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Meet the Author—Marie Arick

Marie Arick

Greetings, my name is Marie Arick and I am the County Extension Director, 4-H and Family & Consumer Sciences Agent in Liberty County. Beginning in 2019, I stepped into this complex, but rewarding position and have worked with volunteers, community partners and other Agents on some amazing projects.

The 4-H program provides a diverse array of opportunities for youth ages 8 to 18. One great example is the Liberty County Livestock Club. This club provides a variety of animal projects and agricultural judging opportunities. As an Agent, I support my volunteers with curriculum, training opportunities and fund raising. This club successfully fund-raised enough money to buy a set of portable livestock scales to aid with animal projects.

School enrichment is a large part of 4-H programming for Liberty County youth. The two most successful are the Ag Adventures and the Embryology in the Classroom programs. Ag Adventures introduces youth to many crops and their uses. While teaching cotton in the field during this program, it surprised me how many youths did not know that our ‘paper’ money contains cotton. With embryology, each year is met with excitement when we enter the classroom with the incubators and eggs. The daily lessons include learning the parts of the egg and following the growth of the chick. Egg candling sessions allow me the opportunity to see how much the kids have learned and there is no shortage of enthusiasm when the chicks hatch. While Covid-19 did inhibit Ag Adventures for 2020, it did not stop Embryology. All incubators and supporting equipment along with the eggs were delivered to the schools. Lesson videos were created and other supporting materials were all placed on a closed Google site for the teachers to utilize.

Embryology Google Site

 

 

 

 

 

4-H University Cheese Making

 

 

As an Agent, one experience that never gets old is to ask a group of 4-H youth if they think they can transform a gallon of milk, using a few additional ingredients and a recipe, into mozzarella cheese. I absolutely love watching the skeptics successfully participate in the workshop and create their mozzarella cheese. In the process, these youth learn about food safety, kitchen safety, recipe literacy and adherence. The ‘learn by doing’ motto drives this experience.

Prior to adding 4-H to my Extension Agent assignment, I still incorporated youth into my Jackson County Family & Consumer Sciences programming, specifically culinary arts. Cooking is a life skill, we all eat! What better way to introduce food safety, kitchen safety, nutrition, and a variety of food preparation methods to youth than through culinary arts. Once I transitioned into a 4-H role, I added cheese making, grilling, food challenge, food preservation and more. Kids are more likely to try a new food, or an old favorite prepared in a healthier manner, if they make it themselves.

Carlos Staley, UF Intern

The above programs have shown great success, but 4-H offers a broad range of programs and there is something for everyone. My reward is each child’s success. It is even more gratifying when a former high school student that participated in the culinary arts school enrichment program for two years is now attending UF studying food science. The icing on the cake, so to speak, is when he becomes your UF summer intern!

I am a Mississippi State University graduate with a BS in Exercise Science and a MS in Health Promotion. After a long stint in the medical field, I transitioned to my second career choosing Extension. I began working with Texas A & M AgriLife Extension prior to transitioning to the University of Florida IFAS Extension in 2015. Extension is extremely rewarding, but in my down time I enjoy kayaking, gardening, and reading.

Now is the Time To Get Involved in the Florida 4-H Horse Program

Now is the Time To Get Involved in the Florida 4-H Horse Program

Did you know the Florida 4-H Horse Program offers horse shows, horse judging, Hippology, public speaking, demonstrations, illustrated talks, quiz bowl, horsemanship schools, and even scholarships?

Youth posing with horse at horse show.

Youth at the 2019 Area North Horse Show in Clay County, FL on May 11, 2019.

September 1, 2021 starts the new 4-H year, and now is the time to get involved! The Florida 4-H Horse Program consists of all the programs mentioned above, and only a few of those events actually requires owning a horse. The horse program has something for everyone, and the best part is that you get involved with youth focused, horse loving community. Below, we will introduce you to each part of the program, but if you have more questions, be sure to reach out to your county agent. For this article, we will look at programs where you do not need to own or lease a horse, and programs where you do. So let’s get started!

Horseless Programs (No horse needs to be owned or leased)


Horse Judging

Youth on horses competing in area at horse show.

