Monday, February 23, 2015

Costa Rican 4-H/4-S Teens Seek Virginia Host Families for Summer Exchange

Virginia 4-H families with at least one child age 14-19 can host a Costa Rican teen this summer for one month. Delegates will be here June 24 through July 19. Unfortunately, this means they will miss the Orange County Fair, which was a highlight for the four delegates local families hosted two years ago.

If you are interested in hosting, please contact Kaci at the Extension office for more details.

Consider Hosting a Japanese Exchange Student for One Month This Summer

We have received the list of inbound delegates from Japan for this summer's exchange. Youth are ages 12-14, so host families must have at least one child of the same gender as the delegate and within two years of age of the delegate. Think of this as a great way to enrich the cultural experience of your own family and make a lifelong friend!

Host families are not expected to be tour guides and entertainers for these delegates, but rather assimilate them into your family and have them do what you do. When you do chores, they help, too. When you go to the pool, the grocery store, or the county fair, they do, too.

Several local families have hosted before and have had pleasant experiences. Please contact the Extension office for a list of inbound delegates. You can see ages, interests, desires while in the U.S., allergies, etc., and that may help you choose a delegate for this once-in-a-lifetime experience for your family.

Fauquier 4-H to Host FAMACHA Parasite Management Clinic for Youth and Adults

Fauquier County VCE will be having a FAMACHA Training Saturday, March 21 from 1 – 5 PM at the Fauquier County Fairgrounds.  This training will be open to youth age 9+ and adults. 

Participants in this workshop will be trained and certified in the FAMACHA system of parasite management, and at the conclusion of the workshop will receive a FAMACHA card and packet (attendance the entire time required to become FAMACHA certified).  Both classroom and hands-on instruction will be provided.  

The cost is $15. Cash or check payment will be accepted the day of the event. Checks should be made payable to Treasurer of VT. Registration is due by March 16.

Full information and a registration form can be found here:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bit N' Bridle Team takes Top Honors at Contest

Congratulations to the Bit N' Bridle team who braved the weather this past weekend for the Block and Bridle Contest at Virginia Tech and did exceptionally well!

Junior Team Made up of Emily Wright, Alayna Schoenberger, and Cora Hoemann
Senior Team- Made up of Charlotte Manvell, Savannah Stilwell, and Mikayla Moore

Junior Team placed 2nd Overall and Cora placed 9th overall and Emily placed 4th overall
Senior Team placed 1st Overall, Mikayla placed 8th overall, Savannah placed 6th overall, and Charlotte placed 1st Overall

Horse Judging:
Junior Team placed 5th overall and Cora placed 10th Overall and 1st in halter judging
Senior Team placed 3rd overall and first in performance, Charlotte placed 1st overall in overall judging and Savannah placed 3rd in performance judging



Monday, February 16, 2015

National 4-H Congress

National Congress provides participants an exciting opportunity to explore careers, engage in a variety of quality learning experiences, and have great fun by getting to know other 4-H members from across the country.  Outstanding 4-H members will be selected to represent Virginia at National 4-H Congress. Candidates for selection must be senior 4-H members in the current 4-H year who are able to demonstrate outstanding achievement as a 4-H member in the areas of leadership, citizenship, and personal development.  National Congress 2015 will take place Nov. 27-December 1, 2015.
Information regarding National 4-H Congress can be found at:  The site contains a sample portfolio, document about the application process, etc.

Applications are due to the State Office by April 30.  Interviews will take place on Tuesday, June 16 during State 4-H Congress. 

Citizenship Washington Focus- Deadline to Apply is February 20

This is a great opportunity!  There have been multiple 4-Hers from Orange County that have attended this awesome event.  We can help with fundraising ideas.

