Omaha Fashion Week is the nation's 5th largest fashion event. In addition to supporting more independent fashion designers than any other organization in the region, Omaha Fashion Week supports young fashion designers by providing mentoring, educational opportunities, and a professional platform to showcase work.
Nebraska 4-H partners with Omaha Fashion Week during their Spring Showcase each year. OFW Student Night will take place on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, and will exclusively feature student designers, including a 4-H collection. This collection will consist of 10 to 12 garments from across the state. Each garment will be modeled by the 4-H member who made it. In order to create a complete and dynamic collection, interested 4-H members are invited to apply to participate in the show. For more information, visit the Omaha Fashion Week 4-H Collection webpage.
The 4-H Fed Steer Challenge completed the inaugural year of the program this week. The goal of the program is to enhance the educational value of the traditional 4-H beef projects by providing an affordable option that rewards production merit and carcass value of the market animal, along with accurate and complete record-keeping, industry knowledge, and producer engagement by the 4-H member.
Thank you to 4+ Feeders out of Lexington for serving as the producer which supplied the steers this year. Thank you also to: The Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation, The Marilyn Schmidt Ag Outreach Program, and the Nebraska 4-H Foundation for sponsoring awards and educational expenses for the program.
Those youth completing the 2019 4-H Fed Steer Challenge are:
- Chase Bartels, Saline County
- Katrina Beel, Brown County
- Moriah Beel, Brown County
- Logan Buhrman, Cuming County
- Tyler Dunburg, Kearney County
- Lydia Fitzke, Adams County
- Sydney May, Hamilton County
- Kelsee Moffatt, Garden County
- John O'Dea, Red Willow County
- Ty Ostendorf, Howard County
- Lacey Schmidt, Thayer County
- Leah Schmidt, Thayer County
- Braden Schulte, Buffalo County
- Spencer Walahoski, Dawson County
The participants competed in multiple categories including Growth Performance (ADG), Carcass Merit, Record Book, and Final Showcase Presentation. Category scores were tabulated and awarded at the 2019 Nebraska Cattlemen Convention held in Kearney, NE on December 5th.
Growth Performance refers to the average daily gain of the animal from the time they were selected to the time of harvest. Top 3 Growth Performance category winners are:
- Spencer Walahoski
- Katrina Beel
- Kelsee Moffatt
Carcass merit scores were based first on the grid price received and second on the total value of the carcass. Top 3 Carcass Merti category winners are:
- Spencer Walahoski
- Lydia Fitzke
- Leah Schmidt
Record books were scored on completeness of records and the ability to show growth in knowledge of their project and the beef industry. Top 3 Record Book category winners are:
- Leah Fitzke
- Logan Burhman
- Kelsee Moffatt
Final Showcase Presentations were hosted at the Nebraska Cattlemen Convention where youth were asked to put together a display to highlight their project. There they were interviewed and scored based on knowledge of, as well as creativity in highlighting the project. Top 3 Showcase Presentation category winners are:
- Spencer Walahoski
- Tyler Danburg
- Kelsee Moffatt
Our top five Overall category winners receive a cash award as well as a $500 scholarship to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Ag Sciences and Natural Resources. Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge Overall winners are:
- Spencer Walahoski
- Kelsee Moffatt
- Logan Buhrman
- Lydia Fitzke
- Tyler Danburg
A big congratulations to all the participants who complete the Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge. The Fed Steer Challenge program will continue in 2020. For more information, visit the 4-H Fed Steer Challenge webpage.
Nebraska's 4-H Livestock Judging Team recently participated in the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest. The contest was held at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) on November 20, 2019, in Louisville, KY. Thirty states were represented with 109 participants in the contest.
Nebraska's four-person team from Box Butte County included:
- Jayce Meyring
- Wade Sanders
- Macala Hood
- Jayda Meyring
The team was coached by Jay Meyring, Shauna Meyring, and Teresa Sanders.
Together, the Nebraska team finished 12th Overall and was only 4 points from being in the top 10. The team also placed 12th in sheep and goats, 12th in beef, 16th in swine, and 17th in reasons. Individuals are also recognized as All-Americans for placing in the top 20 overall. Jayce Meyring was recognized as an All-American for placing in 15th overall. Jayce also placed 17th in Beef, and Jayda Meyring placed 20th in Performance Beef.
Following the awards breakfast, Macala Hood said: "Even though the competition was tough; I think for us and how young we are we really did do great!"
"Then to be able to represent Nebraska in something on the national level was truly an honor," said Wade Sanders.
The team was awarded this opportunity as the first place senior livestock judging team at the 2019 state 4-H contest. The state 4-H livestock judging contest is held each year as part of the Premier Animal Science Event (PASE) at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. PASE offers a variety of 4-H animal science contests, including meats judging, poultry judging, livestock judging, livestock skillathon, and livestock quiz bowl. Each year, the top placing senior teams are awarded opportunities to participate in national 4-H contests. In 2020, PASE will be held on June 22-23.
