The 2020 State 4-H & FFA Dairy Judging Contest, typically held during the Nebraska State Fair, will be held virtually. Registration is now open and will close on Monday, September 28th at 5:00 PM CT. Registration fees are $5 per contestant per organization. 4-H members must register online through ne.4honline.com. FFA members will be registered by their FFA advisors.
The online judging contest will open on Monday, October 5th at 8:00 AM CT and will close on Monday, October 12th at 5:00 PM CT. Registered participants will receive an email when the contest opens which will include the contest link and instructions for participation.
Changes to this year's contest include:
- Contestants will judge 7-8 cow classes based on still-life photos with multiple photos of each animal.
- No questions will be asked and no reasons will be taken.
- Classes will include all breeds - Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn, Red & White
- Contestants are required to judge classes on their own with absolutely no help from others.
- Prepared judging aids are not allowed.
- Official judge(s) will make official placings on classes after judging closes on Monday, October 12.
- Official placings and cuts will be posted along with contest results.
Since 1976, when the initial group of 235 campers arrived at the Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center to enjoy a week of summer fun, our mission has been to serve the youth of Nebraska and provide opportunities for them to Discover, Learn, and Grow. Over the past 44 years, we have been successful in supporting our mission through a variety of program options, including adult and youth retreat, outdoor education, summer overnight camp, and day camp programs.
As you know, COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the world that we once knew, including having significant impacts to our camp program. In early April, we made the very difficult decision to cancel all of our in-person programs including spring outdoor education and summer camp events. As a primarily seasonal business where most of our operating revenues are collected during the summer months to support our operations year-round, this decision had a significant impact on our budget. Thankfully, as sound fiscal managers, we had a reserve revenue fund to continue to operate through this time to continue programming virtually and salaries for five full-time employees. Unfortunately, we have come to the end of this reserve fund and discussions have turned to our next steps.
As part of the process, we explored how the Nebraska 4-H camp program can better reach youth where they are with innovative programs, utilizing research-based curricula delivered with a hands-on experimental learning model by talented youth development professionals. We are pleased to announce a NEW environmental education program series that will include both virtual and place-based programs for schools, home-school families, and afterschool programs. Of course, current and future 4-H members will always be among our key clients. As part of our goal to reach more youth, and with thoughtful consideration of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, our state 4-H team, and the Nebraska 4-H Foundation, we have made the extremely difficult decision to cease all operations at the Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center in Gretna effective August 1, 2020.
While we may not have the same site presence, one thing that remains the same is our commitment to our partnership with you to help us work toward our mission to provide opportunities for youth to Discover, Learn, and Grow and we invite you to consider continuing your partnership with Nebraska 4-H in various ways.
Although we are disappointed in the closure of the Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center, we are hopeful that our renewed commitment to broader environmental education offerings for youth will bring a new era of Nebraska 4-H Camping.
Nebraska 4-H camps in partnership with Douglas-Sarpy County Extension is offering a handful of science-based school-year day camps this fall. Through these experiences, youth have the opportunity to explore the natural world at Schramm State Recreation Area. These day camps allow youth to connect with friends while enjoying their natural surroundings. The sessions are open to all youth ages 6-14. Youth do not need to be enrolled in 4-H to participate. All of the sessions will follow CDC and ACA guidelines for in-person activities, with hand sanitizer, masks, and social distancing. For more details and a complete list of sessions, visit the School Year Camps webpage.
The 2020 State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest will be held on Sunday, September 20th at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Animal Science Complex. Registration/Check-in will be at 7:00 AM that morning with the contest beginning at 8:00 AM. As of now, the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest is moving forward as planned, and our state-level contest is vital for a team to qualify for the national level.
There will be changes to this year's contest:
- This will be a senior division only contest. Each team will be limited to 5 contestants and only one coach and one other chaperone if needed.
- Everyone attending the contest will wear a mask and hand sanitizing stations will be present throughout the facility.
- Livestock classes will be arranged in a more spread-out fashion and we may implement a 2-round system for the placings portion of the contest.
