Nebraska Extension 4-H Volunteer Newsletter - June 2019

In the June Spotlight!

  • 4-H Delivery Modes

  • 4-H Trip Ideas

  • Grab & Go: Clover Kid

  • Preparing Exhibits for Fair

  • Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge

  • New Food Curriculum

  • Seeing i2i

  • Individualized Advising

4-H Delivery Modes - By Jill Goedeken

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Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development programming is available to youth through four delivery modes. Extension and 4-H Youth Development staff utilize 4-H curriculum, lessons and activities to reach youth in the following delivery modes:

  • A 4-H club is an organized group of at least five youth from three different families who meet regularly with adult volunteers or 4-H staff for a long-term, progressive series of educational experiences. The purpose of a 4-H club is to provide positive youth development opportunities to meet the needs of young people to experience belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity—the Essential Elements—and to foster educational opportunities tied to the Land Grant University knowledge base. The 4-H club experience is often the most recognizable delivery method.
  • School enrichment programs are groups of youth or children receiving a sequence of learning experiences in cooperation with school officials during school hours to support the school curriculum. Involves direct teaching by 4-H staff, trained volunteers or teachers.
  • After school programming includes educational programs offered to youth outside of school hours, usually in a school or other community center and incorporating 4-H curricula. 4-H afterschool is designed to combine the resources of 4-H with community-based organization that provide after school programs which address community needs.
  • The purpose of 4-H camps, including summer camps and Big Red Summer Academic Camps on UNL’s campus for example, is to provide unique educational opportunities that empower youth to be active in the pursuit of self-improvement in a safe, inclusive, and fun environment. The Nebraska 4-H camps offer all youth a place to discover, learn and grow while developing valuable leadership and citizenship skills.

The ability to provide programming through these delivery modes is dependent on audience availability and partnerships in respective communities. 4-H Youth Development Professionals are able to provide programming opportunities through a variety of delivery methods using trained volunteers. Volunteers trained to use 4-H curricula are able expand the reach of 4-H through one of the four delivery modes.

Club Management: 4-H Trips Ideas - By Angela Abts

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The new 4-H year is a great time to start brainstorming ideas for club members. Planning ahead is the key to achieving your club’s goals with service learning projects, educational programs, and recreational activities to ensure youth are learning life and technical skills in their 4-H projects. Adding a few field trips, tours, or career presentations help build the 4-H programming philosophy of “learning by doing.” Here are some ideas to strengthen your club experience.

· Brainstorm with club members with ideas and places they would like to go related to a curriculum area.

  • Examples: local dairy farm, high school play, museum/nature center, state park, college campus, restaurant, zoo, and many more.

· Brainstorm a list of professionals in a curriculum area that can visit a club meeting

  • Examples: veterinarian, park ranger, chef, pilot, and many more.

· Discuss why these places would be beneficial to the club and membership. Ask the members what will they learn from the experiences? Consider the following:

  • Do they offer hands-on experiences?
  • What type of teaching methods are used?
  • Will members have FUN?
  • Who is going pay? (families or club) Could the club do a fundraiser to support the experience?

· Contact the site or professionals to organize the experience. Consider the following:

· Don’t forget safety

  • Review the Nebraska 4-H Trips section of the policy handbook (
  • Event Insurance from American Income Life
  • Be sure to include health forms, permission forms/transportation waivers, & first aid kit

· Create a calendar to share with all your club members. As you get closer to the event be sure to share more detailed information.

· Follow-up

  • Send a thank you to the tour guide and/or presenters after the experience (club secretary).
  • Send pictures and news release to the local paper and extension office (news reporter).
  • Debrief the experience with the membership
  • What did you learn?
  • What type of education is needed to hold _______ job? Why would you like to work there?
  • Was is easy or difficult to plan an experience? What was involved that you had not considered
  • What would you do differently in planning your next club experience?
  • What advice would you give others?

Grab & Go: Clover Kid Lessons - By Jane Esau

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4-H Clover Kids can be one of the most rewarding experiences for youth as they learn more about themselves and their world. Middle childhood, ages 5-7, is an exciting time for children when memories are made and continued development occurs. Kids are maturing in many ways: physically, socially and emotionally, as they build new relationships, have fun learning and working together. They have boundless energy, want to belong and be accepted, while learning self-confidence. Clover Kids will enrich their learning and challenge their thinking.

