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Graduating Senior Serving Club, Community and Even His Country

Santa Rosa 4-H member, Private 1st Class Wolf, serves his country in the United States Army.

Receiving an official title can be very exciting for a new employee.  Santa Rosa County 4-H member, Payton Wolfe has a new title and he hasn’t even graduated from high school yet.  His new title is now Private 1st Class Wolfe.  You see, Payton is serving the United States of America in the Army.  Wolfe completed his Basic Combat Training during the summer between his Junior and Senior years of high school.  He has officially been in the Army for quite some time now.

Payton Wolfe has a love of animal husbandry and has hatched over 5,000 eggs throughout his high school career.  During his many years in 4-H, he has raised numerous types of poultry including quail, chickens, pheasants, turkeys and ducks.  “I even had a couple of cows, but they were really just for pets, I never showed them,” Payton explained.

Along with animals, Payton has learned to have a heart of service for a long time.  He has completed over 300 hours of community service while in Santa Rosa County 4-H.  He has served his club as an officer, his community in service projects whenever needed, and now Payton will serve his country in the United States Army for six years.  Enrolling in the Army Veterinarian Specialist program seemed like a natural fit for him.  He will be helping care for bomb dogs and horses. Thank you for your dedication and service to our country Private First Class Wolfe!

We are proud that Payton is using the skills he learned as a member of 4-H to protect our country and are excited to see how he will continue to serve his world in the years to come.  To find out more information about 4-H programs that can offer essential life skills such as leadership, independence, and goal setting to your children so that they will grow up to become successful members of society and have a heart of service like Payton, please contact your local UF/ IFAS County Extension Office, or follow us on Facebook.

 

A New Day Resolution

Imagine this…an appointment runs long, you skip lunch and end up snacking the rest of the day.  That leads to eating dinner very late and you feeling like your whole diet and commitment to eating better in 2019 is blown!  Don’t toss in the towel and give up; each new morning brings a new day and a fresh start and a chance to start over.

One of the most important skills youth learn and practice in 4-H is goal setting behavior.  Here are some ways to help make goals more achievable for you and the youth in your life:

  • Youth standing with their arms linked.

    Youth are most motivated when they set their own goals.

    Make goals S.M.A.R.T.

    • Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Tangible
  • Develop an Action Plan
    • Write goals down
    • Have an action plan to track progress
    • Reflect along the way
  • Make your goals present in your daily activities
    • Put a reminder note on your mirror
    • Set a reminder alarm on your phone
  • Get an accountability partner
    • Find someone you can trust to report your progress
    • Check in an chat

      Nothing matches the look on a face when a goal is reached!

My son is my physical activity accountability partner, and he and I walk together.  Sometimes he has to drag me out of the house, and sometimes I have to get him motivated to go – whatever it takes to meet your goals.

Remember, every day is new with the opportunity to start fresh each day.  Make a New Day Resolution to achieve your goals.  If you fell off the wagon yesterday, let it go.  Best wishes for a great new year and for every new day you have!

For more information on 4-H in your county, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.

Resources:  How Setting Goals Helps Teens Succeed

Gift the Gift of 4-H Camp!

Photo credit UF/IFAS Washington County

Black Friday is only a week away, but you can get one gift taken care of TODAY!

Making my list…checking it twice…adding 4-H Camp for a kid who’s been nice!

This holiday season, parents and grandparents get swamped with requests for the newest toys or gadgets.  Does it drive you crazy?  So, I have a suggestion for you.  Give the gift of 4-H Camp this year.

Life skills to last a lifetime

I began attending 4-H summer camp when I was eight.  As a new and eager 4-H member, I learned so many life skills I still use to this day – like making my bed, cleaning up after myself, helping others, learning to be an independent thinker and most of all, leadership.  At the age of eight, I was a leader!  I was only leading myself, but I was responsible for myself.  As I grew in the 4-H program, I became a camp counselor leading other youth.  4-H camp taught me so many wonderful skills as a child, and I only thought I was having fun!   

Fun, adventure (and education, too)

When a child attends 4-H summer camp, their week is full of fun and adventure.  Youth will learn to kayak, dance and even shoot a bow!  Many of our youth experience new and exciting adventures like learning how to build a fire and even what “Ga-Ga Ball” is all about.  In addition to all the “fun” stuff, 4-H camp teaches life skills, like how to get along with others, independence and leadership.  If you have a teen in your family, 4-H camp provides leadership experiences that can help them with college scholarships and applications.

4-H Camp keeps on giving

We’ve all seen Christmas gifts go unused shortly after they are taken out of the box.  The gift of 4-H camp will not go unused and will keep giving every year as your child, grandchild, niece or nephew grows in the 4-H program.  Contact your local UF/IFAS County Extension Office and find out how to register the child on your list for 4-H Camp today.