2015 Citizenship Washington Focus is slated for Virginia the week of July 5-1, 2015.  CWF is a tremendous opportunity for senior 4-H members.  Applications are due to the State 4-H by Friday, February 20, 2015.
NEW FOR 2015 – The Virginia 4-H Foundation is offering one FULL scholarship per district.  More than one youth per district can apply to attend, however only one youth per district will be awarded a scholarship.   All applicants must submit the $200 deposit with their application.  If awarded a scholarship, it will be refunded following the trip to ensure attendance.  Youth will be notified mid-March.  Please see the application for more information.
Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) is a week-long 4-H citizenship program for youth ages 14-19 that takes place at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center, just 1 mile from the Washington, DC border.
Every summer, thousands of young people participate in the program, which provides opportunities for them to:
    • strengthen their communication, leadership, and citizenship skills on a national level
    • understand the importance of civic and social responsibilities as they relate to the development of better citizens and leaders
    • exchange ideas, practice respect, and form friendships with other youth from diverse backgrounds.
    • experience hands-on learning using the historical backdrop of Washington, DC.
CWF participants enjoy:
    • a behind-the-scenes look at our nation's capital and the chance to meet Members of Congress
    • motivational speakers, educational workshops, and assemblies that increase individual commitment to citizen involvement and build lifetime skills for success
    • activities that encourage new and lasting friendships
    • an enthusiastic staff of young adults that work directly with them
Participants are immersed in the culture and history of Washington through onsite workshopsat its most spectacular sights.
Destinations include, but are not limited to:
    • The Capitol
    • Mount Vernon
    • Arlington National Cemetery
    • Presidential and war monuments and memorials
    • Smithsonian museums
The cost of the trip is $940.00.  Many delegates recruit sponsorship from local civic groups.  National 4-H has created templates for scholarship letters.  Please visit fundraising section on the site below for templates. 
Delegates are responsible for getting themselves to/from the center.  Upon arrival, transportation for the week is included in the cost of the trip.

Leadership Washington Focus

**Deadline to Apply- February 20!**

LWF is a 4-H leadership program for youth entering grades 7 through 9. The program will take place at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center, just 1 mile from the Washington, D.C. border. For more than 50 years, thousands of 4-H’ers have participated in our high school program, Citizenship Washington Focus and now we are happy to introduce its precursor for middle school 4-H'ers, LWF.  The program is slightly shorter than CWF but runs fairly similar.
NEW FOR 2015 – The Virginia 4-H Foundation is offering one FULL scholarship per district.  More than one youth per district can apply to attend, however only one youth per district will be awarded a scholarship.   All applicants must submit the $150.00 deposit with their application.  If awarded a scholarship, it will be refunded following the trip to ensure attendance.  Youth will be notified mid-March.  Please see the application for more information.
Middle school 4-H delegates will:
  • Build confidence in their ability to motivate and direct others in meaningful action
  • Practice effective communication with others through group discussion and public speaking
  • Work with others to create and accomplish goals
  • Develop an understanding of their own personal leadership style
  • Exchange ideas, practice respect, and form friendships with other 4-H'ers from across the nation.
  • Experience hands-on learning using the historical backdrop of Washington, D.C.

Virginia has 5 youth slots and 1 adult chaperone slot available  The deadline to submit an application and a deposit it February 20, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

4-H Families needed for VT Baseball Game March 21!

The sports marketing office in the athletic department at Virginia Tech is having a 4-H Day at the Virginia Tech baseball game on March 21 vs. Clemson.  The game begins at 2 p.m.
They are looking for 4-Hers to run our with the team for opening ceremonies which would include the singing of the National Anthem and announcing the line-up.  They would also like the 4-Hers to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance before the National Anthem.  After the game, the youth are invited to come back down on the field for autographs with the team and coaches.
They will be having a service project as well- they ask for all families to bring a new book to donate.

If you would like to participate, please let the Extension Office know by March 10 so that they can RSVP to the athletic department.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Culpeper SWCD Academic Scholarship

Each year the Culpeper Soil & Water Conservation District awards up to three educational scholarships to students who plan to pursue a career in a conservation-related field. These scholarships are available for eligible students living in the five-county area the Culpeper SWCD serves, consisting of Culpeper, Greene, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock Counties.
Individuals should apply who are full time students enrolled in, or who have applied to, a college undergraduate or graduate program interested in an area of study that supports soil and water conservation, natural resource management, environmental science, or a related field.
In awarding scholarships priority will be given to graduating high school seniors, but undergraduate and graduate students will also be considered. Consideration will be given primarily to achievement and demonstrated interest.
If you have any questions, please call the CSWCD at 540/825-8591.  Applications must be completed and submitted to the CSWCD by April 15th.

Visit and click on the "College" Scholarships link.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Virginia Institute on Cooperative Extension weekend at Graves Mountain Lodge March 27-29

Each spring, the Virginia Cooperative Council (VCC) sponsors an Institute on Cooperative Education, a youth leadership conference for up to 64 Virginia high school youth. The primary objective of this conference is to educate youth about the unique cooperative form of business. Through an interactive, educational, and entertaining conference, students will enhance their teamwork, leadership, and communication skills.

