Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2016 National Ag Day Essay Contest

National Ag Day Color

Calling all high school students who are passionate about agriculture!  The Agriculture Council of America is sponsoring an essay contest to celebrate National Ag Day on March 15, 2016.  Participants can submit an original, 450-word essay or a two-minute video essay about the importance of agriculture.  This year's theme is "Agriculture- Stewards of a Healthy Planet" and the deadling is January 29, 2016.  You could win $1,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C.!
This contest is open to students in grades 9-12 for the 2015-2016 school year.
For more information, visit http://agday.org/media/pr5.php

Monday, December 28, 2015

4-H Online Enrollment Deadline February 1 for those planning to show at the 2016 Orange County Fair

While home on break, have you made sure you're fully enrolled on 4-H Online?!? There's a grace period this year until February 1, but after that all members planning to show at the Orange County Fair will need to be enrolled by January 1. Don't delay! We need your enrollments and it doesn't take long! If you need computer access, you're welcome to come by the Extension Office during business hours. http://va.4honline.com
If you need instructions on how to enroll or reenroll, check out this blog post: http://ocva4-h.blogspot.com/2015/10/4-h-enrollment-and-reenrollment-for.html

Bit N Bridle's Success at Northern District Judging Contest

Congratulations to members of the Bit N Bridle club on their success at the Northern District Judging Contest on Saturday, December 19 at the Fauquier County Fairgrounds.
Six club members participated in the Virginia 4-H Northern District Horse Judging Contest.  Thanks to all the great volunteer people and volunteer horses- it was a fun day!  Even though it was a very chilly judging morning, we are very proud of the junior and senior teams- they did a great job of observing the horses and talking their reasons.

The senior team was made up of Charlotte Manvell, Matthew Miller, Emily Wright, and a visiting member, Savannah.  The senior team placed 4th overall, 4th in Halter, 5th in Performance, and 3rd in Reasons.  Senior individuals placed as follows: Halter- 10th place, Savannah; Performance- 6th place Charlotte, 1st place Emily; Reasons- 1st place Charlotte; Overall- 7th place Emily, 3rd place Charlotte.

The junior team was comprised of Alayna Schoenberger, Cora Hoemann, and a visiting member from Rockingham, Carrie.  The junior team placed 2nd overall, 2nd in Halter, and 1st in Performance.  Junior individuals placed as follows: Halter- 6th place Carrie, 5th place Cora; Performance- 2nd place Carrie, 1st place Cora; Overall- 3rd place Carrie and 1st overall was Cora Hoemann!

Congratulations and great job to all members who participated in this event!

Farm Credit's Farm Management Institute- Session in Culpeper, February 2016

Farm Credit holds a class called the Farm Management Institute each year.  On Thursday, February 18 from 9 am- 4pm, there will be a session nearby in Culpeper at The Country Club of Culpeper.  This year's content and lecture will be relevant to those who are lifelong learners, including young farmers, potential young farmers, parents, FFA students, and those continuing or expanding their farming operations.  Dr. Dave Kohl and Dr. Alex White will provide insight, materials, and techniques to enhance your growth and success in agriculture.
Topics covered will be:
- Global and domestic economics including marketing news and trends
- Financial and business management and transition planning
- Communication with family, business partners, and the general public

There is no cost to attend!  For more information, call the Farm Credit office in Orange at (540)672-3644.

2016 Virginia Horse Festival Information

Date: Friday, April 1 - Sunday, April 3, 2016
Venue: The Meadow Event Park in Doswell, VA
Times: Friday 11am - 8pm, Saturday 9am-8pm, Sunday 9am-5pm
OverviewFriday, April 1st, kicks off a three-day equestrian event promoting all aspects of the equine industry for the horse owner and enthusiast. The weekend will include an indoor trade show in the 64,000 square foot climate controlled Farm Bureau Center exhibition hall. Vendors will represent a wide spectrum of horse industry supplies and services from boots to feed, clothing and art and everything in between. The festival grounds will be teeming with outdoor vendors specializing in products such as trailers, barn construction, arena footing, fencing, and of course delicious food. The scheduled demos, clinics and seminars will educate and entertain.  Please visit the event website for more details and ticket prices. Some information on the site is from last year but it will give you a great idea of what to expect for 2016!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Horse Deworming Strategies Lesson at the VT Mare Center, January 23, 2016

