News From Wayne County

The 4-H Pledge

November 29, 2018

I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty , my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world. Head, Heart, Hands, and Health are the four H’s of the 4-H program that youth need to be engaged while in the 4-H program. Using their heads, they learn to manage many different things in their 4-H projects and life. Through their heart they learn to relate to others and be kind to those around them. With their hands, 4-Hers are able to work on various projects and assist others. By living healthy they are practicing being capable of caring for their self and others.

How can being involved in 4-H foster a youth’s success? In 2002, the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development longitudinal study began and was then repeated annually for eight years. There were more than 7,000 adolescents from across 44 states in the United States that were part of the study. The Tufts Research Team examined how structured-out-of-school time learning, leadership experiences, and adult mentoring that young people receive through 4-H plays a role in helping them achieve success.

4-Hers practice responsibility by being involved in a variety of different 4-H projects offered through the program. The program priority areas of Career and College Readiness, Community Development, Entrepreneurship, Food Supply Confidence, Healthy Living, Leadership Development, and STEM. If a youth chooses to participate in a healthy living projects, they may learn the skill of meal planning for themselves and their family. They may even keep a food budget for their family.

4-Hers practice responsibility by caring for animals daily in various animal science projects. 4-Hers make sure their animals have a safe place to be, have appropriate food and water, and that their animals are cared for and can be handled. This responsibility takes time and dedication by the 4-Her and their family and does not just happen one week out of the year at the county fair. 4-Hers in livestock projects take Youth for the Quality Control of Animals (YQCA) to help prepare for daily care and management.

The Tufts Research Longitudinal Study showed that compared to their peers, youth involved in 4-H programs excelled in several areas. 4-Hers are:
-Nearly 4 times more likely (Grades 7-12) to make contribution to their communities.
-About 2 times more likely (Grades 8-12) to be civically active.
-Nearly 2 times more likely (Grades 10-12) to participate in science programs during out-of-school time
-Nearly 2 times more likely (Grade 7) to make healthier choices. 

For information on how you can be involved in 4-H go to 4h.unl.edu.

 Source: Richard M. Lerner, Jacqueline V. Lerner, and Colleagues, The Positive Development of Youth; Comprehensive Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University.  

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4-H Clover Kids

October 25, 2018

The Clover Kids program can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for youth. The 4-H program which is part of  Nebraska Extension is helping young people grow and develop physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually as they “learn by doing”. Nebraska Clover Kids are developing skills of positive youth development so they become competent, caring and contributing citizens, intent on “Making the Best Better.”

Clover Kids is the portion of the Nebraska 4-H program that is for youth ages 5 to 7 years of age by December 31, 2018. Children participate in hands-on activities designed to build lots of different life skills.  The most important life skills for the 5- to 7-year-old age group are: respecting self, communicating, solving problems, thinking critically, and choosing healthy lifestyles.

When do Clover Kids meet? Clover Kids in Wayne County will be having a meeting on Saturday, November 3, 2018 from 9:00 AM- 10:15 AM in the basement at the Wayne County Courthouse. To sign up for this event, contact the Nebraska Extension Office at 402-375-3310 or Wayne-county@unl.edu. In Clover Kids, youth will practice communication skills, strengthen motor skills through hands on activities, explore science, and make friends and learn to work with peers.

Clover Kids often times transition into the 4-H club program when they turn 8 by December 31, 2018. These 4-H members then choose from a variety of 4-H projects that include the programming areas of; Career and College Readiness, Community Development, Entrepreneurship, Food Supply Confidence, Healthy Living,  Leadership Development and STEM. In addition to Clover Kids and clubs, youth may also participate in 4-H through Camps, Schools Enrichment, and Afterschool delivery methods.

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Youth can Benefit from 4-H

September 27, 2018

 What is 4-H?

4-H is a community of young people, ages 5-19, across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills.  4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential working and learning in partnership with caring adults.  4-H is education for life that uses a learning-by-doing approach. 

Lifetime Benefit-Strong roots, promising future

For over 100 years, youth and adults have been working together-learning, doing, growing, and serving.  4-H prepares young people for higher education and potential careers.  4-H does this by emphasizing life skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, serving others as well as managing change.

Connection with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

In Nebraska, 4-H is provided through Nebraska Extension, in cooperation with county governing boards, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), and the United States Department of Agriculture.  4-H project resources are developed by University of Nebraska staff using the latest research.

Customizable Expereince-4-H offers over 150 different projects

Traditional clubs, camps, school enrichment, and programs/events are all ways youth across Nebraska can be involved with the 4-H program.  Woven throughout each 4-H project area are opportunities for 4-Hers to learn about science, agriculture literacy, career development and college readiness, citizenship and leadership, as well as healthy living.

4-H is for the family

4-H is more than an activity for youth; it can be a shared experience for the whole family! Parents, siblings, and relatives can have fun, discover, care, and grow along with their 4-H youth.  Adult volunteers can lead clubs, lend their expertise to particular project areas, and serve on teams with other volunteers.  By making 4-H a family affair, thousands of families enjoy quality time together.

4-H gives back

Nebraska youth are becoming leaders who create change right in their own backyard! Nebraska 4-H encourages youth to give back to the communities that have helped them succeed and grow.  Through various community service efforts around the state, 4-H clubs have donated time and hours on community projects. 

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Nebraska State Fair

August 30, 2018

The county fair season is compete and the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island opened on Friday, August 24th.  The fair will run through September 3, 2018.  There are many exhibits on display in the 4-H/FFA Building which includes anything from in aerospace to woodworking. 

During the first weekend of the State Fair, individuals had opportunities to compete in the 4-H dog show as well as the youth dairy show, presentation contest, insect ID, tree ID, horticulture, weed crops, grass, and forbes ID contests. During the second weekend of the fair individuals will compete in the areas of swine, sheep, beef, goats, rabbits, poultry, premier exhibitor, fashion show, and film fest.  Events will wrap up on Monday, September 3rd.

The Nebraska State Fair is the premier opportunity for 4-H members to showcase what they have learned and worked on throughout the year. At the State Fair, we celebrate the successes of thousands of youth who have learned and grown through 4-H. The state fair is a prime opportunity for 4-H members to cultivate skills they have learned in 4-H projects, put their life skills and good character to work, discover new areas of interest, and meet new people. The Nebraska State Fair is held each year at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds in Grand Island, Nebraska. This year's event runs from August 24 - September 3, 2018. Visit the Nebraska 4-H State Fair Fairbook at 4h.unl.edu for information about 4-H static and animal exhibits, as well as 4-H in-person contests and competitions happening at the State Fair.

Experience 4-H at the Nebraska State Fair from wherever you might be by downloading the 4-H at the Nebraska State Fair App for your iPad/iPhone or Android mobile device. App users will be able to see a schedule of 4-H events, the results of all static exhibits and contests, 4-H news from the State Fair, and a fair map. If visiting the 4-H Exhibit Hall at the Nebraska State Fair, be sure to check out the 4-H Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win some new 4-H gear!

Nebraska 4-H is only one part of the Nebraska State Fair. For more information about other activities, events, and contests happening, please visit the Nebraska State Fair website at state fair.org.

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The Experiential Learning Process 

June 28 

Experiential learning takes place when a youth is involved in an activity, and they look back at it critically, determines what was useful or important to remember, and use this information to perform another activity. The five-step experiential learning model guides the process turning activities into fun learning experiences.  4-H uses this hands-on learning approach to teach new topics and life skills. The five-step experiential learning model guides the process. 

It is important that youth are aware of the learning that takes place as they are involved in experiences. As they reflect on these experiences, they can identify what was most important and how that knowledge can be applied to other life situations. Through 4-H youth programs, adult volunteers can help youth develop these reflective skills.

 The Experiential Learning Model provides five steps to assist with this process.

 Adult volunteers can begin by:
•Setting aside enough time for reflecting on the experience.
•Asking the right questions.
•Planning developmentally appropriate experiences that lead to reflection.
•Listening carefully.
•Supporting each youth’s unique learning.

 Step 1: Experience: The hands-on action step where youth do their project.
•Youth experiment with new ideas, interests, and projects.

 Step 2: Share: Describe what was done.
•What kinds of hopes and dreams did you have for your 4-H experience this year?
•What did you do?
•What was your goal for this project when you began?
•Tell me about your most favorite things about working on your project.
•Tell about your least favorite things about working on your project.
•What did you learn while doing this project?
•What did you learn about yourself?
•How did you share your project with others?

 Step 3: Process: Identify common themes and discover, what was most important, (the life skill), about project work.
•What did you learn about yourself by doing this project?
•How did you make your decision? What steps did you take?
•What did you learn about making decisions?
•What were some of the common themes or thoughts you had?
•What was the most challenging part of your project? Why? How did you solve it?
•What did you learn from this project that you didn’t know before?
•Why was this an important/useful thing to do?
•What suggestions would you have for someone else who wanted to do a similar project?

 Step 4: Generalize: So what?
Identify how to use what’s been learned in real life. These questions transition the experience or “product” itself to the skill being practiced in “real” life. They explore the nature of the life skill, reflect on how the life skill has been developed through their work and set the stage for application of the life skill in new situations.

•What key points have you learned?
•What similar experience have you had throughout this project/activity?
•Where have you faced similar challenges in your life?
•How is this life skill important to you?
•What did you learn about your decision-making skills?

 Step 5: Apply: What’s next?
These are the questions we’ve been building towards: We can help youth show that they have gained new knowledge and practiced the life skills learned rather than solely focusing on the subject matter or product development skills.

•What did the project mean to your everyday life?
•What have you learned about yourself? Others?
•What principles or guidelines can you use in real-life situations?
•What other situations like this have you experienced before?
•How can you use these skills in different situations?
•In what ways do people help each other learn new things?
•How will you act differently in the future as a result of this experience?

 

Adapted from: Questions for Guiding Experiential Learning. Deidrick, Doering, Geiser, Kanengieter, Piehl, Stevenson. Minnesota 4-H Youth Development, University of Minnesota Extension Service.

4-H National Headquarters Fact Sheet Experiential Learning, April 2011

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Life on the Farm

 May 24, 2018

The mission of Nebraska 4-H is to empower youth to reach their full potential by working and learning in partnership with caring adults. Nebraska 4-H strives to help Nebraska youth achieve their greatest potential by introducing them to high-quality youth development programs and experiences. By taking part in Nebraska 4-H, youth are preparing for a successful future by engaging in educational experiences offered through the following priorities: Career and College Readiness; Community Development; Entrepreneurship; Food Supply Confidence; Healthy Living; Leadership Development; and STEM.

Programming done by Nebraska 4-H also relates to these priority areas. On Tuesday, May 15 156 fourth grade students participated in the “Life on the Farm” event coordinated by Nebraska Extension. There were eight different sessions that included Agriculture Technology, Beef, Dairy, Corn and Soybeans, Sheep, Swine, Poultry, and Soils. These sessions were taught by current 4-Hers, agriculture industry leaders, and Extension staff. Each of the groups had the opportunity to rotate through all eight sessions learning about the importance of agriculture and industry in our state. By participating, students could relate to the priority areas of food supply confidence, career and college readiness, and STEM.

