Washington County Weekly 4-H Update

December 4, 2020


  1. Nebraska Extension DHM Phase/Covid-19 Risk Dial Guidance
  2. 2021 Static/Contest/Animal/Livestock Planning Meetings
  3. New 4-H Year Begins! Enrollment is Open
  4. 2021 Special Garden Project
  5. 2021 Special Agronomy Project
  6. 2020 Spotlight on 4-H Newsletter
  7. Virtual Learning Opportunities
  8. 4-H Winter Camps
  9. 2021 District 4-H Horse Shows
  10. Animal Science "Inspiring Your Future" Scholarship
  11. The National Western Catch-A-Calf Program
  12. Fed Steer Challenge - Deadline Extended
  13. Youth Masters of Beef Learning Cohort
  14. Other Statewide Events and Resources



December 6.............................................Year End Drive Thru Achievement Celebration

December 8............................................2021 4-H Program Static & Contest Meeting 6pm

December 9............................................2021 4-H Program Companion Animal Meeting 6pm

December 9............................................2021 4-H Program Livestock Meeting 7pm

December 24 at noon............................Office Closes for Christmas Holiday

December 25..........................................Office Closed for Christmas Holiday

June 28 & 29...........................................PASE & Life Challenge Contests, East Campus-Lincoln

June 30...................................................State Public Speaking Contest, East Campus-Lincoln

July 30 - August 4, 2021........................2021 Washington County Fair

Nebraska Extension DHM Phase/Covid-19 Risk Dial Guidance

Nebraska Extension DHM Phase/Covid-19 Risk Dial Guidance

Follow Most Restrictive Guidance: State DHM or Local Health Department Covid-19 Risk Dial


4-H Clubs (events, activities, meetings)

Recommend meeting virtually; Facial coverings required for in person meetings; Follow additional local/county guidance.

Effective November 30, 2020

2021 Washington County 4-H Program - IMPROVEMENT PLANNING MEETINGS (Virtual/Zoom)

It’s now time to start planning for the 2021 4-H year!

The purpose of the IMPROVEMENT PLANNING MEETINGS is for 4-H members, adult volunteers and staff to discuss new ideas and possible changes that will improve upon our current 4-H program. The meetings are open to any 4-H member, parent, leader or volunteer who is interested in the Washington County 4-H Program.

Planning for the 2021 4-H program year will be made with intentions of in-person programs/events and no restrictive health measures in place. Discussion will also include how to shift due to COVID and possible restrictive health measures implemented.

Recommendations made during the Improvement Planning Meetings will be presented to the Washington County 4-H Council for a final vote of approval.

Due to COVID and concerns for the safety of our 4-H members, adult volunteers and staff, all Improvement Planning Meetings will be held virtually by Zoom meetings.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

COMPANION ANIMAL - Horse | Rabbit | Poultry | Cat | Dog | Companion Animals

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.

LIVESTOCK – Beef | Dairy Cattle | Goat | Hog | Sheep

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.


* DEADLINE: Friday, December 4 at 5 p.m.

* ONLINE REGISTER: https://go.unl.edu/wc4h-improvementplanningmeetings-2020

* Select which meeting(s) that you plan to attend on the form on the next section.

* All those registered will receive a meeting (Zoom) link and agenda prior to the start of the meeting that they have registered. Each meeting will have a different link and agenda so please register for any/all meetings that you plan to attend.

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2021 4-H Year - Enrollment is OPEN

Nebraska 4-HOnline Enrollment Link: https://ne.4honline.com/Login.aspx?403D4050364539525371705375593D

Please note that the 4-H project history has been cleared and you must enter the project name and the number of years you have participated in it. You will find your history by going into your Family Account and choosing Member Reports.

You might also notice that the Virtual Robotics project shows up in the project history but has been removed this year as the curriculum is no longer available.

