Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dairy Club Donates to Area Service Organizations

Members of the Orange 4-H Dairy Club recently donated $600 to two local charities. Love Outreach Food Pantry received $300 and the Orange Toy Box (formerly known as Toys for Tots) also received $300. Members were recently interviewed by WJMA radio staff about their contributions. Good job, Dairy Club members!

Citizenship Washington Focus Registration Now Open

Have you ever wanted to get a more in-depth look at our nation's government? Take the chance to live and work in Washington, D.C. for one week this summer through 4-H's Citizenship Washington Focus. All 50 states participate in this program, and Virginia's assigned week will be July 11-17, 2010. The cost is $724 per participant, but scholarships are available. More information about this great opportunity can be found at Entries are due February 5th.

4-H Day with the Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards (NBA team) are hosting 4-H Day on Saturday, January 30th, when they play the New York Knicks at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. If your club or family is interested in participating, please contact the Extension Office. We then have to relay how many participants we will have to the unit office that is coordinating Virginia's participation. While in Washington, other cool things to do/see include touring the National Mall, visiting ESPN Zone, and participating in pre-game activities at the Verizon Center. (Contact with NBA players are possible, but not guaranteed.) Let us know if you're interested!

Statewide Teen Weekend Scheduled for March

All teen 4-H'ers (14-18) are invited to attend the annual statewide Teen Weekend. The event will be held March 5-7, 2010, at Mountain Lake Resort in Giles County (approx. 3 hours from Orange). The cost is $45 for the weekend, and scheduled activities include a dinner etiquette workshop complete with filet mignon (!), communication etiquette seminar, nature classes, and swing dancing. The event is planned by the State 4-H Cabinet, so please participate in what your peers have made possible for you. Space is limited to the first 90 registrants; contact the Extension Office for more info and/or to request a scholarship in order to participate.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

4-H Donates to Love Outreach

The True Blue Cloverbuds are learning all about community service! For their November meeting they traveled to Food Lion where they were each given $10 to buy food for the food pantry. The challenge was to buy as much food as they could with their money. Collectively, the club was able to donate 132 pounds of food to the Love Outreach Food Pantry. Way to go True Blue!!!!

Also, the food that was collected during Achievement Night this year was donated to the Love Outreach Food Pantry. The grand total came to 185 pounds of canned goods. Great job Orange 4-H!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ashleigh Ramey Wins College Scholarship

Congratulations to Ashleigh Ramey of the 4-H Hoofmates Club, who was awarded the Michael Lenehan Memorial College Scholarship for 2009. The award was presented yesterday at the VHSA annual awards luncheon at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. Ashleigh plans to study equine science and photography in college.

2010 Fair Theme Announced

"Harvesting Memories" will be the theme of the 2010 Orange County Fair. Use this as a springboard for planning your stall displays, animal names, etc.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

News Update from the Crazy Pets Club...

The Crazy Pets Club had their second meeting and to kick off Thanksgiving month, we all took a moment to give thanks for a particular animal in our lives and share what a gift that animal is. This month's meeting had us learning about animal tracks. We learned about animals who have one foot and animals who have more than eighty feet. Whether making true track replicas from plaster or recreating track patterns with candy, all members got to make and take their projects after comparing domestic animal tracks to their wild cousins'. We learned how many noses a snail has (you'll have to ask a Crazy Pets Club member!) and why they make that trail of slime. We also got to meet and touch a hedgehog! Yes, it was pretty awesome!

Join us next month as we gather in the spirit of giving at the Orange County Animal Shelter to learn about volunteerism and animal stewardship. The exact date and time will be forthcoming.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

4-H Alumna Update

Madeline Wilson, former 4-H Livestock Club member and Cedar Run Shooting Sports member is now a student and field hockey player at Sweet Briar College. She has been named to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference's Second Team for Field Hockey. The award is determined by all conference coaches. Congratulations, Madeline!

Ramey Competes in National 4-H Horse Public Speaking

Congratulations to Ashleigh Ramey of Orange 4-H Hoofmates for her participation in the national horse public speaking competition at the North American Livestock Expo in Louisville, KY last weekend. She progressed through local, district, state, and regional competitions prior to the event. We're proud of Ashleigh and want to say thanks for representing Orange County so well!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Natural Resources Weekend Planned

There will be a statewide Natural Resources Weekend for 4-H'ers January 23-24, 2010, at Holiday Lake 4-H Center in Appomattox. Topics include snakes, falcons, insect identification, road kill, bird watching, and GPS/orienteering, to name a few! This exciting weekend will be led by some true natural resources experts, and the event comes at a cost to 4-H'ers of only $50 per child! Registration is due around the holidays, but please contact the Extension Office now if you are interested in participating. Travel is on your own, but the 4-H van is an option if there is a volunteer willing to drive. Hope to hear from you soon!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Crazy Pets Club Learns About Animal Tracks

Members of the newly formed Crazy Pets 4-H Club learned about wildlife and animal tracks at their November meeting this week. Older members made Plaster of Paris molds of tracks for deer, muskrats, opossums, coyotes, and more. Cloverbud members made tracks from rice, candy, and beans. The club's visitor for the evening was a member's pet hedgehog. Crazy Pets meets on the first Tuesday of each month in Unionville.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Story Telling Competition Open to Area Youth

The Southwest VA 4-H Center is hosting a story telling competition January 23, 2010, for interested youth. Presenters will have 8-12 minutes on stage to tell their tale. Winners from the state event will be eligible for the national contest in Tennessee. The contest is open to all youth ages 9-19. This sounds like a wonderful new opportunity. Many of you have great dramatic talent, so hopefully you will be able to showcase those skills in the story telling event. Please contact the Extension Office for more information.

Win $100 in Essay Contest

Is our community honey bee-friendly? Write an essay on this very topic and win $100 for first place. The 2010 essay contest, hosted by the The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. will accept youth entries until February 5, 2010. For a complete list of rules and entry guidelines, please contact the Extension Office. This is a great way to earn recognition for your writing and research skills, as well as learn more about honey bees and all that they do for us.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Update: International Exchange Opportunities

An additional 4-H exchange program is available for youth ages 16-19 for the summer of 2010. American delegates may travel to Norway, Australia, Costa Rica, or Japan. Most countries' applications are due February 1st, so please contact the Extension Office now for more information.

Hardwood Tree Seedlings Available in Spring

Is your club looking for a community service project? Consider planting tree seedlines to improve the environment around us! Free hardwood tree seedlings (oak, kousa dogwood, etc.) are available through a Department of Forestry grant. Orders are due January 1st; seedlings will be delivered in March or April. Please contact Kaci if you would like to participate.

Kudos to the Goat Club which planted trees at Lightfoot Elementary last year.

4-H International Exchange Opportunities for Young Alumni

4-H young alumni ages 19-30 can participate in IFYE (International 4-H Youth Exchange) programs next summer, but now is the time to start working on your application. Visit European countries, experience new cultures, and do this on the cheap! You are responsible for your airfare, but room and board are covered by the host families.

If you are not yet old enough to travel, or have no desire to travel, consider hosting an IFYE from Europe in your home here in Orange County. Extension Agent Kaci Daniel has personally hosted several IFYE's and the experience has been positive. Call the Extension Office for more details about hosting!

Suggest a Theme for the 2010 Orange County Fair

Are you quick with words, or do you have a catchy theme for the 2010 Orange County Fair? The fair board is asking for 4-H's help. Past themes have been: "Make Tracks to the Orange County Fair", "A Treasure Chest of the County's Best", and "A Family A-Fair" to name a few. Since you decorate your pen area according to the theme, use this opportunity to suggest a theme that you really want to do. Send suggestions to Entries are due by November 17th. Good luck!

P.S. ANY 4-H'er can make a suggestion, not just those who show at the fair.

LEGO Teams Host Open Practice -- You're Invited!

