Thurston County 4-H News

March 2016

Upcoming Dates

Mar 4 - General 4-H Scholarship Applications DUE

Mar 7 - Butter Braid Sales Orders DUE @ Extension Office

Mar 12 - Horse Stampede @ UNL-East Campus

Mar 14 - Thurston County 4-H Council Meeting

Mar 22 - Butter Braids pick up @ Extension Office (5:00 pm)

Mar 28 - Speech/Music Contest Registration DUE

Mar 31 - Speech/Music Contest @ Pender (7:00 pm)

Apr 1-3 - Siouxland Garden Show @ Sioux City

Apr 10-16 - National Volunteer Week

Apr 11 - Joint 4-H Council Meeting @ Pender (7:00 pm)

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

Apr 29 - Office Closed - Arbor Day

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

Need To Know

Out of the Office

Jennifer and Stacey will be out of the office March 15-16 for a conference. If you need something, leave a message or email, we will be checking periodically. The office will be staffed again on Thursday, March 17th.

Communicating With You

The Extension staff in Thurston County would like to welcome you to the 2016 4-H program. Our 4-H newsletter serves as one of our means of providing information to you. We can also be found on Facebook at UNLExtensionThurston, on Twitter at @UNLThurstonCty, on Instagram at @thurston_county4h, on Pinterest at Nebraska Extension in Thurston County, and online at Check out these sites for the latest information on upcoming 4-H events, deadlines, and activities.

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. Our county Fair book will be available in hopefully March.

4HOnline Browser Reminder - Internet Explorer

Beginning Monday, February 15, 4HOnline will no longer support Internet Explorer 10 and older due to security concerns. So if this in the source you typically use considering using Chrome, FireFox, or Safari to gain access to your 4HOnline account.

Butter Braid Sales

Thurston County 4-Hers will again have the opportunity to sell Butter Braids. What is a Butter Braid? A Butter Braid is a frozen pastry dough that you thaw, let rise, bake and frost. It is a mouth watering delicious homemade pastry.

Butter Braids are available in a variety of flavors. Thurston County 4-Hers will be taking orders from January 31 to March 7. Orders will be delivered to the 4-Hers on March 22 at 5:00 p.m. at the Thurston County Extension Office. Proceeds from this fundraiser help fund 4-H activities throughout the year.

Sales Incentive

The Thurston County 4-H Council voted to again provide you with an incentive to sell butter braids. We will have a drawing for two $50 gift cards to Target. To be eligible for the gift certificates, an individual/family must sell a minimum of 18 Butter Braids®, for every additional 5 sold they will have another entry in the drawing. Please understand there will only be two gift cards given out, so if you do it as a family you will share.

If your family chooses not to sell Butter Braids®, which is the only fundraiser we have for our 4-H program, we ask that you pay $50.00 per child. They will not be eligible for the gift card drawing. Remember this is just an incentive to encourage our 4-H’es to sell more Butter Braids. Selling any number of Butter Braids®, will benefit the Thurston County 4-H program.

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!

Member Information

Speech and Music Contest

Please encourage your 4-Hers to prepare a speech and musical presentation this year. Registration deadline is March 28, with the contest being held March 31, 2016 at the United Church of Pender at 7:00 p.m. Follow this link ( or reference the enclosed paperwork to complete your registration by March 28, 2016.

The state theme for the 2016 Public Service Announcement (PSA) is: “4-H Grows Confidence” All PSAs must promote 4– H and be general enough to e used anywhere in Nebraska All PSA” must include the following tag line within the last 10 seconds of the PSA: “Learn more about the Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development Program at” All PSAs are 60 seconds in length.

Speech Contest Workshop

In order to help you get a better grip on your speech, answer questions, and polish up the edges we will be providing a Speech Workshop on Monday, March 28 (the same day registrations are due) at the Extension office between 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. We'll be here most of the day but if you want to call in to schedule a time slot that would be helpful so we don't have too many kids here all at once.

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

Workshop Vouchers

Remember how we're always having you kids fill out those name cards? Well from the Kick-Off Party we picked one youth who filled out a card in each age division to receive a Registration Voucher for any Workshop offered here in Thurston County. So when asked for your registration fee, simply hand us your voucher and we'll take care of it. From our 4-H Kick Off Party for the

Clover Kid Division: Carter Bonneau

Junior Division: Haeden Paeper

Intermediate Divison: Jake Bruns

Ideas for Clover Colleges

Next year’s fair seems far away but we are already looking to see how we can help you accomplish the projects that you plan on completing. We are working on organizing our Clover College opportunities for 2014. Please share your ideas and possible resources with us. If you saw an exhibit at the fair this summer and think that it would be a great workshop topic, we are always open to suggestions!

