Nebraska Extension - Gage County

May 2021 Newsletter

In This Issue:

  • Office Closed Memorial Day
Upcoming Events
  • The Biggest Grower
  • Yard and Garden Live
  • Yard and Garden with Nicole-Podcast
  • Vegetable Garden Class
  • GrowBigRed- Pollinator Garden
  • Garden Produce Rescue
  • Southeast Nebraska Food Partners
  • Nourishing the Good Life
Horticulture - Nicole Stoner
  • Yard and Garden Q&A- April 16
  • Yard and Garden Q&A- April 23
Food, Nutrition & Health - Tara Dunker
  • Piling on mommy failures
  • Frozen food myths- debunked
4-H & Youth Development - Jacie Milius
  • 2021 4-H Enrollment
  • Local 4-H Camps
  • Anytime Learning
  • Tagging and Livestock ID
  • YQCA training


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The Biggest Grower

Nebraska High School Students: Who will be The Biggest Grower this summer?

If you’re a high school student entering the ninth through 12th grade this fall and you want to do a fun, hands-on, outdoor activity with a bit of instruction and a bunch of flexibility, Nebraska Extension is again providing a summer gardening program called The Biggest Grower! Competition begins May 10 through August 6.

REGISTER ›› Only 60 spots are available!

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Yard and Garden with Nicole- Podcast

Don't miss another episode of Yard and Garden! You can now listen to it anywhere- on the website, Spotify, Apple Podcast, and Google Podcast. Just search Yard and Garden with Nicole!

Vegetable Garden Class

Want to learn more about vegetable gardening AND take home gardening plants of your own?! Visit Tall Tree Tastings and guest Nicole Stoner, May 20 at 6 pm, in Beatrice for a fun evening learning all about gardening. Pre-register with Tall Tree Tastings to take home a vegetable plant for your garden. You won't want to miss it!

GrowBigRed- Pollinator Gardening

May 4 | 6:30-7:30pm: Creating a Pollinator Habitat | Panelist: Kathleen Cue

May 11 | 6:30-7:30pm: Bees, Butterflies and Beyond | Panelists: Jody Green and Kait Chapman

May 18 | 6:30-7:30pm: Pollinator Blooms for All Seasons | Panelists: Mary Jane Frogge and Kelly Feehan

Garden Produce Rescue

Lettuce beet hunger among our neighbors this year by participating in our 2021 Garden Produce Rescue! Simply donate any extra items your home garden produces that would otherwise go to waste. Even a couple extra cucumbers here and there can make a big difference in the life of someone struggling with food insecurity. Donate your whole, washed produce by bringing it to the Gage County Extension office during normal business hours (M-F 8:00am-4:30pm). Your produce will be weighed and delivered to local entities within Gage County who serve those struggling with food insecurity. By donating your extra produce through Extension, you can be assured it is getting into the hands of people who need it while it’s still fresh.
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Southeast Nebraska Food Partners

Looking for food raised locally? Check out the Southeast Nebraska Food Partners new website at

Yard and Garden: April 16

This is the Q&A for the Yard and Garden show for April 16, 2021. Yard and Garden Live is a call-in radio show I do on KUTT 99.5 FM from 10-11:30 am and it will run through July 30, 2021. It can also be found on for online listening. If you missed a show or just want to read through the questions, I have written them all in my blog and will continue to do so throughout the season. Guest Host: Kevin Christiansen, Horticulture Instructor at SCC, & Chelsea Tietjen, Instructor of Agronomy at SCC

Yard and Garden Q&A: April 23

This is the Q&A for the Yard and Garden show for April 23, 2021. Yard and Garden Live is a call-in radio show I do on KUTT 99.5 FM from 10-11:30 am and it will run through July 30, 2021. It can also be found on for online listening. If you missed a show or just want to read through the questions, I have written them all in my blog and will continue to do so throughout the season. Guest Host: Graham Herbst, Community Forester Specialist, Nebraska Forest Service

Food, Nutrition & Health - Tara Dunker, Extension Educator

Piling on mommy failures

I cried in the doctor’s office. I’m not talking about a single tear down one cheek. I’m talking about the kind of cry that leaves you puffy-eyed, red-faced, and desperate for a box of tissues for the open spigot that used to be a nose.

Frozen food myths, debunked

Frozen food often conjures up images of cardboard trays filled with some form of pressed meat, canned corn and instant potatoes, all covered with plastic film. But, any seasoned cook knows frozen food can be just as good for you as it is convenient. You just need to know what to look for and how to use it. I thought the most interesting way to tackle frozen foods would be to debunk some long standing myths. So, here goes.

4-H & Youth Development - Jacie Milius, Extension Educator

2021 Gage County 4-H Enrollment

Enrollment is open for 2021 Gage County 4-H. All 4-H youth (ages 8-18), Clover Kids (ages 5-7), and leaders/volunteers are required to enroll online every year. Enrollment deadline is June 15. We encourage all members to enroll using a computer and not your mobile device. This site is not mobile-friendly and can cause some issues when it comes time to pay your dues online. Enrollment instructions for new members can be found at the Extension Office or online at Call Jacie at 402-223-1384 with any enrollment questions.

$12 dues must be paid online at the conclusion of the enrollment process. **No enrollment fee for Clover Kids.

Projects will continue to be cleared from 4HOnline annually. Project history per member can be found under Member Reports in your family account. Call the Extension Office if you have questions.

Local 4-H Camps

Summer camps are a great way for youth to create friendships, experience independence, and learn new ideas or skills. Nebraska Extension in Gage, Saline, Jefferson counties teamed-up to offer fun camp experiences for 8-18 year olds. Camp Renegade (ages 8-10) and Camp Venture (ages 10-12) are overnight camps hosted at Camp Jefferson, 2.5 miles south of Fairbury. To attend, please pre-register by June 11. New for 2021, all registrations must be done online. Links for registration are linked below. Youth do not have to be a 4-H member to attend Camp Renegade or Venture. Older youth (ages 14-18) have an opportunity to be a leader for the younger youth as a Camp Counselor. Camp counselor applications are due May 3 and Counselors are expected to attend the Camp Counselor Training on Thursday, May 27, 6:15-7:30 p.m. at the 4-H Building on the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

Anytime Learning

4-H learning happens year-round at your home, club meeting, 4-H workshops and County Fair. We are excited to present spring and summer workshops, projects, and exhibits for 4-H youth to learn skills, work together, and have fun. 2021 Anytime Learning listing is included in this newsletter and youth will register online through Eventbrite by May 1 (unless otherwise noted) or the project's limited enrollment is full. Note project enrollment fees when applicable AND project indicated for the youth to enroll in on 4HOnline. Those registered will receive complete project/workshop information. Don't miss out... register early, have fun, and learn new skills!

Tagging and Livestock ID

In 2021, exhibitors and families are responsible for collecting DNA, tagging, and identifying their livestock for all species (including swine). Gage County 4-H Council has paid for the tags in 2021, no fee will be collected. We will not be hosting a Swine Tagging Day in 2021. Livestock ID sheets and registration papers (for registered livestock) are due to the Extension Office by June 15 and can be found at:


4-H (ages 8-18) and FFA (under age 19) exhibitors as of Jan. 1st of the current year who exhibit beef, dairy, goats, sheep, swine, rabbit & poultry are REQUIRED to complete YQCA training by June 15, 2021 to be eligible to participate at the Gage County Fair and Nebraska State Fair. (Clover Kids are not required to complete YQCA training). **Note: you must be enrolled on 4hOnline for the current year prior to registering for a training.