Youth ages 14-19 are invited to attend a FREE, Deworming Strategies lesson, Saturday January 23, from 9 am - 3 pm, at the MARE Center in Middleburg.  Presented by Carrie Swanson, Albemarle Co. Extension Agent, youth will learn about internal parasites of the horse, different methods of diagnosing and controlling parasites, conduct fecal egg counts and analyze data through this STEM-related hands-on lesson. Participants will have time to begin organizing information about the findings of their study, and will be encouraged to create a display for the Agriscience Poster Contest held in the fall at the Virginia State Fair. Limited spaces available. Lunch is provided. Sponsored by The Virginia Horse Industry Board. Email Sandy Arnold at horse4h@vt.edu to register by January 18.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

4-H Day at the Capitol February 16, 2016

4-H Day at the Capitol is approaching quickly!  This year, the event will be held on Tuesday, February 16, 2016.  This is an AWESOME event for 4-Hers to attend as it provides opportunities for 4-Hers to learn more about state government, meet local legislators, and encourage civic engagement (that citizenship part of Character Counts!).  Members will have the opportunity to meet with the local legislators in their offices; talk with them about what it is like to be a state lawmaker and the impact that they have on their local communities; explore the state capitol building; and be an overall fantastic ambassador for Orange County 4-H!  We are at a great advantage for participating in this awesome event since we live so close to Richmond!

We have participated every year and the lawmakers always love to see us when we come visit.  They are always impressed by the knowledge that the 4-Hers possess about the lawmaking process and everything that they have learned in 4-H.  They will also tell you that one of the most important things that they have learned and have to use is parliamentary procedure! 

This event is recommended for older junior and senior 4-H members as it is an early morning and then there is a lot of walking and waiting (sometimes we are in line to meet with the lawmakers as they normally have other meetings that they have to attend or constituents to meet with.)  4-Hers who attend this trip need to be prepared to share their 4-H story and come with questions and be ready to talk with the legislators.  The legislators love to answer questions and hear what you have to say!

As in years past, 4-H members who have not attended State 4-H Day at the capitol in the past three years will be eligible to receive a 4-H vest that is to be worn that day.  Due to having to have these vests ordered in time for the Capitol Day, if you have not attended before and would like to go the Extension Office must know if you are planning to attend no later than January 15.  If you have attended before and would like to go again this year, you will need to let the Extension Office know by February 1st.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Virginia Shepherds' Symposium- January 9, 2016

Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Sheep Producers Association will be hosting the Virginia Shepherds’ Symposium on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Arena in Blacksburg, VA. This one-day program is open to all sheep producers from the region and provides an educational opportunity for producers, educators and other professionals in sheep and related agribusiness industries.  The adult program will feature excellent speakers on a variety of topics, and commercial exhibitors will also be present.

This year, we will feature a Young Shepherds’ Symposium that will run concurrently with the adult sessions. These youth activities will be hands-on and interactive. All 4H and FFA youth of all experience levels are welcome to attend. Topics will include sessions on Selection/Genetics, Nutrition, and Reproduction.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. A brochure with more information and registration form can be found on the document library in the "Blog Post Follow Up" folder.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

State Fair of Virginia Scholarship Applications Now Available

The addition of the 2015 SFVA Sale of Champions has provided the opportunity to offer additional scholarships to the 2015 Youth Livestock exhibitors.  For the 2015 State Fair of Virginia, they are able to offer a total of $12,680 in additional scholarships. These scholarships will be broken out into Junior, Intermediate, and Senior divisions, and are open to only those exhibitors that participated in the 2015 State Fair of Virginia Youth Livestock shows.

In the document library, in the "State Fair Scholarship" folder, you will find more information as well as the applications  . There are separate applications for each division, as well as two different file extensions for your use. Please make sure you use the correct form. The divisions are based on the division in which you participated in at the 2015 State Fair of Virginia Youth Livestock Shows. These applications can be typed or hand-written.

The SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS must be postmarked byJANUARY 15, 2016, to be considered.

The scholarship applications can also be found on the State Fair of Virginia website at www.statefairva.org. If you have any questions, please contact Glenn Martin atgmartin[at]meadoweventpark.com or 804/994-2858.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wonderful Summer Opportunity! Governor's School for Agriculture

Governor's School for Agriculture photo collage

Applications are now available for the summer Governor's School for Agriculture.  Visit the Department Of Education's website:http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/governors_school_programs/summer_residential/index.shtml

Each local participant who has attended has reported a wonderful experience! We hope some Orange 4-H youth will be interested. 

