Friday, March 27, 2015

VSU Tour of Randolph Farm and Ag Center and College Campus

Thanks to 4-H Volunteer Resi Connell for setting up a tour at Virginia State University to tour the Randolph Farm and Ag Center as well as the college!  They will start with the farm tour, have lunch in the college cafeteria, then go on a tour of campus.
Tour Date: Monday, April 6 (During Spring break)
Time: Meet at Randolph Farm Center at 10AM
Cost: Tour is free, you should be able to purchase lunch for less than $7 or you can bring lunch.

Virginia State University is the other university associated with Virginia Cooperative Extension.  They have a large agriculture program focusing on smaller, specialty crops and niche markets (i.e. hot house/green house growing, goats, berries, aquaculture, etc.).

You must RSVP so that Resi can let the college know how many people will be attending.  RSVP with Resi by e-mail- resi[at] or join the Facebook event:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

4-H Congress Information and Registration is Now Available!

The statewide 4-H Congress will be held on June 15-18 on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.  This premier 4-H event is open to all senior 4-H members who will be 14 as of September 30, 2015 and not over 19 as of December 30 of this year.  The theme for this year's Congress is "Living the Legacy, 4-H Forever."
We are currently accepting registration information at the Extension office.

**NEW THIS YEAR** The state 4-H office has made some changes to the registration process.  Instead of the two phase registration like they have done in the past, you will now choose your workshops at the same time that you send in your initial registration information.  It is important to get your information and registration in early if you would like to attend Congress this year because once workshops are filled up, they will not be available to be chosen.  We must have a health history form on file for you, the media release form, and code of conduct for every youth that goes.

The fee to attend Congress is $200 per participant.  HOWEVER... There are multiple funding opportunities available- the Congress Hero's program where you can find people to sponsor you to go to Congress- if you raise $250 then you only pay $100 to attend Congress; if you raise $300 then there is no cost to the participant to attend!  Or, if you compete at the district contest (give your presentation or speech, do extemporaneous speaking, radio spot, etc.) and then  compete at Congress there is a chance that you can earn a partial scholarship to attend.

Participants will have the choice to choose what competition workshop they would like to attend (if they are not competing), the Great Summer Showcase workshop that they would like to attend, and the College/Career Fair workshop they would like to attend.  The information and descriptions of all of these workshops can be found in the general information packet.

For more information, please visit the document library and look in the "4-H Congress 2015" folder to find the general information packet, congress hero form, registration form, and helpful tips for filling out the registration form.  You must turn this into the Extension office NO LATER THAN April 30, but again, the sooner the better to ensure that you get your first choice workshop choices!

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Sarah at the Extension Office.

New this year!  There will be an archery and shooting tournament at Congress!  No prior experience is necessary.

Examples of Great Summer Showcase workshop offerings:
**Note- this is just a small sample of workshops available.  Full descriptions of all workshops can be found in the General Information packet**


Solar Power
4-H members will learn the hands-on basics of producing energy the “green way.”  Participants will go outside to learn how to properly set up solar panels and measure the power they produce. The members will then look at wind energy by learning how to locate wind turbines and measure the wind they collect. Finally the members will learn how to produce energy from waste products by using a bio-digester.

National Weather Station Tour and SKYWARN Training
The effects of severe weather are felt every year by millions of Americans. The National Weather Service, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, established SKYWARN with partner organizations. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of serve weather to the NWS. SKYWARN coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornados, severe thunderstorms, and flash floods. Participants will become official trained SKYWARN volunteers as well as tour the local NWS station in Blacksburg.

GoPro Movie
In this workshop you'll work with GoPro cameras to shoot your own action movie. We'll review the basics of GoPro moviemaking before going outside to shoot your movie. We'll end the session back in our multimedia lab where you'll use GoPro Studio to put your movie together.

Drones and Other Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Tour the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Lab, learn about drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles, and observe a demonstration. Learn about research being conducted with rotary and fixed – wing aircraft modified, the International Aerial Robotics Competition and the Unmanned Vehicle Competition.