Youth compete at the 2019 Area North Horse Show in Clay County, FL on May 11, 2019

About: In horse judging, youth are presented classes of horses, and they are asked to evaluate each class, place them, and present oral reasons. This competition teaches youth to look at horses and evaluate the based on both confirmation and function. To watch a short video outlining the details of the competition, click here.

Important Dates:

February 2022: Florida State Fairy Horse Judging Contest, Tampa, Florida

March/Early April 2022: State 4-H and FFA Horse Judging Contest, Gainesville, Florida

For More information, please visit the UF 4-H Horse Judging Website.

Quiz Bowl

About: Quiz bowl is a trivia style contest with both individual and team components. Topics range from practical hands on knowledge to horse industry knowledge. To learn more about these events, watch a short video here.

Important Dates:

June 1, 2022 (not yet officially announced, but same as years past) – State Entry Deadline

June 2022- State 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl Contest, Gainesville, Florida

For More information, please visit the State 4-H Horse Demonstrations and Public Speaking.

Hippology

About: Hippology includes all aspects of horse knowledge and covers topics ranging from judging to feedstuffs identification. Hippology includes practical horse management knowledge combining it with the experience and knowledge from all the other contests (Judging, quiz bowl, public speaking, etc.). To watch a short video outlining the details of the competition, click here.

Important Dates:

March/Early April 2022 (not yet officially announced, but same as years past): State 4-H Contest, Gainesville, Florida

For More information, please visit the UF 4-H Hippology Website.

Public Speaking/Demonstrations/and Illustrated Talks

About: In these events, youth get to explore an area of interest as it relates to horses, then create a presentation to share it with others. These events have a county, district, and in some cases a state level. To learn more about these events, watch a short video here.

Important Dates:

Most counties have a qualification process, that differs across the state. Check with your county agent for the specifics on the county and district qualifying events.

June 1, 2022 (not yet officially announced, but same as years past) – State Entry Deadline

June 2022- State 4-H Horse Demonstrations and Public Speaking Contest, Gainesville, Florida

For More information, please visit the State 4-H Horse Demonstrations and Public Speaking site.

Scholarships

About: The Florida 4-H Horse scholarship program aims to reward youth who are demonstrated an intense passion and advancement in the Florida 4-H Horse Program. These scholarships have their own specific requirements and awards. For More information, please visit the Florida 4-H Equine Scholarships Summary here.

To watch a short video outlining the details of the opportunities, click here.

Important Dates:

June 1, 2022 (not yet officially announced, but same as years past) – Scholarship Applications are due

*Be sure to work closely with your county 4-H agent to ensure this process goes smoothly.

Project Horse Programs (A horse must be owned/leased by youth)


Area and State Horse Shows

Two youth riding horses

Photo Credit: Julie Andrews Photography Youth at the 2019 Area North Horse Show in Clay County, FL on May 11, 2019.

About: Each year, Florida 4-H hosts Area Shows to qualify for the State 4-H Horse Show. To learn more about these shows watch this short video which introduces the Florida 4-H Horse Shows.

Important Dates and Information:

If you want to compete at your Area Horse Show, you need to be aware of the following items:

  1. December 31, 2021- The Florida 4-H Horse Certification Form should be submitted to the county 4-H on or before December 31, 2021 to qualify to pa

Youth displaying ribbon after placing in a horse show class at the 2022 Area North Horse Show.

rticipate in the Area North Horse Show and the State 4-H Horse show. This form must be completed each year, even if you are using the same horse as a previous year. A youth should do this for each horse they intend to show or use to participate in 4-H shows with.

    1. Find the form here: Florida 4-H Horse Certification Form
  1. December 31, 2021- A Horse Lease Form should be completed and submitted if a youth wants to participate with a horse that is not owned by the youth. Even if you are borrowing the horse without a fee, youth must have a Horse Lease Form on file with the local county 4-H office.
    1. Find the form here: Horse Lease Form
  1. The Florida 4-H Horse Project Record Book is a great way to track and demonstrate your growth throughout the year.
    1. Find the project book here: Florida 4-H Horse Project Book

Each county has their own specific guidelines and requirements. Please be sure to check when your county offices are closed for the holidays as they may not be open on the final day the form is due. Contact your county office if you have any questions or concerns regarding county specific requirements. For more information about Florida 4-H Horse Project opportunities visit the State 4-H Horse Events site.

