Virtual Show & Sponsorship

Support our hard working youth with animal projects in the 4-H Virtual Show & Sponsorship Drive being held in lieu of the county fair.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Handmade, Natural Ornaments Needed for 4-H Tree at Inn at Virginia Tech

The Virginia 4-H Office will again have a holiday tree on display at the Inn at Virginia Tech. 4-H members or groups are encouraged to submit ornaments made from natural items, such as acorns, sticks, plant fibers, etc. Please submit your donations to the Extension office by November 1st. Ornaments will not be returned. Please let us know if you have any questions. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Officer Training Workshop Will be Held Monday, November 17

All Orange 4-H clubs should elect officers at their October club meetings. Officer training will be held Monday, November 17, 2014, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.  This year we will meet here at the Orange Extension Office in the public meeting room. 4-H members from Madison County will join us as well. Please hold this date on your calendar. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Succession Solutions for Farm Families

Succession is the watershed issue facing America’s family farmers. Planning for a smooth ownership transition and preparing the next generation to lead is tough. Providing financial security and eliminating the estate tax can be complex and confusing. If multigenerational success is your goal, this presentation is for you.
In this session, participants will learn the five keys to preserving the farm, and passing a successful operation to a well-prepared next generation. During the session, you’ll learn about the planning process, good communication strategies, and how to overcome obstacles. Utilizing tips from this workshop will help ensure the farm remains in the family, provides financial security, and offers career opportunities for generations to
Workshop participants will gain the confidence and preliminary tools to seek succession solutions for their farm family.
Presenter Kevin Spafford is the founder of Legacy by Design, a firm dedicated to providing succession solutions for farm families. Over the last ten years, he’s spearheaded initiatives to improve the way
farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness owners engage in the succession planning process.
In 2013, Legacy by Design introduced eLegacyConnect, an online succession planning community complete with action plans, resource library, forums, a roster of advisors, and many other features to help farm and agribusiness owners plan for the future. As the architect of the Farm Journal Legacy Project, Kevin has facilitated more than 100 live events benefitting thousands of farm families across the U.S. He involves audiences in experiences that encourage action and generate results.

Northern Virginia 4-H Maker Festival

Join 4-H for a 4-H Maker Festival!
To register, visit

4-H Short Film Festival

Join 4-H for a film festival!
High school students are invited to spend a weekend at the NOVA 4-H Ed Center learning to create a 3-5 minute short film October 17-19.
Participants will develop digital story-telling skills such as:
 Critical Media Analysis
 Story Boarding
 Video Editing
 Shot Composition
 Brain Mapping

 Participants may register as a film team of 3-5 members or they will select a team during the event.

 Participants may bring their own iPads/Tablets and one iPad will be available per film team.

 Participants will spend Friday evening and Saturday morning participating in exercises and workshops to teach them the fundamentals of creating a high quality short film.

 On Saturday afternoon, participants will begin a 24 hour period to create their short film. Films will be handed in Sunday at 2:30pm, followed by an exhibit of all of the films, judging, hors d’oeuvres and an award ceremony.

 All blue ribbon short films will be submitted to the Virginia 4-H Youth Voices Red Carpet Event in the spring.

 The Best 4-H Short Film will be submitted to the National FilmFest 4-H, with a stipend given to each member of the winning film team to support making this trip.

 Professionals in the film industry, film school graduate students and Virginia Cooperative Extension staff will lead the workshops, chaperone this weekend event and judge the short films.

 For $85, high school students will enjoy two nights at the 4-H Ed Center, five meals and multiple snacks, all program supplies, a t-shirt and will learn to create a high quality short film.

For more information or a registration form, please visit

Friday, September 12, 2014

Now is the Time to Work on 4-H All Star Nominations

The Virginia Chapter of 4-H All Stars' motto is service, and now is the time of year to work on nominations for members to be inducted in 2015. 4-H members of any age are encouraged to work on their All Star forms because the nomination encompasses one's entire 4-H career. It's much easier to record your involvement annually rather than waiting until you're a teen trying to remember what you did as a Cloverbud!

All Star forms are due to the county level by October 15 and they will be forwarded to the district and state levels from there. A how-to workshop is being held online this year on Wednesday, September 17, at 7:00 p.m. This means that you can join from the comfort of your home, or any other facility that has good Internet access. Register online to receive an email with connection instructions.

The All Star form is newly formatted this year and contains additional ways in which members can earn points to become a 4-H All Star. The forms must be completed in Microsoft Excel; if you don't have this software you can schedule time to use an Extension office computer. Click HERE to go to the All Stars page; the forms are linked in the right sidebar of the page.

