Posts Tagged 4-H

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 3

Day 03 – A song that makes you happy

Which I could really use right now. I am really sad that the Extension Levy in Carroll County didn’t pass last night.

The song for today, is a song that no matter what mood I’m in always makes me smile…except for today because it makes me think of all the experiences I got to have, that no other youth in Carroll County is going to have….

Back Where I Come From – Kenny Chesney


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Positive Youth Development

Tuffs University recently released a report which included data from 18 land grant universities, including the University of Nebraska.  This report focused on the first five waves of research in the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development. Many early researchers in the field of adolescents based their theories and observations of the assumption that youth are inherently ‘at risk’, were ‘broken’ and needed to be ‘fixed’.  Because of this premise, that is a largely what they saw.

Some features of Positive Youth Development (PYD) include traits known to researchers as the 5 C’s.  These C’s include competence, confidence, connection, character and caring/compassion.

  • Competence – a positive view of one’s actions in specific areas of life.  These areas include social, academic, cognitive, health and vocational.
    • Social competence refers to interpersonal skills,
    • Cognitive competence refers to cognitive abilities or decision making,
    • Academic competence refers to school performance as shown in part by grades, attendance and test scores,
    • Health competence includes using nutrition, exercise and rest to keep oneself fit,
    • Vocational competence includes work habits and exploration of career choices.
  • Confidence – an internal sense of overall positive self-worth and self-efficacy.
  • Connection – having positive bonds with people and institutions that are reflected in exchanges between the individual and his or her peers, family, school and community in which both parties contribute to the relationship.
  • Character – respect for societal and cultural norms, possession of standards for correct behaviors, a sense of right and wrong, and integrity.

A 6th C exists but can only be obtained when the other 5 have been or are being met. The 6th C encompasses contributions to self, family, community and the institutions of a civil society.

The relationship between PYD and risk behaviors is not perfectly simple or uniform.  Because youth each have a unique background also aiding in their development, not all those who are from environments full of resources and support stay away from the many troubles of life.  Studies have indicated that there is a link between PYD and programs that go beyond simple extracurricular activities and actually focus on promoting youth development.  Creating a program which effectively serves the youth population with programming and activities holds three traits.  Those traits include positive and sustained relationships between youth and adults (youth/adult partnerships), activities that build on important life skills and opportunities for children to use these life skills as both participants and as leaders in valued community activities.

This is only a small introduction to the Tuff’s report and we will continue to explore it over the next few months.  But ask yourself this… If fostering the 5 C’s is the only way the 6th C, ever occurs, what are we currently doing or not doing to foster the growth of those 5 traits in our youth today?

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Thursday Update

So Thursday is over….wow…what a difference an hour of sleep makes! I’m glad I stayed with Alyssa’s mom and dad last night…I’m staying again tonight….

We only had a small hiccup during the swine show, one which could have been avoided, but we took care of it…its good to have the support of the Fairboard in my decision making….

We’ll see how the beef show goes tomorrow…I’m assuming that is going to be the show which gives me trouble, if any of them….after the beef show…shows are DONE!


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Butler County Fair 2009…Wednesday Update…

Well today went well, or at least I think it did…all of the judges showed up this morning, and while we had a few questions, everything went well.  Last night I was here until 11:45…in a fairboard meeting…that could have been over in an hour…but whatever.  Got 5 hours of sleep…I think I should have found a place to stay the rest of the week, but I am staying with Alyssa’s parent’s tomorrow night and on Friday night….Saturday I’m going to go back to Lincoln and pick up Lil’ Green from the office…we are having him out at the Fair on Sunday.  Monday will be a tough day to get through…final check out of exhibits, and picking up everything and take things back to the office….I am taking Tuesday of next week off… sleep…

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Fair Insert Article…2009

This is the article I wrote for the David City Banner Press which was included in their 2009 Fair Insert.

I can’t believe it is July already! The year has flown by and now we are approaching one of my favorite weeks of summer: County Fair Week.  Some of you, I am sure are groaning- because we all know that fair week means hot weather, high humidity and lots to be done.  But others, like me, are looking forward to seeing all of the hard work, in the 4-H projects and in open class entries that will be on display.  Each year when thinking about fair, I am instantly taken back to the summer of 1993, my first year in 4-H.  I had worked hard all year long and was really looking forward to taking my rabbit to the fair to show.  I have older cousins and went to the fair with them every year so this wasn’t my first ‘rodeo’.  I took photography, cooking and my rabbit as projects that first year and amazingly enough, all of my projects were finished well before judging (I don’t think that ever happened again during my 4-H career).

The cooking and photography judging days were before fair started so we could display our projects with the other members of our club in a booth on the fairgrounds.  I did pretty well with my cookies, I am still the only one in my family who makes them right- my mom turns them into hockey pucks, but you didn’t hear that from me!  And my photography project was selected to go to the State Fair held in August in Columbus.  I was pretty proud when I heard my name called as the representative for Carroll County, especially since I was up against a lot of older kids in that project area.

But back to the rabbits…I only had one rabbit at the time, Blackie, who was a black Mini-Lop I bought from my cousin Angela.  We worked all spring and early summer to get him to sit still and I learned the proper way to hold him when I flipped him over for the judge.  The day of the show dawned bright and humid, a typical mid-July Ohio day.  We got to the barns early as the show started at 9 am.  The showmanship classes were first in the program, with the novice showman – youth 9-11 who have never showed before- going first.  I went to the podium, got my number, pins and a program for my mom and dad.  Then I went back to Blackie’s pen and waited until they called us to come into the ring.  I remember being terrified, terrified I would forget something I learned about my rabbi and terrified he would hop off the table and run away.  Fortunately, I remembered everything, even to smile and look at the judge, and Blackie didn’t hop away.

Although I didn’t win or place in showmanship that first year, it gave me a learning experience that I would not have had anywhere else.  It taught me that it doesn’t matter if you win, lose or are asked to leave the ring because there are too many kids inside, all you can do is be prepared and to do your best when it is your turn with the judge.  While none of those lessons were realized that day, and I was pretty upset about not getting a ribbon, the experience lead me to want to work more with my animals for showmanship and increased my interest in  learning the most I could about the breed of animal I was showing.  And nine years later it paid off when I won both the Senior Showmanship class and the overall Rabbit Showman of Showman class.

When I received these awards, I thought back to that day of my first rabbit show and the journey 4-H had taken me on since that day.  I thought back to all of the people, places and experiences that had influenced me and made me into the showman I was that day standing in the ring.  I might not always have got it exactly right but there was always a lesson to be learned.  It turned out to be much more than just showing up and hoping to be prepared.

During this year’s fair, no matter your level of preparation, you may not get the color of ribbon you like on every project, or entry, but it is the skills, information and lessons learned you learn stick with you for the rest of your life.  Hope to see you all at the fair!

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And so…fair week begins!

That week for which we work and toil towards all year for is now upon me…and I can’t wait to see what happens. There may be some hiccups, some tempers, but as long as I keep mine in check…we should be fine.

Beth told me the other day to smile, nod when appropriate and not to make any quick decisions….I like the fact that a) I have a Dean who is as supportive and understand as Beth is, and b) that she knows me well enough to not include OPEN YOUR MOUTH in her instructions for surviving county fair.

That may be the challenge this week…..

P.S. Had an awesome time visiting with Bethany and Joshua tonight! So good to see them and meet Winston and Etta!

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Please remember this is being posted before the Butler County Fair…and also take into consideration it is Friday….hopefully be back next week with some during Fair updates…that aren’t complete venting sessions…

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