Nebraska Extension 4-H Volunteer Newsletter - July 2018

In the July Spotlight!

  • How to Disagree & Still Be Friends

  • Club: Including Clover Kids

  • Grab & Go: Clover Kid "Crazy about Corn"

  • Contest: National 4-H Conference

  • How your garden grows!

  • Nebraska Make It With Wool

  • Nebraska 4-H Foundation

  • Fisheries & Wildlife

How to Disagree & Still Be Friends

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Navigating the challenges of disagreement is a part of the 4-H experience. Judges may disagree with members on the completeness of work presented at fair. Volunteers may disagree with a decision made by the 4-H Council. Disagreements may be present within clubs. Disagreement doesn’t elude the 4-H experience.

For some individuals, disagreements can be a very uncomfortable experience. It may bring up feelings of nervousness, anxiety, and an overall feeling of being ill at ease. Many individuals do all they can to avoid engaging in disagreements. They censor their comments or affirm decisions they know are wrong simply to eliminate the possibility of engaging in a disagreement. But knowing that disagreement happens, and there are times it simply cannot be avoided, how can we make our disagreements civil and respectful? How can we use disagreements to truly make our best even better?

Here are 5 tips for managing disagreements and using them to create learning opportunities:

Assume good.

When you disagree with a person, be cautious about assigning a negative intention to what that person has said or done. Interacting with the assumption of good intentions creates a positive outlook to disagreement. Assuming good intentions keeps the focus on a collaborative learning environment that benefits 4-H members, their families, volunteers, and 4-H staff. This allows you to focus on the content of the disagreement, and not the person or the relationship. What is the disagreement about? Answering that and keeping it at the center keeps learning at the forefront.

The content in question can be discussed without things becoming personal. When it becomes personal, learning about content cannot take place. Assuming persons are acting from places of good intentions eliminates the temptation to make it about the person, and not about the disagreement regarding content or behavior.


While listening is a basic requirement in communication, fully listening during disagreements can easily not be seen as a priority. Often the priority becomes to get a point across and win an argument. In these cases, individuals are simply waiting to respond and not fully listening.

Take the “edge of the seat” test. If you feel as though you are on the “edge of your seat” eager to respond, it is likely you are not fully listening. If you are relaxed and sitting with your back touching the back of your chair, you are likely fully listening.

Use “I” statements

Leading with “you do” this or that, invites defensiveness. When individuals are engaged in defensiveness, their focus is not on the content of the disagreement or being able to fully listen. Using “you” can feel like a personal attack, and not a simple disagreement.

Utilizing “I” statements keeps the disagreement conversational. It eliminates the argumentative tone, something that is often at the source of ill feelings regarding disagreement. Saying, “I feel” and then describing the situation as you see it invites an engaged response. Learning can occur and the focus can remain on the content of the disagreement.

Ask questions

During a disagreement, if you are not certain about intentions or meaning within the communication, ask clarifying questions. Asking questions from a perspective of learning as opposed to evaluating is key to keeping the conversation going.

Examples include: Will you help me understand? Can you say more about that?


Using the above strategies may not be skills you frequently use. As with any skill, you must practice them in order to increase your proficiency. One way to do that is to allow for disagreement within your club meetings and model these skills for the 4-H members. This creates a common language and approach to disagreement that you can rely on in future situations.

Disagreements don’t have to be roadblocks in relationships. They can be great teachers. Flex your skills, and you may see great learning occur!

Club Meetings: Including Clover Kids

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Clover Kids is the officially recognized 4-H program in Nebraska for children who are five to seven years of age. It provides a variety of educational and recreational experiences in a non-competitive environment. A team of Nebraska Extension professionals have been working to update curricula and other resources offered for those working with 4-H Clover Kids. You can access these resources at: Content includes, but is not limited to, the following areas of interest to youth: animal science (chickens, rabbits, lambs, farm animals); communications and expressive arts (theater and textures); environmental education (insects, weather, just outside the door); family consumer science (space for me, create your corner, family celebrations around the world); leadership and citizenship (counting coins); plant science (watch it grow, flowers); and science and technology (bicycle, aerospace, color, bubbles, and robotics). Development and refinement of these resources is on-going.