The Orange 4-H LEGO Robotics teams will host an open practice next Tuesday, November 3rd, when schools are closed for Election Day. They are meeting in the Sedwick Building Public Meeting Room (behind the Extension office) from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Please come and see what 4-H LEGO Robotics is all about! The teams are currently preparing for regional competitions in November.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nixon Steer Named Reserve Champion in State Fair Carcass Contest

Congratulations to Elizabeth Nixon, owner, exhibitor, and breeder of this year's Reserve Champion Steer in the State Fair of Virginia Carcass Contest. Elizabeth also showed the steer at the Orange County Fair in July. This is a great accomplishment, and it's even more significant that the steer was born and raised on the Nixons' farm. Good job!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

True Blue Cloverbud Fundraiser

The True Blue Cloverbuds have a new fundraiser! They are selling the Attractions- Dining and Value Guide book for the Fredericksburg area. These books contain a variety of coupons from places like Gander Mountain, Dick's Sporting Goods, World Market, Rack Room Shoes, and Plow & Hearth. There are also tons of opportunities for buy-one-get-one free entrees from dozens of restaurants in the area. Coupons are also included from all major golf courses and theme parks. Surrounding areas that are included in the Value Guide are Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and even Culpeper. Help support the True Blue Cloverbuds by buying a book for just $25! For more information on these great savings contact Tracy Gill, Jennifer Bryington, or the Extension Office (672-1361).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

4-H Anglers Offer Boater Safety Class

All are invited to participate in the next Boater Safety Class, offered by the 4-H Jr. BASS Anglers. The class will be held Sunday, October 25, from Noon to 4:00 p.m. at Orange County High School. Members of the public are encouraged to participate. Please e-mail to register for the event.

New Crazy Pets Club off to a Busy Start

The brand new Crazy Pets 4-H Club had a grand inaugural start this month with 13 members, seven of whom are new to 4-H! The club will meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the leader's home in Unionville. Please e-mail for more information about the club.

At the club's November meeting, participants can expect to learn about animal tracks--identifying them and even making your own replicas of wildlife tracks! Also, come meet a hedgehog! How cool is that? Crazy Pets members should have a general interest in animals and their care; owning a pet is not required in order to be part of the group.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stockman's Team Captures Top Awards at State Fair

The Junior Team consisting of Blake Hopkins, John Michael Knight, Robert Nixon, and Marlaina Johnson won their division! And they were 43 points in front of the next closest team. Blake was 1st individual overall, John Michael placed 8th overall, Robert Nixon was 16th overall, and Hope Johnson was 21st high individual. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

In the Senior Division, Elizabeth Nixon placed 13th overall. The senior team, consisting of Nixon, Bobby Chambers, Garret Chambers, and TJ Williams placed ninth overall.

4-H Achievement Night Date & Time Confirmed

It's a go! Mark your calendars for 4-H Achievement Night--Saturday, November 21, 6:00 p.m., at Prospect Heights Middle School. 4-H will provide the meat, paper products, and drinks; families should bring a side dish or dessert to share. All club members, camp counselors, donors, supporters, volunteers, and 4-H'ers are invited to attend. Please RSVP to the Extension Office (672-1361) to let us know how many to expect from your family.

Also, we will be conducting a food drive at Achievement Night. For each non-perishable food item you bring, you will receive a ticket toward door prizes that will be given away. See you November 21st!!!

Nixons Win Sheep Exhibitor Awards at State Fair

Congratulations to Robert and Elizabeth Nixon for impressive showings in the State Fair Sheep Awards announcements. Robert was 6th overall for the Premier Sheep Exhibitor contest. Elizabeth was named Premier Sheep Exhibitor for 2009. This award is based on participation in the stockman's contest, showmanship, a sheep quiz, and more. Way to go!

Monday, October 12, 2009

4-H All Star Nominations: Now is the Time to Begin Work

Senior 4-H'ers who are planning to apply for 4-H All Stars this year should begin working right now! Preliminary nominations are due to the county office by November 15th. Nominations must be typed, and forms are available online. Please e-mail kaci at vt dot edu if you want to apply this year.

Open House for Agricultural Technology Program at Virginia Tech

The Agricultural Technology program at Virginia Tech is hosting an Open House for prospective students November 7, 2009. Please visit for more information. Registration is due by October 30th; you can e-mail or call 540-231-7649.

Ramey Accepted to Virginia Intermont College

Congratulations, Ashleigh Ramey, 4-H Hoof Mates member who was recently notified of her acceptance to Virginia Intermont College in Bristol. She plans to major in both Photography and Equine Science.

Solids, Spots, and Dots Club Results from State Horse Show

Eight Orange County Solids, Spots and Dots 4-H Club members traveled to the State 4-H Horse Show. Kristen Hager was Intermediate Hunter Horse Champion, 2nd Int. Htr o/f (A), 1st Int Htr o/f (B), 5th Int Htr u/s, 3rd Int Horse Equitation. She also received the Emily Hilsher Memorial Award for accruing the most points as the senior hunter rider for the day. Melanie Gallahan placed 10th in Sr Int Htr o/f (A) and 8th Sr. Int Htr o/f (B) (class 2). Kim Portwine placed 8th in Sr. Int Htr o/f (A) and 8th in Sr. Int Htr o/f (B). Molly Lumsden was 7th in Sr Htr Showmanship, 1st-Sr (16-19) Lg Pleasure Horse (A), 1st-Sr (16-19) Lg Pleasure Horse (B), Champion Sr (16-19) Large Pleasure Horse, 8th Sr (16-19) Lg Horse Equitation on the Flat, Champion Hunter Pleasure Horse Classic.

Taylor Creel earned awards of 6th Sr Large Pleasure Pony A and 10th Sr lg pleasure pony B. Janie Cardwell placed 5th in Sr. Showmanship, 10th sr lg pony htr o/f, 8th lg pny u/s. Jaclyn Burke was Reserve Champion jr Lg Pony Htr, 2nd jr lg pny htr o/fA, 1st lg pny htr o/f B, 5th jr lg pny htr u/s, 1st jr lg pny equitation, Pony Equitation Classic Champion. Zoe Lumsden was 3rd Sm/Md Pny Htr A, 7th sm/md Pny Equitation o/f (9-12).

The members of the club, led by Marty Hartmann, 4-H volunteer, presented well in honor of their club president, Natalie Nash, who came up ill and was unable to attend. Each of the members qualified at a District Show in order to compete on the state level.

Officer Training Workshop October 31st

All newly elected club officers are reminded of the Officer Training Workshop on Saturday, October 31st, from 9:00-11:30 a.m. at Orange County High School. New this year: there will be two tracts (one for new officers and one for more experienced officers), so ALL are invited! There will also be a special session for 4-H adults! Please call the Extension Office to sign up, or you may e-mail Tina in the front office at Thanks!

MARE Center Holiday Art Contest

All young artists are encouraged to design this year's holiday card for the MARE Center in Middleburg. Visit for all the details. Of course, the artwork should be horse-related, but you do not necessarily have to belong to a 4-H horse club in order to participate. Good luck!!! I'd love to see some Orange County artwork be distributed to all of the MARE Center supporters this Christmas!

State Horse Show Silent Auction Results

The State 4-H Horse Show Silent Auction raised more than $1,659 for the show. Items contributed by Orange's Hoof Mates Club garnered bids of $130. Thanks for helping out this important event!

State Horse Show Results for Hoof Mates Club

Congratulations to Amanda Ramey, who was 2nd in Large Hunter Pleasure Horse Senior Rider, 8th in Hunter Sidesaddle, 5th in Hunt Seat Equitation on the Flat, and received a red premium in Senior Hunter Showmanship. Her sister Ashleigh was 4th in Senior Hunter Trail, 1st in Hunter Sidesaddle, 1st in 3’ Equitation Over Fences, 3rd in Hunt Seat Equitation Horse Classic, 2nd Regular Working Hunter Course A, 1st Regular Working Hunter Course B, 2nd Regular Working Hunter Under Saddle, Champion Regular Working Hunter, High Point Hunter Senior Rider, and 2nd in the Senior Technical Art Contest.

Bryan Ramey was 8th Hunt Seat Equitation on the Flat, 1st Western Pleasure Small Pony 1st Go, 1st Western Pleasure Small Pony 2nd Go, Champion Western Pleasure Small Pony, and Reserve Champion – Western Pleasure Pony Classic. Colton Peregoy was 2nd in Hunt Seat Equitation on the Flat, 4th in Hunter Pleasure Large Pony, 1st in Hunter Pleasure Large Pony, Reserve Champion Hunter Pleasure Large Pony, and
Reserve Champion Hunter Pleasure Pony Classic.

