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What Exactly is FL 4-H State Executive Board?

What Exactly is FL 4-H State Executive Board?

Youth headshots in a circle

Executive Board members putting their heads together to make the best better!

4-H Agents and long-term 4-H members are often asked, “What exactly is Florida 4-H State Executive Board?”  So what better way to get the best clarification than to get it straight from the source.  I turned to Shelby Sumner, our Florida 4-H State Council Reporter, to give us the best inside scoop…Here is Shelby’s reply:

Executive Board is a committee composed of 4 delegates from each of the 13 4-H Districts, as well as up to 30 Executive Board appointees, and the 8 Florida 4-H State Officers. The Executive Board members meet 3 times each year to work together to plan state events, and to work in their respective standing committees.

 

STANDING COMMITTEES

The standing committees include Entertainment, Communications and Council Support, State Project, and Ways and Means. Entertainment works to provide entertaining activities at the State Executive Board meetings; Communications and Council Support assists with the promoting of different State 4-H events and opportunities available; State Project plans and implements a statewide community service project; Ways and Means is responsible for fundraising for the Florida 4-H State Council.

 

EVENT COMMITTEES

Similar to the standing committees, there are 4 event committees on Executive Board as well. These include 4-H Legislature, 4-H University, Day at the Capital, and Intermediate State. Executive Board members play a vital role in the planning and implementation of these state events by providing input into our state events during their working committee meetings at Executive Board Weekends, and helping throughout the course of the event itself.

 

Youth at Executive Board weekend

Executive Board Weekend

A SECOND FAMILY

While the work that Executive Board members put in throughout the year is obviously an important component of Executive Board, it does not encompass what I believe to be the best part: the second family that it gives you. Laura Manzueta, a Miami-Dade County Executive Board Member, described what Executive Board means to her, stating, “To me, Executive Board means a family of youth that are responsible, care about the community, and are going to change the world.”

 

 

 

Members at Executive Board working together to plan great things.

LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCES

Additionally, Executive Board gives youth life-changing experiences and connections that help them to grow as individuals. “Executive Board has shown me that surrounding yourself with people you look up to, helps to make you a better person.”-Daylyn Hutchinson, St. Lucie County Executive Board Member.

 

 

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR NON-EXECUTIVE MEMBERS

Third Executive Board provides an opportunity for non-Executive Board members (4-H ages 14-18) to get a feel for what Executive Board is like, by taking part in activities such as the State Project activity, and they have chances to observe standing and event committee meetings.  Third Executive Board will be held at 4-H Camp Cherry Lake in Madison, FL, on April 3-5, 2020. The cost for non-Executive Board Members is $120, and $115 for Executive Board Members. Registration for this event opens on 4-H Online on March 9, 2019 and closes March 27, 2019.

Between the various learning and leadership opportunities, and the chances of meeting new best friends, becoming an Executive Board member is one of the greatest decisions that a 4-Her can make, and attending Third Executive Board is the perfect way to learn more about this endeavor. So, don’t miss out on an amazing weekend, and make sure to attend Third Executive Board in April!

For more information on Executive Board or other 4-H programs, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org.

Special thanks to Shelby Sumner, Florida 4-H State Council Reporter, for providing this article, and Courtney Quirie, Florida, 4-H Events Coordinator, for providing the pictures.

 

Helping Youth Become Financially Savvy

Helping Youth Become Financially Savvy

Money between the University of FL Extension and 4-H logo

Are you financially savvy?

As a parent, I worry about children and their money habits! They often have trouble distinguishing between a need and a want.  I often wonder if I am empowering them to be financially savvy. I know this is a topic that I continually work on for myself. It is important to start teaching healthy money habits early!  It is also important for children to hear about personal finance to understand how money works in a variety of settings: home, school, and youth organizations. I know my children receive money as gifts and it tends to “burn a hole in their pocket” until it is gone. Like adults, children need to practice making “healthy financial” decisions so that those decisions become “healthy habits,” reducing stress in their lives.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you might think of helping your children or grandchildren start a savings account to provide some financial security for the future. Then, encourage them to keep adding 10-20% of any money they receive to the account for a rainy day or that big purchase they desire.

 

RESOURCES AVAILABLE

Extension and 4-H have several publications and project books that provide guidance in the area of personal finance on spending, saving, investing, and donating. These projects can be done in a group setting or as a self-study project. National 4-H Curricula include “Financial Champions 1: Money FUNdamentals.” This piece has activities allowing kids to develop a money personality profile and style, understand the difference in needs and wants, make informed money decisions, set financial goals, and develop a money plan.