The Virginia Summer Residential Governor's School for Agriculture (GSA) at Virginia Tech provides academically rigorous educational enhancement for future scientists and leaders of Virginia, the United States, and the world. GSA students interact with and learn directly from internationally known teachers, scientists, and researchers from Virginia Tech, a leading research university. Students attending the Virginia Summer Residential Governor's School for Agriculture at Virginia Tech will be selected from the most able rising juniors and seniors from the Commonwealth's public, private, and home schools.  http://www.alce.vt.edu/governors-ag-school/index.html

Poinsettias are Ready to be Picked Up!

The poinsettias truck has been unloaded and orders sorted, so we're ready for families to pick up poinsettias anytime until 6:30 p.m. today! See you soon!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Statewide Teen Weekend February 5-7 at Smith Mountain Lake

Statewide Teen Weekend, will be held February 5-7, 2016 at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Center in Wirtz, VA (Smith Mountain Lake).  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: Shooting Sports, Cooking on Budget, DNA Extraction, Team Building, and Table Etiquette.  Participants will also take part in a Go Pro service project. Please note that participants must be 14 years of age by September 30, 2016.

The cost for the weekend is $105.00 and checks must be made payable to the Virginia 4-H Foundation. Please complete the registration form and mail along with the $105.00, Health History form, and Code of Conduct form to:

Tonya Price
Virginia 4-H
2322 Blue Stone Hills Drive, Suite 140
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

The registration form can be found on the document library in the "Blog Post Follow Up" file.

Please note that the deadline to register is January 8, 2016.

Home Ec Club makes pumpkin roll from scratch!

The Home Ec Club had a great time at their November meeting learning how to make pumpkin roll!  They used freshly prepared pumpkin and made the pumpkin roll completely from scratch.  Thanks to Melissa White for leading this activity!

Monday, November 23, 2015

2016 4-H Honey Bee Essay Contest

2016 4-H Essay Contest Announcement and Rules

Sponsored by The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc.
Awards:  Cash Prices to 3 Top State Winners at these levels –
2nd- $50
 3rd- $25

State winner will be forwarded on to National competition and could win cash prizes as follows:
1st - $750
2nd- $500
3rd- $250
Each state winner, including the national winners, receives an appropriate book about honey bees, beekeeping, or honey.

For the 2016 essay contest, the topic is:

“Bees and Pollination.  How Important is it?”
 Beekeeping has had its five minutes of fame for the past five years. Now more than ever, people are asking “What will happen if the bees are gone?” Your paper should research and help answer this question.

Survey your community to see what is being done to help honeybees.  Include your state in our survey to see if there is a wildflower planting program available or any other program that could aid the honey bee.

The scope of the research is an essential judging criterion, accounting for 40% of your score. The number of sources consulted, the authority of the sources, and the variety of the sources are all evaluated.

Personal interviews with beekeepers and others familiar with the subject are valued sources of information and should be documented. Sources, which are not cited in the endnotes, should be listed in a “Resources” or “Bibliography” list.

Note that “honey bee” is properly spelled as two words, even though many otherwise authoritative references spell it as one word.

1. Contest is open to active 4-H Club members only.  4-H’ers who have previously placed first, second or third at the national level are not eligible; other state winners are eligible to re-enter.

2. Requirements (failure to meet any one requirement disqualifies the essay) –
 Preparation for National Judging:  ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS ONLY, double spaced, 12-pt. Times or similar type style, following standard manuscript format.  Submit as a Microsoft Word compatible document.
 Write on the designated subject only.
 All factual statements must be referenced with bibliographical-style endnotes.
 A brief biographical sketch of the essayist, including date of birth, gender, complete mailing address, and telephone number, must accompany the essay.
 Length – the essay proper: 750-1000 words.
 The word count does not include the endnotes, the bibliography or references, nor the essayist’s biographical sketch – which should be on a separate page.

3. Essays will be judged on (a) scope of research – 40%; (b) accuracy – 30%; (c) creativity – 10%; (d) conciseness – 10%; and (e) logical development of the topic – 10%.

4. Essayists should forward essays to the state judging team postmarked by February 12, 2016.  The winner of the state contest will be forwarded to the national competition before March 1.

5. The state winner will be announced on March 4, 2016 and the National Winner will be announced the week of May 2, 2016.

