Nebraska 4-H'ers participated in the 100th National 4-H Congress
Nineteen Nebraska 4-H members traveled to the 100th National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, GA, held November 26 to 30. This year’s conference theme — “A Century of Empowering Youth” — focused on leadership, citizenship, global awareness, and inclusion.
National 4-H Congress is the premier leadership event for 4-H members between the ages of 15 and 19 years of age. Nebraska delegates are selected for the trip to National 4-H Congress by submitting an Achievement Application for state competition.
Nebraska 4-H members joined youth from 37 other states which brought together over 800 4-Hers from across the country. Youth participated in service-learning projects, international education, and a variety of workshops to expand their skills while being inspired to make an impact on their club, community, and country.
“It was amazing to learn what an impact 4-H can have on the clubs, communities, surrounding countries, and the world. Leadership may be declining statistically, but seeing over 800 other leaders in Atlanta really gives me hope that we can change those numbers,” Aleyna Cuttlers of Lancaster County said. “Being able to experience the National 4-H Congress is a moment in my life I will treasure for a very long time, whether it was the friends I made from all over the states or the leaderships skills I was able to gain from this truly amazing experience.”
The group, made up of high school students and a few college freshmen, attended numerous educational workshops, cultural events, and completed service-learning projects while in Atlanta. Attendees heard nationally known speakers, including Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau, and Dr. Carrie Castille, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture among others. Each speaker challenged the 4-Hers to continue to be leaders and to be a catalyst for change within their communities.
“I had an amazing time at congress making new friends and I learned a lot! I plan to take things that I learned back to my county to inspire and empower youth to become the best leaders and people that they can be,” Paige Wood from Nance County said. “I plan to do so through teaching fun workshops and speaking at 4-H club meetings.”
Hunter Wiese of Dodge County shared about the importance of getting out of your comfort zone and how the National 4-H Congress empowered him to be more confident while building new skills.
“I learned to get out of my comfort zone because the faster you do that the more you get to know people. This has been the best experience I have ever had.”
Highlights of the five-day trip included a tour of Atlanta, visits to the Atlanta History Center, Martin Luther King, Jr. Visitor Center, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta Zoo, World of Coke, the College Football Hall of Fame, and other attractions.
Youth were accompanied by Nebraska 4-H Extension Educator, Dawn Lindsley, along with Julie Kreikemeier, Colfax County 4-H Extension Educator; Lindsay Shearer, Nebraska 4-H Foundation; and Martin Wiese, a 4-H volunteer from Dodge County.
For more information National 4-H Congress, please visit 4h.unl.edu/congress.
Nebraska 4-H Livestock Achievement Program offers new in-depth learning experience
Nebraska 4-H members across the state were recognized as Members of Excellence for their participation in a new livestock program launched in 2021. The Nebraska 4-H Livestock Achievement Program was designed to promote all educational aspects of 4-H livestock projects including selection, production, leadership, and exhibition by recognizing youth striving to improve in their livestock project knowledge and leadership.
The program recognizes Members of Excellence across all 4-H livestock project areas, including beef, sheep, meat goat, swine, dairy cattle, dairy goat, rabbit, and poultry.
At the beginning of the 4-H year, youth applied to participate in the program. Upon acceptance, participants set goals for their 4-H project experience. At the end of the summer, they reported on their accomplishments. Participants were also required to complete their annual 4-H online enrollment process, YQCA requirements, and project record books to receive a Member of Excellence distinction.
In its inaugural year, 26 youth from 20 counties received a Member of Excellence distinction. The youth chose to participate for a variety of reasons, including to learn more about their project and the ag industry, to grow their leadership skills, and to introduce new people to 4-H livestock project areas.
“I think it is great for my daughter to get a better idea about how much [their project] costs and what goes into it,” said a participant’s parent. As part of their experience, many participants chose to educate others through static exhibits or public speaking presentations. One participant stated, “I learned to present information in a way to help educate others,” while another shared, “I also worked through my fear of presenting and talking in front of people.”
