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4-H Judging Teams 101

4-H Judging Teams

4-H judging teams are a wonderful way to help youth learn life skills such as decision making, teamwork and public speaking. These events are also a way for youth to demonstrate mastery of subject matter skills. Florida 4-H offers a wide variety of judging contest opportunities. Because there are so many contests, it can be a little overwhelming for 4-H volunteers, however, there are simple strategies you can learn to teach any type of judging contest. While the subject matter changes from contest to contest, how you prepare young people to learn the material and compete is the SAME! One you master these simple strategies, you can coach any type of judging team. Join us Thursday, October 15th at 6PM central/7PM eastern to learn how to incorporate judging teams into your club program. Brian Estevez and Aly Schortinghouse, 4-H agents in Escambia County, will present the program as part of our Virtual Volunteer Leadership Academy Series. For more information, or to register, visit http://bit.ly/4HVVLA.

Also, check out some of our previous blog posts about the impact of our judging programs…

4-H Celebrations in October

National 4-H Week Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

October is an extraordinary month of celebration for UF/IFAS Extension Florida 4-H Programs. We start with National 4-H Week October 4th – 10th. The theme for this year’s National 4-H Week is Opportunity4All. This campaign was created by National 4-H Council to rally support for Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program and identify solutions to eliminate the opportunity gap that affects 55 million kids across America.

With so many children struggling to reach their full potential, 4-H believes that young people, in partnership with adults, can play a key role in creating a more promising and equitable future for youth, families and communities across the country. In 4-H, we believe every child should have an equal opportunity to succeed. We believe every child should have the skills they need to make a difference in the world.

It is amazing how many youth are growing up with 4-H in Florida with over 230,000 youth involved. 4-H is open to all youth, ages 5-18, determined as of September 1 of the current 4-H year for everyone in the State of Florida. 4-H serves youth from all backgrounds and interests. It reaches both boys and girls through 4-H clubs and project work. 4-H is at schools, community settings, virtually, military bases, and in combination with afterschool programs. There are also special workshops, camps and individual and family learning opportunities. We also have state-wide virtual club opportunities including Dairy, Horse, Poultry, Teen Life Ready and Young Leaders clubs. The Northwest District also offers 4-H virtual projects. These include: Chick Chain, Backyard Livestock, Honeybees, Wildlife, Baking, Culinary Arts, Leadership, Plant Science, Tailgating, sewing and shooting sports.

National 4-H Week Events Include:

Monday, October 5, 2020 join us at 1:00 PM EST / 12:00 PM CST for a webinar on How to Teach Kids to Prepare Healthy, Fun Snacks. Register Here

Tuesday October 6, 2020 Shout Out Day & Hall of Fame
Take to social media to share a 4‑H memory, express how 4‑H shaped who you are today, describe what 4‑H means to you, post an old 4‑H photo, or shout-out your 4‑H club or use our photo frame for sharing on Social Media be sure to include following hashtags #Opportunity4All, #Florida4H and tag @Florida4H in ALL posts!

6:30 pm EST/ 5:30 CST– 4-H Hall of Fame  (FB Live Event) @florida4h

Wednesday, October 7, 2020, National 4-H Week Spirit Day image showing 4-H Spirit Day OCtober 7, 2020
We want to invite you to help celebrate by wearing green or the 4-H clover. You could also wear a 4-H or Green facemask. We even have a photo frame you can use for sharing on Social Media and tag #Opportunity4All, #Florida4H and tag @Florida4H in ALL posts!

Thursday, October 8, 2020, Support the FOURWARD Fund, and Trivia Night
The forward fund helps ensure kids and families in need have access to educational resources and support all year long.

4-H Trivia Night from 6:30 pm EST/ 5:30 CST– (via FB) @florida4h

Youth exploring 4-H STEM Challenge-Mars Base Camp Challenge

Are you ready for the 4-H Mars Base Camp Challenge?