4-H Provides Opportunities for Military Volunteers

Through 4-H, Victoria is able to share her skills and passions to help young people grow workforce and life skills.

Victoria Ballard came to Santa Rosa County 4-H in 2011 from Texas.  Her family has been involved in 4-H since her oldest daughter turned eight.  As a military spouse, Victoria has seen 4-H in two states.  Prudence Caskey, the Santa Rosa County 4-H Extension Agent, has worked closely with Victoria and the two clubs that she leads. These clubs have completed projects on Marine Science, Wildlife, Horseless Horse, Robotics, and Veterinary Science; in addition to supporting a wide variety of individual projects such as poultry, photography, leadership, community service, and many more.  To say that Victoria is vital to the success of the 4-H clubs that she leads would be an understatement. But the true success of the clubs comes from the dedication of the youth leaders that volunteer to serve as club officers and run the meetings and present program. The youth, ages 8-17, work together to decide their projects and activities, and learn what it takes to run an official meeting and be a leader in the community.

Victoria worked diligently to establish a summer horse day camp program.  Creating the schedule, designing activities and obtaining volunteers was all part of the process, and she handled every aspect of the program.  “When you find a volunteer’s passion, then you can just let them take the reins, so to speak”, says Prudence Caskey, 4-H Extension Agent.  “She has a passion for horses and youth and so it was such a natural fit!”

When asked what she enjoys most about being a 4-H volunteer, Victoria says, “I really enjoy teaching kids about technology and animals that otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to those topics.”  Prudence Caskey said, “We would not have been able to implement nor offer several programs if not for the tenacity and dedication of Victoria.”

Do you have knowledge and skills that you would like to share with young people?  Consider becoming a 4-H volunteer.  4-H is in every county, in every state, and several countries, so it a perfect opportunity for military families especially.  4-H offers a wide variety of roles to fit any schedule.  To find out more, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.

Which Breed is Best for Backyard Poultry?

The term “Backyard Chickens” is one many people use today.  The idea of having a pet help you make breakfast is growing in popularity.  I am often questioned as to which breed of chicken is the best breed.  When asked, I always reply, “What do you want the chicken to do?”  The reason I ask is because The American Poultry Association recognizes 65 different breeds of chickens. Each breed can meet a different need.  Many people will blurt out, “I want eggs!”  Well, do you care what color eggs? Do you care how often you get eggs?  Does the size of the egg matter? Each breed is different and there are pros and cons to each breed.  Some of the more popular breeds that you can find at your local feed store during upcoming “Chick Days” are described below:

  • Rhode Island Red: This is a breed that is a large-bodied bird that lays a large to extra-large brown egg.  These hens are very personable and can have a great personality.  This breed can become a pet in no time.
  • White Leghorn: This particular bird will lay a large white egg on a very regular basis. The Leghorn is not friendly and is often referred to as “flighty”.  Leghorns will not, as a general rule, become pets.  They will lay you an egg almost daily, but will run from you when it’s time to collect those eggs.
  • (Buff) Orpington: Usually sold in the color buff, additionally available in other colors.  This is a large-bodied friendly bird.  Orpingtons can become fast friends and will serve as a dual-purpose member of your flock.   This means that they are great egg layers, and will also serve as a good meat bird if the desire or need arises.
  • Sex-link varieties: With this breed, you will not get a breed, but they have great production. Sometimes called Red Star, or Black Star, the chicks show a difference when day old chicks.  It will be easy to determine between the two.  If chicks are not your thing, you can always purchase young hens that are just starting to lay.

Many people are not ready to wait five to six months to get their beloved eggs from their new pets.  If that is the case, you can always check with your local extension office to inquire if a local 4-H member might have some young hens for sale.  On September 30th, 4-H members from across the panhandle will have a “Chick Chain” show and Auction.  Save the date and get the best breed for you!

If you have children between the ages of 5-18 (as of September 1st, 2016) and you are interested in starting a backyard flock, you may want to sign up for the 4-H Chick Chain.  This program teaches youth how to raise, care for, and show chickens.  Registration is open February 1st-24th via 4HOnline.  Youth will receive 12, day-old pullets on March 29th.  Throughout the spring and summer, youth will learn the ins and outs of poultry farming, and how to market their eggs and hens for profit.  They will keep business and health records, learn about bio-security, and gain poise, confidence, and communication skills while showing their hens in the fall.  For more information, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or read about last year’s program.

4-H Poultry Project

4-H Embryology Project

4-H Chick Chain

Poultry Breeds:

Care of Baby Chicks

Factors Affecting Egg Production in Backyard Chicken Flocks

Intestinal Parasites in Backyard Chicken Flocks

Prevention and Control of Fowl Pox in Backyard Chicken Flocks

Small Flock Poultry Nutrition

Vaccination of Small Poultry Flocks