- Youth will maintain at least a 10-foot distance from the reasons takers during that portion of the competition.
- We will not arrange a live awards ceremony on site. Awards will be announced online. Awards will be mailed.
- We will not provide any pencils, clipboards, paper, etc. Each team must bring their own materials. We will only handout placing cards and contestant numbers in the team packets.
- We will not provide lunch. We plan to have the contest finished by 1:00-2:00 PM. If a hotel room is needed for Saturday night, the Staybridge Suites I-80 will be providing a special rate.
If hotel rooms are needed for Saturday night, the Staybridge Suites I-80 will be providing a special rate.
Registration is open now and will close at noon on Wednesday, September 16th. Registration must be completed through county Extension offices.
Following their dreams in an age of pandemic, 4-H youth from 17 states gathered online for the national 4-H film festival. The 10th annual FilmFest 4-H was held on August 1-2. FilmFest 4-H is a national film festival for youth filmmakers, visual artists, actors, as well as any 4-H'ers interested in learning more about the film industry and meeting other creative people from across the country. FilmFest 4-H helps youth become producers, not just consumers, of digital media. Now in its 10th year, FilmFest 4-H celebrated its decade-long run with the film industry workshops and youth-produced films it has become known for.
Two Nebraska 4-H members were recognized for their films.
- Riley Peterson (15) of Lancaster County was awarded 2nd Place Documentary for his video titled Inspiring 4-H Archers.
- Andrew Donlan (12) of Lancaster County received 2nd Place Animation with his stop-motion film, Journey in July.
The 2020 FilmFest 4-H was open to youth ages 11-18, and participants hailed from Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas. Video categories included Animation, Documentary, Narrative, One Minute Movie, Promotional, and Voices of 4-H History.
In addition to submitting their own digital video creations, participants also engaged in educational film industry workshops over the weekend. LA-based actress Linara Washington shared strategies from her career working on tv series like NCIS and Grey's Anatomy, and in films alongside Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini. From New York, Emmy winning producer Matthew C. Mills helped youth understand film industry roles ranging from interns to executive producers, sharing career advice from his work with companies like HBO, MTV, CBS, and Food Network. Producer Chad Freidrichs taught youth how to secure archival footage for documentaries, using methods that are both professional and legal. This year also featured the first FilmFest 4-H Screenplay Challenge, with youth submitting scripts that were evaluated by LA-based writer-producer Mariana Hope (Friday Night Lights, The Kicks).
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Type 2 (RHDV-2) has been identified in the southern and western states in the United States. The State Veterinarian, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), Nebraska 4-H, and the Nebraska State Fair are in on-going communication to determine how this disease will impact the State 4-H Rabbit Show.
At this time, RHDV-2 has not been diagnosed in Nebraska; we will continue to watch closely for any cases and stay updated with the NDA. The NDA is also collaborating and staying in close contact with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to increase awareness and surveillance if needed should the NDA receive any reports indicating an increase in deaths in our wild rabbit populations in the state.
With the increased concern of RHDV-2, all 4-H rabbits exhibiting at the 2020 Nebraska State Fair must have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) within 15 days of the exhibition. The CVI must list the Nebraska State Fair as consignee and will need to have the official identification (ear tattoo) listed on all rabbits being exhibited during the State Fair. The health papers will be checked by a representative of the State Veterinarians' Office.
Each CVI must:
- Be issued by an accredited licensed veterinarian.
- Show name and address of own or exhibitor.
- Show that the rabbit does not have signs of RHDV-2.
The NDA has created a link for rabbit owners to review information, guidance, and links for public knowledge to increase awareness and provide guidance regarding this disease. For more information, please visit Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (NDA).
Additionally, the 2020 State Fair Rabbit Show format will follow the NDA's biosecurity recommendations.
- Exhibitors will arrive the morning of the rabbit show (Sunday, August 30) and bring their own carrier(s) to keep their rabbits housed through the morning/afternoon. Rabbits will not be housed not he fairgrounds as they have in the past.
- Exhibitors will show their rabbits and go home after the exhibition.