On Friday October 9 Florida 4-H at 4 and Camp Night

Join Florida 4-H at 4 online at 4:00 PM EST 3:00 CST as we blast off on a mission to the Red Planet – MARS! We’ll be learning about the process that NASA goes through when sending a rover to Mars. We’ll learn about the stages of launching from earth, attempting to land on Mars, and discovering the key features of the Martian surface. Using real images and data Generated from NASA missions we’ll be introduced to some of the key characteristics of Mars and how we have discovered these features through decades of scientific exploration. Bring your supplies and join us. Click to Register

4-H Camp Night 6:30 pm EST/ 5:30 CST Come hang out with our camping team via zoom Click to Register and celebrate National 4-H Week.

Saturday October 10 #Opportunity4All Forum at 6:30 pm EST / 5:30 CST @florida4h  (FB Live Event) Kids face a widening opportunity gap in America. Nothing should hold them back.  Not Now.  Not Ever. For more information about the national Opportunity for all Campaign materials and PSA

October 7-18 Tractor Supply Paper Clover Fundraiserimage from 4-H Tractor Supply Paper Clover CampaignThe paper clover campaigns help by providing funds to conduct hands-on learning experiences through projects in STEM, agriculture, healthy living, and civic engagement locally and nationally.

JOANN stores also support 4-H by providing local 4-H Clubs with resources and tools to run impactful programs. JOANN even provides current & alumni members, parents of members, and volunteers with a 15% off total in-store and online purchases every day with a 4-H Rewards Card. You can register for this card at https://www.joann.com/4-h/ . They also run a paper clover campaign in the spring similar to Tractor Supply.

Please, help us celebrate National 4-H Week 2020 and participate in as many activities as possible. Also, Be sure next time you are visiting one of our sponsors locations to thank them for their continued support of 4-H Youth Development Programs. I cant wait to see your photos on social media please be sure and tag @Florida4H in ALL posts!

To find out more information about other 4-H programs like this or volunteer your time to work with youth, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office. As you can see October is a wonderful month to be involved with and join Florida 4-H An Equal Opportunity Institution.

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Why Horses?

Why Horses?

Individuals gathered around horses at a show.

A 4-H family gathered together at a show.

Are you looking for another way that you can aid your child in becoming a healthy well-adjusted adult? You help can them by allowing them to enter a relationship with a horse. Most kids are naturally drawn to horses and may benefit greatly in what they can gain from them. Some life skills learned from caring for equine are character building, healthy living, leadership skills, and responsibility, just to name a few. Plus, if your child is out at the barn caring for their horse, they are less likely to be stuck on their phones on the couch. Therefore, their physical health will benefit from doing chores and riding as well. Horseback riding offers many aerobic-exercise benefits such as building muscles, boosting balance, and increasing coordination and flexibility. Lifting saddles, water buckets, and cleaning require physical movement as well as gives a sense of self accomplishment of “I can do this all by myself.” When youth are responsible for the care of a horse, it teaches them to put others needs above their own and they learn empathy.

Youth sitting on horse

Emily, 4-H member, sitting on her horse, Slyder.

Did you know 4-H has a horse program? The goal of the program is to teach and provide young people with an opportunity to participate in activities that foster the love for the animal and achieve their goals. The activities are designed to improve citizenship, sportsmanship, horsemanship, character, competitive spirit, and discipline while making youth aware of life around them. When thinking about the 4-H horse program, there is the potential for participation in horse judging, public speaking, demonstrations, hippology and quiz bowl. Participation in these activities can help a youth improve in many areas to gain a better education and they don’t have to necessarily have a horse. There is also horse showing for those who own a horse. Showing equine will connect youth from all over the world as horse family while teaching them to prepare, build the courage to compete, enjoy the rewards and deal with disappointments. Hopefully, the disappointments will drive them to succeed and work harder while furthering their leadership skills. Afterall, taking control of a thousand-pound animal to work through challenging tasks will require skills that promote a child’s self-competence.

If you are looking for something new to spark an interest in your child, consider the 4-H equine project.  Horses are fun, help teach great life skills, and kids adore them. They will keep youth positively engaged during their difficult years from pre-teen and into adulthood. If you are unsure of what your county has to offer in the way of equine 4-H programs, give your local UF IFAS County Extension Office a call and they will help you or connect you with someone in the field or visit http://florida4h.org.