6. All National entries become the property of the Foundation and may be published or used as it sees fit.  No essay will be returned. The National winners’ essay will appear in an issue of the American Beekeeping Federation’s Newsletter.

7. Email state entries by the deadline (Feb. 12, 2016) to: safishe3@vt.edu
In the subject line:  VA. 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest
All entries received will be promptly acknowledged; if you have not received an acknowledgment after 3 business days, please resubmit.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NOVA 4-H Center Seeking Applicants for 2016 Junior 4-H Camp Staff

It's that time of the year again! The Northern Virginia 4-H Center is looking for thoughtful, energetic, responsible future leaders to apply for staff positions for the 2016 Junior 4-H Camp season.

What is expected of a summer program staff member at the Northern Virginia 4-H Center?

Typically, 4-H Center summer program staff have completed at least one year of college and have work and/or volunteer experience in 4-H, teaching, and/or youth programming. (Previous experience in 4-H is not required.)
Regardless of your previous work and/or volunteer experience, successful employment at the 4-H Center requires certain personal attributes, including:
• Friendliness / Open Mindedness
• Patience
• Creativity
• Enthusiasm
• Interest in teaching and learning
• Positive Attitude
• Flexibility

We believe that 4-H Center programs and services give us the opportunity to positively impact our community. For that reason, we consider a positive attitude and the ability to be friendly and caring toward youth and adults to be as important as previous education, training, or certification. (For some positions, the 4-H Center can assist applicants in identifying ways to become trained and/or certified.)

What are the benefits of being a summer program staff member at the Northern Virginia 4-H Center?
• Weekly salary (starting at $200 for 1st year staff members and additional weekend opportunities for programming and/or lifeguarding hours)
• Lodging (private room with a roommate)
• Meals (all food is provided from Sunday dinner through Thursday lunch)
• Staff Shirt
• Weekends off
• Training (approximately 15 days of staff training)
• Weekend lodging and access to the 4-H Center pool

Thank you for your interest in being a part of Team NOVA 2015! It is because of you over 2,000 youth a summer get to have an amazing week of camp. Please complete this application and required reference forms.

If you have any questions regarding 4-H Center program employment, please use the contact information below.

Shauna Manovich
Program Manager, 4-H
(540) 635-7171
600 4-H Center Drive
Front Royal Va, 22630

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Club Officer Training Wednesday, November 18

Officer Training will be held Wednesday, November 18 from 6:30-8:30 at the George James Community Center in Radiant, VA.  This is just past Tucker Livestock on Route 230 in Madison County- approximately 15 minutes from the Extension Office.  This will be a joint officer training with Madison 4-H club officers as well.  

The address is 1215 George James Loop, Radiant VA.  From the Extension Office, you will take route 15, turn left onto 230, go approximately 3.5 miles and the center will be on the right.  It is a two story brownish/tan building.  
We highly encourage all officers to attend!  This is a great way for you to learn team building skills, parliamentary procedure, how to work together as an officer team, and more. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to let us know.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Poinsettia Fundraiser Reminder!

Don't forget- the poinsettia fundraiser is going on now!  This is a great way to make money for your club that can be used all year.

Small, 6 inch pots are $7 each and jumbo, 8 inch pots are $14 each.   Half of the profit from these plants ($1.75 per plant for regulars and $3.75 for jumbos) goes back to the club that the members specify that they are selling for.

Orders are due to the Extension Office on November 19 (which is less than two weeks away!)  Then, they can be picked up from the Extension Office on December 2 from 3 pm until 6:30 pm and then throughout the day on December 3.  

These plants come from right here in Orange County- from Battlefield Farms.  These are gorgeous plants (when they say jumbo- they are huge!).  All plants are red- sorry, we cannot take orders for any other colors.    

Check out the document library in the "Poinsettia Fundraiser" folder for the 2015 order form and flier that you can use to advertise.  There are also images on the Facebook page that you can share to let people know that you are selling poinsettias.

Monday, November 2, 2015

2015 Orange County Christmas Parade

Save the date!  The 2015 Orange County Christmas Parade will be held Sunday, December 6th at 4:30 p.m. (line-up begins at 3:30).
The theme this year is "Christmas at the Beach- Celebrate the season in the southern hemisphere where December is mid-summer."
For additional details and entry form, visit www.orangerotaryva.org or e-mail orangerotaryclub[at]gmail.com

State WHEP Contest- January 23, 2016

4-H WHEP (Wildlife Habitat Education Program) is a hands-on, environmental education program that teaches young people valuable lessons about wildlife management, conservation, leadership, team-building, citizenship and communication.