Congratulations to all Hoof Mates, who received blue Danishes in stable management, and many thanks to club leader Jody Ramey for submitting these results. Great job, everyone!

Hoof Mates Collect 34 Coats for State Show Service Project

Kudos to 4-H Hoof Mates members who collected 34 coats from our community to take to the State 4-H Horse Show in September. The show's goal was to fill a horse trailer, donated by Blue Ridge Trailer Sales, with warm coats to be distributed across the state to persons in need. And they met that goal!!! Thank you, Hoof Mates, for your participation in this wonderful event and for exemplifying the "hands to larger service" portion of 4-H.

Teen Weekend to be Held at 4-H Center

The NOVA 4-H Center is calling all teens (4-H Club members or not) for a special weekend, October 23-25. There will be workshops related to finances, savings, buying a car, etc. There is also plenty of social time planned, so you can enjoy meeting teens from other counties in our camping district. Visit for a brochure and registration form.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Save the Date: 4-H Achievement Night

Save the date: the 2009 4-H Achievement Night will be held Saturday, November 21st, at 6:00 p.m. Location is yet to be determined. Stay tuned for more details... All clubs and 4-H members, campers, etc. are invited to attend with their families. There will be a covered dish meal.

"Clovers All Over" at Southern States

All Southern States customers, and even those who are not, are encouraged to stop by Orange-Madison Co-op in the next two weeks to purchase a paper clover to benefit 4-H. This program, which coincides with National 4-H Week activities, is similar to charity fundraisers in retail establishments. For $1 each, customers can purchase a paper clover, write their name on the clover, and it will be posted in the window of each Southern States store. Proceeds benefit National 4-H Council and the local county 4-H program. Spend your dollars in Orange! Many thanks in advance!

Robinsons Win at State Fair

Congratulations to Joe and John Robinson for wins at the State Fair of Virginia. Both boys participated in the dairy goat show. John exhibited the Grand Champion LaMancha dairy goat and Joe exhibited the 4-H Grand Champion Recorded Grade Dairy Goat. Good job on representing the Orange 4-H Goat Club!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kudos to John Waller Goodwin!

Congratulations to John Waller Goodwin who competed for the first time in the State Fair Dairy Show. John won Reserve Champion Dairy Commercial Heifer with his heifer, Jade. He also received 5th place in Novice Showmanship with his heifer, Pearl. Way to go, John Waller!!

2009 State Junior Dairymen's Contest Results!!

Congratulations to the members of the Orange County 4-H Dairy Club who competed in the State Junior Dairymen's Contest on September 25th. The senior team, consisted of Molly Elgin, Coty Goodwin, Marty Harris and William VanLear, and they placed 7th in their division. Billy Cooper, John Goodwin and Tristen Goodwin made up the junior team, and they placed 9th in the junior division.

The Junior Dairymen's Contest challenges the contestant's knowledge of the dairy industry. Competitors must be able to identify dairy equipment, cattle equipment, cattle feed, and dairy products. In addition, they take a 50 question test, judge two classes of live animals and a pedigree class. It's a long day, but Orange County kids did a great job!! Congratulations again!

Monday, September 21, 2009

New! Wood Chips 4-H Club Starting!

Another exciting new 4-H club is expected to begin meeting in late fall. Wood Chips is the name and will teach youth all about woodworking, in addition to other projects that are chosen by the group. We're very pleased with the caliber of volunteers recruited and feel sure this will be a successful club. Call the Extension Office to get on the list. Details are still being determined, but meetings will likely be Friday afternoons/evenings approximately twice each month.

State Horse Show: Local Exhibitors Compete

Congratulations to members of the county's three 4-H horse clubs--Bit & Bridle, HoofMates, and Solids, Spots, and Dots--on great teamwork at the State 4-H Horse Show. While we're awaiting final results from the competition, a visit to the show on Friday proved that the groups were working well together and helping each other out. Orange's stalls were nicely decorated, and there were even non-showing members present to help out their club mates. Great job, ladies and gents! You make Orange 4-H proud.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New 4-H Teen Club Meeting During Hornet Hour

Do you attend Orange County High School? Are you looking for something a little different and exciting to do during Hornet Hour? Great, come check out the 4-H Teen Club that will meet for the first time on September 17 in the back of the library shortly after the start of Hornet Hour!! This club will be mostly student driven. Meaning, the student members will decide the direction of the club. For more info, call the Extension Office at (540) 672-1361.

New Pet Club!

With the start of the new 4-H year comes new opportunities, especially for those of you who are interested in or really enjoy pet animals. Dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits or any pet animal will be the focus of this new and exciting club. The 4-H Pet Club will start meeting on October 6 at 6:30 and will continue on the first Tuesday of each month. Meetings will be held at the leader's home. For more information please contact the Extension Office, (540) 672-1361.

Monday, August 17, 2009

4-H Horse Project Members Collecting Winter Coats for Those in Need

Even though we're sweating in the heat of summer right now, this weather won't last forever. In preparation for winter, and the Virginia State 4-H Horse Show, local 4-H horse clubs are collecting winter coats for the needy. Statewide, Virginia 4-H horse project members hope to collect enough winter coats to fill a horse trailer! To be successful, they'll need your help! Please look through your closets and consider donating any coats that you may be able to spare. Bring them to the Extension Office prior to September 14th, and we'll make sure they get transported to Lexington to the horse show. Donated coats will be distributed through the "One Warm Coat" service project.

Hoof Mates Represent Orange Well at Southern Regionals

Congratulations and thank you to Hoof Mates 4-H'ers Amanda, Ashleigh, and Bryan Ramey, so represented our county well at the Southern Region 4-H Horse Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas earlier this month. Bryan was 8th in Halter Hunter Mares and 7th in Pony Working Hunter. Oldest sister Amanda was 4th First Level Test 4 Dressage and placed 2nd in Halter Hunter Geldings. Ashleigh Ramey 1st First Level Test 4 Dressage, 10th Halter Hunter Geldings, 11th Hunter Under Saddle, 3rd Hunt Seat Equitation on the Flat, 1st Open Jumping, 11th Working Hunter Over Fences, and 4th Equitation on the Flat. In addition, she was named Reserve High Point Hunter and was ninth in the public speaking division. This is the first time in recent memory that anyone from Orange has competed in the speech division at Southern Regionals. Great job, guys!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Congratulations, JoJo Gilbert!

Congratulations to JoJo Gilbert, who won Intermediate Showmanship at the Virginia PDCA Holstein Show in Harrisonburg last week. This was his first year to compete in the event. After winning his age division, JoJo was called back and named Reserve Champion Showman overall. He also exhibited a first-place dry cow. Congratulations, and thanks for representing Orange 4-H well!

Remember to send fair thank you notes!

Please remember to send thank you notes to 4-H volunteers and supporters at the fair. If you need a list of addresses, they were e-mailed by the Extension Office last week, or you can contact us again for that list. Thanks for a great event; we're proud of you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Members Earn Awards in State Livestock Judging Competition

Congratulations to the Orange 4-H members who competed in today's State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest: Robert and Elizabeth Nixon, John Michael Knight, Blake Hopkins, and TJ Williams. The junior team placed 3rd out of 24 teams. Individual honors were bestowed upon TJ Williams (7th in sheep), Blake Hopkins (7th overall, 7th in cattle, 9th in swine), and John Michael Knight (1st in cattle, 2nd in reasons, and 4th overall). The junior team was also 4th in sheep, 2nd in cattle, and 3rd in reasons. They were coached by Sarah Joseph, Extension Intern, Ron Burleson, 4-H volunteer, and Steve Hopkins, agriculture Extension Agent.

OCF 4-H Auction Info

4-H'ers planning to participate in the 4-H Auction at the Orange County Fair may stop by the Extension Office to pick up auction brochures to distribute to buyers. You may also buy Buyers' Dinner tickets for $8 each. Tickets should be purchased for any buyers you wish to invite, as well as your family if you wish to eat in the show tent the night of the auction. The 4-H food booth will not be open Saturday night of the fair.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sunshine for the Last Day

The sun came out for our last day of camp. Everyone is in overdrive trying to finish class projects, have the most fun possible, collect contact info for their new friends over the summer, etc., etc.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rainy Day, But a Sunny Camp Experience!