Healthy Living

Salad Factory-Create One of a Kind Flavorful Salads
Create your own award winning salads while learning to prepare a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as salad dressings in a two hour workshop. Participants will explore flavors and textures of common salad ingredients. Create one of a kind flavorful salads and dressings that will satisfy any appetite. A feast for the nose and tongue!

Water Resistance Training
Come test your strength in water during the Water Resistance Exercise workshop!!! You will learn what exercises will help areas of your body and you will take home a guide of exercises you can do yourself. You will get information on where to get the resistance weights used in the class, and information for several exercises you can do though-out the summer. Like water? Come join use we will be wet and cool!!!! Girls need to wear one piece bathing suits and boys need to wear swimming shorts. Bring a towel to dry off from your dip in the pool. Class will last 90 min.

Communication and Expressive Arts

Fashion Merchandising
Are you a fan of Project Runway? Think you have what it takes to make it in the fashion industry? Come spend the afternoon with members of the apparel, housing, and resource management department. Together you will explore textiles, apparel, and more!


Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts!
Do you ever make assumptions or place people into certain categories based on what they wear, how they talk, or who their friends are? Learn what stereotypes are, how hurtful they can be, and why we should speak out against categorizing people based on things we “think” we know.

Animal Science

So You Want to Be a Large Animal Vet, Learn Food Animal Production Management Medicine 

Students will have opportunity to explore the exciting world of Production Management Medicine. This will center on an analysis of health and disease at the Virginia Tech Dairy cattle center. The experience will involve the examination of cows, records and laboratory results.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rapidan River Master Garden Association Scholarship

The Rapidan River Master Gardener Association is proud to be offering a $1000 scholarship to a deserving high school graduate from Culpeper, Madison, or Orange County who will further their education in a Horticulture or Agricultural field at a college or vocational school.

To be considered, the applicant:
1.) Must be a current senior in a Culpeper, Orange, or Madison County school or homeschool
2.) Will graduate from high school in the year of the application
3.) Will have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or higher
4.) Must be planning to pursue a career in the field of Horticulture and/or Agriculture
5.) Will be enrolled as a full-time Horticulture and/or Agricultural student in an institution of higher learning in the fall semester immediately following graduation.

Application Process:
Completed applications are to be mailed to the committee chairman at the address found on the application.

To find the application visit the document library and look for RRMG Scholarship in the Blog Post Follow Up folder.  You can also pick up a copy of the application at the Extension office.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Block and Bridle Results

Congratulations to the Orange County Stockman's team on their participation in the Block and Bridle Stockmens and Livestock Judging Contests at Virginia Tech.  The team participated in the Stockmen's contest on Friday afternoon and the Livestock Judging contest on Saturday.

Results from the Stockmen's Contest:
The senior team made up of Hunter Watkins, Blake Hopkins, Robert Nixon, and Matthew Miller were first in judging; Hunter placed fifth individually and Blake placed third individually.  They were the fifth team overall for the contest and Blake was third overall for the contest.

Results from the Livestock Judging Contest:
The junior team of Abbie Gill, Seth Wilbanks, Case Norford, and Diesle Gilbert were first as a team in sheep; Abbie placed seventh overall in sheep for the junior division.
 In the advanced junior division, the team consisting of Garrett Hopkins, Brice Norford, and Gini Bryington placed first in sheep; Garrett placed fifth individually in swine and Brice placed seventh individually in sheep.

In the senior advanced division, the team of Robert Nixon, Blake Hopkins, and Hunter Watkins placed first in cattle and was second overall.  In cattle, Hunter was sixth overall and Robert was first overall.  Blake placed eighth individually in sheep and Robert placed ninth in reasons.  Overall, Robert placed seventh as an individual and Hunter placed fourth as an individual.

Congratulations to everyone who participated!  The team did a great job.  We encourage new members to join!

Friday, March 20, 2015

2015 online Eligibility/Declaration for the State 4-H Horse Program

The 2015 Online Eligibility/Declaration Form is now posted to the State 4-H Horse Program Website here:

Please keep in mind that you  must declare your 4-H Project Horse(s) both on paper and online no later than May 1, 2015 in order to be eligible for the 2015 State Show!  