“Financial Champions 2: Money Moves” allows kids to learn how to predict outcomes and analyze their finances. They calculate interest; determine the cost of credit; learn how to manage a checking account, explore selecting financial services, make informed marketplace decisions and discover ways of handling money. National 4-H also has free curricula you can download for older youth.

UF/IFAS Extension also has free resources about money and financial management for adults and families on a wide range of topics such as Consumer Rights, Credit and DebtManagement, End of Life Issues, Finance and Family, Personal Finances Insurance, Retirement Planning, and Saving and Investing. University of Maryland 4-H also has a program called Financial Nuggets. This is a free download giving ideas on how to teach financial decision making to youth. It is designed for family involvement. Therefore families will increase their basic financial capacity and ability to make both short-and long-term decisions regarding spending and saving. It explores topics like needs verses wants, planning and managing money using a budget, how wealth is created and built, and managing risks.

Extension and 4-H want to encourage children, teens, and families to learn about personal finance, to practice what they learn and to teach others. We really want to get 4-H members and their families on the road to being money smart consumers. For more information on financial education and tools to help you become financially savvy or get out of debt, contact your local UF/IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org. 4-H is one of the nation’s most diverse organizations and includes people from all economic, racial, social, political, and geographic categories. There are no barriers to participation by any young person. Participants are given the opportunity to engage in activities that hold their personal interest, while being guided by adult volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact your local office.

 

4-H Judging Teams

4-H Judging Teams

Judging teams are a part of the 4-H curriculum that helps to build life skills.  Arising as part of the early 4-H club work, judging teams were noted to have begun prior to 1921.  In fact, 4-H Clubs were originally called corn clubs, because youth were taught how to grow a better crop of corn and in turn, would bring their corn into town to be judged.

4-H judging teams are short-term, intensive trainings in a particular subject area.  The goal of the trainings is to compete at judging team competitions.  Judging teams are typically comprised of three or four youth in the same age division, from the same county.

According to the Florida 4-H website (http://florida4h.org/programsandevents_/), the following are sanctioned state-wide judging teams:

  • 4-H Consumer Choices/LifeSmarts
  • Insectathon
  • Dairy Judging
  • Dairy Quiz Bowl
  • Dairy Goat Judging
  • Dog Quiz Bowl
  • Forest Ecology
  • Hippology
  • Horse Quiz Bowl
  • Horse Judging
  • Horticulture ID and Judging
  • Livestock Judging
  • Land Judging
  • Meat Judging
  • Poultry Judging

For our panhandle 4-H members, the North Florida Fair has the following contests:

  • Consumer Choices
  • Agriculture Judging
  • Horticulture Judging
  • STEM Challenge
  • Wildlife Ecology

Each judging contest has its specific rules and activities; however, the basic components of a judging contest include identification, judging classes, and oral reasons.  A good judging team member has the following characteristics:

  • A clear idea or mental picture of an items characteristics
  • Quick and accurate observation skills
  • The ability to weigh objectively and evaluate what is seen
  • The ability to defend choices made

Now we want you to try your hand at judging.  We will use the meat judging contest as an example.  The following is a class of pork sirloin chops.  A high quality sirloin chop has lots of meat, little fat, and little bone.  A poor quality sirloin chip has little meat, lots of fat, and lots of bone.  The sirloin chops are labeled 1, 2, 3, 4.  Your job as a meat judge is to rank them in order of best to worst.

Four cuts of siloin chops from poor to superior quality.

Your job as a meat judge is to rank meat in order of best to worst.

This class of pork sirloin chops are ranked 4-3-1-2, with cuts of 3-4-4. Four was placed first because it had the best combination of meat and little fat/bone.  Three was placed second because it most resembled number four and had more edible meat than number one.  Number one was placed in third because it had less fat and more meat than number two.  Number two was placed last because it was the fattest sirloin chop with the least amount of meat.

Each judging class is worth 50 points.  If you ranked this class 4-3-1-2, then you received 50 points.  If you placed it another way, then you dropped points based on cuts.  To learn more about how cuts work, please visit https://texas4-h.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/photo_judging_contest_reasons2.pdf.

A 4-H meat judging team member would mark their 4-H judging card as seen below.

An example of a 4-H meat judging score card.

An example of a 4-H meat judging score card.

4-H judging teams provide a safe, positive environment for individuals to learn and develop life skills. Judging teams emphasize experiential activities, organization, allowing youth to take part in leadership activities, and providing opportunities for volunteers to act as mentors to youths.