4-H Clover Kids is age-appropriate, therefore it is fun, hands-on activity based, non-competitive, success oriented, and leader directed. A ratio of 5 Clover Kids per volunteer would create a good learning environment, with about 20 minute sessions. This is a great time for these pre-4-H members to learn the 4-H pledge to open their meetings; an easy grab and go clover activity is simply printing the pledge poster, many of them online include a picture of head, heart, hands and health, making it easier to learn and remember. Children could color their own pledge poster.

Grab & Go lessons will include goals of your lesson, materials you will need, learning activity, and resources. Materials may be as simple as items you have at home; ex: simple hand tools, snacks, art supplies, markers/colors, scissors, books, etc. For ease in presenting multiple lessons, just keep your kit assembled, adding supplies needed.

Nebraska identifies these project areas: Just Outside the Door, Aerospace, Family Celebrations Around the World, Animal Science, Making Food for Me, and A Space for Me. Curriculum may be purchased or available at your Extension Office for A Space for Me and Making Food for Me. Any project area can be developed into an educational, fun lesson.

State resources include the Clover Kids website:; Resources
(; Play & Activities (

Other resources are pre-school materials, books, internet, YouTube, Pinterest (search pre-school activities). University of Wisconsin-Extension published "4-H Cloverbud Activity Book A". Ohio State University curriculum includes "The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities" (4-H 710GPM). Minnesota Extension Service published "Cloverbuds". A helpful website is: These are all packed with easy grab & go resources.

Community service is great for Clover Kids to learn and have fun. Simple ideas are aluminum tab collection, holiday or seasonal coloring pages or decorations to give to retirement centers, planting flowers for others; just add your own ideas.

Online Clover Kids enrollment website: Adult volunteers must be screened through the 4-H program; contact your Extension Office. Remember, Clover Kids is non-competitive, cooperative learning in a positive environment. Fair exhibits can be an important part of their pre-4-H experiences. Praise the kids, recognize their success, talk and laugh with them. Clover Kids ... future 4-H members!

Contest: Preparing Exhibits for Fair - By Donna Kircher

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Begin by thinking about how your 4-H experience can best be represented in the form of an exhibit. The exhibit you take to the fair is a product that represents the process that makes 4-H a youth development experience. There are hundreds of 4-H exhibits at fairs each year in many different classes.

In the spring, you will receive a fair book from your county office. It outlines rules and guidelines for participation in the county fair. Remember to read the general rules for exhibition as well as the specific rules for the class(es) you plan to exhibit in.

4-H judges look for evidence of the process a 4-H’er went through to plan and carry out their project. Some counties have interview judging. This provides you an opportunity to explain to the judge how you prepared your exhibit. If your county does not have interview judging, you may provide a written explanation to accompany your exhibit.

Supporting information is often required in food and nutrition, home environment, photography, clothing and visual arts classes. Proofread your report for spelling and grammatical errors before you print the final draft. To ensure that your exhibit can be identified if it gets separated from you or your club booth, each exhibit should have an entry tag securely attached with tape or string.

Often there is no one correct class in which to put an exhibit. Many items can be put in more than one class depending on how a 4-H’er would like the exhibit to be judged. For example, if a 4-H’er created a pillow with a particular design and fabric to match a particular room arrangement, he or she could put it in a Design Decisions project class instead of sewing. If you have questions about where to put an exhibit, contact the Extension office for help.

Fair books should include a schedule of when and where each project will be judged. If your county did not require pre-entry of exhibits, you will complete an entry tag for each exhibit when you arrive for judging. Your exhibit will be judged that day and awarded a ribbon.

You will not always agree with the judge’s assessment of your exhibit. Neither you nor the judge is right or wrong, it may simply be a matter of preference. At the same time, judges should ask questions and give constructive ideas about how to improve an exhibit.

Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge - By Debra Walnofer

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Nebraska 4-H along with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Animal Science is offering the Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge in 2019. The Fed Steer Challenge is a NEW opportunity for youth and is designed to cultivate the next generation of leaders in the Nebraska cattle industry.

The goal of the Fed Steer Challenge is to enhance the educational value of the traditional 4-H beef projects by providing an affordable option that rewards production merit and carcass value of the market animal, along with accurate and complete record keeping, industry knowledge, and producer engagement by the 4-H member.

