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Welcome Caroline to Our NW 4-H District!

Welcome Caroline to Our NW 4-H District!

Young woman posing in a field.

Caroline Chappell, Jackson County 4-H Extension Youth Development Agent

Please help us welcome Caroline Chappell to our Northwest District 4-H Family!

Caroline is our newest 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent in the Florida Panhandle, filling the 4-H Agent position in Jackson County.  Caroline is no stranger to our area as her hometown is Graceville, Florida where she grew up on her family’s beef cattle farm with her siblings. As a youth, she showed her family’s Angus cattle all over the country, was a member of the University of Florida Livestock Judging Team as well as a member of the Meat Animal Evaluation Team.

With a passion in livestock, Caroline earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Sciences from the University of Florida and her Master’s Degree in Animal Sciences with a specialty in Beef-Forage, from Auburn University.  Although she has a strong livestock background, Caroline states that she is “excited to start all kinds of different programming for Jackson County 4-H!”

Caroline is a recent newlywed, who married Logan Chappell, an employee for Farm Credit of NW FL in Marianna. They have a Corgi puppy named Tilly, who is just a year old. When Caroline is not working or spending time with her husband and puppy, she enjoys gardening, working with her family’s beef cattle operation, or watching her favorite movie, Big Fish.

Caroline admits that she was never in 4-H as a kid, but did assist with 4-H programming as an intern in Washington County and as a graduate student at Auburn University. She has assisted mainly with livestock/meats related programming.  Caroline did report that one of her favorite 4-H experiences as an intern was when she helped put on a grilling workshop for the 4-H members in Washington County in preparation for the district tailgating contest a few summers ago.  She said she had a lot of fun learning to grill and then helping others.

I found out a few inspiring facts about Caroline to share with everyone as well…Her inspiring role model in life is her dad.  She said he loves Jackson County and over the last 25 years he has worked really hard (and still does) to make the community a better place to live. He’s impacted the lives of a lot of people through both his public service and in his career. She hopes that she can do the same in her new role as the Jackson County 4-H Extension Agent.

Another interesting fact Caroline shared is her favorite inspirational quote – “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” by Theodore Roosevelt.  And last, but not least, when asked if she could have one superpower, what would it be and why, she responded with, “the power to stop time. There’s so much to do, but it seems like never enough time to do it.”  Ah, spoken like a true 4-H Extension Agent!

Welcome to our 4-H family, Caroline!

To meet your local 4-H Extension Agent, to find out more information about 4-H programs that can offer essential life skills such as independence, organizational skills, and goal setting, to your children or to volunteer with 4-H, please contact your local UF/ IFAS County Extension Office, or follow us on Facebook.

4-H Day at the North Florida Fair

4-H Day at the North Florida Fair

4-H Day at the North Florida Fair, held on Saturday, November 17, 2019, was another successful day for our local youth. This event connected 4-H members and their families with each other from over ten counties. During this day, 4-H friends and family attended the fair in droves to compete in contests, enjoy fair rides, and sample their favorite fair food items. 4-Hers are recognized at a 4-H Awards Ceremony and then find themselves off to a fun-filled day of thrilling rides, laughter, and friendships in a sea of 4-H green!  4-H member, Gabby Graff, expressed her favorite fair rides this year as “zero gravity, the claw, and ring-of-fire.”

4-H members had the opportunity to compete in five different contests this year: STEM Challenge, Consumer Choice, Agriculture Judging, Horticulture Identification, and Wildlife Ecology. Members put their life skills developed through 4-H to work by displaying critical thinking, teamwork, and problem solving during these contests. 4-H member, Miles Gillespie shared that “preparing for the fair and memorizing information for the contests, I learned about patience and discipline. While at the fair competing, I learned more about patience, plus it was an exercise in keeping my composure under pressure.”

Did you miss this year’s 4-H Day at the North Florida Fair?  Catch up on all things 4-H related at the fair below, along with the individual winners for each contest.


STEM CHALLENGE

Youth are building a structure with craft supplies.

Leon County 4-H Members work together to build their structure in the STEM Challenge
Photo by: Allison Leo

The topic of the STEM Challenge Contest this year was building hurricane safe structures. All youth competing in this contest were placed on a team based on their age division. A limited amount of materials were provided which included items such as straws, tape, paper, and popsicle sticks. The structures were awarded points based on their height and ability to withstand hurricane wind speeds generated by a fan. “The STEM Challenge was fun because I was able to work together with friends while I participated in an engaging and challenging activity” 4-H member Miles shared.

