry, Meat Goat, Dairy) will receive one (1) State Fair Exhibitor Pin (exhibitor badge). This State Fair Exhibitor Pin (exhibitor badge) is your pass to the fair for all 11 days. Families wishing to purchase additional State Fair Exhibitor Pins (exhibitor badges) may do so at $25.00 each. If the State Fair Exhibitor Pin (exhibitor badge) is lost or stolen, a new State Fair Exhibitor Pin (exhibitor badge) must be purchased for $20.05. No exceptions.

It’s also recommended that the purchase of additional State Fair Exhibitor Pins (exhibitor badges) be included in pre-registration through ShoWorks.

4-H static exhibitors may purchase reduced price NSF admission tickets or a State Fair Exhibitor Pin (exhibitor badge).

4-Hers who participate in the fashion show, companion animals, dog show, presentations, events, and contests at the NSF will receive one (1) single-day admission ticket for each day in which they participate.

4-H Judges and volunteers will receive one (1) single-day admission ticket for each day in which they assist with a show.

Sponsor (chaperones) will not receive a free ticket this year. General parking on the fairgrounds is still FREE this year for your vehicle.

4-H’ers and their families may purchase reduced price admission tickets, These must be ordered from the Extension Office. Deadline to order is August 9th, 2017 Tickets are $4.00 each

State fair ticket price information:

Outside gate admissions will be $12.00 with the following exceptions. $5.00 on Monday August 28th and Wednesday, August 30th.
$2.00 on August 29th
$3.00 on Thursday August 31st

Children 6-12 are $3.00 everyday and children 5 and under will be free every day.


  • The $5.00 discount exhibitor passes can be ordered through ShoWorks when the families are entering your livestock.
  • The $25 Parking Permits and extra $25 State Fair Exhibitor Pins (exhibitor badges) are ordered through ShoWorks with your livestock entries by August 10. These will all be in your packets picked up at the Livestock Trailer.
  • They can pick up their packet in the Livestock Trailer anytime it is open.
  • If an Extension Educator or FFA Club Leader is picking up badges or parking passes for exhibitors, please get permission from the student or parent before entering the Livestock Trailer.
  • Too many items have been picked up by an agent and then the exhibitor shows up and the items have already been picked up from the packet. Please be respectful of others!

Volunteer at the Nebraska State Fair

The Nebraska 4-H program is seeking volunteers to help with exhibit entry day, judging, and serving as 4-H exhibit building hosts and greeters. Volunteers will be needed for educational activities in the 4-H building, serving as the Lil' Green Mascot and assisting with all 4-H contests and events throughout the fair. State Fair 4-H volunteers will receive a fair pass for the day(s) they volunteer. A complete list of volunteer opportunities can be found at: http://4h.unl.edu/state-fair/volunteer

State Fair Static Exhibits

4-H State Fair Static Exhibits are due to the Extension Office by NOON, on Monday, August 21st.

State Fair Livestock Entry

http://www.statefair.org/p.aspx?pID=getinvolved/4h-ffa&

This is a link directly to the State Fair 4-H/FFA page where important documents and the only entry system link is. Please use this link to keep up on the most up to date reminders/etc.

Entry will open on or around July 1, 2017. The deadline to enter livestock or contests for State Fair is August 10, 2017.

Elite Showman Competition at Nebraska State Fair

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture along with the Rural Radio Network will be hosting the 12th Annual Elite Showman Competition on Saturday, September 2nd at the Nebraska State Fair.

Member Information

Nebraska 4-H Email Newsletter

Nebraska 4-H Youth Development and the Nebraska 4-H Foundation are excited to announce the launch of a monthly Nebraska 4-H email newsletter that will be distributed to 4-H families, volunteers, donors, alumni, and those interested in learning more about Nebraska 4-H. Distribution of the digital newsletter will begin in June and will include featured programs, news, social media highlights, and other timely information. The creation of a statewide email newsletter will provide an opportunity for Nebraska 4-H to stay connected to 4-H alumni who are sharing their contact information through the Raise Your Hand campaign. Others interested in receive the monthly newsletter may subscribe using the signup form available at http://4h.unl.edu/newsletter. If you have any questions regarding the Nebraska 4-H Email Newsletter, feel free to contact Tracy Pracheil at tpracheil2@unl.edu.

4-H Clover Chase: A Nebraska 150 Event Starts March 1

Nebraska 4-H, in partnership with the Nebraska 4-H Foundation, is celebrating the Nebraska Statehood 150 with the 4-H Clover Chase!

Between March 1 - August 15, 2017, Nebraska 4-H will be hosting a photo scavenger hunt for all 4-H members. Using an app, participants will complete challenges and submit photo entries on social media using #NE4HChase. After submitting photos and earning 150 points, participants will be eligible to receive a commemorative water bottle from their local Nebraska Extension Office and will be entered into a drawing to win a drone with video capability. The Nebraska Extension Office with the highest percentage of participation wins a free National Youth Science Day kit!

Complete details about the 4-H Clover Chase can be found at http://4h.unl.edu/clover-chase. Celebrate Nebraska’s Statehood, and Nebraska 4-H, by participating in this fun-filled opportunity with your friends, club, or family!

Consumer & Family Sciences

2017 Culinary Challenge Contest

The contest this year is focusing on dried beans, peas and legumes. In 2015, Nebraska was rated #1 in the nation in Great Northern bean production, 2nd for pinto bean production and 4th for all dry edible bean production. Nebraska produces equal approximately 1 billion servings of dry beans a year. 2016 was the “Year of the Pulse” (dried beans and peas) and we are happy to be able to continue the focus on dried beans, peas and legumes for the 2017 Culinary Challenge. Look for more info from the Culinary Challenge and the Nebraska Dried Bean Commission for menu, food prep, and recipe ideas in the future!

Continuing Education

Nebraska 4-H Foundation Scholarships 2017

The Nebraska 4-H Foundation provides 4-H members the opportunity to apply for scholarships.

All scholarship applications must be submitted to pjeffries1@unl.edu.

2017 Scholarships Available:

For guidelines and more information, please visit our scholarship guidelines and application form.

More information can be found at http://ne4hfoundation.org/recognition/.

Animal Science

Ak-Sar-Ben Moving to State Fairgrounds in Grand Island

AKSARBEN says they will move the classic 4-H livestock show to Grand Island in order to have more space to grow the 89-year-old event.

This year, it will be held September 28 through October 1 at Fonner Park in Grand Island, in the facilities built for the Nebraska State Fair.

The 2017 AKSARBEN Show Schedule, Programs and Judges can be found at: http://www.aksarbenstockshow.com/p/events/359 Additional information can be found at: http://www.aksarbenstockshow.com/

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