Thurston County 4-H News

September 2015

Nebraska Extension - Thurston County

Jennifer E. Hansen, Extension Educator,
Keith J. Jarvi, Extension Educator,
Stacey Keys, 4-H Assistant,

Upcoming Dates

Sept 7 - Office Closed - Labor Day

Sept 9 - State Fair Static Exhibits available for pick up at Extension Office

Sept 14 - Joint 4-H Council Meeting in Dakota City, 7:00 pm

Sept 23 - Office Closed - Jennifer & Stacey at meetings

Sept 24 – 27 - Ak-Sar-Ben in Omaha

Oct 1 - Career Portfolios DUE

Oct 4-10 - National 4-H Week

Oct 12 - Office Closed—Columbus Day

Oct 25 - Achievement Banquet

Dakota-Thurston County 2016 Fair Dates Survey

Here is a survey about changing the dates of the 2016 Dakota-Thurston County Fair. The proposed dates are August 3-7, 2016 opposed to the original dates of July 20-24, 2016.

With some of the restructuring that the Nebraska Extension is doing Keith will no longer be covering Dakota and Thurston counties. In addition to Dakota County, Angela will be covering Dixon County whose fair is July 30-August 3, 2016. In addition to Thurston County, Jennifer will be covering Burt County whose fair is August 5-9, 2016. Please take these dates into consideration when voting on Dakota-Thurston County fair dates! The deadline for you input is September 8th, as Fair Board meets on September 9th!

Career Portfolios

It is time to get started on your career portfolio! Wouldn’t it be nice to start now before the sense of “panic” sets in. Now that fair is over and you have finished up projects for the state fair, jot down some notes about your goals, experiences, find those receipts so you can record the costs of your projects. Remember the career portfolios record keeping doesn’t require that you write a lengthy essay about your projects, just the main highlights. The portfolio has five sections to complete. They include the following:

Section 1: Project Accomplishments

Section 2: 4-H Leadership, Community Service, Volunteer, etc.

Section 3: Non 4-H Experiences

Section 4: 4-H Curriculum Story

Section 5: Support Materials

The career portfolio can be a valuable tool for 4-H’ers as they prepare to graduate, apply for scholarships and enter the working world. Please call the extension office if you need assistance; Jennifer and Nikki are available to help you with your Career Portfolio questions. We encourage everyone to complete their 4-H Career Portfolio. Go to for any additional information and forms needed.

Deadline: Thursday, October 1st due to the Extension Office.

Achievement Night

Sunday, Oct. 25th, 6-8pm

Rosalie, NE, United States

Rosalie, NE

It is hard to believe that fall is right around the corner, which means we need to prepare for the achievement banquet. The banquet will be held Sunday, October 25th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Rosalie Town Hall.

Join 4-H families for an evening of fellowship, food, recognition, and FUN! The Thurston County 4-H Council will be supplying meat for the meal. Families will need to bring two side dishes. Hope to see you for an evening of FUN and RECOGNITION!

NOTE: This was bumped up a week to avoid Halloween weekend!

Diamond Clover Program

Designed to encourage 4-H youth to engage in a variety of projects and activities that will enable members to acquire the life skills necessary to lead successful lives as competent, caring and contributing citizens. The program consists of six levels that require a 4-H member to plan and report a broad range of age-appropriate accomplishments. The program is designed to enable every 4-H member willing to exert the effort an opportunity to be recognized, regardless of how they are involved in 4-H. For more information and forms, please contact the office or visit the website at

Sample accomplishments include the following:

* Learn the 4-H Pledge, Motto, and Colors

* Attend at least 60% of club/project meetings

* Attend local 4-H activities or events (contest, county fair, camp, educational

program, state fair, etc.)

* Help with 4-H promotion

* Help with a club or community service-learning project

* Complete at least one 4-H project

* Complete your 4-H Career Portfolio

* Bring a friend to a 4-H meeting or activity

* Recruit a new 4-H member

* Serve as a 4-H officer, committee chair, or on 4-H Council

The forms are due the same time as the 4-H Career Portfolio. Forms are available online. We encourage everyone to fill one out. We are sure that everyone can get started on this recognition opportunity.

