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.
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.
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)
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)
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
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.
1st place – Tessia Brookins (Jefferson)
2nd place – Chloe Bray-Crews (Escambia)
3rd place – Patrick Parrish (Jefferson)
1st place – Abigail Bray-Crews (Escambia)
2nd place – Taylor Anderson (Escambia)
3rd place – Samantha Hall (Jefferson)
1st place – Izzy Kent & Alyssa Gray (Escambia)
2nd place – Ryan Young (Escambia)
3rd place – Sydney Henderson (Gilchrist)
AGRICULTURE JUDGING CONTEST
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.
1st place – Emalee Souders
2nd place – Hunt Williams
3rd place – Dullus Deadwyler
1st place – Peyton Ditter
2nd place – Liz Newman & Dylan Gunn
3rd place – Caylee Crooks
1st place – Kayla Daimler
2nd place – Adli June Elliot
3rd place – Stephanie Hasty
HORTICULTURE IDENTIFICATION CONTEST
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.
1st place: Ethan Thornbury (Leon)
2nd place: Genevieve Gillespie (Leon)
3rd place: Chloe Bray-crews (Escambia)
1st place: Miles Gillespie (Leon)
2nd place: Taylor Anderson (Escambia)
3rd place: Alexis Green (Wakulla)
1st place: Isaac Brooks (Washington)
2nd place: Katie Ballard (Escambia)
3rd place: Sophia Laver (Leon)
WILDLIFE ECOLOGY CONTEST
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.”
1st place: Gabby Graff (Leon)
2nd place: Genevieve Gillespie (Leon)
3rd place: Felix Konikoff (Leon)
1st place: Ander Gillespie & Miles Gillespie (Leon)
2nd place: Adeline Smith (Leon)
3rd place: Sasha Konikoff (Leon)
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 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.
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!
- 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.
Summertime is typically associated with summer vacations, sleeping late, fast foods, rainy days, hot afternoons, and one 4-H camp after the other. Some would argue that summer camps are simply an advanced “day care” program for parents to drop their kids off to “play” so they can be productive at work without worrying about their children. However, research shows that youth who attend camps during the summer come away with so much more than what camping programs are given credit for.
Camp Counselors at Wildlife Camp doing a team building activity.
For many youth, traditional summer camp means no homework, no tests, lots of recreation, camp songs, crafts, and lots of swimming. While these are typical camp activities that normally take place during a week of camp, these experiences have a two-fold purpose in that they also serve as a vehicle for significant learning to take place. Many parents are concerned about the amount of knowledge that kids lose during the summer. There has been substantial research that shows students can lose up to 3 months of what has been learned during the school year. By keeping young people’s brains active, acquiring new skills and knowledge, camp offers the chance to decrease the typical summer learning deficit. How is this done??……I’m glad you asked!
4-H is intentional in providing critical components of a successful learning experience as part of all its summer camp curriculum. These Essential Elements are: Belonging, Independence, Mastery, and Generosity. They are designed to meet the developmental needs of youth. Let me give you some examples.
4-H campers seining in Lake Lafayette for aquatic specimens
4-H Camp attendees experience a sense of Belonging, the first Essential Element, during cooling off time at 4-H Camp Cherry Lake, while being cared for by camp staff, counselors, and 4-H Youth Development Professionals. Campers enjoy being in a safe place with their peers without a fear of being bullied. 4-H accepts youth where they are and helps them ignite the spark that exist within them, enabling them to reach their potential.
With no parents on the camp grounds telling their children what to do and when to do it, Independence, the second Essential Element, is a key element that a residential or day camp provides for its attendees. Providing the opportunity for youth to be independent thinkers and to better understand themselves develops at camp as youth learn to make decisions based on experiences and knowledge obtained during camp.
In order to develop the self-confidence needed for youth to feel they can be successful, camp provides many opportunities for Mastery, the third Essential Element, to take place. Whether it is passing the swim test, learning a new skill, or leading a game, having that “I can do this” moment for a camper can make a positive impact on a young person’s life.
Lastly, 4-H camps provide opportunities for youth to learn the importance of Generosity, the fourth Essential Element, by learning and working with campers from diverse backgrounds and different socio-economic levels. Camp could very well be the first time they have spent an increased amount of time with people whose background, race or religion is different from their own. Through planned program curriculum consisting of team building and get acquainted activities throughout the week, the campers learn to focus on what they have in common and to value the contributions of others who may not look or act like them.
Cooling off time at 4-H Camp Cherry Lake
So being away from home, making new friends, being a part of a team, and trying new things are key building blocks to obtaining a successful experience to meet the developmental needs of youth. 4-H summer camp provides youth the platform to create great memories and lasting relationships that can last a lifetime.
For more information on how your youth can participate in 4-H camps, find your local UF IFAS Extension Office and contact your 4-H Agent to explore what programs are offered in your area.
Street view of Hurricane Michael damage. Photo by Melanie Taylor.
Do you enjoy building structures and figuring out problems? If so, the 2019 STEM Day Camp is for you. The day camp theme is Building for Hurricanes: Engineering Design Challenge. The day camp will be held July 22-24 at the Jackson County Extension Office, 2741 Penn Ave. Suite 3, Marianna, FL 32448 from 9am CT – 2pm CT. The cost is $30; space is limited. Pre-registration is required at https://florida.4honline.com/.