Information from the Nebraska Agriculture Fact Card released in February 2018 as a cooperative effort of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, USDA, NASS, Nebraska Field Office and Nebraska Bankers Association shared that Nebraska ranks 1st in exports of beef and veal in 2017, also in commercial red meat production, commercial cattle slaughter, and great northern bean production. Nebraska’s ten leading commodities (in order of value) for 2016 cash receipts are cattle, and calves, corn, soybeans, hogs, dairy products, wheat, hay, chicken eggs, dry edible beans, and sorghum. One in four jobs in Nebraska is related to agriculture. 

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4-H: Helping Nebraska Students Write their Next Chapter

April 26, 2018

Nebraska 8th grader 4-Hers recently had the opportunity to participate in Next Chapter Celebration on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.  This is an exciting program that connects students to the University of Nebraska! Those that enroll in this program as 8th graders will received a letter from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln congratulating them on their preadmission.  This means that students, who qualify academically will be admitted to the University after high school.  Next Chapter also grants students access to resources. Highlights include:

  • Insight from 4-H alumni regarding campus life
  • Discussions with UNL professors about opportunities at UNL
  • Access to admissions and financial aid personnel
  • Step-By-Step lessons to prepare students for college throughout their high school career
  • Real world connections between content and 4-H projects

 All 8th graders enrolled in 4-H can participate in the Next Chapter program. This program is also available to Freshmen and Sophomores in the 2017/2018 school year.  Students must complete each chapter as the progress through high school.  This will include five lessons per academic year.  On Thursday, May 31, 4-Hers who just completed their 8th, 9th and 10th grade are invited to participate in the Next Chapter event in Wayne.

 The University of Nebraska is excited to help students and their families make this exciting time of change easier by providing this unprecedented access to high school students.  If students or parents have any questions regarding this program, feel free to contact your local Nebraska Extension office or Phil Onwiler, State 4-H Office or Lindsay Kretchman, with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

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4-H Summer Camps and Trips

March 22, 2018                                                                       

Have you thought about a camping experience for your child this summer? The 4-H Camping experience can happen at two different 4-H camping locations in Nebraska. There are camps for youth ages 5-18 years of age by December 31, 2017. The goal of Nebraska 4-H Camp is to allow youth a place to discover, learn, and grow.  Youth do not have to be a member of 4-H to attend a Nebraska 4-H Camp.  At Nebraska 4-H Camps and Centers, they believe strongly in promoting the mission of Nebraska 4-H, which encourages all young people to reach their full potential, by working and learning in partnership with caring adults.

The Nebraska 4-H Camps are located in the beauty of the Nebraska National Forest (Halsey) and Schramm State Park (Gretna).  The Nebraska 4-H Camping staff is able to do what they do best:  provide a life-changing summer experience for all youth!  4-H is education for life and focuses on helping young people explore the science in everyday life, grow leadership and citizenship skills, explore future career opportunities, and make healthier decisions. 

The Nebraska 4-H Camps are American Camp Association (ACA) accredited, meaning that they care enough to undergo a thorough review of over 300 standards related to operations, staffing, and emergency management.  Nebraska Camp staff recruit an experienced and caring staff that receive training in First—aid and CPR training, water safety, camping skills, and positive youth development training.  No matter which 4-H Camp your child goes to, camp is a great place to meet new friends, try something for the first time, and build cherished memories. 

To register online go to 4h.unl.edu/camp. If you are interested in picking up a registration to mail in, stop by your local Nebraska Extension office to pick up a form.  There are numerous camps offered with various focuses throughout the summer, you will find one that is right for your child. From now until April 15, 2018, you will receive an Early Bird Camp Fee, which is outlined on the website or brochure from your Nebraska Extension Office. 

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Involvement in 4-H can Help Foster Success in Youth

February 20, 2018 

The 4-H Pledge
I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty , my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.  Head, Heart, Hands, and Health are the four H’s of the 4-H program that youth need to be engaged while in the 4-H program.  Using their heads, they learn to manage many different things in their 4-H projects and life. Through their heart, they learn to relate to others and be caring to those around them and their projects.  With their hands, 4-Hers are able to work on various projects and assist others. By living healthy they are practicing being capable of caring for self and others. 

How can being involved in 4-H foster youth’s success?  In 2002, the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development longitudinal study began and was then repeated annually for eight years.  There were more than 7,000 adolescents from across 42 states in the United States that were part of the study.  The Tufts research team examined how structured-out-of-school time learning, leadership experiences, and adult mentoring that young people receive through 4-H plays a role in helping them achieve success.

4-Hers practice responsibility by being involved in a variety of different 4-H projects offered through the program.  The project areas are Animal Science, Communication and Expressive Arts, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Education and Earth Sciences, Family and Consumer Sciences, Healthy Lifestyle Education, Leadership and Citizenship, Plant Science, and Plant Science and Technology.  If a youth chooses to participate in a Healthy Lifestyle Education project, they may learn the skill of meal planning for themselves and their family.  This skill could lead to them actually planning out healthy meals for themselves and their family members and may even include keeping a food budget for their family. 

4-Hers practice responsibility by caring for animals daily in various animal science projects. 4-Hers make sure their animals have a safe place to be, have appropriate food and water, and that their animals are cared for and can be handled.  This takes much time and dedication by the 4-Her and their family and does not just happen one week out of the year at the county fair.  4-Hers in livestock projects take Youth for the Quality Control of Animals (YQCA) to help prepare them for daily care and management. 

The Tufts research longitudinal study showed that compared to their peers, youth involved in 4-H programs excelled in several areas.

4-Hers are:
-Nearly 4 times more likely to make contribution to their communities.
-About 2 times more likely to be civically active.
-Nearly 2 times more likely to participate in science programs during out-of-school time
-2 times more likely (Grade 10) and nearly 3 times more likely (Grade 12) to take part in science program compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities.
-Nearly 2 times more likely to make healthier choices. 

For information on how you can be involved in 4-H go to 4h.unl.edu. 

  • Source: The Positive Development of Youth; Comprehensive Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University.

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Positive Youth Development

January 25, 2018

Positive youth development is a growing area of research that has a purposeful approach to the development of youth by engaging youth in their communities, schools and families. By engaging youth in their communities, schools, families and other areas of their lives youth are being given the resources to grow into healthy, strong individuals that have today’s skills for tomorrows jobs. Getting youth ready to be successful is part the Nebraska 4-H program.

Nebraska 4-H engages youth through 4-H programs and activities by building positive youth relationships between youth and adults and providing needed support for youth to develop their strengths. Through development of positive partnerships and strengths 4-H youth are developing the Five C’s of positive youth development. The C’s of positive youth development are: confidence, competence, connection, caring, and character. Development of these five skills is an integral part of the foundation for helping youth become successful ready adults.

The ability to face the pressures of life events comes from participation in positive youth development programs like 4-H. Youth who participate in 4-H are two times more likely to participate in science programs and make healthier choices and are four times more likely to impact their communities (2014, 4-H Annual Report). These abilities come from involvement in 4-H projects such as animal science, communication, photography, food and nutrition, leadership, and many more. 4-H projects immerse youth into hands on learning environments where youth learn life skills and mindsets which enhance their readiness for the future. Life skills such as leadership, courage, self-discipline, goal setting, service learning, decision making and more transition in soft skills needed to overcome the pressures of college, work, and life events. Getting youth ready and prepared to be successful in the future is a challenging task. Using positive youth development programs and resources, like 4-H programs, can make it easier.

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Essential Elements of 4-H and Youth Development

December 28, 2017

The eight Essential Elements of 4-H Youth Development are basic principles under which the 4-H Youth Development Program operates. Incorporating these elements enables the 4-H Program to focus on positive outcomes desired for youth; provide programs for all young people; view youth as central actors in their own development; and consider the development of the whole young person. Four of those elements include the Heart (Belonging), Head (Independence), Hands (Generosity) and Health (Mastery); these form the foundation which supports the positive development of youth.

The Heart, creates a Sense of belonging, not only to the youth but to the county and community the youth are a part of as well. Youth need to know they are cared about by others and feel a sense of connection to others in the group. Creating a physically and emotionally safe environment for youth to be actively involved is an important part of 4-H!

The Head creates Independence, which builds this element and incorporates more than just completing tasks on your own. Incorporated into 4-H programming, independence focuses on the youth’s need to know that they are able to influence events and people through their choices and actions.

The Hands create Generosity, shown to the youth through the many community service projects 4-H promotes and encourages. During their development, youth need to feel and understand their lives have meaning and a purpose in everything they do.

The Health creates Mastery, mastery of skills, project related or not, which is important in developing the self-confidence of youth. Youth need to feel and believe they are capable of experiencing success by solving problems and meeting expectations and challenges.

Participating in 4-H gives youth a platform to participate and develop all eight areas of the Essential Elements through the development of their Head, Heart, Health, and Hands in every activity they do.

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Nebraska 4-H Youth Development Programs

November 29, 2017

Nebraska 4-H Youth Development programs are delivered through four primary modes, including camps, clubs, school enrichment, and afterschool. Through these delivery modes, Nebraska 4-H offers various educational experiences in all corners of the state built around seven content areas. These areas include college and career readiness, community development, entrepreneurship, food supply confidence, healthy living, leadership development, and STEM.   

School enrichment programs offer non-formal, hands-on educational experiences in classrooms in support of school curriculum. The purpose of a 4-H school enrichment program is to encourage long-term involvement in 4-H, enhance the relationship between 4-H and school systems (public and private), provide informal education to complement formal education, enhance the subject matter being studied, and foster and promote enthusiasm and support for participation in other 4-H programs.  Youth do not need to be an enrolled 4-H member to participate in the 4-H school enrichment program.

4-H school enrichment programs are conducted during school hours in partnership with classroom instructors. The educational experience are delivered either by a 4-H staff, trained volunteer, or teacher. Programs include educational experiences that engage youth in hands-on learning opportunities that support the school curriculum.

A high quality school enrichment program:

  • Includes a sequential and varied learning experience supporting the school curriculum, an evaluation is completed by teachers and/or youth participants.
  • Allows youth are to articulate that the experience is a 4-H sponsored project.
  • Uses experiential learning (learning by doing) as a primary teaching approach.
  • Shows evidence of fostering the Essential Elements of 4-H Youth Development.
  • Includes planned opportunities to learn and apply life skills such as leadership, citizenship, community service and public speaking.
  • Provides experiences to develop in-depth knowledge about one or more of the seven Nebraska 4-H content priorities.
  • Offers programs, curricula, and procedures that are based in research and are developmentally appropriate for the age of the youth.
  • Provides youth and volunteers access to resources of land-grant universities and to county, state, and national 4-H opportunities.
  • Fosters youth-adult partnerships that encourage active involvement and participation by youth and adults.
  • Provides safe and healthy physical and emotional environments.

For more information on the programs offered in your area, contact your local county extension office.

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Next Chapter at Nebraska

October 25, 2017

Next Chapter at Nebraska is a college-readiness program that helps students prepare for and succeed in college by providing the skills students need to reach their academic goals.  The program is facilitated through Nebraska 4-H.

 The Next Chapter Program:
*Inspires youth to continue their education after high school
*Promotes awareness of higher education options
*Develops college and career readiness skills
*Engage in 4-H opportunities
*Helps students pair their interest with career choices
*Encourages students to explore careers
*Develops important life skills, including: social skills, stress management, self-discipline, self-motivation, and responsibility

Next Chapter at Nebraska is offered to students beginning in 8th grade.  Throughout high school, Next Chapter scholars will engage in events, activities and curriculum where they will participate in career exploration, develop research skills, and experience a variety of learning methods that will help them transition to and succeed in collage.

