USDA AgDiscovery Camp 2017

Harlem Globetrotters 4-H Promotion

Bake and Take Opportunity

#ChooseHealth 2017






4-H Enhancement Grants

4-H Ambassador Applications



Horse Communication Contest February 4



2017 Volunteer Recognition and Awards

4-H Volunteers: Let the Good Times Grow - Workshop Application


Welcome to 4-H

Focus on Youth

News for OCES staff working with youth.


4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.

February, 2017

Dear Educators and Volunteers,

As we prepare for show season in Oklahoma, I wanted to share an article I came across in Living The Country Life. And while this article references showing livestock, I believe these lessons are learned in ALL of our 4-H project areas.

7 lessons learned from showing livestock

Raising children to be decent people means devoting a great deal of time guiding them down the right path. Showing cattle has helped Tim and wife Ellen Tusha of Garner, Iowa, build a family-focused foundation centered around instilling good values. "Kids need structure. We wanted our three girls to have a reason to get up in the morning and to have a purpose," says Tim, a fifth-generation farmer. 

Below are seven things showing livestock has taught their children.

Lesson #1: Be responsible

"I've definitely learned responsibility by waking up every morning at 6 a.m. I knew if I didn't do what I needed to do in the barn, it was going to take me two steps backward," says Grace.

Lesson #2: Manage time

Grace juggles her time in the barn not only with schoolwork but also with sports. "Before I even get to the first show, I have spent more than 100 hours caring and working with my show cattle," she notes. "I’ve learned to set time to do homework in order to get everything done and to meet deadlines."

Lesson #3: Be confident

"When I was in the show ring in the past, I wasn't as confident as I am today," says Grace. "Over the years, my confidence has definitely grown."

For example, she's no longer afraid to use the show stick to set an animal up in its stance while the judge is looking. "It’s important for the judge to see the animal's best side,” she notes. "I’ve grown more comfortable using the show stick to help me better place feet and to calm an animal down."

Lesson #4: Deal with different personalities

"We have been fortunate to have very tame steers the past few years," she says. "However, Big Boy does get riled up easily."

With 11 animals under her belt, getting to know each one and building trust are key. 

"Brushing Big Boy as soon as we get him home and talking to him has helped," explains Grace.

Lesson #5: Be patient

"The first four or five months you have an animal is tough, because you have to break him in," she notes. "Stay with it, because he does eventually learn."

Lesson #6: Develop a strong work ethic

As the winner of the 2014 Iowa State Fair Reserve Grand Champion in her division, Grace knows it takes a strong work ethic to produce a quality animal.

"It's hard to describe the feeling of being in the show ring," she says. "It all comes down to that moment - the early mornings, the twice-a-day washings, the countless hours of caring for my animal. To me, it's all definitely worth it."

That pride in a job well done will resonate with her throughout her entire life. "Winning made me realize that all of my hard work paid off," notes Grace.

Lesson #7: Challenge yourself and others

"I can be the hardest guy in the world, but this process has helped our girls make great decisions throughout their young lives, and I trust they will continue to make good choices," says Tim. "I’m so proud of the women they’ve become. I've watched them develop into three young ladies who are genuinely good people."

The article can be accessed at http://www.livingthecountrylife.com/animals/livestock/7-lessons-learned-showing-livestock/?page=1

To every educator, volunteer, parent, support staff, professional and 4-H member, I am GRATEFUL for you!!

Kevin Allen
State 4-H Program Leader & Assistant Director, OCES



USDA AgDiscovery Camp 2017

The attached information is about a great summer program for high school students who are interested in agricultural careers. Attached is a 2017 AgDiscovery brochure and application form and an informational sheet giving you more information about the Iowa State University AgDiscovery program. It is a 2-week residential program at 22 different universities, and all expenses are covered except transportation to and from the sponsoring university. Please pass on this information to youth or their leaders who might be interested. Please contact me if there are any questions about the program at Iowa State University.
For more information, please see the AgDiscovery website: www.aphis.usda.gov/agdiscovery

This is a great opportunity for students to experience college dorm life and meet other students from around the country who are interested in agriculture, animal science or veterinary medicine.

The due date for the application is March 7, 2017. Please distribute this information to high school students who you think might appreciate this great opportunity to learn more about different agricultural careers. If you need more information about the program, please do not hesitate to contact me or look on the USDA website:  www.aphis.usda.gov/agdiscovery.

Jeff Sallee

Harlem Globetrotters 4-H Promotion

The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Oklahoma and are offering discounted tickets to 4-H families.

Tulsa: February 3 at 7:00 p.m. and February 5 at 1:00 p.m.
Oklahoma City: February 4 at 2:00 p.m and 7:00 p.m.

To order tickets, contact Kristine Slizewski at 678-497-1187 or visit www.harlemglobetrotters.com and use the code MOREFUN.

Kristin Knight

Bake and Take Opportunity

Oklahoma State University's Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center (FAPC) is excited to promote and recognize Oklahoma-grown wheat by celebrating Bake and Take Month in March. In addition, FAPC will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017 of discovering, developing and delivering technical and business information that stimulates and supports the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.