To learn more about WHEP visit http://www.whep.org

Even if you aren't competing, but this sounds like something that may be of interest to you, come to the State WHEP Contest January 23, 2016 at Holiday Lake 4-H Center and see what it is all about!! 
The contest will be held on in conjunction with the 4-H Natural Resources Weekend (see previous blog post for information on that event.)

2016 WHEP Contest
Cost:  No registration fee for the contest.   Lunch Fee - $10.00 per person (Youth, parent volunteers/chaperones, etc.) Lunch which will be provided by the 4-H Center.  Paid the day of the contest 
If you are attending Natural Resources weekend your lunch is included.  No extra fee
Contest Region:  Eastern Deciduous Forest.  However, for the Wildlife Challenge portion of the contest, species found in the Urban and Wetlands regions are included.  Please refer to the NEW 2015 WHEP Manual as posted at www.whep.org for the most current information which will be used for this contest. 
Contestants, parents, volunteers and anyone else attending:  Please dress appropriately for the weather.  Some parts of the contest will be outside regardless of the weather.
Parts of the Contest:
1.      Wildlife Challenge (Juniors & Seniors) - The Wildlife Challenge combines wildlife identification and general knowledge. Participants visit stations where they may be presented with a wildlife specimen and questions related to the species. Participants may be asked to identify an animal by specimen or portion of specimen, photo, animal sign, or sound. Questions for the Wildlife Challenge may be from information within Concepts and Terms, Ecoregions, Wildlife Species, Wildlife Management Practices, and the Glossary.  Wildlife food items and questions pertaining to wildlife foods also may be included.  Appendix B provides definitions of various wildlife foods. Refer to species descriptions to learn what various species eat.
·         Spelling & Capitalization - When identifying species in the Wildlife Challenge, the correct spelling, capitalization and hyphenation must be used in order to receive credit.  Refer to Index of Wildlife Species pages 69-70 for proper spelling and capitalization. 

2.      Wildlife Quiz Bowl (Juniors Only) This wildlife version of jeopardy is a fun and exciting event.  Teams of 3 – 4 members will compete against each other answering questions which may come from the EASTERN DECIDUOUS FOREST Wildlife Species, EASTERN DECIDUOUS FOREST Region Information, Concepts and Terms and the Glossary. This will be a two round competition.  Round 1 will be head to head and Round 2 will be toss-up.  Individual contestants can still participate.  They will be put together to form a team or added to a 3 person team.  

3.      Wildlife Management Practices (WMP’s) & Plan Writing:
a.      Juniors - Guided session related to plan writing and wildlife management practices. (Participants will be provided reference materials –WMP pages and Species Information)
b.      Seniors – Refer to manual  for detailed explanation these parts of the contest
     i.      On-Site Recommendation of Wildlife Management Practices (WMPs)
     ii.      Written Management Plan
    iii.      Oral Defense of Written Plan

Junior Division –For youth ages 9-13 (as of January 1, 2016 –follow National WHEP rules). 
This division will include:  
1.      Wildlife Challenge – Award placings will be given. 
2.      Wildlife Quiz Bowl 
3.      WMP’s & Plan Writing - A guided session related to plan writing and wildlife management practices.

Senior Division - Full competition for youth ages 14-19 (must be 14 and not 19 as of January 1, 2016 –follows National WHEP rules).   They must have a team of 3 or 4 members to be eligible to compete in the full contest.  Individual seniors may compete, however they will only be eligible for the individual awards.

This division will include:  
1.      Wildlife Challenge
2.      On-Site Recommendation of Wildlife Management Practices (WMPs)
3.      Written Management Plan
4.      Oral Defense of Written Plan

The new 2015 manual that will be used for this contest is on the web at www.whep.org.  Please refer to this version of the manual ONLY. 

To register for the state contest no later than Friday, January 15, 2016

If you have problems with registration please contact Kelly Mallory at the Madison Extension Office number 540-948-6881.

Counties may send as many teams and/or individuals as they like.  Individuals from different counties may be combined at the contest to make teams.

National WHEP Contest – The top placing Senior Team will qualify to represent Virginia at the National WHEP Contest.  This contest is normally held during the last week of July.  2016 contest location and date are not yet available.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Poinsettia Fundrasier- Going on NOW!