Husker Harvest Days

The 38th annual Husker Harvest Days show will be held September 15, 16, and 17 at its permanent location west of Grand Island, NE. The show is recognized as the world's largest totally irrigated working farm show and features the most extensive state-of-the-art information and technology available for today's agricultural producers. Its field demonstrations and crop technology exhibits are geared to Nebraska and Western Corn Belt agriculture. This year's show offers nearly 600 exhibitors. For advanced tickets go to:

Missouri River Outdoor Expo

Are you looking for a fun hands-on activity for nature lovers? Then consider going to the Missouri River Outdoor Expo hosted at the Ponca State Park on September 19-20, 2015. There are several activities for the whole family to enjoy with outdoor cooking, wildlife observation, hunting, dog training, shooting sports, and much more. For more information about this great opportunity at the Ponca State Park, please visit

National 4-H Week

National 4-H Week will be October 4-10, 2015. Start brainstorming some ideas to increase our enrollment. The theme this year is "4-H Grows Here." Show the world how you are growing in 4-H, right here in Thurston County.

Also consider adding a science experiment (Motion Commotion) to your October meeting to celebrate National 4-H Science Day on October 7th.

Here are few ideas to try this year to promote 4-H.

· Ask local businesses to put a message about 4-H on their sign.

· Designate a “4-H Day” during 4-H Week and ask all 4-H members to wear their 4-H t-shirts to school.

· Furnish cookies for 4-H Open House at a local business or in conjunction with a community activity. Make sure your 4-H club has a sign there so you get the publicity.

· Make 4-H bookmarks and distribute them to school and public libraries during 4-H Week.

· Plan an anniversary party for your club. Invite former members and leaders.

· Put a “Happy” ad in local papers during 4-H Week.

· Fly a 4-H flag in the town square.

· The ideas are endless.

Nebraska 4-H Shooting Sports - Leader Certification Workshop

How much closer can it get? If you are interested in getting a 4-H Shooting Sports Certification mark your calendars for October 31 & November 1, 2015 at Ponca State Park. Network with other shooting sports instructors from across Nebraska. Share and learn techniques and knowledge which will develop your ability to effectively lead a local shooting sports program. Learn to use shooting sports to develop youth of strong character who possess effective skills for living. Gain certification in one of the following disciplines: shotgun, hunting skills, rifle, archery, or muzzleloading. Learn under expert instruction and learn to develop your skills as an instructor. Registration deadline is October 20th. For more information go to or contact Steve Pritchard (402) 395-2158.

Thurston County Drop Box

Need to leave us something? We're not in the office? Simply drop it in the Drop Box! It's on the wall, it's lock and it's not going anywhere. So know that anything you leave is secure and confidential.

Prudential Spirt of Community Awards

If you’ve made a difference by volunteering in your community over the past year, you could win $1,000 and a fabulous trip to Washington, D.C., next May, by applying for a Prudential Spirit of Community Award! Even more importantly, you could win recognition that might inspire other young people to follow your example. These prestigious awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, have honored more than 100,000 middle and high school students at the local, state and national level over the past 17 years solely for their volunteer work.

1. Visit

2. Once you have completed your online application, go to the “Certification” page to either email certification instructions to your certifier, or to print them out and hand-deliver them. These instructions will enable your certifier to review your application online. This must be done by November 5th. Your certifier can be your local Extension Educator, Jennifer.

3. Before submitting your application, you and your parent or guardian must complete the student/parent agreement page, which can be found on the last tab of the application.

Animal Science News

Norfolk Beef Expo

The Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness will be hosting the 64th Annual Norfolk Beef Expo on Sunday, September 13, 2015. Pre-registrations are due Tuesday, September 8th. Each exhibitor (8 to 19 years of age on January 1, 2015) may enter two market (fed) calves. A non-refundable entry of $25 must accompany the entry for each calf entered. Calves will only be received on Saturday, September 6th from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information about this opportunity, please contact the office as soon as possible.

Animal Science Open House - October 26, 2015

The Animal Science Open House will be held this fall on October 26th from 6 – 8 pm at the Animal Science Complex at UNL. This will be a great opportunity for youth, parents, and staff to come and learn more about the opportunities at UNL. There will also be educational stations and representatives from the student organizations. Please mark this date on your calendars. More details will follow including a promotion flyer. This event was formerly called the Companion Animal and Equine Open house but will be expanded to include other department programs.

Healthy Lifestyles Education News

Start Food Preservation Exhibits Now

Gardens are producing great bounties of vegetables and the fruit trees are loaded with great produce. Now is a great time to start your food preservation projects for 2015. Any canning that is processed after August 10, 2014 is eligible for exhibit at the 2015 County Fair. Make sure that you are using up-to-date USDA approved recipes for your canning. Members need to purchase a new canning book every 3 to 5 years. A great resource of approved recipes is the “Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving”. These can be purchased at local hardware and grocery stores in the canning supply area or online for about $8.95. Another resource with a wealth of approved recipes is “So Easy to Preserve” from University of Georgia Extension. You can order by calling 706-542-8999.

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