Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Farewell Post to Bailey Colvin, Summer Intern 2018

It's hard to believe the summer has passed so quickly. Today is the last day in the office for our summer intern, Bailey Colvin, and we are grateful for her contributions this summer!

Bailey is hard working, kind, and willing to learn. We wish her well as she returns to her senior year at James Madison University!

Bailey and Cloverbud Campers after their construction rodeo, learning about basic tasks for builders

Bailey loading wool bags during the Central VA Wool Pool

Bailey teaching Kids' Yoga 

Bailey checking the heart and respiration rates of a heifer during YQCA training

Bit N Bridle Club Represents Virginia at Southern Regionals in Perry, GA

The Bit N' Bridle Club had a successful trip to the 2018 Southern Regional 4-H Horse and Pony Championships in Perry, GA, last week.  The Hippology team of Charlotte Manvell, Emily Wright, Cora Hoemann and Sydney Carver, joining from Fluvanna County. finished overall in 6th place.  Emily placed first in the Horse Judging section.  Charlotte placed second in exam and stations and second overall. Sydney placed fifth in the Horse Judging section of the test.

The Team of Charlotte Manvell and Cora Hoemann placed first in Team Presentation with their information about mounted police forces. 

Club members report having had a wonderful time at the contest and appreciated the honor to represent Virginia 4-H and Orange County 4-H. 

Submitted by Mary Lee Manvell

Parade of States

Group Photo by the Sign 

Smokin' the Competition :) 

First place, Team Presentation

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

How Parents Can Encourage Safe Outdoor Play

Guest blog by Anya Willis

Backyards and the outdoors are wonderful places for children to explore, learn, and get some much-needed physical activity. Studies show that outdoor play is beneficial to children, stimulating cognition as well as improving mood and physical fitness. Just like any activity, however, outdoor play can present risks to children of all ages, but especially for the youngest. With some planning, instruction, and supervision, it is possible to enjoy safe outdoor play.

Teach Boundaries and Acceptable Behavior

There are many potential hazards outdoors. Part of growing up is learning about the dangers of the world and how to conform behavior to avoid injury and problems. The first step to encouraging safe outdoor play is to teach your children where they can and cannot play and your reasoning. A fence is a physical barrier that can be easily climbed by most children and is therefore essentially useless as a deterrent to wandering for all but the smallest children -- who wouldn’t reasonably be unsupervised anyway. Teaching your children not to play outside of your yard is more effective than considering a fence as a failsafe.

This same lesson can apply to most backyard hazards. Write up a list of rules, and if your kids are old enough, ask for their help in determining these rules. Explain that you want them to be safe, and express your concerns. Children are resistant to parenting that is dropped on them unilaterally, so even when you are parenting by decree, including them in the process helps them understand your mentality.

Outdoor Play Equipment

Swing sets, jungle gyms, and tree houses are typical outdoor play equipment that can cause injury if misused. Explain your reasoning for simple rules. For example, tell them that the swingset is not designed for children to hang upside-down from the monkey bars. Age-appropriate use is also important; toddlers can be seriously injured when playing on sets designed for older kids, and bigger children can get hurt on kiddie equipment.

Do your part as a parent to ensure your children’s safety by checking equipment throughout the year. Test out swings and steps, check wood surfaces for splinters, rotted boards, worn ropes, nail and screw pops, and any other potential hazards.

When buying or installing outdoor play equipment, make sure you are buying good quality items by checking online reviews before purchasing. Make sure the playsets are properly installed, and add appropriate ground covering to absorb the shock of inevitable falls. It is also crucial, regardless of your children’s age, to ensure that the play equipment is within your line of sight.

Pool safety

Backyard pools are sources of endless family summer fun, but they also present a serious drowning hazard. Again, establishing rules is one of the best ways to minimize injury risk. Establish and post a written set of pool rules and enforce them. Explain that “no running” is not a suggestion -- it’s a sanctionable offense. Learn basic pool safety, and revisit the rules each year as part of the pool opening routine. Also, prepare an emergency plan for pool accidents. Often, people do not know what to do in the event of a serious accident in the backyard. Have a first aid kit and a simple numbered list of who to call and when. This simple list is for the adult’s benefit as well as children’s.

Outdoor spaces are excellent places for children to learn and thrive. Spring and summer bring opportunities for healthy outdoor activities, and while some risk of injury exists, there are several ways to mitigate hazards while still enjoying outdoor play.

Friday, July 27, 2018

State Fair Livestock Entry System Now Live

If you're taking livestock projects to the State Fair, READ CAREFULLY the information below plus the tip sheet available online

The entry system for the 2018 Youth Livestock Shows that will be held in conjunction with the State Fair of Virginia is now open. The Youth Livestock Shows will be held October 5-7, 2018 at The Meadow Event Park in Doswell, VA. Entries must be completed no later than August 15th! No late entries will be accepted.

All rules and information can be found on the youth livestock web site at www.ext.vt.edu/youthlivestock.  Please review all of the rules very carefully. As you enter the entry system, allow yourself plenty of time to complete all of your entries and have tag numbers, registration papers, and any other required information easily accessible.

Please read the “Entry Tip Sheet” (online, click here) for help with the entry process and updates/changes for the 2018 SFVA entry process.  It contains important changes to this year’s system and tips for making the process simpler.

There are just a few things to remember when entering the system:
If you are an enrolled 4-H member - Click on the green “Sign into 4-HOnline” button FIRST!  Follow the instruction to enter your 4-HOnline username and password.
·        If you have forgotten your password, there is an option to change it; however, YOU MUST got back into 4-HOnline to permanently change your password.
·        Please verify all of your contact information, including MAILING ADDRESS. This must be correct, as we will be sending premiums to this address.

For families with multiple exhibitors:
·        Make sure to enter ALL of your family members into the show before clicking submit. Once you click Submit, you will be locked out of your account until the entries are approved.

Be sure to click “SUBMIT” when you have completed your entries. Entries are not final until they have been submitted.
Check your email inbox for a confirmation email with a list of entries and any related fees.
You will receive a second email once your entries have been APPROVED.

The FairEntry System for the 2018 SFVA can be accessed at this link https://fairentry.com/Fair/SignIn/1744

As a reminder, swine nominations are due on August 1. Swine must be tagged, photographed, and information uploaded to the web by August 1. Note you must also enter these hogs in the entry system.