2021 Special Garden Project – The Tasty Hakurei Turnip

The Nebraska Extension Special Gardening Project lets 4-H members try their hand at growing unusual vegetables and flowers. The project allows experienced 4-H gardeners to grow something fun, new, and different while letting those new to gardening get their feet wet in this project area. This project is open to all youth of 4-H age and it will give them the opportunity to learn about growing, harvesting, and exhibiting a tasty vegetable; obtain the tools necessary to be successful gardeners, and learn about the wide range of plant-science related careers. The 2021 Special Garden Project is focused on the tasty Hakurei Turnip. These are not your grandmother’s turnips. Hakurei is a white salad turnip that is smooth, round and at its best when harvested under 2”. The roots can be eaten raw or cooked and the tops can also be cooked.

STEP 1 - Enroll in 4-H and from the project list select “PS: Horticulture (D) – Special Garden Project”. To enroll in 4-H, go to: https://ne.4honline.com. By enrolling through 4-H Online, youth will have access to the OneDrive folder with the educational materials including the growing newsletter & evaluation.

STEP 2 – Order your seeds by completing the Google form (https://go.unl.edu/4hspecialgardenproject-seedorder-2021). Seed packet are $0.50 per packet/youth and will be paid upon receiving. ORDER DEADLINE – Friday, January 29, 2021.

Shortly after the order deadline, the Washington County 4-H staff will contact those who ordered the Special Garden Project seeds to inform them how and where they will receive their seeds.

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2021 Special Agronomy Project

NEW: Special Agronomy Project

The Nebraska Extension Special Agronomy Project gives 4-H members an opportunity to experience a crop that is grown, was grown or has the potential to be grown in Nebraska. Youth participate by receiving seed and resources to grow the crop, research traits of the crop and determine the viability of that crop in the part of the state they live. The project allows 4-H members interested in agronomy to grow something fun, new, and different.

To kick-off the inaugural year of the special agronomy project, youth will explore teosinte. The plant looks and is very similar to corn, in fact it is believed to be the wild ancestor of today's corn!

Teosinte produces stalks that produce several small ears with a cob and hard, trapezoidal kernels. Being related to corn, the care is very similar so we will plant and fertilize like corn. Plant the seeds 1-2 inches deep, 8 to 12 inches apart. Teosinte is a tropical grass, so wait till soils are warm before planting. Teosinte can take up to 180 days to mature but we can still admire it's similarities to corn! For more information, go to https://cropwatch.unl.edu/special-agronomy-project.

Contact our office by Friday, January 29, 2021 to order your seeds.

2020 Spotlight On 4-H Newsletter

Find the December Spotlight Newsletter on our website:


Virtual & At-Home Educational Resources

Looking for educational resources you can use from home? We've got you covered! 😉

Nebraska 4-H is now offering a variety of virtual learning experiences, such as Living Room Learning and Boredom Buster Challenges. We've also collected some of our favorite activity guides that are perfect for hands-on learning at home.

Check out our virtual and at-home educational resources at https://4h.unl.edu/virtual-home-learning.

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Douglas-Sarpy 4-H Virtual Reality Workshop with UNMC iEXCEL!

Douglas-Sarpy 4-H Virtual Reality Workshop with UNMC iEXCEL!

Workshop will take place online from 4:30pm-6:00pm on December 8th!

Register Here: https://cvent.me/wzGyya

Registration closes December 6th at 11:59pm.

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Photography Showcase

    • Whether it’s your favorite photo you’ve taken this fall or one you took to the county fair, we want to see it! Submit your favorite photo for a chance to be showcased. The 4-H photography showcase offers members a project exhibition opportunity beyond traditional print media. 4-H’ers are invited to submit their favorite photo they’ve taken for a chance to have it showcased online for thousands of 4-H fans to admire. Learn more and submit a photo at 4h.unl.edu/photography-showcase.
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Cat Science

    • Ever wonder how cats became domesticated? Interested in learning more about caring for a feline friend? How about showing a cat in 4-H or exploring careers related to cats? We’ve got answers to all these questions and more in our NEW Companion Cat Science online course! The course is free and open to all youth, parents, and leaders interested in advancing their knowledge of cats and the 4-H cat project. Youth do not need to be enrolled 4-H members to participate. Learn more at 4h.unl.edu/companion-cat-science.
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Companion Animal Webinar Series