Through the rain and heavy drizzle all day, camp has gone on with a smile! Our afternoon program featured instruction and practice for many of the popular line dances kids do today. Cave meetings were next, and then the usual recreation and swimming time was replaced with indoor rec and games. The summer staff did a great job of leading activities and keeping the kids busy and upbeat.

We had a quick hospital run for one camper just before dinner, but that situation turned out okay, thank goodness! The camper was back in plenty of time to enjoy the dance, which was the ultimate goal. :) Between rec and dinner, we allowed extra time in the dorms for some rest and relaxation. Who are we kidding? That time was not used for sleep, but rather extra showers, time for curling hair, plenty of Axe cologne in the boys' lodges, and lots of preparation trying on special outfits for the dance! This is literally the highlight of the week for some campers, but it's a treat for the adults to observe as well. The campers are so cute preparing for the big event! One camper dressed up in a suit!

The dance is going on now, and the room is full!!! The kids seem to be having a great time with lots of fast songs, and are making a lot of good memories for the last night of camp. Unfortunately, our last campfire will be indoors as well, but we plan to end with a special ceremony to commemorate the 2009 camp. Yesterday it seemed the week would never end, but today it seems to have all gone by so quickly.

Thanks for keeping up with our camp activities. Stay tuned for more updates. Remember, Orange campers return to Orange Elementary at 6:30 p.m. Thursday; Madison campers return to Madison High School/Wetsel Middle School at 6:00 p.m.

If it's raining and you know it...

...clap your hands! Wait--that would be much too loud. Sure enough, the rains set in at the Center today, but we're carrying on with camp activities as best we can. GPS/Techno Treasure Hunt moved inside and students are making topographical maps of the camp using Play-Dough. Chorus/Singing students are jamming, with many strong voices and lots of clapping and movement. We tried fishing in first period, but it was too rainy for the campers' liking, so they're conducting class at Fairfax Shelter. Canoeing and swimming classes were cancelled because there must be at least ten degrees difference between water and air temperature in order to get in. So...they are conducting team-building games indoors.

The 4-H elves showed up for Woodworking sometime last night and finished projects that were lagging behind in order that campers may paint/varnish/decorate tool boxes today. Multimedia students are busy preparing photos for the much-anticipated slide show during tomorrow's closing ceremony, and the CIT's (counselors in training) are decorating for the dance tonight.

We're looking forward to taco salads for lunch!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The rains held off ... for awhile!

The light sprinkles at lunch turned out to be nothing; in fact, some classes didn't even feel the rain. After chicken nuggets for lunch, the afternoon program featured a "4-H Camp Live" show by the summer staff. This was a spin-off of the famous Saturday Night Live show and featured much camper involvement and interviews. We were able to enjoy swim and recreation time, though the weather was much cooler and more windy as the front came through. Dinner was spaghetti (not a camper favorite), but the orange sherbet dessert seemed to end things on a good note.

Our evening program was a game show night, featuring 4-H versions of Deal or No Deal, Money versus the Mob, and Fear Factor. Deal or No Deal contestants competed for bear claws, which are the 4-H camp equivalent of points. Bear claws are earned by packs for good deeds, winning competitions, and good behavior or performance. In Money vs. the Mob, campers answered trivia questions related to Orange, Madison, 4-H in general, and 4-H Camp. Parents: you should be proud of your little campers! Fear Factor was the grand finale, and boy, was it hilarious!!! Campers who signed up for the event drank carrot juice out of a baby bottle, went ice fishing with their toes, and then experienced several eating challenges. Wasabi peas, black forest worms, peppers, brussels sprouts, and chocolate covered grasshoppers made their way onto the tables. Don't worry: ALL participation was voluntary and the audience seemed to have as much fun, if not more, as the participants!!! :-) (Some of you can probably guess if your camper participated or not.)

Just as we were ready to move into campfire, the rains came! So we had snack under cover and then an indoor "campfire" in the Conference Center. Same traditions, different methods! Great Bear Erika Elford provided good leadership. The Outdoor Living Skills class moved their traditional overnight sleepover indoors, but they have tents and sleeping bags just the same. It appears the rain will still be here tomorrow, so we'll make more modifications on the schedule. Nighttime checks are almost complete. Stay tuned for more camp experiences tomorrow!

A Few Photos from Camp...

Wacky Science Class: Solar Ovens

Practicing Teamwork and Communications Skills in Low Ropes Class

Carnival Game: Animal Races

Lunch time!!!

We made it through the morning successfully! Light sprinkles seem to be setting in now, but we're trying to look on the bright side. Campers cooped up inside at camp is NOT a good thing, as we're sure you parents understand. If it's just rain, we'll swim anyway!

Morning class activities included: Fun with Foods made omelets and chose their own toppings. It was funny how cheese was the most popular filling, and onions and green peppers were the least favorites! :-) LEGO Robotics programmed their robots to complete a challenge course. The campers' use of the computers and programming was amazing. Riflery and archery reiterated safety, and then practiced their marksmanship, with several campers hitting the bulls-eye. The fish were biting in fishing class, and outdoor cooking got a good fire going to toast their S'mores. Leathercraft individuals were pounding away (literally), but made some beautiful stamped designs that they will bring home to you. The hip hop class' dance moves are starting to come together--watching teens coreograph routines for youngsters is fun to watch!

Lunch time now--the campers are lined up singing camp songs while waiting to head into the dining hall. Keep those e-mails coming; we've received, printed, and distributed more than 100 so far.

Good Morning Campers!

It is another beautiful day at the NOVA 4-H Center. Sunny and 70. After a yummy breakfast of sausage biscuits, fried apples and cereal campers have headed off the their classes! Hopefully some fish are caught, some goals made and some strokes learned.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 2 - Another Great DaY!!

We had another awesome day at camp. The weather was great and so were the campers. This afternoon we enjoyed the pool and recreation. The evening was spent at the Carnival. Campers had the opportunity to visit various booths including: facepainting, penny pitch, toilet paper toss and more. A great time was had by all. We celebrated the end of the day with the nightly campfire. Looking forward to another great day tommorow.

Morning Classes Were Fun!

The first night went well. There were a few cases of homesickness, but the counselors and adult volunteers handled them well. Breakfast this morning was french toast sticks, oranges, cereal, and bacon. Campers attended three classes, and we're now getting ready for lunch. In the fishing class, campers practiced casting on dry land before hitting the water. Canoeing students learned a few safety tips, donned life jackets, and went for some smooth rides on Lake Culpeper. Campers made homemade goop and sidewalk chalk in the arts and crafts class, and Woodworking youth sanded the pieces for their take-home tool boxes. Stay tuned for more updates!

At campfire last night, campers were introduced to a special "guest" at camp this year. We have a 'ReeseStrong' paper doll from a six year old girl in Richmond who is undergoing chemotherapy treatments all summer. Since Reese cannot be outside much, and cannot travel, her family created the ReeseStrong paper dolls to travel for her. We have a doll here at camp and are documenting our 4-H camp experience through photos, which will be shared via e-mail.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

4-H Camp Day 1: Success!

Day 1 was great for Orange-Madison 4-H Junior Camp. The weather has been beautiful, and the campers and teens are terrific! We arrived at the Center without many incidents, although we did have motion sickness and a nose bleed on two different buses. Don't worry, parents: both campers are okay! We checked into our dorms, went to the pool, and had chicken patties for dinner. Our evening program tonight was a 4-H version of The Amazing Race, a series of clues and hikes to familiarize campers with the 4-H Center. We had a great campfire led by Great Bear Erika Elford, and we're now getting ready to head to bed. Thanks for your interest, and keep checking back here for updates on our camp experience!

Friday, June 12, 2009

SSD Member Jasmine Montes Earns Awards at National Event

Congratulations to Solids, Spots, and Dots, 4-H member Jasmine Montes, who recently competed in The Egyptian Event in Lexington, KY. Jasmine was selected by a panel of international judges to receive the El Gohara award, which is for the horse/rider combo with the "most beautiful expression and closest bond between the rider's heart and the soul of the performance horse". Jasmine exhibited her horse Imiir, and they also took first place in Western Pleasure, Amateur and Junior Rider.