Another Clover Kid educational opportunity is Digital Storytelling with ScratchJr.

This online collection uses ScratchJr which is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. ScratchJr was one of the Top 10 Tech by School Library Journal in 2016.

The goal of this collection is to encourage children in becoming creators of digital content. We expect that engaging children in these activities will develop higher order thinking and creativity skills through exploration, experimentation, expression, and sharing. The information presented in this collection is primarily meant for teachers, 4-H leaders, and frontline staff, who work directly with children, to guide a program or activity.

We propose that the teachers and frontline staff use this collection to learn about digital storytelling, and introduce themselves to ScratchJr. Many of the videos in this collection can be shown directly to children to boost their interest or can be used as instructional content that acts as a how-to. The PDF documents in the Activities section are meant for use by children.

We would like to highlight the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendations for limits on media use. For children of ages 2 to 5 years it is recommended media use be limited to one hour or less per day of high-quality programs. We suggest that children who are engaged in activities from this collection be within the recommended limits by conducting sessions across multiple days/weeks.

You may access Digital Storytelling with ScratchJr at:

Grab & Go: Clover Kid "Crazy about Corn"

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We all realize how important our Clover Kid members are, they are the future for our club! They can also easily be overlooked, however these are the youth who are truly excited about 4-H and are willing to give 110%. So this ‘Crazy about Corn’ activity will be sure to get them excited about Science and recycling while also relating back to something that they are very familiar with, CORN!

Preparation Tasks and Time Needed

· Make sample plastic ahead of time. Start the process of biodegradation using one of the sample plastics (place in water before session – at least a couple of hours). Could also place a plastic fork in water to show the difference – how one breaks down and one does not

· Gather corn cobs from popcorn and sweet corn


Show the corn cobs to the youth. Ask them what differences/similarities they see. Explain the difference between the corn cob varieties. Then show them the corn oil and corn starch supplies. Ask them where these come from – and explain they are byproducts of corn.

Opening Questions:

· Ask how many youth recycle cans, plastic, glass, etc. Ask if they need to recycle things such as flour, sugar, fruit, etc. No! These products are biodegradable and are broken down in the environment by bacteria or other living things.

· Ask if corn can be replaced naturally or easily? YES! This means it is a renewable resource as we can grow more once it is used.


· Re-sealable plastic sandwich baggie

· 1 TBS Cornstarch

· 2 Drops Corn Oil

· 2 TBS Water

· 2 Drops Food Coloring


Set out the materials in an ‘assembly line.’ Add all ingredients in the order listed into the plastic bag. Have youth mix the ingredients together until no lumps remain. Seal the bag – but not completely! Place bag on paper plate and microwave on high for 25-30 seconds (time varies depending on microwave). Allow to cool, remove from bag and have youth form shapes out of their own plastic. Plastic will harden – but remember it will dissolve in water because it is biodegradable!

Contest: National 4-H Conference

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One of the rewards of a full and intentional career in 4-H is the opportunity to represent Nebraska on a national level. Each year, Nebraska 4-H sends two delegates to National 4-H Conference in Chevy Chase, Maryland. This year’s delegates attended the conference from April 7-12, 2018.

National 4-H Conference provides youth the opportunity to make decisions and provide input to guide 4-H program development on a national level. These delegates will be exchanging ideas from one state to the next while networking with youth leaders from across the country. They will also have the opportunity to update elected and appointed government officials, national associations and donor groups on the developments in 4-H on a variety of levels. National 4-H Conference is the premiere national civic engagement opportunity for 4-H members.

This opportunity is open to 4-H members with a 4-H age of at least 15 and not over 19 years of age. To apply, the 4-H member must submit a cover letter addressed to the Nebraska National 4-H Conference Selection Committee that highlight’s his or her 4-H leadership experience and desire to be selected. The 4-H member must also submit a current resume detailing personal goals, 4-H career highlights, 4-H activities, 4-H awards and honors, public speaking experience, 4-H leadership experience and 4-H citizenship experience. The application is due December 1st for participation in the spring conference.

