Posted in Livestock, Programming, Youth

Sportsmanship & Youth Development

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My youngest daughter, Meredith has been learning responsibility with her first bucket calf.

Webster’s Third International Dictionary defines sportsmanship as “conduct becoming an individual involving fair and honest competition, courteous relations and graceful acceptance of results”.  Sportsmanship starts with parents teaching their youth how to accept a win or a loss, although in the 4-H youth development program, even if the youth receives a red ribbon, nothing is lost as long as some basic knowledge and skills were gained. Too often in our society we focus on the tangible results of a ribbon or trophy and don’t think about the process that youth went through to achieve the end results and what was learned from that process.

I often use the example that as a youth, I’ll never forget receiving a red ribbon for a market heifer; I was disappointed, but will never forget my dad asking me, what the judge said in the comments.  After we talked it over, I realized his reasoning and was able to understand the type of animal I should select the following year. That was a lesson I’ll never forget.  My parents instilled the value of hard work into my sister and I and any animal we showed we bought with our own money to build a small cow/calf herd or they came from our own herd. We rarely had the award-winning animal and were extremely excited to even receive a purple ribbon. The learning that occurred, memories and fun we had were just as valuable then if we would have received a trophy or plaque.

For these reasons, it is really rewarding to work with youth who are happy with any ribbon placing- white, red, blue or purple. It really is just one person’s opinion on one particular day!

The 4-H Program focuses on providing positive youth development and developing young people as future leaders. A ribbon or plaque placing does not achieve this; rather it is the process, skills and effort that went into the project.  It is also important to mention that the entire 4-H program extends beyond the county fair and is done through educational workshops, career portfolios, leadership experiences and much more and is a year-round program.

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My oldest daughter, McKenzie added pigs to her 4-H project this year and has been having to learn lots more responsibility and patience.

Positive Youth Development

National 4-H reminds us that there are four critical components of a successful learning experience which include a sense of belonging, independence, mastery and generosity. During county fair and all 4-H programming, it is important that youth experience these.

Belonging

Youth need to know they are cared about by others and feel a sense of connection to others in the group. As the facilitator, it is important to provide youth the opportunity to feel physically and emotionally safe while actively participating in a group. Create a safe and inclusive environment and foster a positive relationship with youth learners. Use discussion questions that encourage youth to learn from each other, synthesize and use ideas collaboratively.

Independence

Youth need to know that they are able to influence people and events through decision-making and action. They learn to better understand themselves and become independent thinkers. Throughout each curriculum, youth are given opportunities to develop and reflect upon thoughts and responses to the challenges, explorations, and investigations. Youth begin to understand that they are able to act as change agents with confidence and competence as a result of their learning.

Mastery

In order to develop self-confidence youth need to feel and believe they are capable and they must experience success at solving problems and meeting challenges. Youth need a breadth and depth of topics that allow them to pursue their own interests. Introduce youth to expert knowledge and guide them toward their own sense of mastery and accomplishment.

Generosity

Youth need to feel their lives have meaning and purpose. Throughout each curriculum, youth are encouraged to broaden their perspectives, find relevance in the topic area and bring ideas back to their community.

Adapted from 4-H Essential Elements of 4-H Youth Development, Dr. Cathann Kress, 2004.

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Posted in Crops, Livestock, Programming

Good farmer or a great manager?

The difference between a good farmer and a great manager often comes down to knowing the true financial position of a farm. Good records make it possible to track an operation’s true financial position. Inaccurate records can lead to misguided management decisions.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Good Farmer to Great Manager” Record-keeping classes will teach farmers and ranchers to keep accurate records for their operations. These classes will be held at three locations:

  • Lincoln, July 18 – 19 at the Lancaster County Extension Office
  • Bridgeport, July 25 – 26 at the Prairie Winds Community Center
  • Grand Island, July 30 – 31 at the Hall County Extension Office

Each class will run from 1p.m. until 5 p.m. the first day, and 8 a.m. until noon the second day. The course fee is $50 per participant; class size is limited to 25 people per location. Register online at https://www.regonline.com/registration/Checkin.aspx…

Keeping good records is less about using a certain software and more about gathering and organizing information, according to Tina Barret the Executive Director of Nebraska Farm Business Inc. and course instructor. “In this class, you will learn about what information you should have easily available as part of your farm or ranch records. When you have good records, everything from tax preparation, annual loan renewals, and financial analysis become much easier,” she said. “More importantly, it will allow you to make financial management decisions that improve your business.”