Farm Safety Day Message Presented to More than 200

Even under stormy conditions, Wednesday's Farm Safety Day was a success! The nice facilities at McConnell Angus in Somerset allowed the event to continue safely, even as the weather raged outside. More than 215 participants attended the event, which featured four farm safety stations: Human Health and Safety, Machinery and Pinch Points, Livestock Handling, and Chainsaws, Weedeaters, and Mowers. The beginnings of a rollover demonstration started, and the Orange Firec Company was on hand to assist, but the storms prevented this portion of the event. Guest speaker Arthur Mitchell shared his harrowing tale of being caught in a corn picker many years ago, and the challenges, surgeries, and therapy sessions that have ensued, not to mention the expenses. Mitchell showed attendees both prostethic legs and encouraged participants to slow down on the farm, and take time to be safe.
The event was planned by a committee of Extension professionals, 4-H volunteers, and local and state Farm Bureau directors and professionals. Sponsors included Ridgeview New Holland, Central Virginia Cattleman Association, Orange Farm Bureau, Farm Credit of the Virginias, and Orange-Madison Coop.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

4-H Member Donates Hair to Locks of Love

4-H Dairy Cloverbud Club member Autumn Rogers recently cut 11 inches of her hair and donated them to the Locks of Love program, which provides wigs for cancer patients. Autumn will be attending 4-H Camp this summer and was concerned about her ability to take care of her hair without her mom there. Her much shorter hairstyle is cute and fun, and she donated to a very worth cause. Thank you, Autumn, for exemplifying the "hands to larger service" portion of the 4-H pledge!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Orange 4-H'ers Invited to Enter Breeding Animals and Horses in Madison County Fair

Madison County Fair has extended an invitation to Orange 4-H'ers with livestock and dairy breeding animals as well as horse exhibitors for their horse show on Saturday of their fair. Fair dates are July 14-18, 2009. Entries are due to the Madison Extension Office by June 26th. Contact the Madison or Orange office for entry forms.

Orange County Fair Entry Forms Now Available

Entry forms and class listings for livestock, dairy, and goat entries are now posted on the new Orange County Fair website. Visit, selected '4-H' from the grey sidebar at left, and then open the desired pdf files. These forms are due to the Extension Office by Friday, June 12th (next week)!!! Late entries will incur a fee, and entries will not be accepted that are more than one week late. PLEASE make sure you get your entries recorded and submitted! Thanks!

OC 4-H'ers Win Multiple Awards in District Shows

Congratulations to Orange 4-H Hoofmates Club members who won awards at 4-H District Horse Shows recently. Sydney Davis placed third in large pony over fences and fourth in pony equitation over fences at the Dorey Park Show near Richmond. Bryan, Ashleigh, and Amanda Ramey competed in the Northern District's Rose Mount Show. Bryan was the High Point Junior Gymkhana winner (barrel racing, pole bending, and keyhole) and received third in barrels and fifth in keyhole. He was also Junior Hunter Pleasure Horse Champion and Reserve High Point Junior Hunter Pleasure winner.

Ashleigh Ramey won the High Point Senior Hunter award after winning two regular hunter classes and fourth in both Senior Equitation Over Fences and Senior Trail. Amanda Ramey won the Senior Hunter Showmanship division out of 30 entries and was the Senior Hunt High Points winner. She was second in Senior Hunter Pleasure Horse and fourth in Senior Hunter Pleasure Equitation.

Congratulations to the HoofMates members, and stay tuned for results from other clubs!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Special Riding Camp 2009

Special Riding Camp is a long time tradition in Orange County. Over 50 volunteers come together to provide therapeutic horseback riding and the camp experience to children with disabilities. Camp is from 9:00 a.m. to noon everyday during the week of July 13-17. There are a variety of tasks for volunteers including, but not limited to: side-walking, crafts, recreation and barn duty. If you might be interested in volunteering some of your time to this great community event or if you know a child between the ages of 9 to 19 with a disability who may enjoy this opportunity, please contact Ashley Elgin at the Orange County Extension Office, 672-1361.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

OC 4-H Now on Facebook

Orange 4-H is now on Facebook! If you have an account, look us up and become a fan. Keep in touch with the latest 4-H happenings, and stay connected with 4-H friends in your club, in other clubs, or who participate in camp and school events. Adults are invited, too, not just teens!

Log in to your FB account, and search Orange County 4-H. Be sure to find the Virginia one, not California or Florida! :-)

OES Kindergarteners Tour Local Dairy

4-H and the Roberts family of Fairfield Dairy at Somerset hosted a Kindergarten Dairy Day for students at Orange Elementary today. Approximately 100 youth traveled to four stations where they learned about dairy nutrition and practiced feeding baby calves. They toured the milking parlor and were able to pet cows in the stanchion barn. Wesley and Bill Roberts took the youth on a hayride through the pasture, and students finished up with a dairy foods station where they created milk mustaches and had their photo taken. The group enjoyed beautiful spring weather and finished the trip with lunch on the lawn and ice cream provided by the Roberts family.

Extension Office Welcomes New Intern

Please welcome Sarah Joseph, new Extension Intern for the summer. Sarah is a senior at Virginia Tech (graduating in December) and hails from Rockingham County. She participated on the 2008 VT Livestock Judging Team and plans to pursue a graduate degree in ruminant nutrition. Sarah is friendly, enthusiastic, and a real go-getter! She's already completed some of the tasks assigned. We're happy to have her in the Orange office for the summer. Please stop by to meet her if you're in town one day. 4-H families will also have the chance to meet Sarah throughout the summer. While many of her responsibilities will be Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) with Steve Hopkins, she will assist with Stockman's Camp, the county fair, and helping to coach the livestock judging team.

Anglers Host Final State Tournament

The OCHS 4-H Jr. B.A.S.S. Anglers Club will host the final Junior State Qualifying Tournament at Lake Anna on June 7th. Thanks to the group for a great event and atmosphere for the participating teams!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ramey to be Inducted into Virginia 4-H All Stars

State leaders recently announced that Amanda Ramey of Orange's 4-H Hoofmates Club will be inducted into the Virginia chapter of 4-H All Stars in June. Becoming an All Star is the highest honor a Virginia 4-H'er can receive. Ramey has been active in 4-H in a number of project areas, including dogs, sheep, and horses. She has competed in district and state level horse events and plans to represent Orange and Virginia in the Southern Regionals Horse Show this summer in Arkansas. Amanda is a freshman at Hollins University and is the daughter of Jody Ramey of Culpeper. Congratulations! Amanda will participate in the tapping ceremony at Virginia Tech in June during State 4-H Congress.

Host Families Needed for Exchange Students

Host families are needed for 4-H IFYE Exchange students this summer and fall. Hosting periods are for as little as one week or as many as six weeks--you decide!!! IFYE's are young adults ages 19-26 and hail from countries in Europe. There is no cost to the host family, other than providing room and board. IFYE's bring their own spending money. They live with your family and complete chores and activities alongside your family; host families do NOT need to provide special or extravagant activities for the exchanges.

I have hosted two IFYE's--one from Switzerland and one from Germany--and both were very positive experiences. Please consider opening your home to these young people. You will learn a lot about other countries and cultures and make friends that will last a lifetime. Contact the Extension Office for more details about the delegates coming to Virginia this year!!!

Livestock Club Partners with Industry Professionals and VT Vet School

Members of the 4-H Livestock Club hosted guest presenters Doug Harris and David Lee of Select Sires for a club program and workshop focusing on cattle reproduction. The youth learned about reproductive cycles and hormones, and then participated in a hands-on workshop in which they donned plastic gloves and examined the parts of a reproductive tract. Youth learned about semen handling and then were able to practice passing an AI rod through the tracts. The group was assisted by a Virginia Tech Vet School instructor and senior student. Many thanks to 4-H volunteers Roger Scott, Holdan Swope, Bert Martin, and Brad Douthit for assisting with the hands-on part of the workshop.