It's hard to believe it's already time for poinsettia sales!  This is an awesome way to fund raise for your club (or for 4-H Campers, a great way to pay your way to 4-H camp!)  Poinsettias are sold for $7 for regulars and $14 for jumbos.  Half of the profit from these plants ($1.75 per plant for regulars and $3.75 for jumbos) goes back to the club that the members specify that they are selling for.  

Orders are due to the Extension Office on November 19.  Then, they can be picked up from the Extension Office on December 2 from 3 pm until 6:30 pm and then throughout the day on December 3.  

These plants come from right here in Orange County- from Battlefield Farms.  These are gorgeous plants (when they say jumbo- they are huge!).  All plants are red- sorry, we cannot take orders for any other colors.      

Please feel free to pass out flyers out to everyone you may know.  Within the next week or so, on the Orange 4-H Facebook page there will be an image that you may share on your Facebook page indicating that you are selling them, and the flier will be posted there as well that you may share.  The order form and flier will also be able to be found in the document library.

The flier and  order form can also be found directly at those two links.

Please let the Extension Office know if you have any questions or if we can be of any assistance!

Experience the world through the 4-H Program- 2016 IFYE Opportunities


The 2016 IFYE Program offers young adults between the ages of 19 and 28 the opportunity to travel 3 or 6 months abroad to live with host families and participate in most aspects of family living.  Participants who participate for 3 months have one host country, while those who participate for 6 months enjoy two countries.  Two weeks of free time travel are scheduled in between the two hosting countries so that delegates can travel on their own during this time.

The application deadline is December 1, 2015 and the forms can be found here.  For further information and the latest IFYE brochure, go to www.ifyeusa.org. Questions should be directed to Dottie Nelson (contact information below).

The completed application forms should be sent to:

Dottie Nelson, Coordinator
Virginia IFYE Programs
P.O. Box 144
Bland, VA  24315
work:   304-431-5317
cell:     276-617-1065

The IFYE program offers opportunities for travel in 2016.  Participating countries often include: Australia, Austria, Costa Rica, England, Estonia, Finland, Germany, India, Jamaica, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Wales. Countries are continually being added. Below are comments from a representative from Kansas explaining how the experience impacts a person’s life.

Kansas to UK/Switzerland 2012
My six-month IFYE exchange was split between three countries of the United Kingdom (Scotland, N. Ireland, and Wales) and Switzerland. The UK and Switzerland were two very different experiences, mostly due to differences in language and customs, and I am very pleased to have had them both. Before arriving in Scotland, I didn’t have many expectations for my exchange … I just wanted to see everything and anything I could about life “across the pond”. Looking back I think this was a great way to approach it, because if I had had expectations, they likely would have been very misguided.
I found my host countries to be far more diverse than movies and other media portray them. Both have different accents, dialects, and languages, as well as many varying cultures with proud histories. Learning about these countries on a more personal level gave me a very unique perspective, especially during a U.S. presidential election year, celebration of the Queen’s 60th year of reign, and the 2012 London Olympics.  As an IFYE, I learned much about the world’s perception of America, my own political opinions, and the many things I take for granted in the United States.
The IFYE experience has had a positive impact on my life in so many ways. I created lasting friendships with other exchangees and the locals, many of whom I am still in regular contact with.
I gained 17 new families (even if they aren’t blood related), and learned more about other nations and my own in the process.  Most importantly, I found out that I didn’t know as much about myself before the trip as I had previously thought.  IFYE provides an experience you can’t find studying abroad or being a tourist…it is something you can only acquire by being totally submersed in a culture.

Teen Outbound Programs to Norway, Korea, and Japan


Teens involved in 4-H are invited to participate in the 2016 summer exchange programs being offered by our national coordinator, States 4-H International Exchange of Seattle.  Virginia 4-H'ers who have been a part of these delegations in the past have had lots of fun and interesting experiences while staying with local host families. All of them have reported that life-long friends have been made and that they gained a year's worth of education in one month abroad.  Additionally, they have come to appreciate their own country, schools, and families more, too.