Junior Team:
1st place – Genevieve Gillespie and Caleb Roberts (Leon)
2nd place – Brook Barrios, Craig Barrios, Eliza Prince (Holmes)
3rd place – Ava Peck, Emily Flowers, Travis Archibald, Hunger Hulbert (Gulf)

Intermediate Team:
1st place – Pedro Teck, Alexis Cooper, Landon Cameron (Holmes)
2nd place – Corbin Roberts, Ander Gillespie, Miles Gillespie (Leon)
3rd place – Lydia Bowman, Cat Proud, Kaylee Dunlap, Alan Bray Crews (Escambia)

Senior Team:
1st place – Katherine Ballard, Rashidi Joseph, Robert Burnham (Escambia)
2nd place – Isabella Teck, Seth Smith, Hunter Hoskias (Holmes)
3rd place – Ethan Roberts, Sophia Laver (Leon)


CONSUMER CHOICE CONTEST

Group of girls are working on a project together.

Leon County 4-H members receive instruction on the Consumer Choice Contest
Photo by: Allison Leo

The Consumer Choice Contest measured the ability of youth to be smart shoppers. The item categories this year were event venues, tents, jeans, and breakfast cereal. 4-H members had the opportunity to compete in this contest as an individual or on a team. Each individual or team was provided with a “situation card.” Based on the criteria provided in the card, members were asked to review four different choices of each item and rank them from best to worst, based on the criteria. After they were finished ranking, they had to justify their selection through an “oral reasoning” section.

Junior Individual:
1st place – Tessia Brookins (Jefferson)
2nd place – Chloe Bray-Crews (Escambia)
3rd place – Patrick Parrish (Jefferson)

Intermediate Individual:
1st place – Abigail Bray-Crews (Escambia)
2nd place – Taylor Anderson (Escambia)
3rd place – Samantha Hall (Jefferson)

Senior Individual:
1st place – Izzy Kent & Alyssa Gray (Escambia)
2nd place – Ryan Young (Escambia)
3rd place – Sydney Henderson (Gilchrist)


AGRICULTURE JUDGING CONTEST

Youth in fair ring with cow for judging purposes.

4-H members participate in Agriculture Judging
Photo by: Allison Leo

During the Agriculture Judging Contest, individuals and teams were tested on their knowledge of beef, poultry, hay, corn, soybean, and oats. Youth competed both as individuals and on teams with their age division. Agriculture judging consists of analyzing a product (i.e. cattle, soybeans) and measuring it against a standard. Members were asked to analyze four different choices of each item and rank them from best to worst based on the standards.

Junior Individual:
1st place – Emalee Souders
2nd place – Hunt Williams
3rd place – Dullus Deadwyler

Intermediate Individual:
1st place – Peyton Ditter
2nd place – Liz Newman & Dylan Gunn
3rd place – Caylee Crooks

Senior Individual:
1st place – Kayla Daimler
2nd place – Adli June Elliot
3rd place – Stephanie Hasty


HORTICULTURE IDENTIFICATION CONTEST

Youth judge plants and record answers on clipboards

4-H Members, Ethan Roberts and Sophia Laver record their answers during Horticulture Identification
Photo by: Allison Leo

Members were provided with over 60 horticulture specimens to identify. The specimens were divided into four separate categories. Those categories were ornamentals, fruits & vegetables, flowers, and foliage. The specimens were laid out on tables, each bearing a number that corresponded to a scoresheet that listed over 100 plant names. This contest replicates the state contest held each year in June.

Junior Individual:
1st place: Ethan Thornbury (Leon)
2nd place: Genevieve Gillespie (Leon)
3rd place: Chloe Bray-crews (Escambia)

Intermediate Individual:
1st place: Miles Gillespie (Leon)
2nd place: Taylor Anderson (Escambia)
3rd place: Alexis Green (Wakulla)

Senior Individual:
1st place: Isaac Brooks (Washington)
2nd place: Katie Ballard (Escambia)
3rd place: Sophia Laver (Leon)


WILDLIFE ECOLOGY CONTEST

Youth is looking at wildlife species on table.

4-H Member Gabby Graff competes in the Wildlife Ecology Contest
Photo by: Allison Leo

During the Wildlife Ecology Contest, members were tested on their knowledge of Florida trees, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. They identified the various items through pictures, physical specimens, and audio sounds. 4-H Member, Sophia Laver, shared that the Wildlife Life Contest is her favorite because “being able to look at a leaf and identify it immediately is the coolest thing. I love the challenge of it and being able to say that I can do these amazing things that no one else is really taught. All the competitors are really supportive of each other.”