"It was and is truly a dream come true to compete at Nationals," said Jayce Meyring.
"The opportunity was amazing, and it was so much fun to be able to see the country and livestock around the area, especially the horses," Jayda Meyring said. "And hopefully, it won't be the last time." She hopes to return to NAILE in the future as a college competitor.
Nebraska 4-H is now accepting nominations for the Salute to Excellence Volunteer Awards. Nebraska 4-H will recognize one volunteer from each of the two categories:
- The Volunteer of the Year Award (VOY) is for currently serving 4-H volunteers who have served as 4-H volunteers less than 10 years at the local, county, district, or state level.
- The Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award (OLV) is for current or former 4-H volunteers who have served 10 or more years at the local, county, district, or state level.
Nomination packets must be submitted by a nominator by December 18, 2019. Packets should be submitted to Cathy Johnston at email@example.com. A complete nomination packet must include a resume of the nominee's 4-H and relevant community volunteer experience, three (3) letters of recommendation, and a high-quality headshot of the nominee. Nominators should use the application template when developing the nomination packet.
Nebraska youth will join others around the world in the 12th annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) challenge. Nebraska 4-H is hosting a virtual NYSD event for afterschool sites across the state on Tuesday, October 29. Nebraska's headquarters for the challenge is at Raising Nebraska in Grand Island. This space is designed to allow visitors to see agriculture from virtually every angle -- form water conservation to soil health, animal well-being to food safety, invention to innovation, and from economic impact to global hunger. Approximately 10 afterschool sites from across Nebraska, ranging from Chadron to Superior, will interact and complete the NYSD challenge via video conference.
"Nebraska is a big state. That's why we decided to use technology to bring experiences in computer science to rural programs all across the state," said Saundra Wever Frerichs, Extension Assistant Professor of Science Education. "In 4-H, we work hard to be innovative and creative in how we teach STEM. Today, we're using games and technology to learn about computer science, agriculture, and technology in a way that is fun and impactful."
This year's challenge, Game Changers, is designed to teach young people computer science skills through four engaging hands-on activities. The challenge was developed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service. Game Changers uses physical activity and puzzles to teach kids important computer science concepts and problem-solving skills, creating real-world connections between computer science and civic engagement, healthy living, and agriculture.
4-H NYSD is an annual program that provides access and opportunity for kids everywhere to take an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by participating in a hands-on STEM challenge. Youth conduct the challenge at thousands of local events in all 50 states, and in countries around the world, throughout October.
Enrollment is now open for the 2020 program year! Enrollment is not required for many 4-H programs and events. However, club and independent members are required to officially enroll through 4-H Online each year to maintain membership. By enrolling, youth have the opportunity to participate in county fairs, the Nebraska State Fair, and additional statewide opportunities and events. Youth have the opportunity to enroll in specific projects which they plan to complete throughout the years. Club and project leaders must also enroll through 4-H Online each year.
There is no state-level fee for officially enrolling. However, some counties or clubs may implement their own annual fees. Additionally, each county implements their own enrollment deadlines. Please contact your local 4-H office for more information.
Nebraska's 4-H Horticulture Team and Honors Division individual placed at the National Horticulture Contest. The contest was held in Lincoln, Nebraska on October 12, 2019. The four-person team placed fourth overall. Each individual also placed in the top 20, with one team member placing in the top 10. The team, coached by Elizabeth Killinger, Nebraska Extension Educator, consisted of:
- Josiah Ketelsen, Boone County
- Grace Cruise, Dodge County
- Sawyer Kappel, Colfax County
- Jeffrey Lohse, Gage County
The competition included eight sets of judging, an 80 question test, and identification of 100 horticulture specimens such as weeds, twigs, leaves, fruit, flowers, and underground structures. Lohse placed sixth individually overall. Cruise placed 12th, Kappel placed 13th, while Ketelsen placed 18th overall. Together, the four-person team placed fourth.
Members of the team and individuals that placed 1st previously at Nationals are invited back to participate in the Honor's Division. Erik Henry of Omaha was a member of the Nebraska 2017 National Champion Horticulture Team. This year, he participated as an individual in the Honor's Division at Nationals and had to identify 25 additional samples that were more challening. Henry placed 5th in the Honors Division.
"I'm extremely proud," Killinger said. "They worked hard and it all paid off."
The team held practice on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln campuses to prepare for the contest. The students brough plant specimens to examine and identify, and Killinger also collected some for the team.
The Nebraska 4-H Foundation also contributed to the team, helping to defray travel costs for the members.
The 2020 contest will be October 9 in Wilmington, DE.
