Douglas 4-H Buzz

December, 2022 Edition

Extension 4-H

End of the Year Is Approaching, Re-Enroll Today!!!

October 1 kicked off the new 4-H year and we still have a number of families that haven't re-enrolled for the 2022-2023 4-H year. It really is quick and easy. After January 1, 2023, families that have not re-enrolled will no longer receive communication from the Douglas County Extension office including local offerings, deadlines (including animal ID'ing and tagging) and reminders. If you need help, reach out to the Extension office at or 320-762-3890.

Log into 4-H Online and review, update and submit the following information:

  • Your family's contact and demographic information, including club, school and grade.
  • Each family member's health and emergency contact information.
  • Project areas of interest for this coming year.

You can log in to 4-H Online here to complete the re-enrollment process. This guide has more information. If you have questions about re-enrolling or any other aspect of 4-H involvement, please contact the office.

Calling All Poultry Lovers

With the start of a new 4-H year, it's time to start thinking about what poultry you would like to take to the fair. These are suggested guideline dates to purchase your birds so you have a fully grown and fleshed out bird for state fair:

  • Breeding poultry and waterfowl (includes duck, turkey, guineas and geese) the recommend date is January 1 or later in January. This ensures that the plumage is complete for the males and the females.
  • Market poultry excluding chickens: March 1 or later in March
  • Egg production chickens, either brown or white, March 1 or later. Research the average time the breed you selected starts laying and count back; you want your chicken to just be starting to lay eggs a week or so prior to the fair.
  • Market chickens- these show best at 7-9 weeks of age. Market chickens are not supposed to exceed 10 pounds.
  • Pigeons – breeding pairs need to be at least a year old and the young bird needs to be the current years hatch.
  • Guineas, pheasants and quail - need to be of the current year hatch. You will need to know how long it takes a pheasant or quail to mature so you can show them at their best.

Please before you purchase your desired breed, do your research to make sure that it is noted in the American Standard of Perfection for Poultry. Only poultry and waterfowl that are noted in this book are eligible to be shown. Guineas only allow pearls, whites and lavenders.

When purchasing your poultry, make sure to get the pullorum from the hatchery; you will need this at check in time at the county fair and also if you receive a state fair trip. If you hatch your own, Brandie and TJ Schlosser are certified to do the pullorum testing and will be able to assist you if you make arrangements far enough in advance prior to the county fair.

Big picture

4-H Projects

4-H believes that youth learn best by doing. That's why all 4-H'ers are encouraged to participate in hands-on projects in areas like science, health, agriculture, and civic engagement. Youth can concentrate on one project area, or they can try as many as they like.

Driven by Youth Interest

Youth drive their own choices. As in the 4-H pledge, they use their:

Head to engage actively in learning.

Heart to demonstrate caring for others and their own learning.

Hands to share their experiences with others.

Health to experience success and learn to support their family, community, and world.

Project work can be overwhelming-where to begin, how to get started, what should I do are FAQ’s surrounding project work. Some project areas are easier to figure out than others. Watch this space in future newsletters for project information and ideas.

4-H Exhibits

A 4-H exhibit is something that 4-H'ers can make and show at the fair or other showcase event to demonstrate what they have learned in the project area.

Agronomy and Horticulture

Agronomy is the science of using plants for food, fuel, feed, and fiber. Horticulture is about growing plants for food and decoration. Under this project umbrella you find:

  • Crop and plant science
  • Corn, soybeans, legumes, small grains, forages
  • Weed control and pests
  • Soil health and fertilizer
  • Vegetables, herbs, and fruit production
  • Indoor and outdoor plants including flowers, fairy gardens and ornamental plants
  • Plant diseases

In this area project learning can include:

  • Growing crops, harvesting, comparing plots, and seed brands
  • Experimenting with different weed or pest control methods
  • Planning and planting a vegetable, fruit, flower or herb garden
  • Investigating different varieties of plants
  • Exploring role of technology and careers in agronomy and horticulture

Resources for information include local agricultural coops, garden centers, seed dealers, the public library, commodity groups and 4-H curriculum. Club leaders, if you are interested in putting together a club project lesson around agronomy or horticulture please contact the office.

Creating an exhibit

After exploring and learning about agronomy and horticulture you can create an exhibit to bring to your fair or showcase event. These might include:

  • A crop sample with variety labeled and planting method
  • A display about weed and pest control and pros and cons
  • A report about testing your soil and adding nutrients
  • Serving your community by planting a garden for produce and sharing that information
  • Care for your indoor plants and bring a healthy plant specimen to the showcase
  • A box or plate of vegetables harvested from your garden
  • A design of a landscape project in your yard
  • A selection of cut flowers
  • Plant and maintain an indoor or outdoor fairy garden