This year the countries being offered include Norway (June 29 – July 31, 2016) , Korea ( July 15 – August 10, 2016 ) , and Japan (July 15 – August 11, 2016; July 13 – August 11, 2016). All application packets and deposits are due to the State Coordinator listed below for the country for travel by December 1, 2015. For the required applications forms or further information, please contact the individuals listed below.  Request forms soon, as the application forms with the application fee must arrive no later than December 1, 2015, to the proper individual below so that there is time for processing on state level to then forward to the national office:

-- for Norway and Korea
Dottie Nelson, Coordinator
Virginia 4-H Exchange Programs
P.O. Box 144
Bland, VA  24315
Phone:  276-617-1065

--for Japan
Judy Ann Fray
Japanese Exchange Coordinator
P:.O. Box 263
Madison, VA  22727

Click on the following links for: 

Or, visit the document library and check under the "Blog Post Follow Up" folder.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

4-H Goat Club Hosts two Exchange "Students" From Florida!

The County Line 4-H Club in Southwest Florida has sent two "Exchange" Students to visit Virginia for the year!  Freddie and Fannie 4-Her are both visiting from Florida, the "Sunshine State."  Freddie and Fannie don't get to travel much, they are always busy with their projects for 4-H and school.  Finally they have a slow time and are traveling around the US, Canada, and a few other countries.  Whenever your club does something fun, think about including Freddie and Fannie on your adventures!  They cannot take a camera with them, so your job will be to take pictures of your club doing fun things with these 4-Hers.
If your club would like to include Freddie and/or Fannie in your 4-H Activities, please visit the document library and look under the "Blog Post Follow Up" folder and print out Freddie and/or Fannie.  You will need to print in color and then cut them out to take them with you.  The County Line 4-H Club is very excited to see all of their travels throughout the year!

2016 Natural Resources Education Weekend

The 2016 Natural Resource Weekend will be held January 23-24 at the Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center.  This weekend camp is open to youth ages 9-19 and adult chaperones.  All youth under the age of 18 must come with adult supervision.  The early bird cost is $55 for youth and $35 for adults.  Workshop topics include Wildlife ID and Tracks, Edible Insects, Snakes, Intro to the Wildlife Habitat Education Program, Intro to Shotgun, Bat Conservation, and more!  Early bird registration deadline is January 1, 2016.

For more information, the brochure, and details on how to register, please visit the document library under the "Blog Post Follow Up Information" folder or visit this link to download or print.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

4-H Enrollment and Reenrollment for the 2015-2016 4-H Year

We greatly appreciate your patience as we have worked to create a document that would help you through the enrollment and reenrollment process for this year! 

This document (https://goo.gl/fEKlf3) will help you through reenrollment for this year.  Please note that you have two options for reenrollment: those of you who did your enrollment yourselves through 4-H Online and those of you who submitted paper copies to the Extension Office and we entered your enrollment information for you.  This year, everyone will need to do their enrollment online, through 4-H Online.  There are specific instructions on how to do this.

If you are a first time 4-H member enrolling for the first time, you may wish for a document that has a few more details on how to enroll.  This document (https://goo.gl/2wAaW5) may be more helpful for you.  This is a much more in-depth, step by step document that you may wish to use.

These two documents are also available on the document library in the "4-H Clubs" Folder.  The one with instructions on reenrollment is called "Orange 4-H Enrollment Info 2015-2016" and the document that is much more in-depth for enrolling is "4H Online Youth Enrollment Instructions." 

If you do not have computer access, you are welcome to come to the Extension Office and use one of our computers to complete the enrollment process.  

Kaci, Tina, and Sarah are all familiar with 4-H Online and can answer questions, but Katie Jenkins in our office is the resident 4-H Online "pro."  She is here on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and is a huge help in our 4-H Online knowledge!

Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can be of any help while you are working through the enrollment process!  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

4-H History

from www.4h.org/about/4-h-history/
Since 4-H began more than 100 years ago, it has become the nation’s largest youth development organization. The 4-H idea is simple: help young people and their families gain the skills needed to be proactive forces in their communities’ and develop ideas for a more innovative economy.
4-H opened the door for young people to learn leadership skills and revolutionized how youth connected to practical, hands-on learning experiences outside the classroom.
Late 1800's: Making Connections
In the late 1800's, researchers discovered adults in the farming community did not readily accept new agricultural developments on university campuses, but found that young people were open to new thinking and would experiment with new ideas and share their experiences with adults. In this way, rural youth programs introduced new agriculture technology to communities.
The idea of practical and "hands-on" learning came from the desire to connect public school education to country life. Building community clubs to help solve agricultural challenges was a first step toward youth learning more about the industries in their community.