4-H members recognized as Members of Excellence in the beef project area include:
- Ella Miller, Cass County
- Everett Funk, Loup County
- Faith Miller, Hooker County
- Greyson Hollopeter Swan, Cherry County
- Lacey Schmidt, Thayer County
- Logan Schmidt, Thayer County
- McKenzie VanDeWalle, Fillmore County
- Trapper Wyatt Wilcox, Antelope County
4-H members recognized as Members of Excellence in the dairy cattle project area include:
- Kaitlyn Hanson, Saunders County
4-H members recognized as Members of Excellence in the meat goat project area include:
- Autumn Hoppe (Holt)
- Brooke Carey (Holt)
- Miya Carey (Holt)
4-H members recognized as Members of Excellence in the poultry project area include:
- Anne Nygren, Saunders County
- Janae Oberg, Frontier County
- Jon Oberg, Frontier County
4-H members recognized as Members of Excellence in the rabbit project area include:
- Adriana Hernandez, Washington County
- Andrew Frain, Lancaster County
- Elisa Oberg, Frontier County
4-H members recognized as Members of Excellence in the sheep project area include:
- Ava Myers, Hamilton County
- Cora Roth, Boyd County
- Katelyn Dorsey, Valley County
- Maggie Roberts, Otoe County
- Arabella Rolfsmeyer, Buffalo County
- Trapper Wyatt Wilcox, Antelope County
4-H members recognized as Members of Excellence in the swine project area include:
- Hunter Creech, Scotts Bluff County
- Kade Goedeken, Platte County
- Maggie Roberts, Otoe County
- Olivia Beel, Brown County
The Nebraska 4-H Livestock Achievement Program is now accepting applications for 2022.Livestock Achievement Program
Applications open for Omaha Fashion Week 4-H Collection
Nebraska 4-H is pleased to partner with Omaha Fashion Week (OFW) to showcase the work of 4-H members during the Spring Showcase Student Night. OFW Student Night, scheduled for Wednesday, February 23, 2022, exclusively features student designers, including a 4-H collection. The 4-H collection will consist of 10 to 12 garments modeled by the 4-H members who made them.
In order to create a complete and dynamic collection, current 4-H members are invited to apply to participate in the show. Garments must be constructed by the 4-H member. Garments should be fashion-forward, runway appropriate, and display high-quality construction. Creativity and attention to detail are highly scrutinized in garment selection. Online applications are open now through January 3, 2022.Learn More
2022 4-H Youth Leadership Conference Ambassador team announced
Nebraska 4-H is excited to announce the members of the 2022 4-H Youth Leadership Conference Ambassador team!
- Drew Whitney, Seward County
- Lola Rowse, Thomas County
- Kaylee Powell, Hall County
- Isabella Benne, Burt County
- Payton Smidt, Gage County
- Chelsa Reardon, Platte County
- Emily Van Meter, Otoe County
- Autumn Lindsley, Butler County
These youth will help plan and facilitate the 2022 Nebraska 4-H Youth Leadership Conference scheduled for June 24-26, 2022. The ambassadors will meet monthly to plan and prepare for the conference while developing their own leadership skills.4-H Youth Leadership Conference Ambassadors
Nebraska 4-H'ers bring home national awards
Nebraska 4-H teams and individuals claimed top awards in the National 4-H Livestock Skillathon and Quiz Bowl Contests held November 15-16th in Louisville, Kentucky.
The livestock skillathon team from Buffalo County received 1st place overall. Team members included:
- Taylor Lewis
- Jaylea Pope
- Noah Summers
- Skyler Summers
Team members also claimed top individual awards, including Skyler Summers receiving 1st place overall, Noah Summers with 2nd place overall, and Jaylea Pope receiving 11th place overall. 4-H volunteer, Dean Batie, coached the team.
The livestock quiz bowl team from Dawson County claimed 3rd place overall. Team members included:
- Emma Peterson
- Jacie Wolfinger
- Greg Treffer
- Spencer Walahoski
Team members also claimed individual awards. Spence Walahoski received 4th place overall, and Greg Treffer received 8th place overall. 4-H volunteer, Shannon Peterson, coached the team.
Loft Gallery features 4-H member's artwork
Twelve talented young artists from across Nebraska have artwork currently on display in the Loft Gallery in the Nebraska East Union.