Horsemanship Schools

About: Horsemanship school is a week long program geared at teaching and equipping youth with the knowledge and tools needed to be successful and grow as horseman. There are three program offerings: Western week, English week, and Cowboy Camp (male 4-H youth). To watch a short video outlining the details of the opportunities, click here.

Important Dates:

Youth at Horsemanship School in Niceville, Florida before camps were moved to Gainesville.

Summer 2022 – Cowboy Camp, Gainesville, Florida

Summer 2022 – Western Week, Gainesville, Florida

Summer 2022 – English Week, Gainesville, Florida

For more information, please visit the UF Horsemanship School website.

The Florida 4-H Horse program is abounding in opportunities, so come join our community of horse loving youth and adults focused on “making the best, better”!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us!

You can find your local county 4-H office here.

*Photo Credits belong to:

Julie Andrews Photography, 2019 Area North Horse Show, Clay County, Florida.

*All Photos were taken prior to COVID-19 lockdown and policies.

It’s a New Year in the Florida 4-H Horse Program

It’s a New Year in the Florida 4-H Horse Program

Did you know the Florida 4-H Horse Program offers horse shows, horse judging, Hippology, public speaking, demonstrations, illustrated talks, quiz bowl, horsemanship schools, and even scholarships?

January kicks off the new year of the Florida 4-H Horse Program, and now is the time to get involved! The Florida 4-H Horse Program consists of all the programs mentioned above, and only a few of those events actually requires owning a horse. The horse program has something for everyone, and the best part is that you get involved with youth focused, horse loving community. Below, we will introduce you to each part of the program, but if you have more questions, be sure to reach out to your county agent. For this article, we will look at programs where you do not need to own or lease a horse, and programs where you do. So let’s get started!

Horseless Programs (No horse needs to be owned or leased)

Horse Judging

About: In horse judging, youth are presented classes of horses, and they are asked to evaluate each class, place them, and present oral reasons. This competition teaches youth to look at horses and evaluate the based on both confirmation and function. To watch a short video outlining the details of the competition, click here.

Important Dates:

February 8, 2020: Florida State Fairy Horse Judging Contest, Tampa, Florida

April 4, 2020: State 4-H and FFA Horse Judging Contest, Gainesville, Florida

For More information, please visit the UF 4-H Horse Judging Website.


Quiz Bowl

About: Quiz bowl is a trivia style contest with both individual and team components. Topics range from practical hands on knowledge to horse industry knowledge. To learn more about these events, watch a short video here.

Important Dates:

June 1, 2020 – State Entry Deadline

June 20, 2020- State 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl Contest, Gainesville, Florida

For More information, please visit the State 4-H Horse Demonstrations and Public Speaking.


Hippology

Youth visiting a local veterinary office for a tour.

About: Hippology includes all aspects of horse knowledge and covers topics ranging from judging to feedstuffs identification. Hippology includes practical horse management knowledge combining it with the experience and knowledge from all the other contests (Judging, quiz bowl, public speaking, etc.). To watch a short video outlining the details of the competition, click here.

Important Dates:

April 4 & 5, 2020: State 4-H Contest, Gainesville, Florida

For More information, please visit the UF 4-H Hippology Website. 


Public Speaking/Demonstrations/and Illustrated Talks

About: In these events, youth get to explore an area of interest as it relate

Tucker Padgett gives a public speech at the 2020 Escambia County 2020 County Events.

s to horses, then create a presentation to share it with others. These events have a county, district, and in some cases a state level. To learn more about these events, watch a short video here.

Important Dates:

Most counties have a qualification process, that differs across the state. Check with your county agent for the specifics on the county and district qualifying events.

June 1, 2020 – State Entry Deadline

June 20, 2020- State 4-H Horse Demonstrations and Public Speaking Contest, Gainesville, Florida

For More information, please visit the State 4-H Horse Demonstrations and Public Speaking site.


Scholarships

About: The Florida 4-H Horse scholarship program aims to reward youth who are demonstrated an intense passion and advancement in the Florida 4-H Horse Program. These scholarships have their own specific requirements and awards. For More information, please visit the Florida 4-H Equine Scholarships Summary here.

To watch a short video outlining the details of the opportunities, click here.