Scholars who participate in next chapter at Nebraska will:
*Be invited to a celebratory event at NEBRASKA with their families in the spring of their 8th grade year
*Be pre-admitted to NEBRAKSA upon enrollment in the program starting in 8th grade
*Participate in college preparatory activities and curriculum throughout high school
*Be prepared for a successful transition to high school
*Be enrolled in 4-H. 

For more information you can contact your local Nebraska Extension Office.

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AKSARBEN Stock Show

September 28, 2017

For over 100 years, 4-H clubs have been developing youth leaders in agriculture. One in three Heartland youth participate in 4-H, and the AKSARBEN Foundation has served as a key supporter for 4-H for 90 consecutive years since hosting the first annual 4-H livestock show in 1928. Today, AKSARBEN Foundation hosts one of the largest 4-H Stock Show in the nation, drawing over 1,000 4-H exhibitors. The National Livestock Judging and Quiz Bowl competitions draw an additional 700 participants from across the nation. The event culminates with the Purple Ribbon Auction where more than $250,000 is raised annually to fund 4-H Scholarships and awards, which further open the doors of opportunity to the next generation of leaders.

 The AKSARBEN Stock Show is a regional show open to 4-H members from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Because each state operates with different requirements and deadlines for 4-H projects, the AKSARBEN Stock Show abides by the same rules for an exhibitor’s project as those set up by each individual State 4-H Office. The AKSARBEN Foundation staff has an excellent working relationship with the County Extension offices in the eligible participating states.

 The AKSARBEN Stock Show’s mission is "producing an annual community celebration of the region’s heritage which educates and benefits families."

In 2017-2018, the AKSARBEN Stock Show’s vision is to:

  • Conduct a World-class 4-H livestock exposition.
  • Educate youth on Production Agriculture and Agriculture STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
  • Expose High School and College students to Careers in Agriculture.
  • Raise $250,000+ annually to fund AKSARBEN Purple Ribbon Scholarships and Ag Leader Scholarships, awarding up to one hundred Ag Scholarships each year.

From Great to Grand:
AKSARBEN has a new partnership with the Grand Island Livestock Complex Authority and relocation of the AKSARBEN Stock Show to Grand Island (Fonner Park/Nebraska State Fairgrounds).

Grand Impact for Students and Sponsors

  • Better facilities at Nebraska State Fairgrounds lead to more Agricultural education, events and engagement.
  • Greater efficiencies result in more of your sponsorship dollars benefiting youth through scholarships, education and job exploration.
  • Brand Presence & Market Outreach: Increased brand awareness and impact in communities across our state.
  • Demonstrated interest by the Knights of AKSARBEN to favorably impact Greater Nebraska. Growing the bonds between Grand Island/Tri-Cities/Central Nebraska leadership and AKSARBEN leadership is priceless.

This year's AKSARBEN Stock Show will be held at the Nebraska State Fair Grounds, Fonner Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. The 2017 AKSARBEN Horse Show was held September 23 and 24th. The market goats, market broilers, swine, sheep, dairy, and beef portion of AKSARBEN will be September 28-October 1, 2017. 

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Nebraska State Fair

August 30, 2017

There's no place like the Nebraska State Fair! It's the premier showcase of 4-H'ers to share what they've learned and worked on in 4-H throughout the year. At the Fair, we celebrate the successes of thousands of youth who have learned and grown through 4-H. The State Fair is also a prime opportunity for 4-Her's to cultivate skills they've learned in 4-H projects, put their life skills and good character to work, discover areas they'd like to learn more about, and meet other kids and adults. The Nebraska State Fair is August 25 - September 4, 2017 at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds in Grand Island, Nebraska. 

Visit the Nebraska State Fairbook for 4-H at http://4h.unl.edu/fairbook for information about 4-H static and animal exhibits, as well as 4-H in-person contests and competitions happening at the State Fair. The Fairbook contains rules, classes, eligibility, and judging information for all 4-H events happening at this year's Nebraska State Fair.  If you are interested in a schedule about the Nebraska State Fair go to http://www.statefair.org.

For a 4-Her to be eligible to participate, an exhibitor must be a 4-H member enrolled in the project they are exhibiting in the county, which he/she represents.  Youth must be enrolled by June 15 of the current year.  In classes where presence of the 4-Her is required for judging purposes, such as animal exhibits, judging contest, presentations, and fashion show, a 4-H member must be 10 before January 1 of the current year, or become 11 years of age during the current year.  The last year of eligibility is the calendar year the member becomes 19.

For classes where presence of the 4-Her is not required (Static Exhibit), a 4-H member must be 8 before January 1, of the current year, or become 9 years of age during the current year.  This could include such projects as Conservation and Wildlife, Clothing, and Human Development. Exhibits which require the youth to be present occur throughout the State Fair. 

During the fair you will see a University of Nebraska presence at places like:

The 4-H Exhibit Hall where you can view more than 10,000 4-H exhibits from 2,500 exhibitors across the state, representing all 93 Nebraska counties.

Raising Nebraska is an interactive experience like no other.  From science and innovation, to community and culture, and even the global economy.  Nebraska’s agriculture experience touches everyone. 

UNL Food Processing Center display which is located in the 4-H-FFA Building.  Nebraska food companies provided samples to remind their customers about the products and also introduce their products to potential customers.

There will also be live taping of the popular lawn-and-garden TV series “Backyard Famer” during the fair.  The taping will occur on August 30, in the Raising Nebraska Building.  A special question-and-answer session with the panelists is 2:30-3:30 PM, followed by the live taping at 4 PM.  The episode will air at 7 PM on August 31 on NET.

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The Experiential Learning Process

June 29, 2017

Experiential learning takes place when a youth is involved in an activity, looks back at it critically, determines what was useful or important to remember, and uses this information to perform another activity. The five-step experiential learning model guides the process turning activities into fun learning experiences.  4-H uses this hands-on learning approach to teach new topics and life skills. The five-step experiential learning model guides the process turning activities into fun learning experiences. 

It is important that youth are aware of the learning that takes place as they are involved in experiences. As they reflect on these experiences, they can identify what was most important and how that knowledge can be applied to other life situations. Through 4-H youth programs, adult volunteers can help youth develop these reflective skills. 

The Experiential Learning Model provides five steps to assist with this process. 

Adult volunteer can begin by:

•Setting aside enough time for reflecting on the experience.

•Asking the right questions.

•Planning developmentally appropriate experiences that lead to reflection.

•Listening carefully.

•Supporting each youth’s unique learning.

 Step 1: Experience: The hands-on action step.

Youth do their project.

•Youth experiment with new ideas, interests, projects, etc.

 Step 2: Share: Describe what was done.

•What kinds of hopes and dreams did you have for your 4-H experience this year?

•What did you do?

•What was your goal for this project when you began?

•Tell me about your most favorite things about working on your project.

•Tell about your least favorite things about working on your project.

•What did you learn while doing this project?

 •What did you learn about yourself?

•How did you share your project with others?

 Step 3: Process: Identify common themes and discover, what was most important, (the life skill), about project work.

•What did you learn about yourself by doing this project?

•How did you make your decision? What steps did you take?

•What did you learn about making decisions?

•What were some of the common themes or thoughts you had?

•What was the most challenging part of your project? Why? How did

you solve it?

•What did you learn from this project that you didn’t know before?

•Why was this an important/useful thing to do?

•What suggestions would you have for someone else who wanted to do a similar project?

 Step 4: Generalize: So what?

Identify how to use what’s been learned in real life. These questions transition the experience or “product” itself to the skill being practiced in “real” life. They explore the nature of the life skill, reflect on how the life skill has been developed through their work and set the stage for application of the life skill in new situations.

•What key points have you learned?

•What similar experience have you had throughout this project/activity?

•Where have you faced similar challenges in your life?

•How is this life skill important to you?

•What did you learn about your decision-making skills?

 Step 5: Apply: What’s next?

These are the questions we’ve been building towards: You can help

youth show that they have gained new knowledge and practiced the life skills learned rather than solely focusing on the subject matter or product development skills.

 •What did the project mean to your everyday life?

•What have you learned about yourself? Others?

•What principles or guidelines can you use in real-life situations?

•What other situations like this have you experienced before?

•How can you use these skills in different situations?

•In what ways do people help each other learn new things?

•How will you act differently in the future as a result of this experience?

Adapted from: Questions for Guiding Experiential Learning.Deidrick, Doering, Geiser, Kanengieter, Piehl, Stevenson. Minnesota 4-H Youth Development, University of Minnesota Extension Service. 4-H National Headquarters Fact Sheet Experiential Learning, April 2011

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2017 4-H Educational Events

 May 24, 2017

4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential while working and learning in partnership with caring adults. In Nebraska, 1-in-3 age-eligible youth participates in 4-H, which is present in all 93 counties. These youth, ages 5-18, participate through camps, clubs, school enrichment, and afterschool programs. All 4-H programs are consistent in placing strong emphasis on life skills, such as problem solving, responsibility, citizenship, and leadership.  

With the 2016/2017 school year coming to a close, many families have planned or are planning summer learning experiences.  Nebraska Extension across the state is offering numerous summer educational events. These activities involve a variety of different project areas including: Animal Science, Communication and Expressive Arts, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Education and Earth Sciences, Family and Consumer Sciences, Healthy Lifestyle Education, Leadership and Citizenship, Plant Science, and Science, Engineering, and Technology. 

In Wayne County, Nebraska Extension offers summer educational events beginning in May.  Be sure to check out, wayne.unl.edu for a full listing of 4-H educational events.  Many of these workshops offer opportunities to complete projects in which youth can exhibit at the fair. The Favorite Foods Contest and the Presentation Contest are a few of the educational events offered.  For the Favorite Foods Contest, youth may learn to menu plan and set a budget for the meal they are presenting.  Youth in the Presentation Contest strengthen communication skills by sharing knowledge on a certain topic or by making a video in which they can share a 4-H message. 

In addition to educational events offered by  Nebraska Extension Offices, within your local county there are also individual 4-H clubs that regularly offer educational experiences where youth work together to complete a similar project.  Some of these projects may be community service projects which help out a certain community or cause.

4-H Camps are also part of the 4-H Educational experience. There are local 4-H camps hosted at Ponca State Park, while some other 4-H camps are hosted at the Nebraska State 4-H Camp in Halsey, Nebraska and Gretna, Nebraska. 4-H Camps are day or overnight camps that offer recreation, education, and even career exploration opportunities for youth. 

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4-H: Helping Nebraska Students Write Their Next Chapter

April 24, 2017

Nebraska 8th graders will have the opportunity to participate in Next Chapter, an exciting program that connects students to the University of Nebraska! Those that enroll in this program as 8th graders will receive a letter from the University congratulating them on their preadmission to UNL. This means that students, who qualify academically will be admitted to the University after high school. Next Chapter also grants students access to resources like never before. Highlights include:

  • Insight from 4-H alumni regarding campus life
  • Discussions with UNL professors about opportunities at UNL
  • Access to admissions and financial aid personnel
  • Step-by-step lessons to prepare students for college throughout their high school career
  • Real-world connections between content and 4-H projects

All 8th graders enrolled in 4-H last year will be admitted to the Next Chapter program. New 8th grade students that enroll in a 4-H program will have the option to join Next Chapter at no additional charge. Students will need to re-enroll annually, and successfully complete the current year’s program to advance to the next level. To do this, the student must be present for at least five lessons (out of a possible eight) per academic year, and complete the annual 4-H project designated by their club. This programming will begin during the student’s 9th grade year.