Once the application is submitted, it will be judged by a statewide committee regarding experiences in 4-H leadership, experiences in 4-H citizenship and experiences in 4-H projects and programming. The committee will selected eight individuals to participate in the interview process. The committee will select the final two candidates based on communication skills and their ability to provide leadership in the development of a platform related to 4-H.

If selected, the delegates will be expected to meet a few expectations. First, they must represent Nebraska at the National 4-H Conference and share their conference experience with Nebraska Extension staff. Second, they must provide a brief report to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation board as the board covers partial expenses for the conference delegates. Finally, the delegates will have the opportunity to participate in the selection for future delegates.

To find more resources about becoming a Nebraska delegate at National 4-H Conference and specific details about application requirements, visit or contact your local extension office to start your application process.

How your garden grows!

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Are you ready to do some gardening? Let’s get an early start on Floriculture and Horticulture projects. Be sure to read the rules for exhibiting long before the fair arrives. You will find that the rules require you to include the cultivar or variety name on your entry card. If you do not include the cultivar or variety name, your entry is dropped one ribbon placing. What is the cultivar or variety name and where do you find it?

When you go to purchase your seeds and/or plants, the seed packet or container has a name on it. Example: Tomato. There are hundreds of different cultivars or varieties of tomatoes. You need to look closely at the seed packet or plant container to see which variety or cultivar you have purchased: Beefsteak, Brandywine, Early Girl, Park’s Whopper, Celebrity, etc.

Cucumber—Burpless Beauty, Straight 8, Sweet Success, etc.

Green Beans—Tenderpick, Blue Lake, Big Kahuna, Burpee’s Stringless Green Pod, etc.

Zinnia—State Fair Mix, Purple Prince, Jazzy Mix, Cut & Come Again, Double Fire, etc.

Apples—Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Gala, Yellow Delicious, Jonathan, etc.

Oriental Lilies—Bonbini, Casa Blanca, Golden Star Gazer, Tiger Edition, etc.

You will notice that variety and cultivar names are usually English words. If the seed packet or plant container does not include the variety or cultivar name, do not purchase it. (It is rare that this information is absent.) HINT: Save seed packets and plant container markers.

Vegetables, herbs and fruits will be exhibited and judged according to the 4-H exhibiting guide 4H226 “Selecting and Preparing Vegetables, Herbs and Fruits for Exhibiting,” a free download is available at

Cut Flowers – All 3 or 5 stems of cut flowers should be the same cultivar and color, do not mix cultivars and colors. Use plain jars or bottles for cut flower entries, containers will not be judged, however they should be glass containers of a neutral color that will not tip over and of adequate size to display blooms. Containers will not be returned (at State Fair). Some foliage (1 to 2 leaves) should remain on the stems of cut flowers. Foliage should not be under water in the container. Follow the guidelines in 4-H Preparing Cut Flowers for Exhibits 4H227 a free download is available at

4-Hers gardens grow with flowers, fruits and vegetables all in a row!

Nebraska Make It With Wool Competition

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Make It With Wool (MIWW) is an annual youth-centered sewing competition that promotes the beauty and versatility of wool fabrics, yarns, and fibers. Make It With Wool encourages personal creativity in sewing, knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, and other needlework arts.

The competition categories are determined by age as of January 1. They are Pre-teen - ages 12 & under; Junior - ages 13-16; Senior - ages 17-24; Adult - age 25 and older; and Made for Others.

All contestants must select, construct, and model their own garment(s). Made for Others contestants have their “other” (the intended wearer) model their garment(s). Pre-Teens may enter a dress, jumper, skirt, pair of pants, shorts, vest, sweater, shirt/blouse, jacket, or a combination of garments. Juniors, Seniors, Adults, and Made For Others may enter either a one-piece garment, two-piece outfit, or an ensemble of 3 or more garments worn together at one time.

The fabric or yarn used must be 100% wool or wool blend with a minimum of 60% wool or specialty wool fiber. Specialty wool fibers include alpaca, camel, cashmere, llama, mohair, and vicuna. All the fabrics and yarns must be tested for percentage of wool prior to the state competition by Yocum-McColl Testing Labs. The entire garment body (front, back, and sleeves) must be made of wool or wool-blend fabric. Trims, facings, interfacings, linings, and underlinings may be fabrics other than wool or wool blends.