Goat Club Plants Trees for Earth Day 2009

Members of the 4-H Goat Club completed a tree-planting community service project recently in honor of Earth Day. Service Committee Chairman Zachary Williby organized this project on the grounds of Lightfoot Elementary School. Zachary communicated with the school's principal, and placed the order for white oak, red oak, and kousa dogwood seedlings provided to 4-H'ers free of charge by the Virginia Department of Forestry. On Saturday, April 25, Goat Club members met at the school with local forester Erik Filep, and planted seedlings. This project coincided with Earth Day (Week) festivities. The club is to be commended for this great project!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Anglers Host Mothers' Day Tournament

The OCHS 4-H Jr. B.A.S.S. Anglers will host a special Mothers' Day fishing tournament at Lake Orange on Sunday. The event is held in memory of Shirley Cox (grandmother of Angler Ryan Cox) who passed away this year. The tournament will be held from 4:00-6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a picnic until dark. Please RSVP to Becky Gore ( if you plan to attend.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Boater Safety Class Offered

The OCHS 4-H Anglers Club is offering a Boater Safety Class on May 24th at the high school from 12:00 Noon to 4:00 p.m. This class will be required by the year 2011 for anyone under age 21. Why not participate now and learn how to be safe on the water? Please contact club leader Becky Gore at for more information. The class has no set fee, though a donation to the OCHS 4-H Anglers Club is suggested.

Art Contest Open to All 4-H'ers

All 4-H'ers are encouraged to submit entries for this year's June is Dairy Month poster contest. The theme is "Fuel up with milk", and contest divisions are open to juniors, intermediates, and seniors. Cloverbuds are encouraged to create posters, but theirs will not be judged (per cloverbud policy). Posters must be original artwork (no computer graphics) and on posterboard that is exactly 14" x 22". Other sizes are ineligible. Entries are due to the Orange Extension Office by June 1st. Please visit for more info.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lamb, Pig, and Goat Workshop and Sale

Shenandoah County is holding a lamb, pig, and goat workshop and sale this Saturday, April 25th. There will be a nutritionist speaking from 10:00-11:00 a.m., so even those not in the market for an animal may benefit. Check out for more info.

Hoof Mates Fundraise for State Show

Members of the 4-H Hoof Mates Club are selling raffle tickets for a set of jump standards and a blue/white picket fence. The value of these jumps is $400, and they were donated by Classic Jumps, LLC. Tickets are $5 for one or $20 for five. Proceeds will help send Hoof Mates members to the state 4-H horse show. Call 540-270-1748 for more information or e-mail .

4-H Host Families Needed for International Delegates

There are a number of inbound delegates headed to the U.S.A. this summer for various 4-H exchange programs. Please consider opening your home to these young people (and a few adults). They live the life that you do--there does not have to be a lot of extra activities nor extra costs. I have hosted two IFYE's (from Germany and Switzerland) and the experience has been great!

Please email me for a complete listing of the available delegates. Here are a few more details:
  • Delegates from Finland arrive July 12 and stay for one month.
  • Greek and Austrian delegates each need two host families for three weeks each.
  • A third group of young ladies will arrive September 19th and visit for three months, so they need several homes around the state for 2-4 weeks each.

This year's delegation looks to be very exciting. Several come from farm families, some want to ride horses or go fishing or visit a city, and others have already hosted international delegates in their own homes. Wouldn't it be neat to host this year and then have your children travel abroad in future years?

The possibilities are endless! Please consider hosting a 4-H exchange delegate! Contact for more info.

Fair President Resigns for Health Reasons

Dedicated Orange County Fair President Keith O'Connor resigned recently due to health problelms. Keith has undergone heart surgery and will be unable to put in the time it takes to manage the fair; he needs to concentrate on his own health and well-being. Please remember Keith and his wife Darleen during this recovery period. Cards and letters may be sent to 14271 Willis Court, Orange, 22960. We wish Keith a speedy recovery and thank him for all that he has done for the fair and 4-H! Hopefully he will be back in the swing of things soon.

In the mean time, Maxine Henry has stepped up as President of the fair, and Sarah Lohman Altman will be Vice-President. Former President Scott Johnson has returned to help with the fair's Building and Grounds Committee--an important job in this year of changes and growth for the fair. We ALL (parents, 4-H'ers, staff) need to do what we can to help make the fair the best it can be this year, so please inventory your skills and schedule and offer up what you can. The fair theme is so true: "We've got a good thing growing..."

Stockman's Youth Place in Beef Expo Contest

Three Orange 4-H'ers--Robert Nixon, Blake Hopkins, and Garrett Hopkins--took second place honors in the Stockman's Contest at the Beef Expo this weekend. Nixon was second high individual and Blake Hopkins was ninth overall. The gentlemen took a quiz and identified feeds, breeds, and equipment, without live animal judging classes. Congratulations!

Solids, Spots, and Dots Club Hosts Large Regional Clinic

Members of the Solids, Spots, and Dots 4-H Club in Rhoadesville have been busy with horse activities, including their weekend hosting of a state show qualifying clinic. The club successfully recruited 33 youth from nine different counties to participate in this event. Members were fortunate to experience beautiful weather for the event at Amber Hill Farm. Participants gained experience under the watchful eye of USEF judge Dede Bache Shumate and were able to learn from her instruction and experience. 4-H horse youth are qualifying and preparing now for the state show to be held in Lexington in September.

District Contests Results

4-H District Contests for Presentations and Share-the-Fun Talent Shows were held Saturday in Ruckersville and Bealeton. In the Ruckersville contests, sisters Grace and Haley Wilbanks both earned blue ribbons and a top score of 100 (perfect!) for their presentations entitled "Bloat in Cattle" and "Scours Control", respectively. Brothers Andrew and Matthew Miller were blue ribbon winners in their contests, too. Andrew presented "How to Dock a Lamb's Tail" and Matthew delivered "How to Make a Hamburger". Judges commented that all four of these contestants definitely "did their homework" and had a great deal of detailed, scientific information.

Congratulations are in order to 4-H in-school participants, including Unique Stinnie, who earned a blue ribbon in vocal, and Deonte Lucas, who earned a red ribbon in presentations. Stay tuned for more results from the Bealeton contest!

Cattle Working Team Wins State Title!!!

Way to go, Caleb Wilson, Devon McGinnis, and Kyle McGinnis!!! These three boys won the state cattle working competition held in Harrisonburg at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds on Saturday. They earned embroidered jackets as a result of their skills and hard work. Orange had two teams qualify for the state competition last week. The second team of Elizabeth Nixon, Garret Chambers, and Johnny Chewning placed tenth in the state event. Congratulations to all--we are proud of you! Both teams were coached by Steve Hopkins, ANR Extension Agent.

Livestock Club Holds Community Service Day

Eight 4-H Livestock Club members completed a community service project on Sunday, April 19th. Bobby and Garret Chambers, Blaine and Christian Hillegass, Devon and Kyle McGinnis, Caleb Wilson, and TJ Williams participated and were very hard workers. They removed old fencing on the Hillegass farm to make way for a hay field. They also helped spread mulch around the house. The Hillegass family experienced a great loss when their husband and father, Brian, passed away earlier this year. Many thanks to the Livestock Club members who stepped up to the plate and offered a helping hand! You guys did a great job!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hoof Mates Members Fare Well at State Event

Congratulations to three 4-H Hoof Mates members who competed in the State 4-H Horse Events Weekend in March. Ashleigh Ramey won the public speaking contest and is now eligible to compete in Southern Regionals and Eastern Nationals public speaking contests. Amanda Ramey was 4th high senior for individual presentation, and Bryan Ramey placed 9th in junior presentations.

Ashleigh competed in the state Hippology contest, where she placed 6th overall, 6th in written exam, and 8th in stations (all in the senior division). Ashleigh's Orange-Fluvanna team placed 4th overall, 5th in senior team exam, 6th in senior team stations, and 5th in senior team problem. Congratulations, Rameys!!!