- Bring your own carpet square to place your rabbit on during the show.
- All rabbits should be quarantined for 30 days after returning from the show and all equipment and cages should be sanitized once you return home.
We will continue to monitor the situation and keep exhibitors apprised of any other changes that need to be made.
Congratulations to all 158 Nebraska 4-H members who participated in the virtual 2020 State 4-H Public Speaking Contest. The contest included speeches and public service announcements that were selected at county-level contests to advance to the state competition. Entries were submitted and judged virtually. Medal winners were awarded for intermediate and senior age divisions, and Champion senior participants were also recognized. Congratulations to the Senior Division Champions:
- Emma Luther of Dawson County, Senior PSA Champion
- Abbie Owens of Dawson County, Senior Speech Champion
Senior PSA medal winners:
- Emma Luther of Dawson County
- Ella Hendrickson of Lancaster County
- Emily Brodd of Dodge County
Senior Speech medal winners:
- Abbie Owens of Dawson County
- Audra Nolting of Cuming County
- Macy Moravec of Butler County
- Sydney Hutchinson of Cuming County
Intermediate PSA medal winners:
- Chelsea Potts of Cedar County
- Jaden Hunke of Dawson County
- Kathryn Picton of Washington County
- Morgan Thieman of York County
Intermediate Speech medal winners:
- Alexa Brodd of Dodge County
- Ava McFarland of Knox County
- Carson Reiman of Dawson County,
- Eden Hamel of Dodge County
- Ella Brennemann of Frontier County
- Greta Rickertsen of Dawson County
- Kara Brockman of Gosper County
- Luke Syliaasen of Saunders County
- Riley Farnstrom of Thayer County
- Tucker Robinson of Fillmore County
The Nebraska State Fair Board announced that the 2020 Nebraska State Fair will be a celebration of 4-H and FFA youth! While the State Fair will look different than it has in the past, we are excited to see the support for young people and to showcase the projects they've been working on throughout the year.
Some key highlights and updates for 4-H Exhibitors:
- The 4-H contests and 4-H livestock shows will all be held on the first weekend (August 29-30).
- 4-H static exhibits will not be re-judged at State Fair. Static exhibits will receive special recognition, and best of show awards will be selected. Static exhibits will remain on display throughout the fair.
- The Youth Dairy Show and Dairy Judging Contest will be held on the second weekend (specific dates TBD).
- The FFA livestock shows will be on the second weekend (September 5-6).
- By having the shows on separate weekends, there will be more space in the barns; hence, 4-H livestock entry limits will remain the same.
Please stay tuned to 4h.unl.edu/state-fair for more updates as details are finalized.
The safety of youth and their families is our highest priority. We were hopeful and preparing to offer an in-person Fonner Park State 4-H Horse Expo. With continued uncertainty about COVID-19 in Grand Island and whether or not we would get approval from the Health Department coupled with concerns from volunteers and staff and the ability to offer a high-quality experience for youth, we have decided to cancel the in-person show for 2020. Instead, a modified virtual show will be hosted allowing youth to compete from home. This will allow all 4-H'ers the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and effort they have put into their horse project. This virtual opportunity will also include 4-H Horse Stampede contests. More information can be found on the Fonner Park State 4-H Fun Horse Show.
We understand the disappointment this decision will cause, but we hope this will be a new way to introduce youth to a trend that is increasing in popularity across the country. We appreciate the work of the Horse Advisory Committee, representatives from Fonner Park, and the City of Grand Island for all their support in this difficult decision.
We've made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 face-to-face summer camp sessions, but that doesn't mean all 4-H Camps are canceled! Nebraska 4-H Camps are offering a variety of fun hands-on learning opportunities that youth can participate in from home. And, when we say "hands-on," we mean it! Our 4-H camp opportunities are designed for active learning by doing.
Choose from a variety of exciting, live, online programs that you can participate in from home! Participants will meet and interact with other youth who have similar interests, and learn from Nebraska 4-H Camp professionals, University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty, and industry professionals. We have a variety of special topic sessions available throughout June. Register now before sessions fill up!