With a little planning and following of the guidelines of both the 4-H clothing program and the Make It With Wool program, youth can make a garment or an outfit that can be used in both competitions.

The 2018 Nebraska Make It With Wool Contest will be Saturday, November 17, 2018 at the Dawson County Extension Office in Lexington with competition starting at 9:00 a.m. and the Public Fashion Show beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Nebraska will choose a Junior winner and a Senior winner at the state competition. Both will represent the state in the National finals. The National Make It With Wool competition is held in conjunction with the American Sheep Industry Association Convention. The national wool program is sponsored by the American Wool Council, the American Sheep Industry, and the American Sheep Industry Women. The MIWW program administered by an all volunteer group of District and State Directors, the National Advisory Board, and a National Coordinator. The wool contest has been conducted for more than 70 years.

For more information and entry forms, contact the Nebraska State MIWW Director: Andrea Nisley, P.O. Box 757, Lexington NE 68850 (phone 308-324-5501) Entry forms, entry fee, wool samples and wool testing fees are due October 15, 2018 to Andrea Nisley.

Nebraska 4-H Foundation

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The Nebraska 4-H Foundation was created in 1959 for the purpose of soliciting and receiving contributions on behalf of Nebraska 4-H in order to enhance the Nebraska 4-H Youth Development Program.

Through contributions generated from individuals, businesses, corporations, and foundations, the Nebraska 4-H Foundation supports education programs offered by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension 4-H Youth Development Program, both at the state level and in the 93 Nebraska counties. With private support from individuals, businesses, and organizations, the Nebraska 4-H Foundation is able to fund new 4-H programs and improve existing programs at the state level.

The Foundation uses all contributions to benefit the educational efforts of the Nebraska 4-H Youth Development Program. Gifts to the Foundation support scholarships, state fair premium awards, adult leadership education, volunteer training, youth awards and recognition, project clinics, camps, counselor training, livestock and non-livestock events, and much more.

An investment in Nebraska 4-H is an investment that reaches every corner of Nebraska – from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. With a network of more than 143,000 youth, 12,000 volunteers, 1,200 professionals, and thousands of alumni, 4-H helps shape youth to move our state, our country and the world forward in ways that no other youth organization can.

If you are interested in supporting 4-H, please visit the Nebraska 4-H Foundation website at If you are interested in keeping up with alumni news, we’d be glad to include you in our monthly alumni newsletters.

The Foundation will be hosting a Golf Tournament in the spring of 2018. Watch for more information on the Foundation’s website. All are welcome!

Ways To Give

A gift of cash (either outright or through a multi-year pledge) is an effective way to support Nebraska 4-H. You can realize tax savings by deducting cash gifts from your taxable income (requires that you itemize your deductions). Make checks payable to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation or give online now.and Tribute Gifts

Memorial and tribute gifts are charitable contributions that support Nebraska 4-H and at the same time honor friends and family members. Memorial gifts make a lasting tribute to the memory of family members and friends. Tribute gifts recognize the contributions and talents of living persons or celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday, graduation or anniversary. Upon receipt of your gift, the foundation will send an acknowledgement of your thoughtfulness to whomever you designate.

If you want to inform others of your desire for memorial gifts to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation, you may wish include the following phrase in an obituary notice: “Memorial contributions may be made to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation at PO Box 830719, Lincoln, NE 68583-0719 or online at

Gifts by will, whether in the form of cash, securities, or other property, may be fully deducted in determining federal estate taxes and state death taxes. You may designate a specific sum as a gift to Nebraska 4-H or a portion of the remainder of your estate after provisions for survivors are fulfilled, or a combination of these.

The Nebraska 4-H Foundation can receive certain valuable gifts of property or equipment for which the Nebraska 4-H Foundation has a use in connection with its mission.

Mail Your Gift To:
Nebraska 4-H Foundation
PO Box 830719
Lincoln NE 68583-0719

You can also make your gift by calling the Nebraska 4-H Foundation at (402) 472-1178

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Fisheries and 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 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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