In order to be eligible to attend the State 4-H Championship Horse & Pony Show:
    • 4-H youth must declare 4-H Project Horse(s) online no later than May 1st, 2015.
    • 4-H youth must also submit a hard copy of declaration forms  to their county extension office and have the county agent sign them prior to May 1st, 2015.
    • And meet all other requirements….

If you plan to show at any 4-H Event on the district or state level, this is required!  Declaring does not lock you into showing, but is required to be eligible.  

Congratulations to the Orange County Junior team at the District Food Challenge Contest!

Congratulations to the junior team consisting of Grace Cooper, Jillian Gallihugh, and Stuart Gallihugh for their performance at the district Food Challenge contest on Saturday, March 14.  They made a vegetable platter in the contest.  They placed 3rd overall in the contest and did a great job!

Orange County Fair Theme for 2015 Is.....

Just announced!  The theme for the 2015 Orange County Fair is "Farm to Fair to Home"!  Be on the lookout later for contests announced from the fair board.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Rockingham County Invites Local Youth to Market Animal Boot Camp and Beef Ambassador Contests

1.      Virginia Beef Industry Council and Rockingham County Extension are proud to bring you the 2015 Virginia Beef Ambassador Contest. 

a.      This year the contest will be held at the Junior Beef Roundup (Virginia Beef Expo) in Harrisonburg, VA on Saturday, April 18th starting at 1PM.  This contest is open to ALL interested youth ages 12-20. 

b.      Participants are not required to have a background in agriculture or own beef cattle.  The purpose of the project is to gain knowledge of the beef industry and to provide an opportunity for youth to educate consumers and other youth about beef nutrition, food safety, and stewardship practices of the beef industry.

c.       We greatly appreciate the support of this project and the Checkoff dollars from our Virginia Beef Producers.


2.      Market Animal Boot Camp 

a.      Date:  Saturday, May 2nd from 9AM-2PM (live auction starts at 2PM)

b.      Location:  Rockingham County Fairgrounds Barns

c.       Activities:  Family event to provide information and resources to youth interested in showing market animals

d.      Note:  First 300 to register receive a free t-shirt

e.      RSVP:  Call the Extension Office (564-3080)

f.        This year we are expanding to include pen sales and a live auction for lamb, hogs and goats. We are asking individuals buying to bring multiple checks if purchasing animals from more than one breeder

g.      We welcome business vendors and breeders 


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Virginia Beef Ambassador Contest

Become Virginia's 2015 Beef Ambassador!  Compete in a promotional contest to advocate for the BEEF industry!
The state contest will be held at the Virginia Beef Expo in Rockingham County on April 18.  This contest is open to everyone ages 12-20, and owning beef cattle is not a requirement!  You could have the opportunity to travel to Colorado and compete with youth from all over the nation.
The Beef Ambassador Program strives to provide an opportunity for youth to educate consumers of all ages about beef nutrition, food safety, and stewardship practices of the beef industry.  The goal of the program is to utilize beef ambassadors to engage consumers and youth in the beef production story through promotion, education, media, and the online environment.
Each of the top three senior division winners and the top placing junior division winner will be awarded prize money upon the fulfillment of the ambassador requirements.  Additionally, the top placing senior division winner will be sponsored to attend the National Beef Ambassador Contest.
The Virginia Beef Ambassadors will be the official youth representatives of the beef industry.  The term of the ambassadors will begin immediately following the completion of the Virginia Beef Ambassador Contest and will last for one year.  Ambassadors will be required to appear at the following events: Virginia Beef Month activities (May), Summer Grilling events (June/July), Virginia Cattlemen's Convention (July), County Fairs or Farm Tours, and Virginia State Fair (September/October).  Ambassadors may be invited to attend additional consumer events throughout the year.

Please check the document library in the blog post follow up information folder for more information and the registration packet.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Norway Teens Need Summer Host Families!