Important Dates:

June 1, 2020- Scholarship Applications are due

*Be sure to work closely with your county 4-H agent to ensure this process goes smoothly.

Project Horse Programs (A horse must be owned/leased by youth)

Area and State Horse Shows

About: Each year, Florida 4-H hosts Area Shows to qualify for the State 4-H Horse Show. To learn more about these shows watch this short video which introduces the Florida 4-H Horse Shows.

Important Dates and Information:

If you want to compete at your Area Horse Show, you need to be aware of the following items:

  1. December 31, 2020- The Florida 4-H Horse Certification Form should be submitted to the county 4-H on or before December 31, 2020 to qualify to pa

    Youth displaying ribbon after placing in a horse show class at the 2019 Area North Horse Show.

    rticipate in the Area North Horse Show and the State 4-H Horse show. This form must be completed each year, even if you are using the same horse as a previous year. A youth should do this for each horse they intend to show or use to participate in 4-H shows with.

    1. Find the form here: Florida 4-H Horse Certification Form
  1. December 31, 2020- A Horse Lease Form should be completed and submitted if a youth wants to participate with a horse that is not owned by the youth. Even if you are borrowing the horse without a fee, youth must have a Horse Lease Form on file with the local county 4-H office.
    1. Find the form here: Horse Lease Form
  1. The Florida 4-H Horse Project Record Book is a great way to track and demonstrate your growth throughout the year.
    1. Find the project book here: Florida 4-H Horse Project Book

Each county has their own specific guidelines and requirements. Please be sure to check when your county offices are closed for the holidays as they may not be open on the final day the form is due. Contact your county office if you have any questions or concerns regarding county specific requirements. For more information about Florida 4-H Horse Project opportunities visit the State 4-H Horse Events site.


Horsemanship Schools

About: Horsemanship school is a week long program geared at teaching and equipping youth with the knowledge and tools needed to be successful and grow as horseman. There are three program offerings: Western week, English week, and Cowboy Camp (male 4-H youth). To watch a short video outlining the details of the opportunities, click here.

Important Dates:

Youth at Horsemanship School in Niceville, Florida before camps were moved to Gainesville.

May 31-June 5, 2020 – Cowboy Camp, Gainesville, Florida

June 7- 12, 2020 – Western Week, Gainesville, Florida

 

June 14-19, 2020 – English Week, Gainesville, Florida

For more information, please visit the UF Horsemanship School website.


The Florida 4-H Horse program is abounding in opportunities, so come join our community of horse loving youth and adults focused on “making the best, better”!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us!

You can find your local county 4-H office here.

*Photo Credits belong to:

Julie Andrews Photography, 2019 Area North Horse Show, Clay County, Florida.

Anne Peterson, Escambia County 4-H Volunteer

Aly Schortinghouse, Escambia County 4-H

*All Photos were taken prior to COVID-19 lockdown and policies.

4-H Virtual Ag Judging Opportunity

photo of perennial peanut field

Photo credit: Evie Blount, UF IFAS Gadsden County

Are you sad about the North Florida Fair being canceled this year? Well we are too! Even though we are all going to miss the rides and the fair foods (especially the funnel cakes) we don’t have to miss out on all the fair activities! The Consumer Choice, Horticulture Identification, and Agricultural Judging Contest will all still be taking place on November 14th. They will all be virtual, and they are open to Florida 4-H members ages 8-18.

Judging contests are a great way for youth to learn skills to prepare them for work and life, such as decision making, teamwork and public speaking!  To help youth prepare for the virtual ag judging contest, we will have a workshop on November 5th at 5:30PM eastern. Registration for this workshop and the contest are available in 4Honline. Once you register, you will be provided a secure link to join. The deadline to register for the workshop and contest is November 5th. For the contest, there is a small entry fee of $5.00 per participant.

If you have any questions, please email Evie Blount (ecb1224@ufl.edu) or Chris Decubellis (cdecube@ufl.edu). We had so much fun creating this contest virtually and are super excited for youth all over the state to participate!

Check out these blog posts about how judging contests teach life skills:

Watch our webinar on judging contest basics:

For livestock judging study materials, check out these links:

Livestock Judging Guide (Kansas)

Livestock Judging Explore Guide (Texas)

Livestock Judging EDIS Factsheet (Florida)

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.”

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.