    • We’re excited to kick off our NEW Companion Animal Webinar Series next week! During our first webinar, we’ll be discussing basic small animal wellness. The Nebraska 4-H Companion Animal Webinar Series is great for leaders, parents, and senior aged youth who want to advance their knowledge in companion animal-related topic areas. Webinars will be hosted on the first Thursday of each month at 6:00 PM CT/5:00 PM MT. Learn more at 4h.unl.edu/companion-animal-webinar-series
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4-H Winter Camps

    • It’s getting chilly outside, but that doesn’t have to stop the fun of 4-H camp! Nebraska 4-H winter camps are open to all youth ages 6-14. Youth do not need to be enrolled 4-H members in order to join us for some winter camp fun! All of the Nebraska 4-H camp programs follow CDC and ACA recommendations for in-person activities with hand sanitizer, masks, and social distancing. Check out all of the Nebraska 4-H winter camp sessions and register at 4h.unl.edu/school-year-camps.

2021 District 4-H Horse Show Schedule

Monday, June 14......................Scottsbluff, NE

Tuesday, June 15.....................Burwell, NE

Wednesday, June 16...............Columbus, NE

Thursday, June 17...................Lincoln, NE

Friday, June 18........................McCook, NE

Animal Science: "Inspiring Your Future" Scholarship Contest - now live!

I wanted you all to be aware of a scholarship opportunity for high school seniors and transfer students who are admitted animal science majors looking to enroll in the Fall 2021 semester at UNL. This is the inaugural year for the Animal Science: Inspiring Your Future Scholarship Contest and we will be awarding ten $5000 scholarships. We want students to tell us their digital story about an individual or animal who has inspired them to pursue an education and career in animal science. This can be done via video, essay, pictures, a combination of those things, or really any medium that allows them to comfortably express themselves. The website link is below that lists out the contest details and link to apply and submit their digital story. All entries must be submitted by Noon on February 15th!

Find all the information at:


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The National Western Catch-A-Calf Program

The National Western Catch-A-Calf program has re-opened the 2021-22 NWSS CAC Application website and the new deadline is January 15, 2021. Goto: https://nationalwestern.com/catch-a-calf-program/?fbclid=IwAR3LBfau6HJKcroQJmU7Q9RlYClb-qVSWTzpwXh7LhgHHzhA_7amYd_B2N0

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Fed Steer Challenge

  • Miss the application deadline for the 2021 Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge? Well, we have good news for you. The application deadline has been extended! Apply now at 4h.unl.edu/fed-steer-challenge.

Youth Masters of Beef Advocacy Learning Cohort

December 16- January 6th Applications due December 14th by 5:00 p.m. CST.

To register, go to the following link: https://ssp.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1S70H6JR0ZGAz8p Once registered, you will get information about logging into both Zoom sessions and the MBA site. For questions, contact Brianna Buseman, Youth Meat Extension Educator, at brianna.buseman@unl.edu

Youth who join this statewide learning cohort will gain tools and resources for being a beef advocate, work as a group to become a strong ambassador for the beef community and be able to answer tough questions about beef and raising cattle. The group will meet initially on December 16th to introduce the program, get to know their cohort and learn more about the beef industry as a whole. During the cohort timeframe, youth will complete the Masters of Beef Advocacy program online through National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. In addition to completing the online program, youth will have the opportunity to continue discussion with their cohort through a series of discussion boards, additional learning resources and activities to help put what they learn into action. Youth will then log-in on January 6th for a celebration webinar to mark their completion of the program, learn more about beef in Nebraska and discuss careers in the beef industry.

Agenda for the MBA Learning Cohort:

Both zoom meetings will be recorded and distributed to those registered if unable to attend the live meeting.

  • December 16, 6:30 pm: Zoom MBA Program Kickoff
  • December 16-January 6: MBA program will be open and available for students to complete their training. During this time additional information, activities, and discussion prompts will be added to the Microsoft teams page for the cohort to interact with.
  • January 6, 6:30 pm: Zoom MBA Program Wrap Up
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Washington County Extension | 4-H

Tracy J. Behnken, Extension Educator - tracy.behnken@unl.edu

Jaki Zahourek, 4-H Extension Assistant - jaki.zahourek@unl.edu

Mary Larsen, 4-H Support Staff - mlarsen9@unl.edu