The show features fourteen drawings, including graphite, ink, charcoal, color pencil, and scratchboard artwork, created by 4-H members. The pieces were selected from hundreds of 4-H visual art exhibits entered at the 2021 Nebraska State Fair.
The exhibition features original artwork by the following 4-H members:
- Kaila Spieker, 17, Pierce County, Hadar Handy Helpers 4-H Club
- Addison Zook, 18, Butler County, Always Busy Clover 4-H Club
- Austyn Rumbeck, 17, Buffalo County, Diamond Willow 4-H Club
- Aimee Merrill, 18, Hitchcock County, Southwest Shooting Sports 4-H Club
- Janessa Schmidt, 19, Colfax County Busy Bees 4-H Club
- Anne Marie Wurtz, 18, Lancaster County, Star City Cornhuskers 4-H Club (2)
- Piper Dather, 16, Knox County, Northwest Feeders 4-H Club
- Ashlyn Boeckenhauer, 15, Dixon County, independent 4-H member (2)
- Hadley Hartman, 11, Johnson County, West Elk Creek 4-H Club
- Kinsley Oestmann, 16, Nemaha County, Timbercreek 4-H Club
- Emily Loseke, 19, Colfax County, All-Star 4-H Club
- Carmen Kosmicki, 18, Howard County, independent 4-H member
Admission to the Loft Gallery is free and open to the public anytime the Nebraska East Union is open. The exhibit will remain in place through December.
4-H is Nebraska’s largest youth development organization–empowering 140,000 young people across Nebraska with the skills to lead for a lifetime. The 4-H visual art projects help young people develop life skills, such as communication, problem-solving, self-esteem, and self-motivation. Learn more at 4h.unl.edu.
4-H Horse Advisory Committee is now accepting applications
The Nebraska 4-H Horse Advisory Committee provides guidance, support, and assistance in carrying out program activities in the interest of the 4-H Youth Development and horse program. This committee is made up of 4-H volunteer leaders and Extension personnel from across Nebraska who are interested in promoting positive youth development and the 4-H horse program.
4-H leaders, parents, and trainers can serve up to a 3-year term on the committee. All members are expected to attend and participate in 75% of meetings in a calendar year of which there are typically 4. Committee members are also expected to serve on a sub-committee which may meet at a higher frequency. Committees include sponsorship and fundraising, awards and apparel, rule book, youth activity, and volunteer relations. Members are also asked to volunteer at one or more state 4-H events.
Applications are accepted from November 1st through December 3rd at 5:00 PM CT. New committee members are selected based on location, skills, and reasons for wanting to join. Those selected will be contacted directly.Apply Now4-H Horse Advisory Committee
Fed Steer Challenge applications due Dec. 1
The Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge is an opportunity for youth interested in learning more about the cattle industry. The program is designed to cultivate the next generation of leaders in the Nebraska cattle industry and enhance the educational value of the traditional 4-H beef projects. The Fed Steer Challenge provides an affordable option that rewards production merit and carcass value of the market animal, along with accurate and complete record-keeping, industry knowledge, and producer engagement. Youth interested in participating in the 2022 Fed Steer Challenge must complete an online application process. Applications are due by December 1, 2021.Fed Steer Challenge
Livestock Achievement Program returns for year two
The Nebraska 4-H Livestock Achievement Program is designed to promote all educational aspects of 4-H livestock projects including selection, production, leadership, and exhibition by recognizing youth striving to improve in their livestock project knowledge and leadership.
The program recognizes Members of Excellence across all 4-H livestock project areas, including:
- meat goat
- dairy cattle
- dairy goat
The program consists of two levels that require 4-H members to plan and report a broad range of age-appropriate and project-related accomplishments. For each level, the Livestock Achievement Program provides a list of accomplishments from which 4-H members choose their goals. Each accomplishment is worth a specific number of points. Intermediates, ages 10-13, must complete 100 points worth of activities to receive the distinction of Intermediate Member of Excellence. Seniors, ages 14-18, must complete 150 points worth of activities to receive the distinction of Senior Member of Excellence.