We will continue to provide information throughout this 8th grade year, but there are a few dates to look forward to now:

  • Enrollment open through February 15, 2017 (to participate in statewide celebration)
  • April 2017: Local 4-H district celebration for all new Next Chapter students and families
  • April 25, 2017: Statewide celebration for all Next Chapter students and their families in Lincoln
  • Nebraska 8th graders who enroll in 4-H by June 15, 2017 are eligible to be a part of Next Chapter

The University of Nebraska is excited to help students and their families make this exciting time of change easier by providing this unprecedented access to high school students. If you have any questions regarding this program, feel free to contact your local Nebraska Extension office or Phil Onwiler or Lindsay Kretchman, with the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. 

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4-H PUBLIC SPEAKING CONTEST

March 24,  2017

One contest that 4-Hers are preparing for is the Public Speaking Contest.  This contest helps youth develop skills for communicating about current issues to real audiences.  Youth who chose to participate learn how to organize and prepare a speech and develop speech delivery skills. They learn how to present themselves to others, and develop self-confidence. These skills also prepare them for other opportunities that they will have in speaking in front of others.  

The 4-H Public Speaking Contest in Wayne County will be held on Monday, April 3, 2017 at the Wayne County Courthouse in Wayne at 7:00 PM.  4-Hers need to register for the contest on or before 5:00 PM on Friday, March 31.  They can simply do this calling 402-375-3310 or emailing wayne-county@unl.edu  with your name, whether doing a speech, PSA or both, the title of the speech, and age division.

The top three contestants in each of the junior, intermediate and senior divisions of each category (Speech & PSA) are eligible to represent Wayne County at the Regional Public Speaking Contest on May 25, 2017 at the Northeast Community College Lifelong Learning Center in Norfolk.

The Guide to Making Great Speeches and How to Prepare a 4-H Radio Public Service Announcement manuals are available at http://4h.unl.edu/public-speaking/regional and at the Extension Office.

Details about the Speech Contest include:

Age Divisions (all ages as of December 31, 2016)

  • Clover Kids - 4-Hers 5-7 years. Non-competitive
  • Novice - 4-Hers 10 years and younger who have never competed in a speech contest before. May read a poem or story, or talk to the audience about any topic they choose...4-H or otherwise.
  • Junior - 4-Hers 8-10 years.
  • Intermediate - 4-Hers 11-13 years.
  • Senior - for 4-Hers 14 years and older.

Speech Category Guidelines: All speeches must be original and include 4-H as the major component of the speech.

  • Many speakers in the Public Speaking Contest have given speeches in other contests. This is fine; however, previous speeches may not be used verbatim for the 4-H contest. It is okay to use the same ideas from a speech previously delivered in competition, but it must be 4-H related. Enough changes should be made to make that speech new to the speaker and the audience. 4-H public speakers may not use an old speech written by a sibling, other 4-H member, or anyone else.
  • Acknowledge the source of information used in the speech. For example, an article from a magazine may be used for reference, but should not be quoted directly unless you tell the audience your source.
  • Use of visual aids and props are not allowed.
  • Dress appropriately. Do not wear costumes or special effect clothing.
  • No team speeches are allowed.

 Public Service Announcement (PSA) Category Guidelines:

  • Novice PSA’s can be 30 or 60 seconds in length. All other age divisions must be 60 seconds.
  • All radio PSA’s will use the state theme as the basis for their PSA. This year’s theme is “4-H Grown” and should be incorporated into the PSA.
  • All radio PSA’s must promote 4-H and be general enough to be used anywhere in Nebraska at anytime of the year.
  • All 4-H PSA’s must include the following tag line within the last ten seconds of the PSA: “Learn more about the Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development Program at 4h.unl.edu.” The tag line is included in the time limit.

There are some tips about giving your speech, they include: 

  • When introduced, walk briskly to the podium.
  • Pause, smile, and look at everyone before starting.
  • Stand tall, don’t lean on the podium.
  • Be confident.
  • Speak loud and clear.
  • Speak normally, don’t rush.
  • Don’t read your speech off your cards.
  • Look at your audience like you are talking to each of them.
  • Have good eye contact.

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4-H Grows Here

February 17, 2017

Nebraska 4-H currently reaches one in three youth through 4-H programming. Considering the amazing benefits youth experience through participation in 4-H programming, Nebraska 4-H anticipates reaching one in two youth by the year 2020. In order to achieve this goal, leadership of Nebraska 4-H asked counties to establish growth goals for their local 4-H programs beginning in 2014. These growth goals were meant to encourage and challenge 4-H programs to think of creative and innovative ways to engage more youth in 4-H programming. While reaching one in two youth may initially seem overly ambitious, fifty four counties currently reach one in two youth through their 4-H programs. This is due, in large part, to the great work of our 4-H alumni and volunteers.

Recently, the National 4-H Council announced their own growth goal of reaching ten million youth through 4-H programming by 2025. They asked all states to begin setting growth goals to help them achieve this. It is great to see Nebraska 4-H setting the standard for growth and leading the way as we work to give as many youth as possible the opportunity to make their best, better.

How can you be a part of Nebraska 4-H reaching one in two youth by 2020?  Contact your local Nebraska Extension office and find out how to become a new member by joining a 4-H club or participate in a school enrichment program in the classroom. Are you on social media? As you share great accomplishments of the 4-H program and use the hashtag #4Hgrowshere and #NE4H. Even if you are not currently involved in 4-H programming and are a 4-H alum, share great 4-H memories or experiences that helped you make the best better. Growing the reach of Nebraska 4-H begins with volunteers and alumni sharing their stories and shining the spotlight on the life changing moments experienced in 4-H. Help Nebraska 4-H continue to lead the way to reaching one in two youth in counties of our great state and ten million youth nationally.

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February is Nebraska 4-H Month

January 26, 2017

The Mission of Nebraska 4-H is to empower youth to reach their full potential working and learning in partnership with caring adults.  Nebraska 4-H strives to help young people achieve their greatest potential by introducing high-quality youth development experiences into the lives of Nebraska youth and families. Engagement in 4-H results in youth who are making positive decisions related to their health and their future goals. Further, they are advocates and leaders determined to leave a lasting impact on Nebraska communities. 

In Nebraska, 1 in 3 age-eligible youth across all 93 counties are enrolled in 4-H, for a total enrollment reaching approximately 140,000 youth.  There are nearly 50,000 youth participate in school enrichment experiences and over 33,000 Nebraska youth were members of a 4-H Club. There are 11, 000 youth and adults participate in 4-H camping programs and 12,000 volunteers share their time and resources with Nebraska 4-H. 

By taking part in Nebraska 4-H, youth are preparing for a successful future by focusing on  Science, Agricultural Literacy, Career Development and College Readiness, Community Engagement, and Healthy Living. 

Nebraska 4-H club membership is open to youth who are 5 years of age as of December 31, 2016 and who had not yet turned 19 as of December 31, 2016.  To join one of the nine 4-H Clubs in Wayne County contact the Nebraska Extension Office in Wayne County at 402-375-3310 or visit wayne.unl.edu.

Some of the things that youth in 4-H have the opportunity to do are develop friendships and work with their family on various projects and activities.  These youth also have access to project materials developed by Nebraska Extension that is based on the latest research. 4-Hers attend monthly 4-H meetings and have the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops.

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4-H and Positive Youth Development

December 29, 2016

Positive youth development is a purposeful, pro-social approach to youth development that focuses on engaging youth in their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups and families by recognizing and utilizing youths’ strengths. It supports positive outcomes for young people by offering opportunities, encouraging positive relationships with peers and adults and providing the supports needed to build on their strengths. Youth who are engaged in positive youth development programs like 4-H will develop confidence, competence, compassion/caring, connection, and character, also known as the 5 C’s of positive youth development.

4-H leaders and volunteers play an important role in helping our youth develop the 5 C’s. Here are some ways to encourage positive youth development:

Encourage youth input-When youth feel they are being heard and taken seriously they are more likely to engage in programs and reap the benefits of that program. Adults can encourage youth to have a voice by listening, responding positively, and frequently using ideas brought to the club by members.

 Provide guidelines and structure-Structure and guidelines allow youth the freedom to complete tasks in their own way while still allowing for adult guidance. By monitoring youth activities and providing help when needed and asking purposeful questions to encourage youth to think about practical issues and to think critically about the projects they are working on.

 Empower youth-To empower youth provide an inviting environment where youth are encouraged to take on new leadership roles, express their ideas, and feel support through success and failures. Give youth a chance to share their skills and recognize and praise their work. These environments will inspire youth to reach their full potential.

Be intentional-To promote and support positive youth development and the 4-H mission, 4-H leaders and volunteers must be intentional in their work with youth. Encourage a mutually caring and respectful relationship with youth, be sure to have your club meetings and activities well planned and organized, and understand your role in supporting the 4-H mission – empowering youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.

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Engaging Youth in Community Development

November 18, 2016

In any community, different organizations and government agencies are working to create positive change for its residents.  In a perfect world, all stakeholders have a place at the table, and inclusion is the highest priority.  Unfortunately, often the youth that live and study in the community are overlooked. 

There are few organizations that focus on giving youth a voice within their community, but the Nebraska 4-H program is working to provide youth with opportunities to engage in their community, make positive changes, and build a community where they want to live.   Youth engagement not only leads to a better community, but also benefits the youth involved.  Youth participants are able to learn about their community and how to create a better place for themselves and others to live.  They understand why it is important to be a part of a community, how they can be involved, and what it takes to hold a leadership role.

Although there are many ways to engage youth in the creation of a better community, there are no right or wrong ways to accomplish youth-centered community development.  4-H Councils across Nebraska provide great opportunities for youth to engage in their community and be involved with decision making.  But is it enough to just invite youth to serve on these boards and committees?  How can we actually make sure that they are engaging in an authentic community development experience?  One way to accomplish this is to look at youth as “partners” who decide how they want to be engaged rather than “participants” who are invited to take part in the process.  The following, is a simple process that lays a framework for establishing youth as stakeholders and engaging them in opportunities for community change.

1)      Organize a group:  Developing community cannot be done individually, although, an idea can start out that way.  Identify who should be involved; Nebraska 4-H uses Adult/Youth partnerships for positive youth development – which could include policy makers, economic developers, business owners, or other community members.

2)      Create purpose:  It is important for youth to be a big part of the group’s vision and goals.  Getting youth to participate in activities and decisions that adults ultimately control is not true engagement.  True youth engagement allows youth to have actual authority and responsibility, as well as opportunities to develop the skills needed to make good decisions.

3)      Develop and implement an action plan:  As the decision makers of the group, youth provide logical next steps with adult guidance.  Youth are responsible for time management and held accountable throughout the process.

4)      Review and evaluate:  Youth actively measure and report progress and are involved in determining if and when results are achieved.