All Stars induction is open to youth who are at least 15 years of age as of 1/1/15, who have completed three or more years of 4-H, and who attain at least 80 points on the nomination form. Various activities, projects, and service and leadership opportunities earn various points according to the forms. Applications are due in the fall, and those who are accepted will need to attend the tapping ceremony held at Virginia Tech in June.

Again, please join us September 17 for an informational workshop online, and contact Kaci in the Extension office if you have any questions. There is a very tight turnaround time this year because of the new forms, but please don't let that deter you from applying! You can do it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Travel Abroad with 4-H!

4-H group exchanges provide unique experiences of traveling as a group but also having some host family experiences as well. Live with a host family sharing everyday life while learning about a different culture and sharing yours.  Please promote these opportunities to senior 4-H members who are in the eligible age ranges for the group exchanges. Encourage 4-H members to participate in a life changing experience in another country while making friendships that will last a life time.

All of these exchanges have a December 15, 2014 deadline.

For 2015, group exchanges are being offered for teen 4-H members for:

--Costa Rica – June 18 –July 17, 2015 (15 participants)
     Curious about how the other side of the world lives? Live with a host family in Costa Rica and immerse yourself in a world that most tourists rarely get to see. You’ll share everyday life with friends and relatives in the community and build friendships that will last a lifetime. An adult chaperone will travel with the delegation on all international flights and stay in Costa Rica for the entire exchange period to assist with any concerns. 
Dates: June 18 – July 17, 2015
Overview: Departure orientation in US gateway city
Two-night arrival orientation in Alajuela, Costa Rica
Four week homestay with Costa Rican host family
(Most families are located in small towns and rural areas)
Excursions to Poas Volcano, Waterfall Garden Park or similar

--Finland – June 29 – August 1, 2015 (20 participants)
     Curious about how the other side of the world lives? Live with a host family in Finland and immerse yourself in a world that most tourists rarely get to see. You’ll share everyday life with friends and relatives in the community and build friendships that will last a lifetime. An adult chaperone will travel with the delegation on all international flights and stay in Finland for the entire exchange period to assist with any concerns. This exchange is coordinated with the Finnish 4H Federation who will organize the Arrival Orientation, homestay and camp.
Dates: June 29 – August 1, 2015
Program Overview: Departure orientation in US gateway city 
Two-night arrival orientation and sightseeing in Helsinki, Finland 
Homestay with Finnish family* 
Nordic Camp from July 23-30, 2015 with 1,000 other 4-H youth
Camp themes: intercultural learning, voluntarism, healthy lifestyle

--Japan – June 10 – August 6, 2015 (17 participants) and July 8 – August 6, 2015 (no Maximum number of participants)
Curious about how the other side of the world lives? Live with a host family in Japan and immerse yourself in a world that most tourists rarely get to see. You’ll share everyday life with friends and relatives in the community and build friendships that will last a lifetime. An adult chaperone will travel with the delegation on all international flights and stay in Japan for the entire exchange period to assist with any concerns.

Program Options:
8 week Nihongo Program: June 10-August 6, 2015
For the first 4 weeks, stay with a host family in the Tokyo area, while attending an intensive Japanese language program. After 4 weeks of the language program, you will move to a second host family for regular 4-week homestay (see below). 

4 week Homestay Program: July 8-August 6, 2015
Live with a Japanese host family for the month and experience daily life. You will be placed with a host sibling of the same gender with similar age. A group camp is offered through Labo & Utrek. 

Other countries may be added later.  

For further information and application forms, please contact:

Dottie Nelson
Cell   276-617-1065

Monday, September 8, 2014

2014 Equine Photography Contest

 The 2014 4-H Equine Photography Contest will be held this week at the State 4-H Horse Show in Lexington, and it’s not too late to enter!  The contest is open to all 4-H members. (Even if they aren’t enrolled in a horse club, they are eligible as long as they are 4-H members.) 

·        There are Junior, Senior, and Cloverbud categories.
·        Youth are permitted to enter only one photograph. 
·        Entries must be either 5x7 or 8x10 and matted. 
·        No frames or glass is permitted in the contest because of the manner in which we display the photographs.
·        Youth do not have to be showing a horse to enter.
·        Entries are due at the Virginia Horse Center, in the show office by 6:00 PM Thursday, September 11.
·        If you need help getting your entry to the show, please contact me via email ( immediately.