The contest consists of two different components:

1. Raising a commercial steer

  • 4-H member selects and raises a commercial steer to market weight (1,350 pounds).
  • Apply management and nutrition protocol similar to a commercial feedlot.
  • Maintain a detailed record book relating to management and feeding of the steer.
  • Steers will be exhibited in the Nebraska 4-H Fed Challenge Commercial Cattle Class at the 2019 Nebraska State Fair.
  • Steers will be visually evaluated by a commercial cattle buyer representing a packer.
  • Predicted carcass merit (USDA Quality Grade and Yield Grade) and market value.
  • Following the live exhibition, steers will be transported to a commercial packer, harvested and carcass data collected.
2. Evaluation of 4-H member’s knowledge and interpersonal skills

  • Knowledge related to their project and the cattle industry as a whole.
  • Accuracy and details related to a record book.
  • Interview with representatives from the cattle industry.

Responsibilities and Expectations of Participants include:

  • Enrolled in 4-H and at least 14 years of age as of December 31, 2018.
  • Have the financial ability to purchase a market steer at current market price in January 2019 (~$850) and obtain insurance for the market value of the steer.
  • Participate in pickup of the animal in January (location is TBD).
  • Provide adequate facilities and follow all YQCA practices to ensure proper management and well-being of animal.
  • Actively participate in online face-to-face educational programming offered by the Nebraska Animal Science faculty. Must participate in a minimum of 90% of educational opportunities offered between January and December.
  • Exhibit steer in the Nebraska Fed Steer market steer class at the 2019 Nebraska State Fair. At that time, steers will be harvested at a commercial packer and participants will be paid based upon current market value (September 2019).
  • Maintain accurate production records related to raising the animal, complete the record book, and submit record book no later than October 15, 2019.
  • Present the outcomes of your project at the Nebraska Cattleman Conference in Kearney, NE in December 2019.

Recognition and awards will be based upon:

  • Carcass merit and value
  • Record book
  • Project presentation
  • Interview

Schedule of events of the Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge

November 1, 2018 – Online application due

November 15, 2018 – Applicants will be notified directly

Mid-January 2019 – Cattle selection day - location TBD

Date is TBD – Live animal exhibition – Nebraska State Fair

December 5, 2019 – Industry interviews and awards ceremony – Nebraska Cattleman’s Convention Kearney, NE

Cooking up Some New 4-H Curriculum - By Ann Fenton

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It’s a big plate of changes for the Foods & Nutrition Curriculum for 4-H! Instead of the Six Easy Bites, Tasty Tidbits, Fast Foods, You’re the Chef, and Food Works series, Nebraska 4-H will be using the 4-H Cooking Series from Illinois Extension and the National 4-H Council. This 4-H Cooking series teaches youth about food preparation, food and kitchen safety, food science, meal planning and nutrition. Each manual builds on the skills learned in the previous level, and members complete project activities for each level. Not sure which ones to enroll in? See listing below comparing previous choices to what’s new on the menu!

If you were enrolled in SIX EASY BITES, choose COOKING 101!

Cooking 101 focuses on MyPlate, safe food preparation skills, and basic beginning baking projects, such as cookies, muffins, brownies, snacks and cereal based recipes. It also teaches how to set the table for a family meal, measuring dry and liquid ingredients and the importance of handwashing and keeping things clean in the kitchen!

If you were enrolled in TASTY TIDBITS, choose COOKING 201!

Cooking 201 teaches understanding and preventing foodborne illnesses, kitchen and food safety, understanding the Nutrition Food Label and how to make soups, rice, pasta, and other foods. Baking projects include making biscuits and scones, quick breads, creative mixes, coffee cakes, healthy baked products, and using alternative baking methods.

If you were enrolled in YOU’RE the CHEF, choose COOKING 301!

Cooking 301 teaches successful tips and techniques when working with yeast breads, gluten and the different types of fats used in baking. 4-H’ers also learn about menu planning and planning a special themed event. Youth also learn about grilling and outdoor cooking, and making butter! Projects include all yeast breads and rolls and making a shortening cake.

If you were enrolled in FOODWORKS, choose COOKING 401!