Junior Individual:
1st place: Gabby Graff (Leon)
2nd place: Genevieve Gillespie (Leon)
3rd place: Felix Konikoff (Leon)

Intermediate Individual:
1st place: Ander Gillespie & Miles Gillespie (Leon)
2nd place: Adeline Smith (Leon)
3rd place: Sasha Konikoff (Leon)

Senior Individual:
1st place: Sophia Laver (Leon)
2nd place: Katie Ballard (Escambia)
3rd place: Alyssa Gray (Escambia)

If you would like to learn more about 4-H activities and events like these educational competitions found at the North Florida Fair during 4-H Day at the Fair each year or how to become a 4-H member in your community, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org for more information.

4-H Goes Wild at Sunbelt Ag Expo

4-H Goes Wild at Sunbelt Ag Expo

4-H Exhibit at Sunbelt Ag Expo.Photo Credit: Rachel Pienta, UF/IFAS Wakulla County

Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, GA is “North America’s Premier Farm Show”®.  Held the third week in October, land grant universities from across the southeast set up interactive exhibits about the research and programs they provide related to agriculture and natural resources.  In addition, there are thousands of industry vendors with exhibits, demonstrations and give-aways.  The UF/IFAS Extension building is no exception.  This year’s theme was “wildlife” and our building featured five interactive exhibits from 4-H, Family and Consumer Sciences, Natural Resources, Horticulture and Agriculture.  Our 4-H exhibit featured some of our most popular 4-H programs related to wildlife: shooting sports, entomology, forestry, and outdoor skills such as kayaking, grilling and orienteering.  Extension faculty and specialists manned the building, and were available to answer questions and passed out free bottles of Florida fruit juices and packets of Florida peanuts.  If you missed this year’s exhibit, you can experience it at the North Florida Fair, November 7-17th in Tallahassee, FL.  Our exhibit (along with the other program areas) will be located in the UF/IFAS Building.

Lots of photo opportunities at Sunbelt Ag Expo! Photo Credit: Rachel Pienta, UF/IFAS Wakulla County

If you have knowledge or skills related to our wildlife project areas, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer!  Our wildlife programs are in high demand and we always need volunteers willing to share their passion for our environment with the next generation of Florida’s citizens.  For more information, contact your local UF/IFAS County Extension Office or visit our website.

Natasha Makes a Comeback: 4-H Alumni Spotlight

Natasha Makes a Comeback: 4-H Alumni Spotlight

Headshot of female, Natasha Roberts.

Natasha Roberts was a member of Leon County 4-H for over 10 years

Leon County 4-H was fortunate to have veteran 4-H member, Natasha Roberts, return this past summer to work as a University of Florida Intern. “I was a member of this program for much of my childhood, so it was exciting to be a part of it again, except as an intern this time!” said Natasha. She is currently attending the University of Florida, majoring in Agricultural Education and Communication.

Natasha remarked “because of my major, I got to apply a lot of what I’m learning in school during the internship. Becoming an Extension Agent is my dream career, so I’m very grateful for the opportunity I had to work with Extension over the summer and learn from the people who have been mentoring me my entire life”. Natasha’s assigned project for the internship was to develop educational teaching tools for 4-H members with the goal of increasing participation in the North Florida Fair Horticulture ID Contest. She did a phenomenal job and we could have not asked for a better intern!

 

Natasha was able to use the life skills she developed through her years in 4-H to successfully teach youth about horticulture. She developed a variety of study materials, including an electronic identification tool and an interactive bingo game. Natasha led educational workshops for 4-H members in Leon and Washington Counties with the materials she developed. In addition to the development of materials, Natasha created an entire program that can be implemented by Extension Agents and Program Assistants now that her internship is complete.

 

Picture of classroom with projection screen

Natasha teaches a workshop on Plant ID

Natasha put her 4-H leadership skills to work by helping lead multiple days camps and 4-H activities over the summer. She helped lead Plant Science Camp, Culinary Camp, and Mindfulness Camp. She worked with Extension Agents to develop activities for each of the camps. When I asked her what her favorite part about returning to Leon 4-H was she answered “My favorite part of coming back to Leon 4-H as an intern was getting to design educational materials that I had wanted to make while as a member, but simply hadn’t found the time to. It was wonderful to play a part in preparing kids for the competition I had looked forward to every year as a child. I particularly loved getting to play the plant ID bingo games with kids in our county and watching them get excited about horticulture”.

