Thursday, December 22, 2011

Statewide Teen Weekend Scheduled for March

The sixth annual Statewide Teen Weekend will be held March 2-4, 2012 at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational  Conference Center at Smith Mountain Lake in Wirtz, VA.  The State 4-H Cabinet has worked hard on planning this event and it promises to be the highlight of the season. This event provides an opportunity for teens across the commonwealth to come together for a weekend filled with educational programs and leadership. This year’s workshops include: Team Building, Wacky Science, Yoga, Healthy Snacks, and Table Etiquette.  Participants will also take part in a teen opportunities forum and a service project.  Participants must be 14 years of age by September 30, 2012.

The cost for the weekend is $95.00 and checks must be made payable to the Virginia 4-H Foundation. Space is limited to the first 100. Contact the Extension Office for a registration packet.

International 4-H Teen Exchanges Announced for 2012

4-H teens have the opportunity to travel with nationally organized, chaperoned, cultural immersion travel programs to Australia, Japan and Norway next summer (2012).  Applications are due January 15, 2012.  Please contact the following coordinators for more information, including an application packet. 

Dottie Nelson, for Australia and Norway, email

Judy Ann Fray, for Japan, e-mail:

Essay Contest Yields $1,000 Prize

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) calls on ninth- to 12th-grade students to submit an original, 450-word essay or a two-minute video essay about the importance of agriculture. This year’s theme is “American Agriculture: Feeding the Future, Filling the Gaps” and the deadline is Feb. 1, 2012. The theme “American Agriculture: Feeding the Future, Filling the Gaps” presents an opportunity for students to address how the agriculture industry continues to feed a growing population. Entrants may choose to either write an essay and/or create a video focusing on how today’s growers are overcoming challenges to provide a safe, stable food supply and sustain the significant role agriculture plays in everyday life.

The national written essay winner receives a $1,000 prize and round-trip ticket to Washington, D.C., for recognition during the Celebration of Ag Dinner held March 8 at Whitten Patio at the USDA. During dinner, the winner will have the opportunity to read the winning essay as well as join with industry representatives, members of Congress, federal agency representatives, media and other friends in a festive ag celebration. The video essay winner wins a $1,000 prize, and the winning video will play during the Celebration of Ag Dinner.

All written entries should be sent to: 2012 Ag Day Essay Contest, Agriculture Council of America, 11020 King Street, Suite 205, Overland Park, KS 66210, or submitted by e-mail to . Students may upload video essays at and follow the directions on the page, or students may choose to mail video entries to the address above on a compact disc. or to read official contest rules and for more details regarding entry applications.


Santa Visits Stockman's Team Practice

The Stockman's Team practiced in the Extension Office today and they were surprised with a visit from Santa!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Great Opportunity Announced for Teens Ages 16-19

The Virginia Cooperative Council just posted their 2012 conference brochure.  Teens ages 16-19 as of July 2012 can apply to attend this educational event, held annually at Graves Mountain Lodge.  Conference dates are March 30-April 1, a Friday through Sunday.  At the event, teens will learn about the cooperative business framework, complete group activities, compete for a chance to attend the national NICE contest, and enjoy social opportunities, such as a dance.  Teens from across the state are eligible to attend; we can help find a sponsoring cooperative for you to interview before the conference.  Orange-Madison Coop, Farm Credit, and Rappahannock Electric are just three examples of businesses who have contacted us before.  To view the brochure, click HERE.

State Fair Announces Scholarship Winners

We were notified today of two Orange County winners in the State Fair of Virginia scholarship program. Congratulations to Elizabeth Nixon, who was awarded $1,250 for her Overall Reserve Grand Champion Market Beef and Stella Bradford, who earned $400 for her Supreme 2nd Runner-up Beef Female. Way to go, girls!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Youth Swine Day - Save the Date

The 5th annual Youth Swine Education Day is February 25, 2012 on the campus of Virginia Tech.  They are currently working on the program and welcome suggestions.  More details will follow.

4-H Tree Featured at The Inn at Virginia Tech

The State 4-H Office had the chance to create a special 4-H Christmas tree at the Inn at Virginia Tech this year.  A photo is shown, plus attendees of the Youth Livestock Leadership Weekend saw it in person on Saturday. 



Orange 4-H Well-Represented in Christmas Parade

Several Orange 4-H clubs participated in the annual Orange Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 4th.  There was an historical theme regarding Christmas from Revolutionary times through the DuPont era.  Members of the Orange 4-H Dairy Club, Goat Club, and Livestock Club decorated floats for the event.  Congratulations to these groups, and thanks for promoting Orange 4-H! 

We also thank the Orange Rotary Club for assuming leadership of the 2011 event. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dairy Club Donates Handmade Blankets to Orange Sheriff's Office

Members of the Orange 4-H Dairy Club made fleece blankets and donated them to the Orange Sheriff’s Office for use when working with children in emergency situations.  Based on the Project Linus idea, the blankets offer a sense of security to children who have been involved in a car accident, a domestic situation or something else.  Shown are the members with Deputy Jason Covington, as well as Jayden and Haley Coleman and Elizabeth Goodwin preparing one of the blankets.  Great service project, Dairy Club members!

Sheep Day Camp to be Held February 4, 2012

Sheep exhibitors are invited to attend a Sheep Day Camp at the Fauquier County Fairgrounds Saturday, February 4, 2012.  Nutrition, showmanship, health management and a skillathon are just some of the agenda items planned for the event, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Registrations are due January 18; cost is $15 per participant and all youth will receive an event T-shirt.  A brochure and registration form can be found in the Document Library

Teen Life Skills Program Offered in Fauquier

Fauquier County 4-H has invited Orange youth to participate in a four-session Life Skills program to help teens with decision making, communication, goal setting, stress management and more.  Guest speakers will be business professionals, counselors, a retired football player and more.  The four sessions will be held on the second Saturday of each month, January through April.  Cost is $30 total, and includes a hoodie, handouts and refreshments each session.  Time is from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. 

Registrations are due December 30.  Contact Rhonda ( for more information.