Orange Captures District Cattle Working Titles

Congratulations to six Orange 4-H'ers and their coach, Steve Hopkins, for outstanding performances at yesterday's District Cattle Working contest. The B team, consisting of Garret Chambers, Elizabeth Nixon, and Johnny Chewning placed first with a score of 95 and a time that was 12 seconds faster than the second place team. Second place honors in the contest also went to Orange--the A team featured Devon McGinnis, Kyle McGinnis, and Caleb Wilson. The A team also had a score of 95, so the very close contest came down to time. Both teams will represent this region in the state contest on Saturday at the Beef Expo. Congratulations and good luck!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

4-H Camp Paperwork and Fees Due April 24th

4-H Camp paper work has been mailed; thanks to those who have already returned their completed forms. If you have not, please make this a priority! Remember that all forms are due by April 24th (next Friday). Final camp balances are also due, or there will be a $20 late fee assessed. Thanks for your cooperation!

Koontz places well in Glenwood Livestock Show

Congratulations to Jake Koontz for a strong performance at the Glenwood Livestock Show this past weekend. He was 2nd out of eight in the purebred Angus steer class and 5th out of 13 in showmanship. Other families are encouraged to send in their results for posting here as well!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hillegass Commended for Outstanding Community Service Work

We received nice compliments about the helpfulness of 4-H Livestock Club member Blaine Hillegass this past weekend. Blaine and his grandfather helped unload and sort six carloads of food being donated to Love Outreach Food Pantry by Girl Scouts and Brownies in Northern Virginia. The donation came at a time when the pantry's shelves were rather empty, and the food bank volunteers asked for 4-H to help. Blaine responded and did a great job. Thank you, Blaine, for helping to fill a need in our community!

Teen Reality Weekend at 4-H Center

Do you know the details surrounding buying a car? Could you write a resume and get a job? Teens wanting to learn more about 'the real world' and topics such as these should make plans to attend the first Teen Reality Weekend at the Northern Virginia 4-H Center, May 15-17. A complete brochure and registration form can be downloaded from: . This sounds like a fun and informative program!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Orange Youth Win Many Awards at Northern District Livestock Judging Contest

Congratulations to the numerous Orange youth who won awards at the Shadow of the Blue Ridge Livestock Judging Contest held in Culpeper in late February.

In the Junior division, the team consisting of Robert Nixon, John Michael Knight, and Blake Hopkins placed 2nd in cattle, 2nd in swine, 1st in sheep, 2nd in reasons, and 2nd in questions. The boys placed 1st overall in the contest! Team B, consisting of Haley and Grace Wilbanks, placed 4th in cattle, swine, sheep, reasons, and questions, leading to a fourth place finish overall! Great job for these two new team members.

Individually, John Michael Knight placed 3rd in cattle, 2nd in swine, 2nd in sheep, 1st in oral reasons, 2nd in questions, and was 1st overall in the junior contest. Blake Hopkins placed 1st in sheep, 5th in reasons, and 5th in questions. Haley Wilbanks was 3rd in swine, 3rd in sheep, and 4th overall. Robert Nixon placed 4th in cattle.

The Senior team, consisting of Elizabeth Nixon, Devon McGinnis, Kyle McGinnis, and Caleb Wilson, placed 1st in swine, sheep, questions, and 1st overall, as well as 2nd in cattle and oral reasons. Individually, Kyle McGinnis was 1st overall, 1st in cattle and swine, 3rd in sheep, 4th in reasons, and 2nd in questions. Devon McGinnis was 4th overall, 3rd in swine, and 5th in questions. Caleb Wilson placed 2nd in reasons and Elizabeth Nixon was 5th in sheep.

Congratulations to these 4-H members! Their next contest is in Blacksburg March 27-28, 2009, and is a state-level contest.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mid-Atlantic Carcass Contest Weigh-ins in April

Youth and adults interested in beef cattle carcass contests should consider the Mid-Atlantic Evaluation Contest. Cattle in this area will be weighed in on April 15 at the Culpeper Agricultural Enterprise. There is no entry fee for youth, and you may weigh in a maximum of three steers (two will compete). The champion will receive $1200; reserve champion receives $1000.

Essentially you weigh in your cattle in April, and then they will be harvested November 5, 2009. Cattle are taken to Winchester on that date, and there is an evaluation contest. Awards will be presented once all carcass data is received and processed. There is a detailed brochure available at the Extension Office, or you can visit Maryland's Beef Page.

Congress Information Posted Online

All 4-H Congress materials can be viewed online. This will be the easiest way to get a packet. If you prefer e-mail, we can do that, too. Please contact the office.

Volunteer Tracey Woolfrey Attends State Leaders' Conference

4-H Volunteer Tracey Woolfrey, leader of a LEGO Robotics group in Orange, attended the Virginia Association of Adult 4-H Volunteer Leaders Spring Conference in Fredericskburg on Saturday. Tracey was a first-time attendee, and participated in sessions related to club meetings, club management, and new ideas for programming. The next VAA4-HVL conference will be in the fall of 2009 in the Lynchburg area.

Teens Needed for VCFC

Teens: Don't forget about the annual VCFC Youth Leadership Conference, April 3-5, 2009, at Graves Mountain Lodge. VCFC is the Virginia Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and they host a special weekend to teach you about the 'cooperative' method of business. All of our past participants have reported learning a lot, having fun, and meeting new folks from across Virginia. Participation is free due to scholarships provided by local co-op's. Please consider attending; I think you'll be glad you did. Participants should be ages 16-19 as of July. Call the office for more details.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Orange Dairy Quizbowl Teams Win District Contest

Congratulations to both the Senior and Junior Dairy Quizbowl teams for their awesome performance at the Northern District Contest! Both teams won their divisions at the District Contest on Friday, February 27. The contest was actually hosted by the Orange County Dairy Club and held at the Orange-Madison Coop. Multiple teams from Fauquier, Goochland, and Orange competed. Now, both teams will participate in the State Contest which will be held on March 21st at Riverheads Elementary School in Augusta County. Senior team members include: Marty Harris, William Van Lear, Joseph Gilbert, and TJ Williams. Junior team members include: Becca Van Lear, Megan Harris, Tristen Goodwin, John Waller Goodwin, and Billy Cooper. If you see any of these team members, please congratulate them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

4-H Congress Information Has Been Released

4-H Congress information has now been released!!! Contact the Extension Office today for a delegate packet. State 4-H Congress is the premier teen event for Virginia 4-H. Delegates must be at least 14 by 9/30/09. Congress delegates stay in the dormitories at Virginia Tech, and enjoy a number of educational and social events. Nationally-known guest speakers present at Congress, state competitions are held during Congress, and delegates have the opportunity to take workshops from a variety of experts in a number of categories. There are two dances during the week, a midnight pizza party, and district Olympics. In addition, State 4-H Cabinet positions are elected during Congress. This is a WONDERFUL event for TEENS ONLY. I hope you will consider going. (As a 4-H'er myself, I met people and made lifetime friends at Congress that I continued to keep in touch with in college and beyond.) Go, go, go!!!

Holiday Lake Forestry Camp

Holiday Lake Forestry Camp will be held June 15-20, 2009, at Holiday Lake 4-H Education Center within the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest. Students ages 13-16 are eligible for this camp, which is coordinated by the Virginia Department of Forestry. Topics include: sustainable forest management practices, timber harvesting and reforestation, tree measurements and environmental protection. For more information visit: . Please contact the Extension Office for an application. Camp sponsors pay $200; each camper pays $60.

High School Youth Conservation Camp at Virginia Tech

The annual Youth Conservation Camp will be held July 12-18, 2009, at Virginia Tech. Students in grades 9-12 are eligible for this camp, which is coordinated by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Topics include: lake ecology, fisheries management, forestry and wildlife issues, turfgrass management, land use planning, soils, agricultural best management practices, geology, shoreline erosion and stream morphology. If you have any questions or would like an application, please call the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District at (540)825-8591. Applications must be completed and submitted to the CSWCD by April 17th. Please contact or call the Extension Office for an application. For this camp, the District pays $425 and each camper pays only $25! What an awesome opportunity!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Orange 4-H Goes Climbing

Are you between the ages of 12 and 16? Are you feeling a little adventurous? Join us on April 15 as we travel to the Northern Virginia 4-H Center in Front Royal to tackle the Challenge Course!! The course consists of a low and high ropes course, ground initiatives, and other fun physical challenges. The entire course will be taught and monitored by certified instructors. The cost is $16.50 per person. The van will leave from the Extension Office at 7:45am on April 15th, and will return around 4:30pm. If you are interested please call the Extension Office quickly because there are limited seats, 540/672-1361.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Teen Outdoor Adventure Weekend to be Held

All 4-H teens are invited to participate in an Outdoor Adventure Weekend April 24-26, 2009. Teens will have fun learning leadership and participating in adventures such as rock climbing, caving, hiking, mountain boarding and GPS while camping in the Jefferson National Forest near Blacksburg. The group will camp in tents, but all gear is provided. Highly trained adults will lead this adventure. Participants will cook together, camp together, and sit around a real campfire nightly. Get to know teens from all across Virginia in this exciting new program. Cost is only $40 per participant, and some scholarship money is available. Registrations are due April 3rd. Contact the Extension Office for a brochure.