Posted in Crops, Programming

Weed Science Field Days

Recently I came across an article from Penn State Extension that started out, “No matter what definition is used, weeds are plants whose undesirable qualities outweigh their good points.” A basic definition I use, is “a plant that is out of place and not where it is intended to be”.  No matter how you define it, weeds continue to be a problem for many farmers across the country. Weeds usually have an abundant seed production, rapid population establishment, seed dormancy, long-term survival of buried seed, adaption for them to spread and the ability to occupy sites disturbed by human activity. Weeds reduce crop quality, interfere with harvest, serve as hosts for crop diseases or provide shelter for insects to overwinter, can limit the choice of crop rotation sequences and cultural practices and some can even produce chemical substances toxic to plants, animals or humans. For producers in the area, there are two field days approaching to help manage weeds.Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 8.21.41 PM

Growers, crop consultants, ag professionals and extension educators are encouraged to attend Nebraska Extension’s weed management field day from 8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 26 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center.

The field day will include on-site demonstrations of herbicides for weed control in corn, popcorn and soybean. An early morning demonstration will focus on weed control in soybeans followed by a demonstration of projects for weed control in corn and popcorn.

According to Extension Weed Management Specialist Amit Jhala, a number of projects will be demonstrated during the field day, including weed control in XtendFlex soybean, Enlist Corn, and Alite 27 Soybean. New this year for participants, is the opportunity to learn about a research project aimed at terminating cereal rye before and after planting soybean and control of volunteer corn in Enlist Corn.  Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education units are available.

There is no cost to attend the field day, but participants are asked to register at http://agronomy.unl.edu/fieldday. The South Central Agricultural Laboratory is 4.5 miles west of the intersection of Highways 14 and 6, or 12.4 miles east of Hastings on Highway 6.

Another field day for those interested in management of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth is a Nebraska Extension field day, supported by the Nebraska Soybean Board, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. July 10 near Carleton. Palmer amaranth is a member of the pigweed family and is one of the most troublesome weeds in soybean fields because of its resistance to glyphosate and some other herbicide groups. Greenhouse dose-response studies have confirmed resistance when glyphosate was applied even at higher rates.

At the field day, experiments will demonstrate how to control glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in Roundup Ready 2 Xtend, Enlist and Alite 27 soybeans in Nebraska. Keynote speaker, Jason Norsworthy will share his experiences for management of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth. Norsworthy is a professor of weed science at the University of Arkansas. Three certified crop adviser credits will be available.

There is no cost to attend the field day. However, pre-registration is required before 3 p.m. on July 9. To register, visit http://agronomy.unl.edu/palmer.

Directions to the field day: From Geneva, go south on Hwy 81 for 14.6 miles, turn west onto Hwy 4 for 5.3 miles. For more information, contact Amit Jhala at 402-472-1534 or Amit.Jhala@unl.edu.

Posted in Irrigation, Programming, Youth

Irrigation Lessons for Youth

With my agricultural education degree, I enjoy creating lessons and activities for youth and often able to utilize that background by creating lessons for others. With Nebraska ExtensionScreen Shot 2019-06-07 at 2.36.33 PM.png as a leader in irrigation management and development of the Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network, it is only fitting for Nebraska Extension to provide youth education related to irrigation.

With that in mind, a series of lessons have been created to accompany the recently developed Agricultural Water Management Guide. This online magazine-type resource introduces readers to irrigation and its use and benefits to Nebraska crop production. This guide serves as a resource for anyone wanting to learn more about irrigation management. It has embedded videos and links for further information, making it interactive. Teachers or informal educators can utilize the guide as an informative reference for themselves or encourage youth to read it themselves.