5)      Celebrate success:  Acknowledge youth for their accomplishments.  Ask them to identify and thank any individual or organization that lead to their success.

It is important to engage youth in their community decision making because it creates a sense of ownership, and accomplishment.  It leaves youth saying, “I did that,” and “We made a difference!”  Ultimately, it is important to encourage the young people to return to their community, to live, work, and raise a family in the future.

This article comes from a series of resources developed by Nebraska Extension, 4-H Youth Development Professionals.  Learn more about 4-H at 4h.unl.edu, follow us on Facebook at (UNLExtWayneCounty) For more information, contact the author – Jacie Milius (jacie.milius@unl.edu), Extension Educator in Nuckolls, Thayer and Clay Counties. 

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Celebrating National 4-H Week October 2-8, 2016

September 23, 2016

October 2-8, 2016 is National 4-H Week, in Wayne County, 262 Clover Kids and traditional 4-H club members and over 100 volunteers are involved in 4‑H. There are also nearly 800 youth who participate in special interest programs, school enrichments and educational events throughout the year.  In Nebraska, 1 in 3 age-eligible youth across all 93 counties is enrolled in 4-H, for a total enrollment reaching approximately 140,000 youth.   4-H camps either overnight or day offer recreational, educational, and even career exploration opportunities. 4-H camps provide youth with the chance to meet new people, have fun, and experience something new! 4-H clubs are an organized group that meets regularly to focus on a series of educational experiences. Clubs can meet in a variety of locations and typically meet in the evenings and on the weekends. School enrichment programs offer non-formal, hands-on educational experiences in classrooms in support of school curriculum. These programs are coordinated in collaboration with public and private schools.

4-H is for  youth, ages 5-18 by December 31, 2016.  4-H is part of Nebraska Extension, a component of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Nebraska 4-H prepares young people for successful futures. Educational programs place strong emphasis on life skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, social skills, communication, responsibility, citizenship, and leadership.

Through 4-H, youth serve as role models in their community and have the chance to learn and meet people from across their county, state, and country. For over 100 years, youth and adults have been serving, working, and learning together through 4-H.

The fundamental 4-H ideal of practical, “learn by doing” experiences encourage youth to experiment, innovate and think independently. 4-H programs are offered through school-based, after-school and camp settings and within community clubs.

 

You can join the 4-H community today. To learn how to become a 4-H member or volunteer leader in Wayne County, contact the Nebraska Extension Office at 402-375-3310 or email wayne-county@unl.edu.

 

4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of National 4-H Headquarters (USDA). The 4-H programs are implemented by the 106 Land Grant Universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local Extension offices across the country. Learn more about the 4‑H adventure at 4h.unl.edu.

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4-H and Positive Youth Development

June 30, 2016

 Positive youth development is a purposeful, pro-social approach to youth development that focuses on engaging youth in their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups and families by recognizing and utilizing youths’ strengths. It supports positive outcomes for young people by offering opportunities, encouraging positive relationships with peers and adults and providing the supports needed to build on their strengths. Youth who are engaged in positive youth development programs like 4-H will develop confidence, competence, compassion/caring, connection, and character, also known as the 5 C’s of positive youth development.

As a 4-H leader and volunteer you play an important role in helping our youth develop the 5 C’s. Here are some ways you can encourage positive youth development:

Encourage youth input When youth feel they are being heard and taken seriously they are more likely to engage in programs and reap the benefits of that program. As a 4-H leader you can encourage youth to have a voice by listening, responding positively, and frequently using ideas brought to you by your club members.

Provide guidelines and structure Structure and guidelines allow youth the freedom to complete tasks in their own way while still allowing for adult guidance. As you monitor activities and provide help when needed ask purposeful questions to encourage youth to think about practical issues and to think critically about the projects they are working on.

Empower youth To empower youth provide an inviting environment where youth are encouraged to take on new leadership roles, express their ideas, and feel support through success and failures. Give youth a chance to share their skills and recognize and praise their work. These environments will inspire youth to reach their full potential.

Be intentional To promote and support positive youth development and the 4-H mission, you must be intentional in your work with youth. Encourage a mutually caring and respectful relationship with youth, be sure to have your club meetings and activities well planned and organized, and understand your role in supporting the 4-H mission – empowering youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.

SOURCE: Nebraska Extension Spotlight Newsletter, February 2016
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Inspiring Gratitude in Our Youth

May 26, 2016

“Hey, thanks!”  What’s the big deal about having an attitude of gratitude?  What’s the importance of saying thanks?  Studies cite a growing interest in the area of gratitude in the younger generation.  An attitude of gratitude serves as a key factor for success in life.

Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen AND taking time to express thanks. Two key factors are “being aware of” and “taking time”.

Your 4-H member won a trophy, scholarship or other recognition.  What’s the next, very important, step? Expressing appreciation and saying thanks.  Write a note, visit with your donor, shake their hand and say THANK YOU.  It can go a long ways with a donor in their continued support when they receive appreciation or thanks from recipients.  With winning comes the privilege of saying thanks!

As youth are awarded trophies, scholarships, and various honors, hopefully they will recognize the im-portance of saying thanks.  Parents become the first line of support, reminding youth to say thanks, write a note, send a text or email, or better yet, meet the donor in person.  Club leaders are encouraged to create an environment of gratitude through 4-H club meetings and activities.  

Research indicates that gratitude is associated with happiness and personal well-being and helps people form, maintain, and strengthen supportive relationships; gratitude helps people feel connected to a caring community, such as 4-H.

Knowing the benefits, how can we foster gratitude in children?  Our families, schools, 4-H and others must all do our part.  While there’s no quick fix, the more we remain committed to it, the more rewards we will reap.  By bringing out the best in our kids, we bring out the best in our families and communities.  Anything worthwhile takes time and effort.  It’s up to all of us to make it happen. Adults mod-el and teach gratitude.  Kids help other kids learn the importance of gratitude and their responsibility to say thanks.  Gratitude is a virtue that anyone can cultivate.

There are many opportunities for kids to recognize and thank those who have done something special for them, and it’s a habit that if they start young, they will carry throughout life.  Enhancing gratitude can be rel-atively simple and easy to integrate into 4-H families and clubs.

When it comes to future generations, gratitude is the single best investment we can make.  Gratitude mat-ters and it matters most in kids.

Zig Ziglar summed it up well, “Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life changing.”

SOURCE:  Spotlight on 4-H, May 2016. 
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Involvement in 4-H can Help Foster Success in Youth

April 28, 2016

           The 4-H Pledge-I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty , my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.  Head, Heart, Hands, and Health are the four H’s of the 4-H program that youth need to be engaged in the 4-H program.  Using their heads they learn to manage many different things in their 4-H projects and life. Through their heart, they learn to relate to others and be caring to those around them and their projects.  With their hands, 4-Hers are able to work on various projects. By living healthy they are practicing being capable of caring for self and others. 

                How can being involved in 4-H foster youth’s success?  In 2002 the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development longitudinal study began and was then repeated annually for eight years.  There were more than 7,000 adolescents from across 42 states in the United States that were part of the study.  The Tufts research team examined how structured-out-of-school time learning, leadership experiences, and adult mentoring that young people receive through 4-H plays a role in helping them achieve success.

                4-Hers practice responsibility by being involved in a variety of different 4-H projects offered through the program.  The project areas are Animal Science, Communication and Expressive Arts, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Education and Earth Sciences, Family and Consumer Sciences, Healthy Lifestyle Education, Leadership and Citizenship, Plant Science, and Science, Engineering and Technology.  If a youth chooses to participate in a Healthy Lifestyle Education project, they may learn the skill of meal planning for themselves and their family.  This skill could lead to them actually planning out healthy meals for themselves and their family members and may even include keeping a food budget for their family. 

                4-Hers practice responsibility by caring for animals daily in various animal science projects. 4-Hers make sure their animals have a safe place to be, have appropriate food and water, and that their animals are cared for and can be handled.  This takes much time and dedication by the 4-Her and their family and does not just happen one week out of the year at the county fair.  4-Hers in livestock projects take 4-H Livestock Quality Assurance to help prepare them for daily care and management.  They also work closely with their family members and even their local veterinarian.

The Tufts research longitudinal study showed that compared to their peers, youth involved in 4-H programs excelled in several areas. 4-Hers are:

-Nearly 4x more likely to make contribution to their communities.

-About 2x more likely to be civically active.

-Nearly 2x more likely to participate in science programs during out-of-school time

-2x more likely (Grade 10) and nearly 3x more likely (Grade 12) to take part in science program compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities.

-Nearly 2x more likely to make healthier choices. 

For information on how you can be involved in 4-H go to 4h.unl.edu. 

  • Source: The Positive Development of Youth; Comprehensive Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University.  
  • Source: Amy Topp, Extension Educator in Wayne County
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Thinking about Summer Camp?

March 31, 2016

 Nebraska 4-H offers many summer camping programs at two 4-H camping locations.  The camps provide all youth a place to discover, learn, and grow. Campers do not have to be a member of 4-H to attend.  At Nebraska 4-H Camps and Centers they work to promote the mission of Nebraska 4-H, which encourages all young people to reach their full potential, by working and learning in partnership with caring adults.  4-H is education for life and focuses on helping young people explore the science in their everyday lives, grow leadership and citizenship skills, explore future career opportunities, and make healthier decisions. 

               The Nebraska 4-H Camps are American Camp Association (ACA) accredited – meaning that they care enough to undergo a thorough review of over 300 standards related to operations, staffing, and emergency management.  They recruit an experienced and caring staff that receives training in first-aid/CPR, water safety, camping skills, and positive youth development.  It is the mission of Nebraska 4-H Camps and Centers to provide unique educational opportunities that empower people of all ages to be active in the pursuit of self-improvement in a safe, inclusive, and fun environment. Campers’ safety, security, health and growth are the primary concerns.  No matter which 4-H camp your child attends, camp is a great place to meet new friends, try something for the first time, and build cherished memories to last a lifetime!  The Nebraska State 4-H Camp is amidst the beauty of the Nebraska National Forest Halsey, Nebraska and the Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center at Gretna located at Schramm State Park.

            Each site offers a variety of camping experiences for youth ages 5-15 as of December 31, 2015.  If 4-Hers are interested in serving as a camp counselor, they must be at least 15 by June 1, 2016.  Deadline to apply and meet requirements for Camp Counselor is May 1, 2016.

 To register online go to http://4h.unl.edu/camp and follow the website instructions, you can also pick up registration forms at any Nebraska Extension Office.  To get in on the early camper registration discount of 10 percent, you must be registered and paid on or before April 15, 2016, after April 15, 2016 the standard fee applies.   Be sure to check out the many camps available through Nebraska 4-H!  Youth do not need to be a member of Nebraska 4-H to attend camp. 

There are also Big Red Academic Camps that are held the week of June 5-10 on UNL Campus.  These camps focus on Discovering things such as careers in Computing, Culinary Arts, Engineering, Filmmaking, Outdoor Nebraska, Unicameral Youth Legislature, Veterinary Science, Weather and Climate Science These camps are open for youth in grades 10-12 in the ’15-16 School year.  Students stay on campus and the age range is high school youth.  For more information go to bigredcamps.unl.edu.
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Experiential Learning Guide
February 25, 2016 

4-H youth programs promote life skills development through use of a five-step sequential Experiential Learning Guide.