Consider opening your homes this summer and host a student from Norway!  There are 6 Norwegian teens who need host families from June 24-July 19.  They are:

IreneTroen Froysa, age 18, female, Interested in sports, soccer, skiing, movies, allergic to cats
Raymond Vag Lie, age 18, male, Interested in piano, friends, boat, fishing, photography
Runar Kydland, age 18, male, Interested in volleyball, ice hockey, cars, dirt biking
Camilla Heshein, age 30, female chaperone, interested in family, cooking, outdoor life, 4-H
Ingvild Solbert Brandtzaeg, age 17, female, Interested in 4-H, Handball, photography, sports, talking, farms
Ola Tomilson, age 18, male, Interested in photography, learning new things

For more information, visit

To host, please go to the following website and fill out an application form:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

We're Ready for You to Sign Up for County Contests!

Our 4-H Clubs have seen some GREAT presentations, speeches, radio spots, and extemporaneous speeches lately. Now it's on to the next level of competition, and we hope you'll participate!

The 4-H County Contests will be held Tuesday evening, March 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Orange Extension office. This is a great opportunity to get feedback from additional judges and prepare you for the district contests if that's your goal. Please pre-register online at this link:

You have an additional opportunity to compete at the district level on Saturday, April 11. We're lucky this event is next door in Madison County, so there's not a lot of travel required. District contests will be held from 9:30 a.m. to approximately Noon on that day. This is another level of competition, so it will help you accrue additional points toward becoming a 4-H All Star. Plus it's fun, challenging, and rewarding! You can sign up for districts at the above link, or call the Extension office.

Virginia Cooperative Extension State Updates- Youth Equine Specialist and Youth Livestock Specialist

An update from Virginia Cooperative Extension State Staff:

For those of you unaware, Virginia Tech has been going through a hiring process to hire two new youth specialists.  The Youth Equine Position and the Youth Livestock Position both work directly with Extension staff, youth, and undergraduate students.

Youth Equine Position- This position was reevaluated with focus on the best option to provide the needed leadership and support for the Youth Equine Programs.  As a result, Celeste Crisman has agreed to remain in the Youth Specialist position in a part time capacity to provide leadership and management oversight to the program.  Two Extension Program Associates will be hired to work with her to execute programs and competitions.  One Associate will be based on campus in Blacksburg (a similar position has existed for several years, but has been vacant for several months), and the second Associate will be a new position and will be based at the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center (MARE Center).

Youth Livestock Position- The state is pleased to announce that Dr. David Roper from the University of Tennessee has accepted this position.  Dr. Roper has been very engaged in youth livestock programs his entire life, and has been actively involved in youth programming, undergraduate teaching, and Extension efforts during his time at UT while he has pursued his doctorate degree.  Dr. Roper will arrive on campus after the conclusion of spring semester.

Sheep AND GOAT Weigh-in Date Has Moved

An earlier post failed to mention that the sheep and goat weigh-in date has moved from the original date. Here is the same information, but please realize that this affects sheep and goat projects.

Due to a scheduling conflict, the beginning sheep and goat weigh-in has been moved to MONDAY, May 18, 2015, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. We apologize for the inconvenience. The weigh-in will be the same week as originally planned, only two days earlier. Please make note of this on your calendar. 

Virginia STEAM Academy- Summer STEAM

The Summer STEAM Academy is a free, one week academy for rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders drawn from across the Commonwealth of Virginia and interested in science, technology, engineering, and applied mathematics.  There are only 120 slots available for this opportunity!

Session 1 will be held June 21-27 at Old Dominion University.  The courses will be math reasoning and computer engineering; wonders of water; rockers, ships, and the material science behind them; and mathematical patterns in nature.  They will pull in groups such as teachers from throughout Virginia schools, university and college professors, educators and scientists from the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, teams of people from the NASA Langley Research Center and Newport News Shipbuilding experts, and more!

Session 2 will be held July 12-18 at Radford University.  Courses there will be introduction to nanoscience; cyber security; mathematical modeling; and life sciences quest.  Many of these instructors will be local teachers and college and university professors.

Check out this video for more information on the program.