Friday, September 5, 2014

State Fair Skill-a-thon

The 2014 Skill-a-thon contests will be held in conjunction with the Premier Exhibitor Programs at the 2014 State Fair of Virginia. These contests are open to non-youth livestock exhibitors at the State Fair.  The contest will be held Friday, October 3 from 12:00 PM- 2:30 PM.

Key items about the Skill-a-thon contests for NON-exhibitors:
·         A separate gate entry pass will need to be purchased through the State Fair of Virginia, if you are not an exhibitor. Details about this registration is available on the youth livestock web site under the State Fair of Virginia information.
·         The skill-a-thon contests are limited to 3 contestants per species per age division for each club/chapter.
·         Skill-a-thon entry fee is $5 per person.

If you are a youth livestock exhibitor, you will automatically be entered in each respective species that you are showing, as well as the opportunity to choose one additional contest at registration.

If you are not showing at the state fair and you are interested in participating in the State Fair Skill-a-thon, you must contact the Extension Office by Monday and let us know what species you would like to compete in (beef, meat goat, sheep, swine).

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Jamestown 4-H Center Fall/Winter Specialty Camps

Jamestown 4-H Center in Williamsburg offers multiple camps throughout the year- not just 4-H summer camp!
They are offering a science camp November 7-9 focusing all about energy.  Their winter teen weekend will be held on December 29-31... a perfect vacation during winter break!
Check out their brochures for more information or to sign up.

Science Camp 2014 – 11/7-9/14 - Now you are playing with power! (Energy)-
Winter Teen Weekend 2014 – 12/29-31/14 - Camp on a whole new level! -

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

2015 Virginia Association of Fairs Youth Scholarship Contest

The 2015 Virginia Association of Fairs Youth Scholarship Contest is approaching quickly!  This year, the competition will be held on Saturday, January 10, 2015 (a week later than normal.)  Entries are due no later than December 5, 2014 at 5 p.m. to the Orange County Extension Office. No e-mails or faxes are accepted.
This contest is open to youth ages 14-19 as of January 1, 2015 who have been an active participant in a VAF-member fair or festival.  Scholarship prizes range from $500 to $2,500.  The contest consists of prepared public speaking; extemporaneous public speaking; application, resume, and essay; digital symposium; and an interview.
The goal of this scholarship contest is to recognize superior leadership characteristics among junior members of the Association and the industry; and encourage and develop leadership and speaking skills among junior members so that they will be able to serve their local boards, the industry, and their local communities.

General Rules:

1. Contestants must be from the ages of 14 to 19 as of January 1 of the contest year.

2. In order to compete, contestants must have actively participated in their local VAF-member fair, and
their application must be signed by a local, sponsoring fair official. Participation is not limited to only junior fair board members. A young person who has served as a volunteer and an exhibitor is a good example of a logical candidate for this contest.

3. A letter of reference from a fair member must be submitted with the application, résumé, and essay.  The letter should stress the applicant’s leadership abilities and contributions to the local VAF-member fair.

4. Contestants must be present in the designated room at the conference hotel during the Virginia Association of Fairs Convention, by 10:00 a.m. on the contest date, to receive instructions.

5. Contestants should be dressed in professional attire and conduct themselves accordingly during the entire contest period.

6. In case of a tie for any placement based on numerical scores, the judging panel will be informed and consulted to break the tie after the completion of the contest.

7. Contest results will be announced Saturday evening. The top six contestants will be notified and expected to stay, although all competitors are encouraged to attend.

8. Top scorers in selected division(s) may be asked to present to the VAF membership.

For more information and the application, please visit the document library and look under the "Blog Post Follow Up Information" section.

Livestock Club Meeting Reminder

We are discovering that there were some problems with our Virginia Tech e-mail yesterday and not everyone received the Livestock Club meeting reminder.  Yes, there is a Livestock Club meeting TONIGHT at 7 pm at the Presbyterian Church!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Support the Orange Food Challenge Team on their way to the National Contest!

The Orange 4-H Food Challenge team needs your help!  They are raising funds to attend the National Food Challenge Competition October 6-9 at the Texas State Fair!  This is a HUGE honor for Orange 4-H to have the first ever Food Challenge team from the county attend the national contest!
To support their trip, they are having a baked potato fundraiser on September 10!  It is $6 for a loaded potato and dessert.  You can pick them up at the Orange Extension Office from 4-7 pm.  You do need to pre-order your potato by Monday, September 8 at NOON!  You may order online at or by calling the Extension office at (540)672-1361.