Experiential Learning takes places when youth are involved in a project or activity.  They look back at the experience critically, determine what was useful or important to remember, and then use this information in real life situations (John Dewey).

 The experiential learning process encourages thinking, working harder, and ultimately learning more thoroughly than just showing and telling.  The five step processes are as follows:

  1. Experience the activity; perform do it.  Youth do before being told or shown how.
  2. Share the results, reactions, observations publicly. Youth describe results of their experiences and their reactions.  The youth relate their experience to the targeted life skill.
  3. Process by discussing, looking at the experience; analyze, and reflect. 
  4. Generalize to connect the experience to real-world examples. Youth connect the life skill discussion to the larger world.  Youth use the new life skill experience in other parts of their lives.
  5. Apply what was learned to similar or different situations and practice. 

Information shared is from the Experiential Learning Guide developed by John Dewey and adopted by National 4-H Council.
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Positive Youth Development

January 28, 2016

I was recently reading an on-line article at youth.gov.  This article explained positive youth and the importance of connecting youth to positive experiences and programs.  Positive youth programs should include the following principles:

-Positive youth development is an intentional process. It is about being proactive to promote protective factors in young people.

-Positive youth development complements efforts to prevent risky behaviors and attitudes in youth, and complements efforts that work to address negative behaviors.

-Youth assets are both acknowledged and employed through positive youth development. All youth have the capacity for positive growth and development.

-Positive youth development enables youth to thrive and flourish in their teen years, and prepares them for a healthy, happy and safe adulthood.

-Positive youth development involves youth as active agents. Adults may set the structure, but youth are not just the recipients of services. Youth are valued and are encouraged to bring their assets to the table. Adults and youth work in partnership.

-Youth leadership development is a part of positive youth development, but youth aren't required to lead. Youth can attend, actively participate, contribute, or lead through positive youth development activities.

-Positive youth development involves civic involvement and civic engagement—youth contribute through service to their communities.

-Positive youth development involves and engages every element of the community—schools, homes, community members, and others. Young people are valued through this process. Positive youth development is an investment that the community makes in young people. Youth and adults work together to frame the solutions.

Resources:

Discover Positive Youth Development - This brief from The Administration for Children & Families (ACF) Family and Youth Services Bureau provides the basics of positive youth development and links to a variety of positive youth development resources.

The National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth - The National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth (NCFY) is a free information service for communities, organizations, and individuals interested in developing new and effective strategies for supporting young people and their families. NCFY was established by the Family and Youth Services Bureau (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) to link those interested in youth issues with the resources they need to better serve young people, families, and communities. Their searchable publications database contains a wealth of information about positive youth development.

- See more at: http://youth.gov/youth-topics/positive-youth-development/key-principles-positive-youth-development#sthash.6cYkMBLR.dpuf

A positive youth development program that is available in all counties across Nebraska is 4-H.  Currently Clover Kids the part of the 4-H program that is designed for youth ages 5-to 7 (age as of December 31, 2015). Children participate in hands-on activities designed to build lots of different life skills.  Some important life skills for the 5- to 7-year-old age group are: Respecting Self, Communicating, Solving Problems, Thinking Critically and Choosing Healthy Lifestyles. 

The traditional 4-H club membership is also open to youth ages 8-18 (age as of December 31, 2015). For information on how to join a 4-H club, contact the staff at your local Nebraska Extension Office. 4-H offers project materials, developed by University of Nebraska staff based on the latest research. The purpose of a 4-H club is to provide positive youth development opportunities to meet the needs of young people to experience belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity and to foster educational opportunities tied to the Land Grant University knowledge base.  Wayne County is currently in their re-enrollment/enrollment period until February 1, 2016.  Information about enrolling in 4-H can be found at http://wayne.unl.edu under 2016 4-H Enrollment Information or by calling 402-375-3310. 
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What is a Youth-Adult Partnership?

December 18, 2015

A youth-adult partnership is a joint effort—youth and adult working together to achieve common goals. Adults offer the knowledge they have on a topic and the youth are able to give fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm to carry out the goal. 

Youth can be active participants in school and community activities, especially if they receive mentoring and encouragement from adults. Youths are a resource that often times go untapped in a community.  Youth who become engaged in their communities now will benefit the future of our communities.  

Youth gain . . .
• life skills such as leadership, planning, and teamwork
• a sense of belonging and being accountable and committed to their community
• civic awareness, the capacity to care for others, and a desire to change and improve the lives of others
• a sense of pride and the feeling of being needed and valued
• new respect and acceptance from adults

 Adults gain . . .
• first-hand information about the needs, concerns, and issues that pertain to youth
• the satisfaction of seeing youths willingly accept the services and messages of the relationship
• open and honest interactions and feedback about existing programs or services relating to youth
• access to new collaborators with fresh and innovative ideas, creativity, energy, and enthusiasm
• new perspectives on decision-making and community problem-solving, as responsibilities are shared with the partnering young person
• opportunities to foster active community members for the future.

Communities gain . . .
• resources and creativity to solve critical problems and provide needed community services
• mutual understanding and increased trust between youth and adults, leading to strong youth-adult partnerships
• new alliances among organizations as they work together to support youth
• fresh perspectives on policy making, as youths gain a voice in governance and philanthropy
• citizens who are more knowledgeable and invested in youth and the community.

 Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development, et al. 2003. Youth-Adult Partnerships: A Training Manual. Takoma Park, MD.Chong, J. (2006) Benefits of Youth-Adult Partnerships. (Electronic version) Children and Family, Aug. 2006. Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Andrew G. Hashimoto, Director/Dean, Cooperative Extension Service/CTAHR, University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822.

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Nebraska 4-H Is Inspiring Young Nebraskans to Reach Their Full Potential

November 19, 2015

The mission of Nebraska 4-H is to empower youth to reach their full potential working and learning in partnerships with caring adults.

Nebraska 4-H strives to help young people achieve their greatest potential by introducing high-quality youth development experiences into the lives of Nebraska youth and families. Engagement in 4-H results in youth who are making positive decisions related to their health and their future goals. Further, they are advocates and leaders determined to leave a lasting impact on Nebraska communities.  

By taking part in Nebraska 4-H, youth are preparing for a successful future by focusing on 4-H Science, Agricultural Literacy, Career Development and College Readiness, Community Engagement, and Healthy Living.

Inspiring Young Scientists
Nebraska 4-H is developing Science interests, skills and abilities in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental stewardship and technology. Signature program efforts included Outdoor Skills in partnership with Nebraska Game and Parks, GEAR-Tech 21 Robotics, Animals Inside and Out, Embryology, Corral your Future, Animal Science Day Camps, and Companion Animal programs. Programs were delivered to more than 3,700 young people. An additional 3,400 youth were reached through participation in the Nebraska State Fair Largest Classroom.

Inspiring College and Career Readiness
Nebraska 4-H is helping youth focus on their future success and preparing youth to make informed decisions about their college and career path. Signature program efforts included Connecting the Dots, Big Red Summer Academic Camps, Building Your Futures, Leap into Careers and other college readiness programming delivered to more than 3,500 young people.

Inspiring Agricultural Literacy.
Nebraska 4-H ensures that youth have knowledge and an appreciation of Nebraska’s largest industry. Signature program efforts included the Ag-Citing Science school enrichment program delivered to nearly 700 youth and 15 Agricultural Literacy Festivals which reach more than 5,500 young people.

Inspiring Community Engagement
Nebraska 4-H is fostering youth’s commitment and contribution to their communities. Signature program efforts included 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, We the People and Focus on Citizenship which reached approximately 250 young people.

Inspiring Healthier Living
Nebraska 4-H helps youth understand the impact of personal decisions. Signature program efforts included 4-H Heathy U, the Healthy Living Skill-a-thon and a new 4-H Foods Contest at the Nebraska State Fair. These programs reached approximately 250 young people. Additionally, hands-on activities in the areas of nutrition, physical activity, hand washing, food preservation, food preparation and decision making were delivered to 11,500 youth.

Inspiring the Next Generation
Nebraska 4-H is committed to preparing youth to pursue a post-secondary education. Annually, former 4 4-Hers who participated through their high-school career are surveyed regarding their post-secondary plans after their first semester in college. Ninety-six percent of 4-Hers are pursuing post–secondary education. Thirty-two percent are attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Ninety-three percent have identified a major and 64% have reported their selection was influenced by their 4-H project participation. 
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Halloween Health and Safety

October 26, 2015

Halloween is such a fun time for both children and families!  To have the opportunity to dress up, ‘trick or treat’, and get scrumptious treats is great fun!   Halloween and the activities that usually surround Halloween also present opportunities to keep in mind safety and health tips.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Family Health reminds us to keep these things in mind while enjoying the festivities –
            -When trick or treating in the neighborhood, go with a group that includes friends and family. 
            -Be sure costume is made of flame-retardant materials. 
            -Your costume should fit well and not block your vision or cause you to stumble or fall.
            -Use reflective tape or some other material that reflects lights from passing vehicles.  This helps drivers to see you.
            -Take a flashlight along when you trick or treat.  This will help you see where you are going!
            -At street crossings, look both ways for oncoming vehicles and cross when it is safe to do so.
            -Visit only well-lit houses and those that you know who lives there. 
            -Inspect your treats before eating them.  Check for non-edible objects and materials.  Only accept and eat factory-wrapped treats, not homemade items. More tips can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/.

Have a fun and safe Halloween this year!
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CASNR Helps Prospective Students Experience the Power of Red

September 22, 2015

LINCOLN, Neb. — High school and transfer students can learn about the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the Experience the Power of Red Visit Day on October 3.

The visit day, held on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus, gives students the chance to hear about the college’s 30 academic programs and two pre-professional programs, said Laura Frey, UNL college relations director. They can also meet current UNL faculty, staff and students.

 “They get to explore career opportunities and just become familiar with UNL in general,” she said.

The visit day will begin at 9 a.m. with refreshments and a browsing session, when students can get a brief introduction to each department in the college. Following a welcome at 10 a.m., students and parents will attend academic sessions that offer more in-depth information about each academic program. The event finishes with lunch and a scholarship drawing at 12:45 p.m.. Optional tours of both UNL campuses start at 2 p.m.

Academic interest areas featured at the visit day include agribusiness/agricultural economics; agricultural education/agricultural and environmental sciences communication/hospitality, restaurant and tourism management; agronomy; animal science; applied science; biochemistry; food science and technology; food technology for companion animals; forensic science; grazing livestock systems; horticulture; insect science; mechanized systems management/agricultural engineering/biological systems engineering; microbiology; natural resources, including applied climate science, environmental restoration science, environmental studies, fisheries and wildlife, grassland ecology and management, natural resources and environmental economics and water science; PGA golf management; plant biology; turfgrass and landscape management; veterinary science; and the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship program.

For more information or to register, visit http://casnr.unl.edu/visitday.  Registrations are due online on September 26.  You may also contact your local Nebraska Extension Office for questions. 

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Youth Adult Partnerships

June 25, 2015

Youth can be active participants in school and community activities, especially if they receive mentoring and encouragement from adults. Youths are a resource that often times go untapped in a community.  Youth who become engaged in their communities now will benefit the future of our communities.  

What is a youth-adult partnership?
A youth-adult partnership is a joint effort–”youth and adult working together to achieve common goals. Adults offer the knowledge they have on a topic and the youth are able to give fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm to carry out the goal. 

