SPOTLIGHT ON 4-H

Nebraska Extension 4-H Volunteer Newsletter - May 2019

In the May Spotlight!

  • Community Service...

  • Beginning with Parli Pro

  • Grab & Go: Animal Science

  • Contest: FCS Quiz

  • Pollinator FAQs

  • Beyond the Needle Design Techniques

  • Citizenship Washington Focus

  • Veterinary Technology

Community Service... - By Eric Stehlik

Big picture

Community Service and 4-H go together like bread and butter. Community Service within the 4-H program involving the youth sharing their knowledge, skills, and time with others through projects large and small, of any type/topic, for any age, and whatever amount of time. Identify a project that will enhance a group or location. Decoration, meal, landscape, or building, your club can do most any project, big or small.

The book The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects by Barbara A Lewis outlines 10 steps to a successful service project.


  1. Research your Project – choose something that: concerns you, will make a difference, and you can accomplish.
  2. Form a Team – others that can help provide skills or equipment, and share the goal.
  3. Find a Sponsor – responsible adult that can assist with leadership and credibility when asking for permission and help from outside your team.
  4. Make a Plan – meeting times, work times, schedule each step (depending on the size and scope of project).
  5. Consider the Recipient – Make sure it is needed and will be helpful. If for a specific group, ask them for input so it will be useful.
  6. Where you will perform your Service – take it to them or they come to you. Keep it accessible and usable. You will get more satisfaction if it is used and enjoyed.
  7. Get any permission you need to proceed – permanent or temporary make sure location and project is okay (door knob, land, or anything in between).
  8. Advertise – Flyer or Press Release - Let others know about your project, before during and after, depending upon the size and scope.
  9. Fund-raise – funds or materials for the project can be considered fundraising. Have a budget or list of needs for the project.
  10. Evaluate – Team discussion and reflection on the experience, is it doing/serving what/who you intended? Your feelings?


Ask for help, with new ideas or connections. Don’t be afraid to take a step back, it may lead to quicker steps forward with new energies.

The main thrust of Community Service should be those doing the project expending some energies, mental and physical, that will not just benefit them, but leave the world a better place. The personal involvement gives each youth an investment in the service project. Clubs using money to buy donations isn’t enough, actual youth involvement in raising the money, doing the work, and delivery/sharing with those intended, complete the understanding and impact their labors can have.

Club Management: Beginning with Parliamentary Procedure at Your 4-H Meeting - By Sarah Paisley

Big picture

Parliamentary procedure, or parli pro, is the practice of running a meeting according to the rules set forth by Robert’s Rules of Order. All types of 4-H meetings can benefit from these practices by allowing efficient use of time while still allowing even the youngest members to get involved.

Getting started can be a daunting task, though, especially if you don’t really know where to start! Success starts with a good agenda and other rules will start to fall into place. A very general 4-H Meeting agenda can be found on the Nebraska 4-H Meeting Resources page or at https://4h.unl.edu/documents/4-H%20Club%20Meeting%20Agenda.pdf. Using this will help your meetings stay more organized and consistent.

Another important step is to teach all members how to correctly receive recognition by the president. Work with members to stand, respectfully call out “Mr. or Madam President”, and wait to be recognized by the chair before making a motion or speaking about the motion. The president would respond with, “Chair recognizes Jimmy.” At that point, Jimmy may continue with his intentions.

Items at the beginning of the agenda are reports that are read and then approved. For instance, the secretary’s minutes and treasurer’s report should be approved by the group. This is a good starting point for many of the younger members because you can slip them a piece of paper to read directly off of! All main motions start with “I move to…”. Approval of the minutes or financial report would then be stated, “I move to approve the minutes as read” or “I move to approve the treasurer’s report.” These would then be followed by a second from another member and voted on by the entire group.