Cooking 401 focuses on more technical tricks in food preparation, including using herbs and spices and how to plan that special celebration. Projects include, ethnic foods, foam cakes, projects with herbs baked in them, pies, pastries and candy.

*If you were enrolled FAST FOODS, please check out the different options for the COOKING series, as it incorporates the same teaching lessons throughout. Enjoy what’s on your plate for 2018, it will taste great!

Seeing i2i - By Lori Swanson

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Each person has a unique background, history, and identity that makes him or her special. Seeing i2i: Adventures in Diversity and Cultural Awareness is a 4-H project intended to help youth gain ‘global competence’ and ‘cultural competence’ skills needed in today’s increasingly interconnected world and culturally diverse communities. The curriculum is designed for youth ages 11-14. It can be adapted for use in 4-H clubs, camps, classrooms, afterschool programs, and other youth settings.

Curriculum content centers on five areas, namely:

  • Self-reflection and exploring one’s own heritage, culture, and cultural lens
  • Gaining cultural knowledge and gaining an appreciation for increased cultural awareness
  • Culturally competent attitudes and beliefs
  • Culturally relevant skills and behaviors (e.g., empathy, perspective-taking)
  • Applying knowledge including advocating for others

Learning from the Seeing i2i 4-H project may lead 4-H youth to take an exhibit to the fair. Exhibits may include…

  • Cultural Fine Arts - can be made of any art media but should symbolize what makes them unique.
  • Care Package Display - This exhibit is a display about the PROCESS of creating and giving a care package, not the actual care package
  • How Are We Different? Interview
  • Name Art - should be a creative art exhibit that symbolizes or explains where your name came from and what it means. Can use any media.
  • Family History - depicting your family cultural history or the ethnic make-up of your community noting who were the first settlers, where did they come from, is there evidence of the background today (local celebrations, family celebrations, museum or educational displays, historical markers, etc.)
  • Exhibit depicting a cultural food - that is special to your family. This can be a story or a poster but does not require the youth to bring the actual food.
  • “This is Who I Am” poem
  • Public Adventure Scrapbook or Poster - should describe your Public Adventure or Service Learning Activity.
  • Service Items - can include but aren’t limited to lap quilt and homemade toys.
  • Biography - about an historical figure that has made a positive impact on our society or who have made a difference in the lives of others.

Each exhibit must include Supporting Material. The support material is a written statement showing evidence of their personal experience with the project and why they were led to produce the exhibit. Was the youth moved to create an exhibit after learning about their own culture? How does the exhibit symbolize their family history? What was the community need identified by the youth and how does the project solve it? This helps the judges understand what the 4-H’er did and learned in the process that led to the exhibit.

The Seeing i2i 4-H project breaks stereotypes while allowing youth to become more self-aware. Conflict resolution and positive relationship building are skills presented within the curriculum. By taking the full advantage of lessons taught youth will have tools to positively influence their world.

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Individualized Advising - By Carly Horstman

In high school, your guidance counselor is the person you meet with to help you choose your classes and make sure you meet the requirements to graduate. In college, you will be assigned an advisor to help you with these tasks at the undergraduate level. If you are a student in UNL’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR), we will provide you with individualized advising the whole time you are part of our College.

Some colleges and universities have an advising center that you can go to for help with your class schedule, and you might end up meeting with a different advisor each time you go. CASNR students receive one faculty or professional advisor in their degree program area and will meet with that advisor the entire time they are in that degree program. We encourage students in college to meet with their advisor at least once per semester to help choose their next semester’s classes and make sure they are meeting graduation requirements.

CASNR feels that individualized advising is tremendously important to the success of every student. In college, your advisor can also help you with many other things besides choosing your class schedule. When you start college, you may have a specific amount of time in which you would like to complete your degree. Academic advisors can make sure you take all of the right classes at the right times to meet your goal. Some classes are only offered at specific times, semesters, or years, so meeting with an advisor that knows your goals can help keep you on track. Another thing that your advisor can help you with is deciding if there are minors or other majors that you can add to your degree to help you be the most prepared for your career goals. They also get to know you so well over the course of your college career that they can also serve as a reference for you when applying for internships, jobs, and professional school.

If you would like to know more about UNL’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources student resources such as individualized advising, or would like to schedule a UNL campus visit, please contact Carly Horstman at or 402-472-4445.

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