Before arriving at the conference, youth participants are required to visit the sponsoring cooperative business and complete an interview form. This allows them to learn about the size and operation of a cooperative in their community. Participants are also provided with a booklet on cooperatives, which they are asked to read prior to the conference

Day one activities begin with an overview of the conference and its format. Since many of the weekend’s activities are interactive, icebreakers are utilized to help the students learn more about each other. They then attend an opening session on the history and importance of cooperatives and how cooperatives differ from other forms of business. Following the introductory overview, students are divided into four groups to learn about different types of cooperative businesses: supply, marketing, electric, and credit. At one point during the day, students are quizzed on the information that has been presented to them.

Day two and three activities center on small work groups. Participants are put in the position of managing their own cooperative business through their participation in a computer-based business simulation game titled “Who’s Minding the Store.” Each group represents a separate co-op business, each attempting to make pricing, inventory, advertising, credit, and personnel decisions to increase their co-op’s net worth in a competitive market setting. Students are first presented with basic business concepts and are then allowed to make their first set of management decisions. 

When the results of their decisions are returned, they learn how to interpret the results and how to adjust their decision-making to yield more desirable results. In addition, they learn how to read balance sheets and income statements, and how to use values from the statements to calculate ratios that indicate the financial well being of the business. At least four management decisions, representing four quarterly decisions, are made during the conference. Participants are also placed in role-play situations where they can act out responses to personnel issues within the business. Through their decision- making and role-play, participants have opportunities to enhance their leadership and teamwork skills, and to improve communication skills.

On the final day, students take their second quiz, covering the material learned during days two and three. Adult team leaders provide assessment on each participant’s participation throughout the conference. All of the weekend’s scores are tabulated, leading to the conference culmination, an awards luncheon. All attendees are provided with a certificate of participation and the overall winners are announced. A final wrap-up session summarizes the conference’s activities and reemphasizes important lessons learned.

Conference evaluations consistently indicate that students find the conference to be both educational and fun. They often state that they came to the conference knowing nothing about the cooperative way of doing business and leave with an understanding and appreciation of this unique business form. They also provide positive feedback on the opportunity to meet new people, enjoy fine food, and visit a scenic rural setting. For the past few years, one hundred percent of participants have indicated they would recommend the conference to a friend.

For more information, visit this website, click on "Youth Activities" on the left, and scroll down to the Virginia Institute on Cooperative Education section.
VaICE Description
VaICE Application

Orange County Farm Bureau Scholarship 2015

The 2015 Orange County Farm Bureau Scholarship is now available!  This scholarship is for high school seniors who have applied to a College/University with the intent of pursuing a degree in an agricultural related field.  The scholarship will be applied to the applicant's second semester tuition or on campus housing and will not be awarded if the student's first semester GPA falls below 2.0. 
The deadline for application submission is April 1, 2015.  The top applicants will be notified for an interview by members of Farm Bureau.  
Applicants are judged on the following:
- Virginia Farm Bureau Membership
- Orange County Farm Bureau Membership
- 4-H Membership
-Scholastic Ability
- Interview
- Essay
- Other Activities

For more information and the full application, please visit the document library and look in the "Blog Follow Up" folder.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Youth Swine Day at VT 2015

The 8th Annual Youth Swine Day will be held on Saturday, February 28th at the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Arena in Blacksburg, VA. Please visit the web site below for the schedule of events and registration information.

The afternoon PQA-Plus Certification will also serve as a YMQA training for youth.

If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Fabi or Dr. Cindy Wood at

4-H Exchange Trip to Argentina

Have the the opportunity to have an international experience by hosting someone from another country or by having a teen travel to Argentina!

New Exchange Opportunity to Argentina added for 15 – 18 year olds.

A new 4-H International Exchange opportunity is available to Argentina for ages 15 – 18 years olds July 13 – August 15, 2015.
This is a wonderful opportunity for teens as it includes “home” stay with a family, visiting Iguazu Falls, learning about their culture and sharing ours.  

This summer Virginia will have inbound teen summer 4-H delegates coming from Argentina, Costa Rica and Norway.  The pertinent dates are:

Arrive to host families:  Wed., June 24
Depart from host families: Sunday, July 19

Host families are needed for each exchange delegate.  Please encourage your 4-Hers and their families to host one of the delegates.  It will be an unforgettable experience with lasting friendships and increased cultural understanding.

For further information and the application form, go to States' 4-H International Exchange Programs or contact Dottie Nelson, 4-H  International 4-h Youth Exchange IFYE Coordinator