Benefits of 4-H Judging Teams

  • Build self-confidence and problem solving skills
  • Communication and public speaking opportunities
  • Meet new friends
  • Travel the state and country
  • Receive a scholarship for college
  • Learn observational and critical thinking skills
  • Find a new career
  • Selecting an animal for a 4-H project

Participating on 4-H judging teams offer many benefits to participants.  Team members are exposed to team work, effective communication skills and analytical thinking.  Team members also build self-confidence as they become comfortable with all components of judging and evaluation.  Development of these skills benefits every area of the 4-H judging team member’s life.  An additional benefit from participating on a judging team is having the opportunity to travel to new places and meet and interact with industry leaders.  Many times these relationships will aid 4-H members in the future as they choose career paths in any industry.

Many of our 4-H judging contests have national contests associated with them.  If you are willing to put in the time and effort to develop skills in one of our contests, then you have the opportunity to travel across the country with 4-H and interact with industry leaders.  Locally, several 4-H judging teams from the panhandle have recently participated in national 4-H contests.  Members from Jackson County 4-H have been to the national poultry judging contest and national livestock skill-a-thon contest in Louisville in 2019 and the Escambia County 4-H meat judging team will be competing in Colorado in January 2020.

For more information on 4-H judging teams, please visit florida4h.org.  Good luck and happy judging!

Special thanks to Brian Estevez, UF/IFAS Escambia County 4-H Agent, for providing this article and pictures.

 

November is National Role Model Month!4-H Volunteer Dedication:  A Decade and Counting

November is National Role Model Month!4-H Volunteer Dedication: A Decade and Counting

November is National Role Model Month

4-H Volunteer Dedication: A Decade and Counting

4-H volunteers are the vital precious gems of our 4-H programs.  Each volunteer brings his/her own unique perspective, skills, and resources to the club or event they are working in.  Whether a volunteer’s role is long-term as a 4-H Club Leader, or short-term as an episodic volunteer, they each donate an immense number of hours annually to ensure the youth of our Nation receive the best positive youth development opportunities. 

A woman wearing a cowboy hat smiles for the camera

Missy attending graduation at UF

Walton County 4-H is extremely fortunate to have a 4-H Club Leader that has dedicated 12 years to her Naturally Balanced Homesteading Club.  Missy Bolen had only attended two club meetings as a youth because she didn’t have a project horse to be able to fully participate in club activities.  This may have been the initial spark that led Missy to develop her own 4-H club decades later, in which youth get the opportunity to experience a broad spectrum of activities.  Within Naturally Balanced Homesteading, a homeschool (in-school) club, youth have completed projects and demonstrations in leather working, gardening, sheep shearing, leadership training, conservation, and numerous educational field trips to name a few.  Due to Missy’s passion towards 4-H, she currently has the largest club in our county, with more than 30 youth in attendance each month!

As a veteran 4-H volunteer and Club Leader, Missy’s advice to new volunteers is, “If you have a passion for youth and there isn’t a club already established, follow that passion; start a club and try to reach as many youth as you can!  If you’re doing something that you’re passionate about, you won’t get bored and you will remain energetic and enthusiastic.”

A mother and son pose for a picture together.

Missy and son, Jesse, attending Bee College at UF

Volunteering in 4-H gives you the opportunity to be a role model to upcoming generations by providing them with activities and resources that target development of life skills.  The life skills youth gain in 4-H programs afford them the foundation to build on as they become productive adults in society.  When asking Missy to share the most rewarding part of being a volunteer, and what keeps her going after 12 years, she states, “My children are a huge factor because they have a club where they can do what they love alongside other youth with the same interests.  It’s very rewarding to see them graduate, go on to great universities, and become productive adults!  They recognize 4-H as the main reason for their accomplishments because many of their most valuable skills were developed through their clubs such as social skills, leadership skills, networking and confidence.” 

A group of youth stand in a circle outside, listening to a law enforcement officer teach.

Missy’s club learning about careers in Law Enforcement.

Volunteers are truly the HEAD, HEART, HANDS, and HEALTH of the 4-H organization.  As Missy would say, “Most importantly, you must keep your focus on one thing:  It’s all about helping the children.”  If you are a new or current volunteer, club leader, or even 4-H Agent, the resources below are an excellent source of information as an orientation to 4-H or an annual refresher:

·       Volunteer Orientation

·       Volunteer Resources

·       Volunteer Training Series

If you would like to learn more about how to get involved as a 4-H volunteer in your 4-H community, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org

 

The Fourth “H” is for HEALTH

The Fourth “H” is for HEALTH

In continuing this week’s theme and celebration of National 4‑H Week, we want to highlight our last “H” in 4-H, Health.  As the 4-H pledge states, I pledge my…health to better living.”  Just living a healthy lifestyle in general is a huge endeavor for anyone to accomplish and it takes a lot of awareness of self to accomplish it well.  As a 4-Her, not only are we committing to make healthy choices for our own mind, body, and spirit but we are also striving to make healthy choices and conduct ourselves in a manner that is healthy for our club, community, country, and world.