Old and New Business items can be brought up by either the president, leader, or any other member by a short discussion on the issue at hand. For instance, you need to hold a service learning project. The president can start with, “it is time for us to develop a service learning project” or give a more detailed introduction such as, “the trees at the fairgrounds were removed due to storm damage. Our group could do the research, select trees and plant some new ones.” The initial discussion is meant to bring about ideas. A voting member could then follow up with a motion – “I move to research, select, and plant trees at the fairgrounds.” A second would be required and then discussion could begin. The most difficult part of parli pro is to make sure there is a motion BEFORE you start discussion! Each member then has the right to discuss two times on the main motion and vote for or against.

For more motions used in parli pro and resources to teach parli pro to youth, go to https://4h.unl.edu/resources/club-leaders#officer.

Grab & Go: Animal Science "My Cheeseburger Comes From a Farm - By Tayna Crawford & Megan Burda

Big picture

May is National Beef Month! This activity is designed for students in grades K-2 and will inform them about where their food comes from and how a cheeseburger can be a nutritious food choice with the possibility of all five MyPlate food groups included in every bite.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to identify food groups on MyPlate and nutrients associated with these food groups. Understand what a “combination food” is and identify food groups within these “combination foods”. Understand how some combination foods can provide a “complete meal” with all the nutrients necessary for growing youth.

Materials List

  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • Gallon size zip-top bags
  • Tape

Preparation

  • MyPlate handout – can find on the website
  • “Cheeseburger” cutout handout
  • “Old Lady “ cutout
  • “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pickle” handout

Opening Questions

  • Can you name all the five food groups?
  • Did you know all of those are on a cheeseburger?
  • Which foods do you think come from each food group on a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, pickles, hamburger patty, and a bun?

Activity 1:

Distribute cheeseburger handout to each student

Students color, cut, and assemble their cheeseburgers and mark each “food” item with color

After coloring in the corresponding cheeseburger pieces, have them carefully cut them out.

Discuss the different food groups and which food group they come from. Some questions may include:

- What color is this food group?

- What is important about this food group? How does it help our growing bodies stay healthy?

- Where does this food item come from? How many food groups are on our cheeseburger?

Activity 2:

Instruct students to color the “Old Lady” handout. After it is completed, they will cut out the pieces.

Pass out gallon zip bags

Using clear tape, assist the students with attaching the head and arms to the top of the bag and the legs and skirt to the bottom of the bag for each student.

Read or sing the poem “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pickle” to the students. Using demonstration model, add each new food to the re-sealable body bag as you go. Encourage students to read the story with you and enact the proper sequences of food into the bag.

After completing the poem/song, remind the students that when we eat foods we should eat, we will feel good, strong and healthy.

The full lesson plan with handouts and additional resources can be downloaded here: https://unl.box.com/v/cheeseburger

Contest: FCS Quiz - By Michelle Krehbiel

Big picture

Did you know that there are 128 fluid ounces in one gallon or that denim is made of cotton fiber? These question are ones a 4-H youth might encounter when taking the Nebraska FCS Quiz. The FCS quiz is a statewide quiz based on family and consumer sciences content which includes foods and nutrition, clothing and textiles, design, home environment, child and human development, and personal financial management. The 4-H FCS Quiz is designed for 8-12 year olds, however, any age of youth can take the quiz. The intent of this contest is to engage young people interested in family and consumer sciences in a challenging educational experience. This quiz is a great way for youth to learn more about family and consumer sciences and essential information needed to build a young person’s life skills. To prepare for the quiz, youth are encouraged to study an array of state and national 4-H curriculum. By reviewing the curriculum youth will learn how much exercise you should get a day, what food groups are found on the MyPlate, what makes a safe toy, to the difference between needs and wants in a personal budget.

The quiz is available starting June 1st at the local 4-H youth development office. Youth can take the quiz individually in the local extension office, or as a part of a 4-H workshop or as a part of a contest at the county fair. It is up to your 4-H staff on how they would like give the quiz.

Once youth complete the quiz they can receive a ribbon and certificate based on their score. Youth can earn a purple, blue, red, or white ribbon. The local 4-H youth development office is responsible for administering, scoring the quiz, and giving out the appropriate ribbon and certificate to the youth. The quiz, scoring sheet, certificate template are provided by the Nebraska State 4-H Youth Development office. For additional information about the FCS Quiz contact Michelle Krehbiel at the Nebraska 4-H Youth Development office. She can be reached at email mkrehbiel2@unl.edu or by phone at 402-472-9020.