To compliment the Agricultural Water Management Guide, six lesson plans with activities have been created. Each lesson has learning objectives, careers associated with the topic, educational standards and hands-on activities related to irrigation. A basic ag water management lesson helps youth understand basics principles of soil and water management. Other lesson plan topics include: irrigation management planning & tools used, center pivot irrigation, furrow irrigation, subsurface drip irrigation, and variable rate irrigation. Extension has also developed YouTube videos to compliment these lessons in the classroom.

These materials can all be found on Nebraska Extension’s CropWatch website at cropwatch.unl.edu/youth and click on the irrigation lessons tab.

 

Posted in Crops, Programming

Weed Field Day

screen-shot-2019-05-23-at-8.21.41-pm.pngGrowers, crop consultants, ag professionals, and extension educators are encouraged to attend Nebraska Extension’s weed management field day from 8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 26 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center.

The field day will include on-site demonstrations of herbicides for weed control in corn, popcorn and soybean. An early morning demonstration will focus on weed control in soybeans followed by a demonstration of projects for weed control in corn and popcorn.

“A number of projects will be demonstrated during the field day, including weed control in XtendFlex soybean, Enlist Corn, and Alite 27 Soybean,” said Extension Weed Management Specialist Amit Jhala.

New this year for participants to learn about research project aimed at terminating cereal rye before and after planting soybean and control of volunteer corn in Enlist Corn.  Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education units are available. There is no cost to attend the field day, but participants are asked to register at http://agronomy.unl.edu/fieldday.

The South Central Agricultural Laboratory is 4.5 miles west of the intersection of Highways 14 and 6, or 12.4 miles east of Hastings on Highway 6. GPS coordinates of the field day site is 40.57539, -98.13776.

 

Posted in Crops, Programming, Youth

Youth Crop Scouting Competition

Connecting Youth with Crops

Looking for a fun club project? Want to unite your club members? Running out of ideas for club meetings?  If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, help is on the way!  Nebraska Extension is pleased to present the 6th annual Crop Scouting Competition for Nebraska youth. Youth interested in crops have the opportunity to learn about crop growth & development and basic crop scouting principles.Crop Scout Design (1)

Don’t know a lot about crops?  Ask a local agronomist to assist by providing a short lesson on crop production. You can have the agronomist meet with youth a little during each meeting or outside of the meeting. This is one way to engage those youth interested in crops.

This contest will be held at the ARDC near Mead, Nebraska on July 23, 2019. The event will include both indoor and outdoor events. Teams of junior high and high school students (those completing 5-12th grades) from across Nebraska are invited to participate. This event is limited to the first ten teams who sign-up!

Clubs or other organizations may enter a team composed of three to five participants. An adult team leader must accompany each team of students. Team leaders could be FFA advisors, crop consultants, extension staff, coop employees, etc.

Top-scoring teams win prizes: $500 for first, $250 for second, $100 for third place. Top two teams will be eligible for regional competition in August at Iowa this year.

Teams will be expected to know the basics of scouting corn and soybean fields. This includes crop staging; looking for patterns of crop injury; disease, insect and weed seedling identification; etc. Other topics many include but are not limited to, pesticide safety, nutrient disorders, and herbicide injury.

More information about the crop scouting competition and instructions on how to register a team are available online at cropwatch.unl.edu/youth. Register at: https://go.unl.edu/cropscoutingreg

Teams must be registered by July 18. This program is sponsored by Nebraska Independent Crop Consultant Association, DuPont Pioneer, Farm Credit Services of America and Nebraska Extension.

Posted in Horticulture, Programming

Lawn & Garden Tips

Some of the most frequent calls we receive in our office is lawn and garden questions. Nebraska Extension horticulturist, Nicole Stoner will be in the area with the program, “Lawn & Garden Tips”. This class will discuss water use in your lawn, problems that develop from improper irrigation and diseases found in lawns and vegetable gardens. The course will be in Geneva at the Fillmore County Extension Office on Wednesday, June 5th from 6-7:30 p.m. with a $5.00 which includes light refreshments. Preregister by May 29th to 402-759-3712 or brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu.

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