In order to prepare for the day camp final competition, teams will become familiar with engineering, hurricane damage and natural disasters. In the engineering design challenge, students build a tower to resist a simulated hurricane.
Jefferson Co 4-Hers and volunteers helping clean up after Hurricane Michael. Photo by Paula Davis.
- The curriculum guide being used to teach the day camp includes, background information, examples and sample activities to help prepare the teams for the final competition.
- Teams will demonstrate their hurricane ready structure for the judges and audience, and then give reasons. They must plan and build a tower as tall as possible that will hold up a tennis ball while resisting the force of wind from a fan. For an extra challenge, a spray bottle will be used to simulate rain. After the towers are built, the group comes together to test them. Adults will not be able to assist members with the design.
- All tools and supplies will be provided.
After the day camp, you can continue this challenge and further expand your engineering skills at the North Florida Fair STEM judging event on 4-H Day at the Fair, November 16, 2019.
If you would like to learn more about this 4-H STEM Day Camp, 4-H Day at the Fair, additional 4-H day camps and programs in your local area, or how to get involved as a 4-H volunteer, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org.
Top L-R: Jessie, Katelyn, Olivia
Middle L-R: Mason, Clair, Matt
Bottom L-R: Hailee, Miles
For campers, getting to know their camp staff is beyond just learning names and faces. It is an important aspect of belonging, one of 4-H’s essential elements included in every facet of our program. So, when camp time rolls around each year, Ms. Ariel, our fabulous Resident Camp Director at 4-H Camp Timpoochee, responds to our call for a little early information on the latest and greatest members to join the team, the 4-H Camp Timpoochee Camp Staff. Without further delay, allow us to introduce our trained camp team for Summer 2019:
Meet Mason, a 2nd year camp staff member and student majoring in Recreation, Tourism and Events, from Cottondale, FL. His favorite camp activity is Marshmallow Paint War, favorite camp song is “5 Little Muffins,” and favorite canteen items are water and Twix bars. Something interesting about Mason that we just learned is that he once spent 13 days in South Africa. He shared that, because of camp, he understands that a small act of kindness can go a long way.
Jessie’s hometown is Chipley, FL and is also a 2nd year camp staff member. She is majoring in Natural Science. Her camp heart song is “Down by the Bay,” her favorite camp activity is sitting outside during free recreation and hanging out with the campers. Her favorite canteen snack at camp is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a little fact about Jessie is that she can eat twelve chocolate chip cookies at one time! She shared that because of camp, she is allowed to meet new people and create memories and adventures not only for herself but for others as well.
Hailee hails from Stuart, FL and she joins the camp staff for the first time this year. She is a Marine Biology student so her favorite song is “Just Keep Swimming” of course! Her favorite camp activity is Smores and her canteen snack of choice is a Snickers bar. An interesting fact about Hailee is that she collects snow globes and pressed pennies from all over the world. Because of camp, Hailee says she can help create memories that her campers, fellow staff, and she will never forget.
Katelyn, originally grew up in Middleton, NH but now calls DeFuniak Springs, FL home. She is also a 1st year camp staff member and is studying Microbiology. Her favorite camp song is “You’re Momma Don’t Wear No Socks” and she loves to kayak and then snack on Skittles and Sprite during canteen. She shared that she once lived in Alaska for a period of time. Katelyn said that, because of camp, she gets to work with awesome youth and staff for the summer.
Matthew joins us from Pensacola, FL as a 2nd year camp staff member studying Mass Communication with a focus on advertising and a minor in psychology. His favorite camp song is “Bomdalele,” his favorite camp activity is movie night, and his canteen snack of choice is a Kit Kat with a Dr. Pepper. An interesting fact about Matthew is that he has 10 siblings and 49 first cousins! Because of camp, Matthew says he gets to make other people as happy as he possibly can.
Miles, a Chemistry major, is also from the west coast, Santa Rosa, CA, and this is his 2nd year as a camp staff. His favorite camp song is “Down to the Swamp,” and he enjoys a Pepsi and a Crunch bar after his favorite camp activity, going out on the boat. Something interesting about Miles is that he rides a motorcycle. He shares that because of camp, he is responsible.
Clair is a Marine Science major and 1st year camp staff from Archer, FL. Her favorite camp song is “The Princess Pat,” her favorite camp activity is campfire time, and she loves to eat Kit Kats during canteen. Something unique about Clair is that she built herself a wooden kayak once. Because of camp, she shares that she gets to teach others about her passion, the ocean.
Olivia is from Grand Ridge, FL, also a 1st year staff member, and is majoring in Business. Her favorite song is, “I’m a Little Coconut,” her favorite activity is Marshmallow Paint War, and she snags Cheese-Its during canteen. In her spare time, she loves to travel. Olivia shares that, because of camp, she gets to meet many new people and play a small role in the campers’ lives, helping them have an amazing week at summer camp.
Thank you again to Ms. Ariel and her camp team for taking the time to share with us before we kick off the 4-H Camp Timpoochee summer residential camping season. If you’d like to learn more about 4-H Camp and how you can send your child to 4-H camp for a week of fun-filled camp traditions, life-long memories, and long-term friendships, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org.