Pollinator FAQs - By Mary Loftis & John Wilson

Big picture

What’s the big deal about pollinators?

  • Pollinators are crucial to the world food supply. Over 75% of all flowering plants in the world require pollinators to reproduce.
  • USDA estimates one-third of all food and beverages in the U.S. are made possible by pollinating insects with 80% pollinated by honey bees. The value of honey bees in the U.S. is estimated at $15 to 19 billion annually!
  • Many species of pollinating insect, such as honey bees, have experienced a significant population decline in recent years.

What has caused the loss of pollinators?

There’s no one simple answer or it would be easier to address the problem. Pollinator decline has been linked to several factors including:

  • Loss of habitat
  • Pesticides
  • Invasive Plants
  • Diseases
  • Parasites

How can you help meet pollinator’s three basic needs?

  • Food – Flowers provide nectar (high in sugar) and pollen (high in protein) for pollinators. The larval stage of many insects eat plant leaves.
  • Plant groups of the same species of pollen-producing plants rather than random individual plants.
  • Plant flowers that bloom during early (April-May), mid (June-July), and late (August-October) seasons.
  • Select plants that vary in color, height, season of bloom, shape of flower, and in sun and shade.
  • Whenever possible, use native flowering plants.
  • Recognize some weeds benefit pollinators when other flowers are not blooming (dandelions).
  • Water – A clean, reliable source of water is essential to pollinators.
  • Natural and human-made water features such as running water, pools, ponds, puddles, birdbaths and small containers of water provide drinking and bathing opportunities for pollinators.
  • Watering sources should have shallow, sloping sides so pollinators can access water without drowning.
  • Shelter – Pollinators need protection from severe weather and predators as well as for nesting and roosting.
  • Place bee nesting boxes for solitary, non-aggressive bees in a sunny location facing south to southeast.
  • Leave bare areas of soil for ground-nesting insects.
  • Leave snags, dead plants or leaf litter to provide shelter.
  • Incorporate different canopy layers (heights) by planting flowering trees, shrubs, and ornamentals.

What can you do to help pollinators?

  • Manage your property to meet pollinator’s three basic needs.
  • Use insecticides only when necessary and at times of the day when pollinators are not active.
  • Recognize some weeds play an important role in the life cycle of pollinators (milkweed/monarchs).
  • Utilize the space you have available. It doesn’t have to be a large area, it could be a single flowerbed.
  • Seek the help, advice and support of other experts working with pollinators.

Beyond the Needle Design Techniques - By Jacie Milius & Megan Burda

Big picture

If you look in your closet, chances are you own a screen-printed t-shirt or two. Screen printing is extremely popular, especially in the personalized fashion business. Screen printing can be a bit intimidating at first, but there are methods that allow even beginners to find success. The basic idea of screen printing is pretty simple and works similarly to stenciling. In the screen-printing industry, screens are coated with a photo-sensitive chemical (emulsion) and images are burned into the screen. Although using photo-emulsion is the preferred method for professional screen-printers, it is a longer process and requires special equipment.

For 4-Hers who have never screen-printed before, contact paper is a great option to get them started. The following instructions will guide you through screen-printing with contact paper:

Supplies needed: contact paper, exacto-knife, self-healing cutting mat, Silk screen (110 mesh is best for beginners), Ink (use water-based ink that was made for printing on textiles), screen-print squeegee, Screen-print press (can do without this), t-shirt or other garment.

Instructions:

1) Start with a dry, blank silk screen.

2) Cut a piece of contact paper a bit larger than your silk screen

3) Draw the design on the contact paper – draw your design on the front of the contact paper (non-sticky side) or reverse the design if you’re drawing on the sticky side.

4) Peel the contact paper and stick to the back (the side that is flat) of the silk screen. Make sure that the contact paper is stuck really well, especially in the spots by the design that was cut out - use the back of a spoon or a credit card to make sure all parts are completely adhered to the back of the screen.

