4-H Alerts

State Fair Blow and Go Show Announcement
Fri, 02/12/2016

In a joint decision made by State Fair, FFA and 4-H, with regard to fitting of livestock at the fair,  2016 shows will be Blow and Go, which primarily affects the way exhibitors prepare their beef animals.

We certainly understand and respect those folks who are passionate about fitting their animals, the added level of competition it presents and the added level of skill and learning required to fit an animal successfully. But here is some context as to why this decision was made.

As many of you know, the beef barn is always a challenge for space and safety, particularly having enough space for blocking chutes and fitting. The last few years, we have been able to manage these challenges using space on the west end of the swine barn for fitting and blocking chutes. However, that space will not be available moving forward. In 2015, we had the highest number of entries that we have had since I have been a part of the fair with 1080 head of cattle entered. The barn only has stalling space for 1220 head, not to mention tack, feed and other supplies. So we are physically maxed out on space. Ultimately, we came down to two options in terms of how to better manage the available space. We either substantially reduce entry limits and exhibitors' opportunities to participate in the beef show, or we limit the equipment exhibitors bring to the fair. We decided to go with the second option and therefore a no fit show.

As you can imagine, we heard feedback on both sides of the issue as we looked at the options. I certainly understand the frustration some exhibitors and families will feel as a result. However, a few other positives that we hope can be gleaned from this change include a reduction in the cost of supplies and products spent on preparing the animals to show. It will also help speed up the loading and unloading process. After discussing with show officials from other state fairs who have gone this way, they believe the quality of the livestock exhibited at their shows has increased because they can no longer fit the flaws out of their animals.

This is not a plan to eliminate blocking chutes for beef altogether. The number of chute tags given out will be more limited than in past years, but the need for the chutes will also be less than in past years. Some families, chapters or counties may choose not bring blocking chutes, but for safety reasons, we do want that tool to be available.

Thank you for your help in communicating this with your families.

***Recommended guidelines will follow soon.***


Author: Brandy Wagner

Public Speaking Contest Information Available for Staff
Fri, 02/12/2016

The Public Speaking web site is now updated for 2016.  4-H youth and volunteers can find information at http://4h.unl.edu/publicspeakingcontest, and staff can find additional resources (programs, press releases, regional contest registration forms, etc.) at  http://4h.unl.edu/resourcepublicspeaking

Author: Cathy Johnston

2016 Fairbook - Static Exhibits
Fri, 02/12/2016

The 2016 Fairbook is now posted in the Employee Resources page at http://4h.unl.edu/employeeresourcenebraskastatefair.  You will find links to two box files, one with Static Exhibit Track Changes and the other with the Static Exhibit Final Approved Changes. The pages currently posted are the static project pages only.

Author: Kim Novotny

Placement of State Fair Exhibit Classes in ShoWorks
Fri, 02/12/2016

I am sure since you have received the static portions of the 2016 State Fairbook you are anxious to get started on your new year in ShoWorks.

You can start this year in ShoWorks 2012 if you have not received the computer update/upgrade yet from your district technology coordinator and then transfer it into ShoWorks 2016 later. It will not impact your data at all!

I have posted the 2016 Nebraska State Fair 4H Static Exhibit Classes spreadsheet on the 4H Data Management website under 2016 Nebraska State Fair Resources so it is easier to find the changes than skimming the entire fairbook for a class change.

Author: Katie Pleskac

4-H Horse Show Judges Workshop
Fri, 02/12/2016

If you are interested in becoming a 4-H Horse Show Judge, would like to recertify as a judge or would like to learn more about what a horse show judge is looking for in ranch horse pleasure (ranch riding) or western horsemanship, please sign up to come to one of the three workshops.