The deadline to apply is March 24, 2015!  Visit this website to find out more information, FAQs, and find the application.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Market Animal Bootcamp on May 2

Market Animal Bootcamp is quickly approaching on May 2!  This is an AWESOME, family friendly event that is geared towards youth showing, goats, hogs, steers, lambs and poultry.  There will be vendors on site, a consignment sale where you can take gently used or outgrown tack or show supplies, consignment sale, live auction, and more!  There will be great showmanship clinics for both new showmen and experienced showmen as well.  
The first 300 participants to register for this event will receive a free t-shirt! To register, call the Rockingham Extension Office at 540-564-3080.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sheep Weigh-in Date Moved to MONDAY, May 18

Due to a scheduling conflict, the beginning sheep weigh-in has been moved to MONDAY, May 18, 2015, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. We apologize for the inconvenience. The weigh-in will be the same week as originally planned, only two days earlier. Please make note of this on your calendar. 

Remember that market hogs will not have a one-day weigh-in. Instead, members will need to pick up tags from the Extension office during the month of April. Members will need to tag their hogs, take a photo of the tag in the animal's ear, and submit that via e-mail. More information will be forthcoming, but for now, please make plans to get this done during April. All photos of properly installed tags will be due by 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 24, 2015. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Northern District Livestock Show- The Culpeper Invitational

The Northern District Livestock Show- Culpeper Invitational will be held on Saturday, May 30 at the Culpeper Agricultural Enterprises. The show will start with the swine show at 9 a.m.  The sheep show will follow the swine show, and the beef show will follow the sheep show.
Exhibitors must be a 4-H or FFA member enrolled in a 4-H club or FFA chapter by January 1, 2015.  Exhibitors must be 9 years old by September 30 and no older than 19 on December 31, 2015.
The deadline for entries for all departments to be delivered to Extension offices is April 20.  No late entries will be accepted.

New this year- the NDLS needs sponsors to support the awards as well as other costs involved in keeping the show going.  If you plan to show at this event you will need to recruit a sponsor as well!

The full rules and entry form, as well as the sponsor letter, can be found on the document library in the "Blog Post Follow Up" folder.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March is Presentations Month- Are you ready?

March is presentations month in Orange 4-H.  The Dairy Club has already given their presentations, and some 4-Hers even branched out and did some extemporaneous speaking and a radio spot!  As a reminder- here are some of the options that you can choose:

- Presentation
- Public Speaking
- Extemporaneous Speech
- Share-the-Fun
- Radio Spot

Presentations can be a demonstration, which shows how to do something, or an illustrated talk, which uses visuals to provide information on a topic.  Either type of presentation includes at least one visual, such as posters or PowerPoint, and tangible items when possible.  All of the presentations should have an introduction, body (materials and steps), and conclusion.

The document library has two GREAT handouts on presentations and public speaking.

After you have been in 4-H for a couple of years and mastered presentations, you can get out of your comfort zone and try something different!

Public speaking is where you must give a speech on a chosen topic.  You may not have any visual aids, props, or costumes.  The speech should be memorized with minimal use of notes and you should NOT read the entire speech!

Extemporaneous speaking is where the 4-Her will draw three topics and choose one topic to speak on.  The questions will be based on 4-H and life skill experiences that will not require any research.  Juniors and intermediates will have up to 30 minutes and seniors up to 15 minutes to prepare their talk.  Juniors and intermediates will speak on their topic for 2-3 minutes and seniors will speak on their topic for 3-5 minutes.

Share-the-Fun is a talent show.  Categories include: dance, drama, instrumental, variety, vocal, and combination.  You should check with your club leader to determine if Share-the-Fun will be held on a club level.
- Dance: includes tap, ballet, interpretive, modern, jazz, acrobatic, folk, clogging, step, Celtic
- Drama: includes play or scene from a play, monologue, mime
- Instrumental: playing of an instrument
-Variety: includes magic acts, stand-up comics, puppetry, impressionists, ventriloquism, clowning,
juggling, circus acts, tumbling/gymnastics, lip sync, bird calls, martial arts
- Vocal: all singing, including rap, yodeling, a cappella, or with musical accompaniment
- Combination- two or more categories above, such as singing and playing the guitar or dancing and

Radio spot is an opportunity for members to quickly and creatively promote some aspect of 4-H to the general public.  The radio spot should be EXACTLY 30 seconds in length.  The 4-Her also must provide a complete written script to the timekeeper.  The judges are unable to see the contestant, only hear them.

