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.

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 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 ( 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 ( 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

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]!

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! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

4-H Christmas Tree Theme Announced

It's a rainy, dreary weekend ahead, so pull out those craft supplies and create an ornament for the Virginia 4-H Christmas tree in Blacksburg. The tree's theme is "4-H Grows", so think of how 4-H grows in our community and make an ornament reflective of that. Ornaments should be no larger than four inches by four inches and appropriate for hanging on a tree.

Whether it's kids, animals, crops, leadership skills, clubs, volunteers, or anything else, we've got a good thing growing here in Orange 4-H and we look forward to some great ornament submissions. Entries are due to the Extension office by November 10 so we can get them mailed. Thanks!