This month, Nebraska 4-H and the Nebraska 4-H Foundation would like to congratulate the 4 Star Hamilton Heroes 4-H Club for being awarded the Nebraska 4-H Club of the Month for October 2019. This club from Aurora, NE in Hamilton County, has truly made a difference in its community. Members of the 4 Star Hamilton Heroes take community service very seriously. Each member is involved in a variety of activities that give back to the community throughout the year.
The club has 19 members that are involved in all areas of 4-H. Many of the members have livestock projects. When the devestating floods were taking place this spring, members knew they needed to help fellow 4-H members in neighboring counties. Members looked for ways to raise funds to go towards flood relief. They chose to sell Hurts Donuts to community members with all proceeds going towards flood relief. Some members also raised funds from their friends and family. Together, the club sold 118 dozen or 1,416 donuts! Altogether, the club was able to donate over $2,200 to families in Nance County.
Earlier in the year, the club donated $200 worth of food to a local backpack program. Members also collected several boxes of supplies for young children in a local shelter. Supplies were collected during the holiday season and delivered in January. Each month members call bingo at the local assisted living facility as well as run the concessions stand for the local nonprofit movie theater.
The members of the 4 Star Hamilton Heroes enjoy spending time together, as well as living out the 4-H motto, "making the best, better." This busy club from Hamilton County has truly earned this month's 4-H Club of the Month award! Congratulations, 4 Star Hamilton Heroes!
The Nebraska 4-H Foundation awards the 4-H Club of the Month. The award is open to any Nebraska 4-H Club. Clubs may nominate themselves by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and sharing why their club should be chosen. A different Club will be selected each month and will be awarded a certificate and $50 cash card. For more information, visit the Nebraska 4-H Foundation website or email email@example.com.
The application deadline for the 2020 Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge has been extended to December 1, 2019. The Fed Steer Challenge is a unique opportunity for young people interested in learning more about the Nebraska cattle industry. The contest is designed to enhance the educational value of the traditional 4-H beef projects by providing an affordable option that rewards production merit and carcass value of the market animal, along with accurate and complete record-keeping, industry knowledge, and producer engagement by the 4-H member. The contest is designed to cultivate the next generation of leaders in the Nebraska cattle industry.
Applicants must be enrolled 4-H members and at least 14 years of age as of December 1, 2019. Youth must have the financial ability to purchase a market steer at the current market price in January 2020 and obtain insurance for the animal. Participants must provide adequate facilities and adhere to YQCA practices while caring for the animal. Youth must be able to participate in online and face-to-face educational programming and events held throughout the year.
Join over 6 million young people, 500,000 volunteers and 3,500 4-H professionals in celebrating America’s largest youth organization during National 4-H Week held October 6-12. Everyone, including youth, parents, alumni, volunteers and professionals are invited to join in on this nationwide celebration!
Monday: 4-H Volunteer Appreciation Day
On Monday, October 7th, Nebraska 4-H will be celebrating our amazing volunteers! Over 12,000 caring adults volunteer their time to help grow the next generation of true leaders here in Nebraska. And we can’t thank them enough! We’re asking youth across the state to celebrate with us and show their own appreciation for the volunteers in their lives. 4-H’ers are encouraged to go above and beyond by writing thank you cards, baking treats or sharing shout-outs on social media.
Tuesday: 4-H Spirit Day
Show your 4-H pride on Spirit Day! Wear your favorite 4-H shirt and other 4-H swag on Tuesday, October 8th. This day is for everyone, from 4-H’ers and volunteers, to alumni and professionals! Show us your 4-H spirit using #NE4H!
Wednesday: 4-H Professional Appreciation Day
On Wednesday, Nebraska 4-H will be celebrating our 4-H Professionals across the state! Over 200 professionals deliver and support 4-H programming in Nebraska and not only during the summer months. These individuals are working hard throughout the year delivering school enrichment programs, planning special interest opportunities, supporting afterschool programs, and much more! 4-H’ers are encouraged to celebrate by thanking their local 4-H professionals with thank you cards, delivering gift baskets or treats to their local Extension office, or sharing shout-outs on social media.
Thursday: 4-H Throwback
On Thursday, October 10th, we’ll be celebrating with a classic throwback – Throwback Thursday that is! Join us by sharing your own throwback photos and using #NE4H! 4-H alumni of all ages are invited to share throwback of their “good ole days” in 4-H!
Friday: Give 4 for 4-H
Finally, on Friday, consider paying it forward by donating $4 for 4-H. Gifts to the Nebraska 4-H Foundation support specific 4-H programs areas, teen and adult leadership education, volunteer programs, member recognition, project clinics, camps and much more! With private support from individuals, the Nebraska 4-H Foundation is able to fund new 4-H programs and improve existing programs at the county, district, and state levels. Consider donating $4 for 4-H, and pay it forward through the Nebraska 4-H Foundation.