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

This month we would like to congratulate The Peppy Peppers 4-H Club for being awarded the Nebraska 4-H Club of the Month for February 2016. This 4-H Club from Wisner, NE in Cuming County has truly made a difference in their community. The club is very dedicated to building strong citizenship and teamwork through various community service activities. And they're just in the neighboring county. You can do it too!

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

Family & Consumer Sciences

Omaha Fashion Week 4-H Collection

Nebraska 4-H is once again partnering with Omaha Fashion Week during their Spring Showcase. OFW Student Night will take place onTuesday, March 15, 2016 and will exclusively feature high school designers, including a 4-H collection. This collection will consist of 10 garments from across the state and will be modeled by the 4-H member who made it

March is Bake & Take Month

March is Bake & Take month, a time when wheat organizations encourage others to bake a wheat good and share it with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and shut-ins. In honor of the month, the Nebraska Wheat Board (NWB) is again sponsoring recipe cards and stickers for any 4-H groups or other organizations that wish to participate. This year’s recipes include low-cal, fat free brownies and fudge cookie bars. Those interested in participating or who have questions can contact the NWB office at (402) 471-2358 or There is no cost for the supplies, and no limit on the number that can be requested.

Those wishing to preview the recipes before requesting materials can find them listed on our website homepage.

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 Register by April 15 and receive a 10% discount. Come make memories this summer at Nebraska 4-H Camps!!

Big Red Summer Academic Camps

Big Red Summer Academic Camps are residential camps: ALL housing and food will be provided for all participants throughout the duration of the camp. Campers will explore careers in computing, culinary arts & food science, engineering, filmmaking, outdoor Nebraska, Unicameral Youth Legislature, veterinary science, and weather & climate science. After spending several fun-filled days explore a specific topic, the families will be invited to join the youth for a special “capstone event” where their work is showcased. For more information please contact the Extension Office or visit Registration - April 15 (Early Bird) or May 1 (Regular).

Plant Science

2016 Siouxland Garden Show

Winter is in the air and we are wishing for warmer temperatures with gardening activities. Save the dates of April 1, 2, and 3, to attend the Siouxland Garden Show at the Sioux City Convention Center. The event includes regionally known experts teaching garden related topics. Commercial exhibitors will be promoting and selling flower, lawn and garden products. Master Gardeners will be available to answer garden questions. For more information, go to

Youth Horticulture ID Contest

The Northeast Nebraska Master Gardeners will be hosting a Youth Horticulture ID Contest at their annual Plant Fair & Market. All youth ages 8-18 are encouraged to participate. Participation is free but all participants must preregister by April 22 by contacting the Nebraska Extension office in Madison County 402-370-4040. Prizes will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers in each of the age brackets. Contestants will be required to sight ID horticultural plants to the accepted common name. The list of possible plants and study guides are available at

Contest Details

Date: Friday, April 29, 2016

Time: Competition begins 7:00 PM, Awards Presented 8:30 PM

Location: Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex, Northeast Community College, Norfolk


1st Place - $25 cash AND $25 gift certificate for the Master Gardener Plant Booths

2nd Place - $10 cash AND $15 gift certificate for the Master Gardener Plant Booths

3rd Place - $10 gift certificate for the Master Gardener Plant Booths

The ages for brackets are broken down as follows:

Junior – 8-11 years old

Intermediate – 12-14 years old

Senior – 15-18 years old

Youth Volunteer Opportunity

The Northeast Nebraska Master Gardeners could use your help. They hold an annual Plant Fair & Market at the Northeast Community College Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex in Norfolk and need volunteers to help with getting the patron’s items out to their vehicles. Wagons will be available. The plant fair is Friday, April 29, 6:00-8:00 pm and Saturday, April 30, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Call the Nebraska Extension office in Wayne County at 402-375-3310 by April 22 to sign up for a time that would work for you.

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 News

State Fair Blow and Go Show Announcement

In a joint decision made by State Fair, FFA and 4-H, with regard to fitting of livestock at the fair, 2016 shows will be Blow and Go, which primarily affects the way exhibitors prepare their beef animals.

We certainly understand and respect those folks who are passionate about fitting their animals, the added level of competition it presents and the added level of skill and learning required to fit an animal successfully. But here is some context as to why this decision was made.

As many of you know, the beef barn is always a challenge for space and safety, particularly having enough space for blocking chutes and fitting. We are physically maxed out on space. Ultimately, we came down to two options in terms of how to better manage the available space. We either substantially reduce entry limits and exhibitors' opportunities to participate in the beef show, or we limit the equipment exhibitors bring to the fair. We decided to go with the second option and therefore a no fit show.