At the beginning of the 4-H year, youth must apply to participate in the program. Upon acceptance into the program, participants plan what to accomplish. At the end of the 4-H year, they report on their completed accomplishments. Additionally, participants must complete their annual 4-H Online enrollment process, YQCA requirements, and project record books in order to receive a Member of Excellence distinction.Livestock Achievement Program
Nebraska 4-H hits the road with volunteer professional development
This fall, Nebraska 4-H is hitting the road with an all-new volunteer professional development opportunity. Join us for an evening to discover new opportunities for yourself and your 4-H youth, network with other 4-H volunteers in your community, and build your skills as a 4-H volunteer! Be sure to register in advance to save your seat. Registration is $8 and includes a meal and all materials. Payment is due at the door.
McCook – November 8
- Location: Red Willow County Fairgrounds Community Building
- Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm CST
- Register by November 1.
Bridgeport – November 9
- Location: Prairie Winds Community Center
- Time: 5:30 - 8:30 pm MST
- Register by November 1.
Columbus – November 15
- Location: Central Community College
- Time: 6:00 - 9:00 pm CST
- Register by November 8.
Beatrice – November 18
- Location: Southeast Community College
- Time: 5:30 - 8:30 pm CST
- Register by November 10.
Registration for the 2022 judge registration closes September 30th
Adults interested in judging county and state 4-H projects, including live animal shows, static exhibits, and contests are invited to complete the statewide Judge Registration. While not required, the registration process gets your name added to the statewide list of judges which is available to 4-H staff across the state who are looking to hire new judges for fairs, contests, and shows. Adults interested in being added to the 2022 judge list must complete the online registration process by September 30, 2021.Judge Registration
Entry for NEW State 4-H Rodeo closes on September 17th
Nebraska 4-H is proud to partner with the UNL Rodeo Team to offer a new opportunity for 4-H members enrolled in the horse project. The State 4-H Rodeo provides youth an opportunity to showcase their skills in working with their equine partners through speed and agility contests, including goat tying, barrel racing, pole bending, tie down roping, break-a-way roping, and dally team roping. This new event will be held on Saturday, October 9 at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Entry for this event is open now through September 17th. No late entries will be accepted.Learn More
Launching Nebraska-nauts into the 4-C'able Future
Nebraska 4-H is proud to host Launching Nebraska-nauts, an in-flight educational downlink connecting students across Nebraska to astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Through this once-in-a-lifetime experience, educators and students across Nebraska will have the opportunity to interact with astronauts through a question-and-answer session. An in-person experience will be hosted at Raising Nebraska in Grand Island on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, including learning opportunities, guest speakers, and exhibits for participants to interact with!
Students of all ages and classes of all grade levels are invited to participate. A limited number of people will be able to attend the live, in-person event at Raising Nebraska, and registration is now open for those interested. Satellite sites will also be selected across the state, where students and educators may also join in person.
Nebraska 4-H is also looking for sponsors and exhibitors for the live event. Make a financial donation to support the Launching Nebraska-nauts program, or sign up for an interactive booth space during the live event at Raising Nebraska on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.Learn More
Download the 4-H at State Fair App
Keep up-to-date with everything Nebraska 4-H has to offer at the 2021 Nebraska State Fair by downloading the 4-H at the State Fair app. Get the earliest possible access to results, show programs, and contest schedules. You won't miss a minute of the fun with everything this app has to offer.App StoreGoogle Play
4-H Volunteers Needed for State Fair
Nebraska 4-H relies heavily on volunteers in the days leading up to and during the Nebraska State Fair. 4-H volunteers are essential in helping ensure each 4-H event, as well as the entire Fair, runs smoothly. A wide variety of roles, dates, and times are available. Individuals also receive a fair pass for each day they volunteer during the State Fair. Volunteer opportunities and interest forms are available on the State Fair 4-H Volunteer webpage.State Fair 4-H Volunteer Information
4-H'ers Invited to Submit to the 2021 4-H Project Showcase
Calling all 4-H members! You're invited to submit your favorite project to see it featured on the 4-H Video Wall at the 2021 Nebraska State Fair!