*“Please note pictures were taken prior to our challenges with Covid-19 and we remind people to social distance and wear a mask for the personal safety of self and others.”

Make your Voice Heard: Join the Team

Make your Voice Heard: Join the Team

group of teens posing for picture

Members from the 2020 Teen Retreat Planning Committee.

The Northwest District Teen Retreat is an event for teens that occurs every year in the Northwest District. The retreat is held at either 4-H Camp Timpoochee in Niceville or 4-H Camp Cherry Lake in Madison. This event is unique because it is planned by the teens who attend! 4-H members age 14 – 18 get to decide on all the major details of the event by attending the Teen Retreat Planning Meetings. During the Northwest District Teen Retreat, a variety of educational workshops, funshops, activities, and a community service project occur. Teens are the main voice in planning the event. The more planning meetings you attend, the more influence you have on the program planning of Teen Retreat.

 

What Happens During Planning Meetings?

 

The meetings take place via Zoom allowing you to join from home. 4-H Agents and teen members throughout the panhandle will be on the call. The meetings take place via Zoom and you will have the chance to interact with teens across the Northwest District. The call is guided by 4-H Agents, but the dialogue is led by the teens. Each person in the meeting will have an opportunity to share their ideas and input. Votes take place to decide key items such as the theme, meals, workshop topics, and more. One on of the most important decisions is the t-shirt design. Everyone has an opportunity to submit a t-shirt design and a vote is conducted during the meeting to decide on the design and design colors. Another important decision is what we will eat at meal times and what the evening activities will be. Want to plan a fun event for you and your friends? Attend the Teen Retreat Planning Meetings! Contact your county 4-H Agent If you are not a current 4-H member and you would like to join and attend the Northwest District Teen Retreat.

Why Attend?

 

When you attend the planning meetings this allows your voice to be heard on how you would like the event to run. Participating in the planning meetings will automatically put you on the Teen Retreat Planning Committee.  Participating in the planning committee meetings helps teens increase their leadership skills through their use of organizational skills, decision making, planning, and teamwork.  In addition, those who are on the committee will have various leadership opportunities they can take part in throughout the event which can include helping with registration, leading activities, and helping with event set-up, etc.

 

2020-2021 Planning Meeting Dates

 

The Teen Retreat Planning Committee needs active teens to get involved! Teens are encouraged to get involved now in the planning process to give creative input for the 2021 Teen Retreat! So, mark your calendars now and save these very important dates! Committee meetings are held via video conference and can be joined online or by phone. To sign up for this committee, please contact your local 4-H Agent for the call-in information.The meetings are held on the following evenings at 5:30 PM CT/6:30 PM ET

  • September 29, 2020
  • October 20, 2020
  • November 17, 2020
  • January 12, 2021
  • February 9, 2021

To find out more information about 4-H programs or to volunteer with 4-H, please contact your local UF/ IFAS County Extension Office.

 

4-H Chick Chain: Ready for Your Next Challenge?

4-H Chick Chain: Ready for Your Next Challenge?

Each year in Northwest Florida, 4-H hosts a 4-H Chick Chain Project. During this project, youth select their birds, raise their birds, attend educational workshops, and show their birds at a final show. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic placing a new emphasis on fresh from the farm food products, the 4-H Chick Chain project is a great way to launch into raising chickens or to start a new project. This year, the project is going one step further than previous years by adding more opportunities for youth to share about their projects through a demonstration or illustrated talk and the chance to explore building a business through an entrepreneurship challenge.

 

Demonstrations and Illustrated Talks
4-H youth posing with her show bird at a show.

4-H youth, Tucker Padgett, posing with her show bird at a show.


