Monday, April 27, 2009

Boater Safety Class Offered

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

Art Contest Open to All 4-H'ers

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

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lamb, Pig, and Goat Workshop and Sale

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

Hoof Mates Fundraise for State Show

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

4-H Host Families Needed for International Delegates

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

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

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

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

Fair President Resigns for Health Reasons

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

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

Stockman's Youth Place in Beef Expo Contest

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

Solids, Spots, and Dots Club Hosts Large Regional Clinic

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

District Contests Results

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

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

Cattle Working Team Wins State Title!!!

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

Livestock Club Holds Community Service Day

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

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hoof Mates Members Fare Well at State Event

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

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

Orange Captures District Cattle Working Titles

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

4-H Camp Paperwork and Fees Due April 24th

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

Koontz places well in Glenwood Livestock Show

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

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hillegass Commended for Outstanding Community Service Work

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

Teen Reality Weekend at 4-H Center

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