The 2021 4-H Project Showcase is a fun opportunity to showcase your favorite project, a project you're particularly proud of, or a project you've learned a lot from. Absolutely any 4-H project is eligible regardless of the awards it received through judging or the ability to have it judged at the county level. Be sure to submit your project by August 10 to see it featured at this year's State Fair! Though, projects may still be submitted after August 10th for a chance to be showcased by Nebraska 4-H on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.2021 4-H Project Showcase
State Fair Entry Open for 4-H Livestock Exhibitors and Contest Participants
The online entry system is now open for 4-H'ers planning to exhibit livestock or participate in a contest at the Nebraska State Fair. Entries must be submitted via ShoWorks by August 10 at 8:00 pm CT. This includes youth participating in any of the following shows or contests:
- Meat goats
- Dog Skillathon
- Dairy Judging Contest
- Digital Video - 4-H FilmFest
- Presentations Contest
- Fashion Show
- Culinary Challenge Contest
- Insect Identification Contest
- Tree Identification Contest
- Horticulture Identification Contest
- Weed & Grass Identification Contest
Entry must be completed by the 4-H family and must be paid for using a credit card. There are no other options for payment. For more information about exhibiting in 4-H at the State Fair, please visit the 4-H Live Animal Exhibitor Resources or 4-H Contest Participant Resources.Enter Now!
Youth from across the state compete in 2021 Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Expo
Youth from across Nebraska converged in Grand Island on June 10-14th to compete in the 2021 Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Expo. The event is the pinnacle showing experience for members of the 4-H horse program, and many were excited for this year's face-to-face experience following a virtual show in 2020. The show included a multitude of classes for youth and their horses. Some classes, such as halter and showmanship, were open to all youth regardless of district-level competition. However, other classes required youth to qualify at one of five district-level shows. Districts were held in June in various locations across the state. Results from the 2021 Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Expo are now available in the 4-H Now mobile app or on the event website.2021 Results
Congratulations to the 2021 Nebraska 4-H Foundation scholarship recipients
Congratulations to the 2021 Nebraska 4-H Foundation scholarship recipients! The Nebraska 4-H Foundation offers 4-H members the opportunity to apply for scholarships and awards up to $22,000 worth of scholarships each year to 4-H members from across the state.
- Fletcher Larsen, Cherry County
- Abby Scholz, Phelps County
- Allison Rippe, Red Willow County
- Madelyn Kreifels, Lancaster County
- Logan Hicks, Nemaha County
- Emily Loseke, Colfax County
- Galayna Erickson, Hitchcock County
- Jacob Wells, Howard County
- Cooper Koch, York County
- Kristen Herrick, Franklin County
- Sheridan Wilson, Arthur County
- Jessica Wilkinson, Scotts Bluff County
- Blake Bruns, Lincoln County
- Gracie Schneider, Dawson County
- Logan Cast, Seward County
- Kaleb Hasenkamp, Cuming County
- Gracie Philpot, Buffalo County
- Kacee Dvorak, Custer County
- Kaylee Davis, Grant County
- Sarah Treffer, Dawson County
- Wyatt Siwinski, Merrick County
Congratulations to 2021 Governor's Ag Excellence Award Winners
Congratulations to the 4-H Clubs recognized with 2021 Governor's Ag Excellence Awards. Sponsored by the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, the purpose of the Nebraska 4-H Foundation's Governor's Ag Excellence Awards is to recognize 4-H Clubs for the work of the individuals in the club and the community service work of the entire club.
- 4 Star Hamilton Hero's, Hamilton County
- Always Busy Clovers, Butler County
- Badger Buddies, Washington County
- Better Ba-C's, Otoe County
- Blazing Saddles, Otoe County
- Blue Hill Better Herds, Webster County
- Dakota County 4-H Council, Dakota County
- Farnam Clovers 4-H, Frontier County
- Five Start 4-H, Lancaster County
- Fusion 4-H'ers, Lancaster County
- Happy Helpers, Frontier County
- Joe's Clover Knights, Lancaster County
- Lancaster County 4-H Teen Council, Lancaster County
- Nance County Robotics, Nance County
- NEquestrian, Lancaster County
- Pathfinders, Gage County
- Sandhills Critters, Custer County
- Sheridan County Junior Leaders, Sheridan County
- Southern Lancaster Kids, Lancaster County
- Spring Creek Boots and Buckles, Thayer County
- Sterling 4-H Club, Johnson County
- Unified Showing, Lancaster County
- Unified Showing, Otoe County
- Westside Hustlers, Saunders County