If you need more help on this, please contact your club leader or the Extension Office.  GOOD LUCK!

New Horse Owner Certification Program March 27-28

A new program to address the challenges and rewards of responsible horse ownership.

Junior Beef Roundup Information (Former Beef Expo and Commonwealth Classic)

The 2015 Junior Beef Roundup (last year’s Commonwealth Classic) will be held in conjunction with the Virginia Beef Expo at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg, VA. The Junior Beef Roundup will be the traditional 3rd weekend in April, April 17 – 19, 2015. We have a full weekend of activities planned. In addition to the steer and heifer shows (Sat-Sunday), the weekend will include a youth Cattle Fitting Contest and a Sales Contest (both Saturday), along with the Beef Ambassador Contest (Saturday), State Stockmans Contest (Friday) and State Cattle Working Contest (Saturday).

All of the information for the 2015 Junior Beef Roundup can be found on the youth livestock web site. The site includes all contests’ rules/regulations, entry forms/fees, and how to enter. Entry deadlines vary based on the contest, so please be sure to read the rules for each contest carefully.

4-H State Congress

June may seem far off but it will be here before soon!  Senior 4-H Congress will take place June 15-18 in Blacksburg, VA. The registration packet and materials for Senior Congress will be released towards the end of March.  There will only be ONE registration phase this year.  It will combine all registration information (personal contact info, workshop requests, competitions, etc.) at once.   Registration will close on April 30.

4-H State Congress is a great opportunity for all senior 4-Hers (age 14-19 as of September 30 of this year) to attend a state wide event in Blacksburg.  Students have the ability to stay in the dorms on the Virginia Tech campus, eat in the award winning dining hall, visit the individual colleges on the campus, attend workshops, learn more about 4-H opportunities, and most importantly, meet other 4-Hers from across the state!

Last year Orange County took 13 youth to Congress.  Let's take even more this year!

While the information packet and registration will not be available for another month- here are the updates on the fees for this year. 

·         The fee for a full week participant will be $200 (there may be additional local fees for transportation in a charter bus to and from Congress)  
·         The fee for one day registration participants will be $40 (includes competition, lunch, and congress t-shirt). 

·         Congress Heroes Program:  In an effort to ensure that State 4-H Congress is affordable for all youth wishing to attend, this program allows youth to help generate funds that will support their registration fee.  This program has been vastly under-utilized in the past to assist youth with their registration fee.  We highly encourage youth to participate in this program to reduce/cover the cost of their registration fee.   If youth begin now, they have over 3 months to recruit support for this leadership opportunity.  Prizes will be awarded at Congress for top Congress Hero 4-H earners. 

More information about Senior 4-H Congress can be found at:

If you are interested in attending Congress or would like more information, please contact Sarah at the Extension Office.

Save the Date for 4-H Horse Camp!

Save the Date for Horse Camp at Front Royal - August 9-13, 2015
Here's a little information but more details on cost and registration will come out in early April.

Camp will be held at the Northern VA 4-H Center, 600 4-H Center Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630

Bring your own horse to the beautiful Northern Virginia 4-H Center and enjoy five days with your horse. This camp is for ANY level of riding experience ages 9-14. You don’t have to already be registered in 4-H to attend this camp.

Camp consists of:
  • hands-on activities with your horse 
  • fun group lessons in Western and English riding instruction
  • educational presentations
  • games & horsemanship education
Camp price is TBD if registered as an “early bird” by June 1, 2015. Fee will include  
  • stabling in 44-stall historic cavalry barn
  • swimming, canoeing, campfires
  • meals and lodging included

Contact Cindy Puryear at cpuryear[at] for more information. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Orange County Represented in Skyline Stockman's Contest

Congratulations to Seth Wilbanks who represented in the Skyline Stockman's Contest in Front Royal on February 28.  He survived the cold weather and did a great job and had a great learning experience!