5) Place the t-shirt or garment onto a screen-printing press or put a piece of cardboard between the layers of the shirt.

6) If you’re using a press, place the screen in the press and tighten the bolts securing the screen in place. If you’re not using a press, simply lay the silk screen onto of the t-shirt or garment that you want with the flat side (back side) down.

7) Place a small glob of screen-printing ink on one end of the design and use a squeegee to pull the ink at an angle across the silk screen.

8) Let your design air dry and use an iron to heat set the ink.

9) Clean the screen using water – spray nozzle works the best; as long as your contact paper is still on the screen, you can reuse it.

Citizenship Washington Focus - By Linda Dannehl

Big picture

Youth are eager to learn and develop the knowledge and skills in leadership and citizenship to be come to become active, engaged citizens and leaders in their communities. 4-H Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) is 4-H’s premiere leadership and citizenship program for high school students that helps youth build these needed skills. Each summer, youth arrive at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, MD to participate in the week-long Citizenship Washington Focus Conference. CWF provides an opportunity for 4-H’ers to learn how to be citizen leaders and make a difference in their communities.

During this action packed week, youth engage with 4-H’er from across the country in civic discussions, examining congressional issues, study the bill writing process, and explore what it means to be a good citizen of our country. The conference learning is integrated with visits to the historic and governmental sites in and around Washington, D.C. to gain a unique perspective on our nation’s history and further experience our government in action. Youth develop communication, leadership and citizenship skills through hands-on learning and group activities and have the opportunity to work with and make friends from across the country.

CWF participants are mentored and instructed by highly-trained young adults. These adults are also licensed program assistants and can provide the background for the sites visited in and around Washington, D.C. Many of these young adults are also former 4-H members.

Each year, several groups from across Nebraska travel to the CWF conference. Be sure to reach out to your local Extension Office to connect with a group. Many of these groups utilize the We the People curricula in their pre-conference planning to prepare the youth for this life-changing conference. We the People curriculum provides youth with the tools to be active and engaged citizens and sets the stage for a successful conference. Students learn about civic education, civic engagement, personal development and service learning. Many CWF groups conduct community engagement projects as part of CWF and apply their citizenship skills to their local communities.

CWF is supported by the National 4-H Center and has been in existence for over 50 years. It is the only national citizenship and leadership program offered exclusively to 4-H members. Because of this 50 year tradition, you will find CWF alumni across the state! Consider asking a CWF alumni about the impact of this program. They are sure to report that it increased their leadership and civic engagement and was truly an experience they will never forget.

Source: National 4-H Council Citizenship Washington Focus at https://4-h.org/parents/citizenship-washington-focus/#!about.

Big picture

Veterinary Technology - By Carly Horstman

If you love caring for animals, becoming a licensed veterinary technician may have crossed your mind as a possible career choice. A vet tech works alongside a veterinarian in animal medicine as a nurse would work with a doctor of human medicine. To become a licensed veterinary technician (LVT) in Nebraska, you must obtain a two year associate of applied science degree (AAS) from an accredited veterinary technician program and pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). In Nebraska, there are two accredited veterinary technician programs, one at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) in Curtis and the other at Northeast Community College in Norfolk. Students may also obtain their AAS degree from any accredited vet tech program if they wish to go to school out of state.

Once you have completed your AAS in a veterinary technician program, you can chose to continue your education and obtain your bachelor’s degree through the Veterinary Technology degree program offered through UNL’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR). Earning a bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Technology from UNL can help you further your career in the animal health care field and can open up new career opportunities.

To receive your bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Technology at UNL, you must have obtained your veterinary technician license and have completed the courses required in any one of the three options offered under the degree program. The first option of the Veterinary Technology degree program is the Veterinary Science option. This option is the one you would chose if you would like to qualify for admission into veterinary school. The second option is the Science option, which would enable you to work as a veterinary scientist or attend graduate school. The third option is the Business option, if you want to focus on the business or management aspect of veterinary science.

If you are interested in the Veterinary Technology degree program or would like to schedule a UNL campus visit, please contact Carly Horstman at chorstman@unl.edu or 402-472-4445.

Big picture