 

Natasha Roberts leads an activity during Plant Science Camp

During her time with 4-H as a youth, Natasha won the State Horticulture Contest and traveled to St. Louis Missouri where she placed 7th in the National Horticulture Contest. When a 4-H member from Wakulla County wanted help preparing for the State Horticulture Competition, Natasha was delighted to help her fellow 4-H member prepare. She dedicated an entire day to helping her peer prepare and they went on to compete at both the State the National Horticulture Contest!

Natasha attributes her experience in 4-H to inspiring her to become a future Extension Agent. She desires “to help provide the same opportunities to others that the 4-H program gave me.” Natasha attributes her passion for community service and leadership to her involvement with 4-H. We cannot wait to see what is next for veteran 4-H member, Natasha!

Inspired by Natasha?  Consider becoming a 4-H Volunteer today!  The process to become a volunteer is simple: visit http://florida4h.org to apply online or visit your local UF IFAS County Extension Office for assistance.

The Third “H” is for HANDS

The Third “H” is for HANDS

What makes 4-H different from other youth organizations?  One characteristic is our learn-by-doing approach!  Our programs are intentionally designed to immerse youth in learning by experiencing and doing activities.  Today happens to be National Youth Science Day.  For over a decade, 4-H has been using science experiments to use their HEAD and HANDS to connect science to their everyday life.  4-H NYSD is an annual program that provides access and opportunity for kids everywhere to take an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by participating in a hands-on STEM challenge.  This year’s challenge, Game Changers, teaches young people coding skills through physical activity and puzzles.  Developed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service, this hands-on experience includes a computer-based activity on Google’s CS First platform, as well as two unplugged activities that bring coding to life through games, physical activities and puzzles. Game Changers is perfect for first-time and beginner coders, ages 8 to 14.

In today’s world, computer skills are vital and can open doors for youth in every field, as well as help them excel in schools and explore careers related to agriculture, business and even the arts.

All kids everywhere are invited to participate in 4-H NYSD. Additional information can be found at 4-H.org/NYSD, including information on how to register and get involved. Game Changers kits are available for sale at 4-HMall.org/nysd. Each kit comes equipped with all the materials necessary for youth to complete the experience, including instruction booklets for both youth and adult facilitators. For more information, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office or check out this short video on 4-H NYSD.

4-H NYSD 2018 was developed in collaboration with Google, with support from our national partners —Donaldson Filtration Solutions, HughesNet, Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Air Force.

Art, Garden, and Farm Family Festival

Art, Garden, and Farm Family Festival

Plan to attend the 2019 UF IFAS Art, Garden and Farm Family Festival

Fall is coming soon and an amazing family friendly event is coming soon after that.  Don’t miss the 2019 Art, Garden, and Farm Family Festival on Saturday, October 5, 2019!  The 2019 Art, Garden, and Farm Family Festival is an event that attracts a diverse audience from the Big Bend area. This annual event brings fall colors, festive activities, and local vendors that you will enjoy visiting with.

Enjoy your Saturday with us by taking a tour of the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center’s beautiful gardens while at the festival!  And once inspired from your nature walk, ask our EXPERTS at the UF/IFAS horticulture booth so you too, can have a gorgeous garden of your own!  After getting your questions answered, journey down to the annual plant sale while enjoying the local musical entertainment, homemade jams, jellies, honey, baked goods, and craft vendors along the way.  It’s a magical Fall Saturday filled with festivities!

EVENT DETAILS

  • What:  2019 Art, Garden and Farm Family Festival
  • When:  October 5, 2019, from 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
  • Where:  North Florida Research Center, Quincy FL on Pat Thomas Highway
  • Who: Open to the Public
  • Why: Visit the informational booths, craft vendors, kid’s zone, food vendors, and plant sale. Enjoy live entertainment.
  • Cost: Free
  • For More Information:  https://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu/art-and-garden/ 

This year, the 4-H Educational Booth will be in the Kid’s Zone. Bring the kids over to learn more about wildlife, 4-H, and assemble a bumble bee! You may even buzzzzz across some friends that you have not seen in a while! Remember to bring money so you can support the local 4-H club’s fundraising efforts.  Save the date so we can see you on October 5, 2019!

Looking for additional community events, family activities, educational opportunities?  Visit your local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet your 4-H Extension Agent for additional 4-H information and events that can benefit you and your family.