In this process youth gain . . .
–¢ life skills such as leadership, planning, and teamwork
–¢ a sense of belonging and being accountable and committed to their community
–¢ civic awareness, the capacity to care for others, and a desire to change and improve the lives of others
–¢ a sense of pride and the feeling of being needed and valued
–¢ new respect and acceptance from adults.

In this process adults gain . . .
–¢ first-hand information about the needs, concerns, and issues that pertain to youths
–¢ the satisfaction of seeing youths willingly accept the services and messages of the relationship
–¢ open and honest interactions and feedback about existing programs or services relating to youth
–¢ access to new collaborators with fresh and innovative ideas, creativity, energy, and enthusiasm
–¢ new perspectives on decision-making and community problem-solving, as responsibilities are shared with the partnering young person
–¢ opportunities to foster active community members for the future.

In this process communities gain . . .
–¢ resources and creativity to solve critical problems and provide needed community services
–¢ mutual understanding and increased trust between youths and adults, leading to strong youth-adult partnerships
–¢ new alliances among organizations as they work together to support youths
–¢ fresh perspectives on policy making, as youths gain a voice in governance and philanthropy
–¢ citizens who are more knowledgeable and invested in youths and the community.

Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development, et al. 2003. Youth-Adult Partnerships: A Training Manual. Takoma Park, MD.

Chong, J. (2006) Benefits of Youth-Adult Partnerships. (Electronic version) Children and Family, Aug. 2006. Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. University of Hawaii.

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Easy Ways to Build Assets for an with Your Child

May 2015

Family Support is the #1 External Asset of the 4- Developmental Assets of the Search Institute.  Love and support, is sounds easy.  We know we give it.  Every does.  Right?  But giving your child consistent love and support can be tricky.  How often does your child feel supported when you come home from an exhausting day and he or she wants to talk, but you want a break?

Young people know our body language.  They listen to what we say and don't say.  They notice when our words and our actions do not match.  Supporting and loving our children refers to the many ways we affirm, love and accept them, both verbally and nonverbally.  When we hug them or say "I love you," the expression is obvious.  We also know that paying attention to them, listening to them, and taking an interest in why they are doing are less obvious ways to give support, but they are just as important. 

The next time you are exhausted, say so.  If you are mad, be honest.  If your do not tell your child what you are feeling, he or she will read one message from your body and hear the opposite. Children usually interpret inconsistent messages as meaning they have done something wrong.  It is helpful to be consistent and be loving.  It is important to develop an openness so that your child always knows that you are available and you will love her or him no matter what. 

Source:  40 Developmental Assets or Search Institute. www.search-institute.org

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What is 4-H?

April 30, 2015
4-H is a community of young people, ages 5-19, across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills.  4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential working and learning in partnership with caring adults.  4-H is education for life that uses a learning-by-doing approach.

Lifetime Benefit-Strong roots, promising future
For over 100 years, youth and adults have been working together-learning, doing, growing, and serving.  4-H prepares young people for higher education and potential careers.  4-H does this by emphasizing life skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, serving others as well as managing change.

Connection with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
In Nebraska, 4-H is provided through Nebraska Extension, in cooperation with county governing boards, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), and the United States Department of Agriculture.  4-H project resources are developed by University of Nebraska staff using the latest research.

Customizable Expereince-4-H offers over 150 different projects
Traditional clubs, camps, school enrichment, and programs/events are all ways youth across Nebraska can be involved with the 4-H program.  Woven throughout each 4-H project area are opportunities for 4-Hers to learn about science, agriculture literacy, career development and college readiness, citizenship and leadership, as well as healthy living.

4-H is for the family
4-H is more than an activity for youth; it can be a shared experience for the whole family! Parents, siblings, and relatives can have fun, discover, care, and grow along with their 4-H youth.  Adult volunteers can lead clubs, lend their expertise to particular project areas, and serve on teams with other volunteers.  By making 4-H a family affair, thousands of families enjoy quality time together.

4-H gives back
Nebraska youth are becoming leaders who create change right in their own backyard! Nebraska 4-H encourages youth to give back to the communities that have helped them succeed and grow.  Through various community service efforts around the state, 4-H clubs have donated time and hours on community projects.

For more information on 4-H visit 4h.unl.edu

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News from Wayne County

March 26, 2015

The 2015 Summer Camping Season is approaching quickly! The Nebraska Extension Camping program is thrilled to invite all youth to enjoy summer camp with the Nebraska 4-H Camps and Centers at any of the sites –“ Gretna, Halsey, and Destination camps.  Camper registration fees paid on or before April 15, 2015, will receive a 10% early bird discount. After April 15, the standard fee will be charged.
The summer programs offered at our 4-H camping locations provide all youth a place to discover, learn, and grow. Your child does not have to be a member of 4-H to attend. The mission of Nebraska 4-H is promoted at the Nebraska 4-H Camps and Centers.  This mission encourages all young people to reach their full potential, by working and learning in partnership with caring adults. Amidst the beauty of the Nebraska National Forest and prairie, camp staff are able to do what we do best: provide a life-changing summer camp experience for all youth! 4-H is education for life and focuses on helping young people explore the science in their everyday lives, grow leadership and citizenship skills, explore future career opportunities, and make healthier decisions.

Kids Day Camps introduce youth 5-to 8- years-old to just how much fun 4-H Camp can be! Your camper will begin to learn communication skills, teamwork, and begin building relationships. Exposure to key lifetime skills such as confidence, cooperation, and decision making are features of attending camp. Campers will be encouraged to take healthy risks in a supportive environment by trying new activities and learning new skills that encourage independence. Utilizing outdoor activities and challenges helps stimulate campers' curiosity about science in the environment. Chaperones are encouraged but not required to attend.

Explorer Camps are for youth ages 8-11. These sessions allow younger campers the chance to explore many 4-H Camp activities and traditions. 4-H Camp increases self-esteem, fosters a love for the outdoors, and aids in the development of social skills needed in the real world through a variety of activities and experiences. Camp creates an atmosphere conducive to expanding interest, appreciation, and knowledge of the natural environment and natural sciences. Campers will have an opportunity to learn about living, working, and playing together, as well as gaining respect for nature. At camp, the foundation to become a leader is established as campers have the opportunity to discover, learn, and grow! Camper will have an opportunity to try out the zip line and work as a team on the T.R.U.S.T. Course. Building lasting relationships, fostering friendships, and positive adult interactions are key elements of camp as each camper leaves with a lifetime of memories.

Discovery Camps for youth ages 11-15 are designed for your middle school-age campers and are loaded with more advanced adventures! Each session features camp favorites like the waterslide,  campfires, and creek stomping, and provides opportunities for campers to create lasting friendships. Campers will learn to work as part of a team while working through the elements on the T.R.U.S.T.  Course. At camp confidence, responsibility, and healthy conflict resolution provide campers authentic leadership opportunities. Campers discover practical relationships between science and nature, which can be applied to their real world. Activities and trips provide a fun and safe experience for all –“ one that leaves campers with lasting feelings of accomplishment, pride, and a lifetime of memories!


 The Day That Could Start Your Story!

September 25, 2014

What's your story for your future and career?  University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) invite you to their Open House on Saturday, October 18.  This is the day that could "start your story" in CASNR. 

Are you dreaming of a career in journalism?  Is your goal to go on to professional school such as law, medical, dentistry, physical therapy, or pharmacy?  Do you want to become a crime scene investigator?  Are you creative or like to design –” why not turn your talent to landscape design?  Is a career in engineering in your future?  UNL's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) has programs in all of these areas along with the traditional Animal Science, Agricultural Economics, Mechanized Systems Management, and Agronomy.

Experience the Power of Red Open House will be held in the East Campus Union in Lincoln from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  This is a great opportunity for student's eighth grade through seniors and their families.  Why should you go?  You'll meet faculty, staff and current CASNR students to get the scoop on what life at UNL is really like.  Explore campus in person and get the true sense of the UNL CASNR experience. 

The Open House will give youth the opportunity to explore all 30 programs CASNR has to offer you with professional preparations for your career goals.  Why not enroll in a program in CASNR where 48% of the students earn scholarships each year and the Dean guarantees that you will have a job within six months after graduation?  Youth can learn more about CASNR and its programs by planning to attend the Open House with their parents and friends on October 18th.  The pre-register deadline is October 9th.  There is no charge for this event that includes continental breakfast and lunch.   Registration and carpool details are available from the Extension Office or youth may register at: casnr.unl.edu/openhouse.


News from Wayne County
August 29, 2014

Activities to help me grow!

August 29, 2014

Author: Rebecca Swartz, Nebraska Extension Specialist

I want to help my child learn and be ready for school, but sometimes I feel like the day is so busy I can't fit in one more thing! Do you have ideas for activities we can do together that won't take extra time?

Every day errands and chores are a great time to involve your child and help them learn and grow. Parents and caregivers often think they need to use computer software, videos, or workbooks for "learning" but actually, young children learn from every day experiences and learn best when they are involved in hands on activities. Plus, they love to help and be part of what you are doing. Here are some ideas to help you get started with suggestions for different ages of children.

1. Talk about what you are doing. It may feel funny at first, especially with a small infant or toddler who cannot talk back to you or ask questions. Try to pretend you are on a cooking or "do it yourself" show while your infant or toddler is watching you or playing by your side. You can describe the actions you are doing while cooking or working in the garden. Describe what you see around you as you are driving in the car or at the grocery store. Your child is learning new words and concepts just by hearing you talk.

2. Read signs and words around you. Children learn that printed words carry a message from the signs and words that are in their world. Try pointing out the signs of familiar stores, traffic signs, and signs with information. You might be surprised at how quickly your child learns to point out  "S-T-O-P Stop!" Through these experiences, children learn that letters come together to form words and these words carry a message...key things for readers to know!

3. Laundry time is math time? Even toddlers can sort out all of the socks from a basket of laundry. Preschoolers may be able to match the socks into pairs. Young children can fold simple things like pillow cases, washcloths, and towels. Try giving your child their own little basket and asking
them to sort or fold a certain type of laundry. They are learning early math skills of classification, shapes, fractions, (learning to fold in halves and quarters) and building their sense of competence as they help you.

4. Dusting, picking up, and direction following? Try giving your child a damp rag and asking them to dust certain surfaces. Make it a game by giving interesting directions... "Can you dust three things that are green? Can you pick up all of the purple blocks and put them in the basket?" Then encourage your child to look for furniture or the toys that you have described. Being able to follow directions and use clues are both important early learning skills. Children may be motivated when you make a job a game.

5. Let's watch things grow together!  Your child will enjoy working by your side in the garden. They may enjoy planting seedlings or flowers with you. They can learn important science skills about their natural world when working by your side. A small child sized rake can be fun to use in the fall. Children can help bag leaves, pickup sticks, and dig up weeds in the garden if you show them how to identify plants that are weeds. Work and play side by side with your child and they will be learning every day!
RECENT EVENTS 

June 26, 2014

I would like to let individuals in Wayne County and the surrounding counties affected by the recent weather that we are thinking of you all and are so sorry for any loss that was sustained.  Who would have thought that what we saw in our area last October could reoccur so quickly?  In reading up on a tornado, watching weather reports and listening to weather conditions, it seems that we are becoming more verse in what a tornado actually is and have seen firsthand the devastation. I read that the most violent tornadoes tend to be in the spring, but they can occur any time of the year, and in less than a year we have seen this.  We also know that tornadoes have an impact on children and families.