Participants will have the chance to share a demonstration or illustrated talk focusing on their chicken related experiences at the 4-H Chick Chain Competition. The best part is that presentations made at the Chick Chain event can be perfected and carried on to other competitions such as County Events, District Events, and 4-H University. Through a demonstration, youth will show the judges how to do something, while with an illustrated talk, youth are explaining a situation or topic while using a visual aid such as a poster, PowerPoint, or physical object. The best part of this opportunity is that youth are encouraged to talk about their chickens and chicken experiences. After all, it is the 4-H Chick Chain Project.

 

Entrepreneurship Challenge

This new experience is designed to walk participants through the documentation and setup of a business plan focusing on chickens, over multiple years. Each year, participants focus on a different aspect of owning and operating a business. At the Chick Chain show, participants will present their plan to judges. For youth who are interested in the entrepreneurship challenge and more similar opportunities, youth are encouraged to check out the Florida 4-H Gator Pit which offers educational workshops and the chance to interact with entrepreneurs throughout Florida.

 

Try it Out

Chickens pecking at feed offered in a feed pan.

Chickens pecking at feed offered in a feed pan.


This project is open to Florida 4-H youth in Northwest Florida. Registration will be open October 1, 2020 through 4-HOnline with the show taking place on March 20, 2021. Interested in getting involved? Visit FL 4-H Chick Chain or ask your local UF IFAS County Extension Office where to get started. This project offers a chance for every level of youth to stretch their comfort level focusing on one of the best topics out there… Chickens!  So join us, learn something new, teach us something new, and make some awesome chicken loving friends.

 

Are You Ready For The Mars Base Camp Challenge?

Are You Ready For The Mars Base Camp Challenge?

Youth exploring 4-H STEM Challenge-Mars Base Camp Challenge

Are you ready for the Mars Base Camp Challenge?

The 4‑H STEM Challenge, formerly known as 4‑H National Youth Science Day (4‑H NYSD), is an event that we look forward to every year. In the past, this has been a single day event but now the 4-H STEM Challenge typically starts October 1 and continues throughout the month and beyond.  This event is designed to ignite a spark in youth so that they take a stronger interest in science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on learning.  For well over a decade, 4-H has developed creative STEM challenges to engage youth in the engineering design process and assist in the development of essential life skills such as critical thinking and problem solving through teamwork.

This year’s 4-H STEM Challenge, Mars Base Camp Challenge, was developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension.  The 2020 4-H STEM Challenge is designed for youth to explore the topic of a mission to Mars. The challenge is appropriate for youth ages 8-14.

Mars Base Camp Challenge consists of four activities, each of which relates to at least one of 4-H’s core areas:  agriculture, STEM, healthy living and civic engagement.  The four activities can be facilitated separately, together or in any combination, making it flexible to incorporate into your schedule.  In addition, most of the activities do not need any form of technology, allowing for internet-free programming.

Up For The Challenge!

Feeling a little nervous about facilitating it in your club or classroom?  Don’t be!  You don’t need prior experience with STEM to bring Mars Base Camp to your 4-H program. All the activities have been designed to make it easy for everyone, including teen leaders to facilitate.  Facilitator guides and checklists are available now to assist in the teaching process.  And remember, since we use a guided approach, we give our youth direction and allow them to use their inquiry skills to find solutions through the experiential learning experience!

Mars Base Camp Challenge Resources

4-H has made the 2020 STEM Challenge accessible for everyone.  If you are unable to participate in the Mars Base Camp Challenge through a club or classroom this year, youth can also participate in the challenge by way of a family kit or online.  At this time, the National 4-H website is even offering $5 off each Mars Base Camp kit, thanks to the support of our 2020 national supporter, Toyota! For more information, visit https://4-h.org/parents/4-h-stem-challenge/#!2020-challenge

Online Activity: Youth can participate with INSIGHT FROM MARS, the online portion of the 2020 STEM Challenge.

Educator Kit: Includes materials for 12 youth to participate in the offline activities at the same time. Kits can be used in spaces where physical distancing can be followed.

Family-sized Kit: Includes materials for 1-4 youth to participate in the offline activities at the same time from inside the home.

We hope you enjoy your mission to Mars!  To learn more about additional STEM 4-H programs and events, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or visit http://florida4h.org.