Our agents and volunteers do an amazing job in guiding and inspiring our 4-H youth to learn just how to be aware of and make decisions that lead to such healthy living.  Through hands-on learning activities and the experiential learning model, these positive adult role models engage youth to challenge themselves and apply critical thinking skills in order to gain additional essential life skills that aid in balanced physical, mental and emotional health.  From healthy living clubs to competitive events such as the Consumer Choices Contest to enrichment programs such as Health Rocks, 4-H brings real life situations and choices to the forefront and teaches youth to be empowered in their healthy decision making.

 

HEALTH FOR YOU, HEALTH FOR ME

 

Are you looking for certain areas to help inspire your children or neighborhood youth to make healthy decisions?  Is there a particular area in the healthy living realm that you feel your children need some hands-on learning?  The Northwest 4-H District have shared some wonderful publications over the recent years, highlighting varying aspects of 4-H Healthy Living.  From inspiring youth and volunteers to helpful tips and resources, the articles below are short reads that give great overviews of the 4-H healthy living lifestyle.

National 4-H Week's theme is Inspire Kids to Do.

The Application of Healthy Living

Healthy Living Tips & Helpful Hints

Inspiring Healthy Reads

Would you like to become a volunteer that inspires youth to invest in their future?  Visit your  local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet your 4-H Extension Agent for additional information on how to become a 4-H Volunteer today to inspire youth to make healthy decisions and conduct themselves in a manner that is healthy for their club, community, country, and world!

RESOURCES

 

Welcome, National 4-H Week!

Welcome, National 4-H Week!

National 4-H Week's theme is Inspire Kids to Do.

National 4-H Week’s theme is Inspire Kids to Do.

National 4‑H Week is October 6 – 12. Take advantage of this important week to highlight the remarkable 4‑H youth in your communities.  The Northwest 4-H District recognizes the incredible experiences that 4-H offers young people and the remarkable 4-H youth in our community who work each day to make a positive impact on those around them.

The theme of this year’s National 4-H Week is Inspire Kids to Do, which highlights how 4-H encourages kids to take part in hands-on learning experiences in areas such as health, science, agriculture and civic engagement. The positive environment provided by 4-H volunteers ensures that kids in every county, from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities, are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles and are empowered with the skills to lead in life and career.

WHAT IS 4-H EXACTLY?

 

4-H is the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization which cultivates youth to become confident individuals that can tackle difficult issues in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 110 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Currently, Florida serves over 230,000 4-H members in the state.  Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Florida 4-H is the youth development program of Florida Cooperative Extension, a part of the University of Florida IFAS.


4-H STANDS BY THE CLOVER

A volunteer is helping a child with a hammering craft project.

A teen volunteer helps a Cloverbud member during a summer workshop

 

4-H is known best by its emblem, the four leaf clover, one of the most recognized logos in America.  Our emblem represents a standard of quality in youth development which is experiential in nature, meaning that young people learn all kinds of things through 4-H in a hands-on way.  The four leafs depict four Hs, representing the following:  “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health.”  For a better overview of the meaning of the four H’s and our iconic clover, be sure to review a great article from the past, What Do The Four H’s Mean Anyway? written by Heather Kent (http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/4hn/2017/06/30/what-do-the-four-hs-mean-anyway/).  This week, we will be touching more on our iconic emblem as we spotlight each H of our four leaf clover to inspire kids (and families) to do!  Be sure to check back daily for more during National 4-H Week!

 

So Happy #National4HWeek! The Northwest 4-H District is proud to #InspireKidstoDo, and we invite you to celebrate with us all week by showing your @4-H spirit on social media and in your community!  Visit your  local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet your 4-H Extension Agent for additional information on a variety of 4-H topics and activities that can benefit you and your family.

 

Not a member?  Join the 4-H family today.  The process to become a 4-H member or 4-H Volunteer is relatively simple:  visit http://florida4h.org to apply online or stop in to your local UF IFAS County Extension Office and meet with your 4-H Extension Agent for assistance.  There is no better time to join us then during National 4-H Week!