1902: Youth Clubs are Formed

A. B. Graham started a youth program in Clark County, Ohio, in 1902, which is considered the birth of 4-H in the United States. The first club was called "The Tomato Club" or the "Corn Growing Club". T.A. Erickson of Douglas County, Minnesota, started local agricultural after-school clubs and fairs that same year. Jessie Field Shambaugh developed the clover pin with an H on each leaf in 1910, and by 1912 they were called 4-H clubs.

1914: Cooperative Extension System is Created

The passage of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914 created the Cooperative Extension System at USDA and nationalized 4-H. By 1924, 4-H clubs were formed and the clover emblem was adopted.
The Cooperative Extension System is a partnership of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the 110 land-grant universities and more than 3,000 county offices across the nation.  Cooperative Extension combines the expertise and resources of federal, state, and local governments and is designed to meet the need for research, knowledge and educational programs. 

4-H Today

Today, 4-H serves youth in rural, urban, and suburban communities in every state across the nation. 4-H'ers are tackling the nation’s top issues, from global food security, climate change and sustainable energy to childhood obesity and food safety. 4-H out-of-school programming, in-school enrichment programs, clubs and camps also offer a wide variety of STEM opportunities – from agricultural and animal sciences to rocketry, robotics, environmental protection and computer science – to improve the nation’s ability to compete in key scientific fields and take on the leading challenges of the 21st century.

Check out this cool video on the history of 4-H!

Home Ec Club Meeting RESCHEDULED to October 22

The October 4-H Home Ec Club meeting has been RESCHEDULED to Thursday, October 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Extension Office Public Meeting Room.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Featuring... Bit and Bridle Club!

Check out this awesome informational video produced by the Bit and Bridle Club.  For more information, please contact club leader Mary Lee Manvell, bitnbridle4h[at]gmail.com!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Orange County Celebrates National 4-H Week October 4-10

October 4-10 is National 4-H week, and Orange County is celebrating the 4-H youth who have made an impact on the community, and are stepping up to the challenges of a complex and changing world.
As the youth development program of the Cooperative Extension System of land-grant universities, 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization, empowering six million young people throughout the United States.  Through America’s 110 land-grant universities and its Cooperative Extension System, 4-H reaches every corner of our nation- from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities.  With a network of more than 6 million youth, 611,800 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 25 million alumni, 4-H helps shape youth to move our country and the world forward in ways that no other youth organization can.
Recent findings from Tufts University's 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that young people in 4-H are four times more likely to contribute to their communities than youth not participating in 4-H; two times more likely to be civically active; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to participate in Science, Engineering, and Computer Technology programs during out-of-school time; and 4-H girls are two times more likely to take part in science programs compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities. Notably, the Tufts research discovered that the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that 4-H'ers receive play a vital role in helping them actively contribute to their communities
Also during National 4-H Week, hundreds of thousands of youth from all around the nation will complete a single, innovative experiment on 4-H National Youth Science Day, which will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.  This year’s experiment, Motion Commotion, will be conducted by thousands of kids across the nation as they learn about physics, speed, and safety.  4-H is dedicated to providing the hands-on experience in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to give kids the life skills they need to succeed today and the career readiness to succeed tomorrow. 
In addition to science, 4-H has a huge focus on citizenship.   4-H Citizenship programs empower young people to be well-informed citizens who are actively engaged in their communities and the world.  In Orange, 4-Hers visit the state capitol each February to visit with local legislators and tell them about their 4-H experiences.  4-H members have also participated in Citizenship Washington Focus- a weeklong, national event held in Washington, D.C., where 4-Hers  are able to strengthen their communication, leadership, and citizenship skills on a national level  and understand the importance of civic and social responsibilities as they relate to the development of better citizens and leaders. 
The caring support of adult volunteers and mentors inspires young people in 4-H to work collaboratively, take the lead on their own projects, and set and achieve goals with confidence. 
In Orange County, there are 12 4-H clubs for youth to be involved in.  There are 9 clubs for youth ages 9-19 and 3 clubs for youth ages 5-8.  Clubs range from Archery, Goats, Crazy Pets, Livestock, two horse clubs, and more!  There is no cost to join 4-H, but there may be fees to participate in some 4-H activities.  Save the date! 4-H Camp will be held at Northern Virginia 4-H Center in Front Royal June 12-16, 2016.  In-person camp sign-ups will begin March 30 at the Orange Extension Office. 
October is the beginning of the 4-H year, so now is the perfect time to join and get involved!