Three horse judging workshops will be held this spring throughout Nebraska:

  • February 29, 2016, 6-8pm at West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte
  • March 31, 2016, 6:30-8:30pm at Douglas/Sarpy Central Extension Office in Omaha
  • May 17, 2016, 6-8pm at Dawes County Extension Office in Chadron

Additional information and registration form can be found at http://animalscience.unl.edu/horse-judging-information#tab2


Author: Kathy Anderson

Quilts of Valor II Documentary to Air on NET
Fri, 02/12/2016

Last year Iowa Public Television came to York, Nebraska, and Nebraska State Fair to videotape Nebraska 4-Hers who were working with Quilts of Valor. Several of our 4-Hers, leaders, and Extension Staff were interviewed and showcased.  The 100+ minute documentary was shown in Iowa the first part of December.  In Nebraska, the Quilts of Valor II Documentary will be broadcasted on NET (1) on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at 12:30pm CT.  It is also scheduled on NET Create (3) on Monday, March 7 at 11:00am CT and Saturday, March 12 at 2pm CT. 

Author: Holli Weber

4HOnline Browser Reminder - Internet Explorer
Fri, 02/12/2016

Beginning Monday, February 15, 4HOnline will no longer support Internet Explorer 10 and older due to security concerns. Internet Explorer 10 and older does not natively support TLS 1.2 which is the required SSL security standard. Previous versions of TLS and SSL are no longer considered secure and will be disabled.


4HOnline will no longer open in IE after Monday.

Author: Katie Pleskac

January In-Service Next Steps
Thu, 02/04/2016

Thanks for being a part of the 4-H training last week, we appreciate everyone’s participation!  As one next step, we need to have additional conversations locally.  In our closing session, we discussed several great strategies for continuing the Positive Youth Development discussion, but we’re asking first that you focus on a conversation with the 4-H Staff in your accountability region.  We’ve drafted an outline below that you can use to guide those discussions.  We would also encourage you to take the opportunity to engage your 4-H Coordinator as part of this conversation and please keep them apprised of the meeting date.  The goal is have these completed by the end of the month. 

When: February 1-29, 2016

What: An in-person or virtual meeting to continue the conversation we started at January In-Service.  The goal of these meetings is to ensure that everyone that contributes to the 4-H program locally is introduced to the discipline of Positive Youth Development and they are understand the framework for how we deliver the 4-H program in Nebraska.   It is also an opportunity to plan as a team and discuss how each person on the team will positively contribute.

Audience: Staff by 4-H Accountability Region (4-H Educators, 4-H Assistants, Office Staff, Other Content Educators can also be invited):


  • Nebraska 4-H is establishing their role as experts in the discipline of positive youth development.  Share the 4-H Framework (http://4h.unl.edu/empresources)
  • Discuss what was shared at January In-Service (Karen’s slides are also available on the employee resource page linked above.)
  • Review Roles and Responsibilities Document (also posted)
  • Discuss strategies for how your accountability region team will work together to deliver a quality PYD experience. 
    • How can we partner?
    • How can we share?
    • How can we exchange programs?
    • Are there options for merging programs?
    • Are there things we should do differently? 
    • How do we work together without stepping on each other’s toes?
    • How are all roles contributing  - how we do this collectively?
    • Are there specific responsibilities that should be shifted to be more efficient.


Author: Jill Walahoski

2016 Spring Paper Clover Promotion at Tractor Supply Company
Thu, 02/04/2016

The Fall 2015 Paper Clover Campaign raised $894,000 for 4-H program, with the top 4-H clubs raising $5,000 for their local programs. With the 2016 Spring Paper Clover Campaign set to launch on April 13-24, imagine what your clubs could do with those extra funds. Sign up for our webinar to learn more at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SpringClover2016

Author: National 4-H Council

$10K for STEM at Camp
Thu, 02/04/2016

What would you do if you had $10,000 for STEM at Camp? HughesNet and National 4-H Council want to see your ideas come to life. The four best ideas we receive will be awarded a sub-grant for summer camp in 2016. Enter your idea with us at 


Author: National 4-H Council