As you can imagine, we heard feedback on both sides of the issue as we looked at the options. However, a few other positives that we hope can be gleaned from this change include a reduction in the cost of supplies and products spent on preparing the animals to show. It will also help speed up the loading and unloading process. After discussing with show officials from other state fairs who have gone this way, they believe the quality of the livestock exhibited at their shows has increased because they can no longer fit the flaws out of their animals.

This is not a plan to eliminate blocking chutes for beef altogether. The number of chute tags given out will be more limited than in past years, but the need for the chutes will also be less than in past years. Some families, chapters or counties may choose not bring blocking chutes, but for safety reasons, we do want that tool to be available.

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.

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 1st deadline so the livestock ID sheets can be forwarded on stating you completed the QA training requirements and are able to show. 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.

4-H Horse Stampede

4-H Horse Stampede is being held the same date, March 12, 2016 at the Animal Science Complex on UNL’s East Campus. Entries are due to county offices on Feb. 12th. Contests include:

· Demonstrations (individual and team)

· Public speaking

· Quiz bowl

· Photography and art contests

More information available at:

Companion Animal Challenge

The second 4-H Companion Animal Challenge will be held on March 12, 2016 at the Animal Science Complex on UNL’s East Campus. It provides youth a chance to participate in a variety of contests that do not require animals, but allow youth to learn more about their dog or other companion animals. Entries are due Feb. 19th. Contests include:

· Demonstrations (a presentation where youth demonstrate how to complete a task or related to the care of their companion animal)

· Photography and art contests (open to all companion animal projects)

· Dog Skill-a-thon

· Dog quiz bowl

The youth who participated in the event last year said that it was fun and they learned a lot. Youth do not need to be experts to participate in the event.

More information available at:

Paws On 4-H Dog Workshop

A one day dog workshop held at the Greater Lincoln Obedience Club in Lincoln, NE on April 2 from 9AM – 3PM. This is a hands on workshop where youth can learn about training their dog and improve their dog knowledge. The flyer/registration form can be found here:

Seward Calf Classic

April 9, 2016, Seward County Fairgrounds,

Check-in - 9:00-9:30 a.m., Show - 11:30 a.m.

Cash pay backs and other awards.

  • Champion & Reserve Champion Market Animal
  • Breed Champions
  • Supreme & Reserve Champion Breeding Heifer
  • Showmanship: Junior-Intermediate-Senior

Pre-entries-$30/head, Show Day-$40/head

For more information contact: Bev Hain @ 402-643-5101 or Shelby Blecha @ 402-641-4889

Pre-Registration is due by April 7.

Canine Companions for Life 4-H Dog Expo

This event will be held at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Hastings, NE on Friday April 22 and Saturday April 23. Friday night includes a quiz bowl and fun activities related to dogs. Saturday youth will practice obedience, showmanship and agility in the show ring and have the opportunity to work with 4-H judges and leaders to improve their training and showing skills with their dog. Additional educational workshops will be offered throughout the day. For more information:

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!

Shooting Sports News

Shooting Sports Leader Certification - Arlington

Make plans to attend the upcoming Nebraska 4-H Shooting Sports Leader Certification Workshop. The workshop will be held at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Arlington, Nebraska on April 16 and 17. The workshop is a great opportunity to network with other 4-H volunteer shooting sports instructors from across Nebraska. Participants will share and learn techniques and knowledge which will develop your ability to effectively lead a local shooting sports program; learn to use shooting sports to develop youth of strong character who possess effective skills for living; gain certification in one of the following disciplines: Shotgun, Hunting Skills, Rifle, or Archery; and learn under expert instruction and learn to develop your skills as an instructor.

Registration deadline is APRIL 5 and must be done online by going to: Registration fees are $100 for first-time certification and $90 to add a discipline for previously certified instructors. A paid registration guarantees participant a spot. Fee includes program materials and three meals; lunch on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner on Saturday. Participants must make their own lodging arrangements. Registration on Saturday runs from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

For more workshop information and registration link, go to the Nebraska 4-H Shooting Sports Instructor Calendar at, contact the Nebraska Extension in Washington County Office at 402-426-9455, or contact Extension Educator, Steve Pritchard at 402-395-2158 or 308-536-2691.


Nebraska 4-H Foundation Scholarship 2016

There are several scholarships that a graduating 4-H member may consider. They are to relate their career plans and their most significant 4-H experience. Scholarships are due by March 4, 2016, to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation. More information is available at

NACEB Scholarship

The Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards (NACEB) Scholarship Program for the 2016/17 academic year includes the following:

  • One $1000 scholarship at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) or in the College of Education and Human Studies (CEHS) for an income student (freshmen or transfer student).
  • One $500 scholarship for a current student (sophomore or higher) enrolled in CASNR or CEHS.

All applications are due March 15, 2016. For more information, go to

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