Host Families Needed for Japanese 4-H Youth

Here's a great way to travel internationally without ever leaving home: Host a Japanese 4-H member in your home this summer! Japanese youth ages 12-18 will visit the U.S. from the third week of July through the third week of August, and they need families to show them what life in the States is like! You do not have to do anything special; inbound delegates will live your daily life, eat your food, and participate in the activities that your family enjoys. Families do need to have a child the same gender and approximate age of the Japanese youth, but that's about the only requirement. If you are interested in opening your home to another culture and a great learning experience, please contact the Extension Office right away!

Virginia Tech Collegiate Host Weekend for High School Age 4-H'ers

Virginia Tech's Collegiate 4-H Club will hold their annual 4-H Host Weekend April 2-4, 2009. This event allows 4-H'ers who are high school students to visit the university, attend classes, and participate in get-to-know-you activities with 4-H Collegiate Club members. Collegiate Club members will provide housing and serve as hosts for all activities. This is a safe, fun way to learn about Virginia Tech and the college experience. Cost for the weekend is $70 and registrations are due March 16th. Contact the Extension Office if you wish to participate.

Weekend Fishing Camp at Holiday Lake

Youth from this area are invited to attend a weekend Fishing Camp, May 8-10, 2009, at Holiday Lake 4-H Center in Appomattox. The program starts with dinner on Friday evening, includes various workshops and fishing 'how-to's', as well as conservation and aquatic education, and concludes just before lunch on Sunday. It's Mother's Day weekend, so families are invited and encouraged to join the camp for breakfast Sunday morning. Contact the Extension Office for a copy of the brochure, or call Tamara Arrington at 434-248-5444 for more information.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

4-H Camp Registrations Now Being Accepted

The long-awaited 4-H Junior Camp brochures are now available and registrations are being accepted for the June 14-18, 2009, camp. We registered 18 campers in the first 24 hours, so don't delay in sending in your registration form and $50 deposit. Visit our Orange 4-H webpage to download a brochure . (The brochure is legal size, but there's a letter size registration form that you can easily print at home.) Send those applications in soon! Call the Extension Office if you have questions.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hoof Mates Win Awards at District Hippology Contest

Congratulations to 4-H Hoof Mates Club members who won awards at the District Hippology Contest in Warrenton, Saturday, February 7, 2009. Senior member Ashleigh Ramey placed fourth overall, third in stations tests, and fourth in horse judging. Her teammates were Colton Peregoy and Sydney Davis. The junior team consisting of Haley Wilbanks, Grace Wilbanks, and Abigail Turner placed fifth overall in team presentation. There were 18 junior teams and 14 senior teams in the competition. This was Orange's first year to compete in a number of years, so we are very proud of the group's accomplishments. Way to go, Hoof Mates!!! (The club's next meeting is Wednesday night, 2/11/09, for any new members interested in joining.)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Blake Hopkins Places Second in State Swine Activity

Congratulations to 4-H Livestock Club member Blake Hopkins who earned second place honors at the Youth Swine Event at Virginia Tech yesterday. He judged live classes of hogs and identified cuts of pork as well as swine breeds in the competition, which was preceded by an educational workshop for all things swine. Hopkins was joined by fellow Orange 4-H members John Michael Knight and TJ Williams; all of the boys are on the Orange 4-H Stockman's Team. Congratulations, Blake! We are proud of you!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Important Information for the 2009 Orange County Fair – 4-H Components

There are a number of big changes in store for the Orange County Fair this year, but we have changed some 4-H activities as well. Please see below for the latest updates:

Fair Dates: July 23-26, 2009
Location: Across Rt. 20 from Montpelier Estate; same location as Fall Fiber Festival
*Map of Grounds and Directions for Trailers, 4-H parking, etc. to come
Schedule of 4-H Events: (*note several big changes for this year!)
Thursday, July 23, 2009
10:00 Deadline for Beef, Sheep, and Goats to be on Grounds
Weigh-in and Ultrasound of Beef, Sheep, Goats (weigh only)
11:30 Educational Clinic on Ultrasounding Process
5:00 Sheep Show
Friday, July 24, 2009
10:00 Weigh-in and Ultrasound of Market Hogs
12:30 Goat Show
5:30 Beef Show
Saturday, July 25, 2009
9:00 Hog Show
1:00 Dairy Show
5:45 Buyers Dinner (*pre-paid ticket only)
6:30 4-H Auction
Sunday, July 26, 2009
9:00 4-H Bottle Babies
11:00 Pretty Animal Contest
12:00 Livestock Obstacle Contest
4:00 Fair Closes; ALL 4-H’ers and parents contribute to clean-up

Fair Theme: “We’ve Got a Good Thing Growing”
Fair Website:

4-H Animal Entries Due: Friday, June 12, 2009 to Extension Office
*forms distributed at 4-H club meetings and on fair website

Friday, January 23, 2009

Camp Counselor Applications Posted Online

Any teens ages 14+ as of 1/1/09 are encouraged to apply to be 4-H Camp Counselors. Applications are posted at, in the sidebar. Camp is a fun experience, it's great for leadership skill-building, looks good on college applications, and is another point in a different area on the 4-H All Star application. Hurry--they're due by next Friday, January 30th!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beekeeping Essay Contest Open to 4-H Members

Do you like to write? Do you want to earn some money? If so, consider submitting an essay about "The Dance Language of Bees," the topic of this year's contest. Entries are due February 6th, and prizes are $100, $50, and $25 for first, second, and third places, respectively. Essays should be 750-1000 words with only factual information and references for research information used in your document. Contact the Extension Office for a complete entry packet and list of guidelines. Good luck!

Teams Gearing up for Spring Contests!

Spring will be here before we know it, and several 4-H teams are practicing regularly now. Several youth are forming hippology teams, which is a contest that tests knowledge of all things horses. Nutrition, gaits, management, genetics, feeds, tack, and more are covered. Contact a horse club leader if you want to be on a team. The Stockman's Team has begun practicing and has several judging trips and clinics planned. Dairy quiz bowl starts this week, and who knows? Maybe we'll be able to send folks to the national contest again!!! Also, presentations, public speaking, and Share-the-Fun talent acts will soon be center stage. Call the Extension Office to learn more about any of these programs. :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fair Theme Announced

The Orange County Fair Association has announced its 2009 theme: "We've got a good thing growing". Please incorporate this into your stall decorations and educational displays with 4-H project animals at the fair this summer. Fair dates are July 23-26, 2009. Have fun planning and preparing!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Camp Counselor Applications Accepted Now Thru January 30th

4-H Camp Counselor applications are being accepted now through January 30th for male and female teens who were at least 14 by January 1, 2009. Applicants must like kids, want to be part of the camp management team, and be willing to learn - all training will be provided! Previous 4-H or camp experience not necessary. Complete the necessary application, obtain three reference forms, and return all by the end of the month. Interviews will be held three days in February. Please call the Extension Office if you need assistance! We look forward to hearing from you.

Orange Youth Win BIG in VAF Scholarship Contest

Congratulations to Bobby Chambers and Marty Harris, who competed in the Virginia Association of Fairs Youth Leadership Scholarship Contest in Portsmouth, VA, this past weekend. Bobby won first place and was awarded a $2500 scholarship. Marty placed third overall and earned $1000 scholarship. Both young men delivered a 4-6 minute prepared speech, extemporaneous speech, powerpoint presentation, wrote an essay, and conducted an interview with two judges. Thank you for representing Orange 4-H and the Orange County Fair so well!