A tornado threatens the usual assumptions of safety. The winds and flying debris can disrupt telephone lines and other utilities, breaking down communication. As seen a powerful storm can blow off the roofs, break windows, blow open doors, split trees in two, and destroy entire homes, homesteads, and places of work.

According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, tornadoes are unusual storms, as their path is often erratic. In the same neighborhood, some houses may be leveled completely while others sustain little damage. While scattered destruction can be easier on the community than that of a flood or a hurricane–”in that not all community resources may be used up–”the inconsistent pattern of damage can cause feelings of guilt in those spared or unfairness in those recovering. Children may develop unusual ideas or myths about why a tornado did or did not hit their home.

Children may see anxiety and fear in parents and caregivers who are usually confident. They may lose their homes and cherished pets, memorabilia, and toys. They may see collapsed or damaged buildings–”including their schools or familiar community landmarks. They may encounter rubble, debris, or other wreckage, and experience the horror of seeing severely injured people and animals, as well as loss of  life.

As with other natural disasters, there may be a spectrum of psychological casualties. Individuals with preexisting emotional and behavioral problems may get worse if their support systems fail, they run out of medications, and/or their routine destabilizes. Others may develop chronic emotional and behavioral problems following exposure to pervasive stresses, such as the loss of community infrastructure, home or employment, or family or friends. In addition, emotional and physical exhaustion may affect individuals or families' ability to recover.

Children and adults frequently experience traumatic reminders, during which they suddenly relive and reexperience the emotions, fears, thoughts, and perceptions, they experienced at the time of the tornado. Typical traumatic reminders include tornado watches and warnings, thunderstorms, dark clouds, high winds, and hail.

Common emotional reactions of children and family members exposed to a tornado include:
–¢ Feelings of insecurity, unfairness, anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, despair, and worries about the future
–¢ Fear that another tornado will occur
–¢ Believing myths or folklore as to the cause of the tornado
–¢ Disruptive behaviors, irritability, temper tantrums, agitation, or hyperactivity
–¢ Clinging/dependent behaviors or avoidant and phobic symptoms
–¢ Physical symptoms, such as stomachaches, headaches, loss of appetite, nightmares, or sleep problems
–¢ Increased concerns regarding the safety of family members, friends, and loved ones
–¢ School-based problems, with decreased motivation and school performance
Adolescents may differ from younger children in how they respond to a tornado or other natural disaster. Some believe they will not live long and may exhibit:
–¢ Socially withdrawn, angry, or irritable
–¢ Risky behavior
–¢ Conflict with authority

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension has compiled a webpage of resources that may help individuals and families. This information can be found out   http://extension.unl.edu/disaster-recovery.  So even though I wish that none of the recent weather events would have taken place, I want individuals to know that they can contact their local Nebraska Extension Office for resources that may assist in helping families through difficult times and helping with questions about healthy living and food safety, crops, livestock, and community vitality.  In Nebraska Extension Office in Wayne County can be reached at (402) 375-3310. 

Information shared in this article come from the National Child Tramatic Stress Network at http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/natural-disasters/tornadoes


Easy Ways to Build Assets for and with Your Child

May 23, 2014

Family Support is the #1 External Asset of the 40 Developmental Assets of the Search Institute. Love and support, it sounds easy.  We know we give it.  Everyone does. Right?  But giving your child consistent love and support can be tricky.  How often does your child feel supported when you come home from an exhausting day and he or she wants to talk-but you want a break?
When your child messes up, do you provide support? 

Young people know our body language.  They listen to what we say and don't say.  They notice when our words and our actions do not match.  Supporting and loving our children refer to the many ways we affirm, love, and accept them, both verbally and nonverbally.  When we hug them or say "I love you,"  the expression is obvious.  Paying attention to them, listening to them, and taking an interest in what they're doing are less obvious ways of giving support, but they're just as important. 

            The next time you are exhausted, say so.  If you are mad, be honest.  If you do not tell your child what you are feeling, he or she will read one message form your body and hear the opposite.  And children usually interpret inconsistent messages as meaning they have done something wrong.

            Be consistent.  Be loving.  Develop an openness so that your child always knows that you are available and you will love  her or him, not matter what. 

Source: 40 Developmental Assets of Search Institute.  www.search-institute.org

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News from Wayne County

April 24, 2014

Have you thought about a camping experience for your child this summer? The 4-H Camping experience can happen at two different 4-H camping locations in Nebraska.  The goal of Nebraska 4-H Camp is to allow youth a place to discover, learn, and grow.  Youth do not have to be a member of 4-H to attend a Nebraska 4-H Camp.  At Nebraska 4-H Camps and Centers, they believe strongly in promoting the mission of Nebraska 4-H, which encourages all young people to reach their full potential, by working and learning in partnership with caring adults.

The Nebraska 4-H Camps are located in the beauty of the Nebraska National Forest (Halsey) and Schramm State Park (Grenta).  The Nebraska 4-H Camping staff is able to do what they do best:  provide a life-changing summer experience for all youth!  4-H is education for life and focuses on helping young people explore thee science in the everyday lives, grow leadership and citizenship skills, explore future career opportunities, and make healthier decisions. 

The Nebraska 4-H Camps are American Camp Association (ACA) accredited, meaning that they care enough to undergo a thorough review of over 300 standards related to operations, staffing, and emergency management.  Nebraska Camp staff recruit an experienced and caring staff that receive training in First–”aid and CPR training, water safety, camping skills, and positive youth development training.  No matter which 4-H Camp your child goes to, camp is a great place to meet new friends, try something for the first time, and build cherished memories. 

To register online:  go to 4h.unl.edu/camp. If you are interested in picking up a registration to mail in, you can stop by any local extension office to pick one up.  There are numerous camps offered with various focuses throughout the summer, you will find one that is write for your child.

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Inspiring Young Nebraskans to Reach Their Full Potential

March 26, 2014

The mission of Nebraska 4-H is to empower youth to reach their full potential working and learning in partnerships with caring adults.  Nebraska 4-H works to introduce high-quality youth development experiences into the lives of Nebraska youth and families.  Engagement in 4-H results in youth who are making positive decisions related to their health and future goals according to the 2013 Nebraska 4-H Impact Report.   
      

By taking part in the Nebraska 4-H Revolution, youth are preparing for a successful future by focusing on 4-H Science, Agricultural Literacy, Career Development and College Readiness, Citizenship and Leadership, and Healthy Living.  4-Hers in Northeast Nebraska have shared their thoughts of 4-H in their 4-H Stories, here are some of their thoughts.

"I think 4-H is important because it gives you many opportunities and opens even more doors." Kiara

"4-H has been such a wonderful and beneficial experience for me.  It has made me more confident about myself and about the things that I do.  There is not one skill that I have learned in 4-H that I will not use many times in the future."  Sylvia

"4-H has taught me to step up to the plate and take more of a leading role in my club and community.  Working with a team made me better at taking other people's thoughts into consideration." Luke

"4-H continues to help me grow as a person every year. It may even help me decide what I should do in the future." Hannah

"4-H has helped me to be a better citizen by giving me the opportunity to do things that I never would have if I was not a member.  I have learned that it makes me feel good to help other people."  Megan

"4-H continues to help me become a better leader and citizen just through the different projects I have participated in as a group." Josie

"Throughout our multiple community service projects I have learned the importance of helping others in need and being a good citizen." Brennen

"My club kept me very involved and I like to spend time with other 4-Hers in our county."  Anna

"I would like to say that 4-H continues to help me develop personally as well as help me to become a better citizen and leader.  It has given me the opportunity to learn about many different things."  Shanda

"4-H has helped me learn that if I want to be successful, I need to get things done as soon as possible instead of waiting until the last minute and making a mad dash to get everything done.  This lesson will help me in school, especially when I get to college."  Devin

"4-H has helped me to make new friends, learn more about certain aspects of the world, and has continually taught me about responsibility and respect" Grace

February is Nebraska 4-H month and Nebraska is proud of the 140,000 youth that are enrolled in 4-H.  They are also thankful for the nearly 15,000 volunteers who share their time and resources.  Nebraska 4-H is part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, which in 2014 marks the 100-year anniversary of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 which officially created the national Cooperative Extension System. Nebraska 4-H is the youth component of  Nebraska Extension. You can learn more about Nebraska 4-H at http://4h.unl.edu.

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4-H Clover Kids

January 28, 2014

Clover Kids is a 4-H program for children ages 5 to 7- years old. Children participate in hand-on activities designed to build different life skills.

Clover Kid Guidelines in Nebraska include:
1. Nebraska youth ages 5 –“ 7 years (by January 1 of the current year) may enroll in the Clover Kids Program. In other words, children turning 6, 7 or 8 during the calendar year are eligible for Clover Kids.
2. It is not the intent of the Nebraska Clover Kids program to duplicate the 8 -to 19-year
-old 4-H program, nor to create a "mini 4-H" concept. The Clover Kids program is designed with specific philosophies and educational objectives focused on youth ages 5 –“ 7.
3. Youth enrolled in this program will be counted separately as Clover Kids members. They will receive a completion certificate for each year of participation in the program.
4.  Nebraska 4 - H recommends the use of appropriate and recommended
Clover Kids activities. The activities utilize age - appropriate, cooperative - based methods. They provide opportunities for learning through activities, emphasizing success for every child. Competition is inappropriate for this age level.

Clover Kid Philosophy
The purpose of the Nebraska 4 - H program is to promote the positive   development of youth to become competent, caring, contributing citizens.
The Clover Kids program:
–¢ is activity- based, creating a broad-based, fun approach to learning.
–¢ emphasizes immediate positive feedback to the child involved in the activity.
–¢ values cooperative, non-competitive learning as an effective educational strategy.
–¢ is flexible, open and accessible to all youth through a variety of delivery methods.
–¢ views youth in the context of family and community.
–¢ values ongoing relationships between participants, caring adults and older youth.
–¢ is based on research in the area of youth development, educational theory and relevant subject matter.

The most important like skills for the 5- to 7-year-old age group are:
–¢ Respecting Self
–¢ Communicating
–¢ Solving Problems
–¢ Thinking Critically
–¢ Choosing Healthy Lifestyles

The first meeting for Clover Kids in Wayne County is February 1, 9:00-10:15 a.m. at the Wayne County Courthouse. Youth ages 5-7 by January 1, 2014 are eligible. They will learn about 4-H and participate in activities exploring color and begin to construct a color wheel they can take home and add items to. This will be an exhibit that they can bring to the fair in July. Cost is $4.00 which includes a $2 insurance fee to enroll in 4-H and $2 for the activity. 
A Clover Kid 4-H Enrollment form will need to be filled out and signed by a parent/guardian. Enrollment forms are available online at wayne.unl.edu and at the Extension Office. They will also be available at the meeting. Please contact the Extension Office by 5 p.m., Tuesday, January 28 to register so we have enough supplies.

The next meeting will be on March 8 and they will be making No Sew Pillows.  The Wayne County 4-H Teen Supremes will be assisting with the 4-H Clover Kid Program. If you are interested in 4-H Clover Kids, please contact the Nebraska Extension office at 402-375-3310.