4-H members across the state are encouraged to bake products made with locally-grown wheat and use Made in Oklahoma products while completing the steps of service learning: preparation, action, reflection and celebration.

Contest Description and Rules:

  1. This contest is open to all 4H members and clubs.
  2. Make a cake/cupcakes from scratch. No cake mixes allowed.
  3. The cake and/or its decorations must contain at least two Made in Oklahoma (MIO) ingredients. Please visit the following websites to find suggested MIO ingredients. www.madeinoklahoma.net and http://miocoalition.com
  4. The cake must be themed as a 20th anniversary celebration of FAPC. This can be done through decorations like candles, writing of frosting or other edible graphic elements. Please look at the FAPC website to learn more about the center for ideas. http://www.fapc.biz
  5. The cake can be any size, shape or flavor
  6. All elements of the cake must be made and decorated only by the club members or individual entering the contest. No premade store decorations permitted unless they are candles.
  7. Three high quality clear digital photos must be submitted with the understanding that these photos may be used by 4-H or FAPC on social media or for other marketing purposes to promote the event.
    • Photo #1: a photo of the member(s) making and/or decorating the cake
    • Photo #2: a photo of the entire completed cake.
    • Photo #3: a group photo of the individuals responsible and the completed cake.
  8. The three photos must be submitted with the following information:
    • City and County of the 4H group or individual, name of the 4H leader/volunteer, email address and phone number of leader, names and ages of participant(s).
  9. Describe the cake and how it fits into the FAPC anniversary celebration theme.
  10. List the Made in Oklahoma products used.
  11. All information and photos must be submitted by 5pm on March 20, 2017. These entries must be emailed to andrea.graves@okstate.edu


  1. Two prizes will be given out, one for each category. Both individual and club entries will be judged together.
    • Junior - participants aged 9-13 years of age before January 1, 2017
    • Senior - participants aged 14-18 years of age before January 1, 2017
    • If the group has a combination of both age groups the submission will automatically default to the senior category.
  2. Applicants of the winning cake entries for both the Junior and Senior categories will receive:
    • $100 total for the group or individual winning two entries from the Oklahoma Wheat Commission
    • An FAPC anniversary swag bag
    • A ticket to the 2017 Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show for each winning team member and team leader or 4 tickets for an individual winning entry. The tickets from world renown sugar artist and Food Network star, Kerry Vincent to attend the 2017 Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show at the Tulsa State Fair (September 30 - October 1)
    • An optional opportunity to recreate their cakes at the Fun with Sugar event in Tulsa in April 2017.
  3. The entries will be judged on: use of Made in Oklahoma products, best depiction of theme, creativity, technique and neatness.

For questions please email FAPC marketing specialist Andrea Graves , or FAPC milling and baking specialist Renee Nelson. For telephone enquires please contact Graves or Nelson at the Stillwater FAPC office, 405-744-6071.

Cathy Allen

#ChooseHealth 2017

4-H members and clubs can post photos of themselves making healthy choices to social media channels using the hashtag #ChooseHealth now through January 31, 2017. Photos will be compiled to make a photo collage highlighting all of the great healthy choices made by 4-H'ers in the New Year. Use the toolkit to get started!


Cathy Allen

Training and Staff Development


Thursdays at 3 pm begin again January 26. Sessions will be every other week. Please mark your calendar as information is pertinent to all staff with 4HOnline privileges as a county administrator or county manager. Each webinar will be recorded for the convenience of your schedule and for future reference.

Mark the following dates on your calendar: 1/26, 2/9, 2/23, 3/9, 3/23, 4/6, 4/20, 5/4, 5/18, 6/1.

Karla Knoepfli


4-H Enhancement Grants

This is our annual promotion for the 4-H Enhancement Grants.

We have increased donations in support of the program, and this year we will be able to support more club, county and district 4-H programs than ever.

Please look over the attached materials listed below. A look at the sample "4-H Porcelain Doll Project" sample will give you an idea of the level of detail that is desirable for a successful grant application. Please do not submit an application that says "supplies, $500." If you can't tell us what you need to buy, it's probably not going to get funded.

Grants may be funded up to a maximum of $500.

Check out the special grant categories for Dairy and Pork Promotion and for Volunteer Leader Development.

The following materials are attached:

Applications are due by February 15. Remember - They may be sent hard copy with a postmark by February 15 or sent by email to sarah.a.dunn@okstate.edu by February 15th. We will try to have award decisions made by March 1st and will send checks by the middle of March.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to run an idea past me before working up the application.

Sarah Dunn

4-H Ambassador Applications

2017 4-H Ambassador applications can be found on the State 4-H Ambassador website. Applications must be submitted both electronically and through the U.S. mail service. Electronic applications must be submitted by March 15th, and hard copy applications must be post marked on or before March 16th to Cathy Allen at the state 4-H office. Please note the new application format. If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Allen. The application can be found at: http://4h.okstate.edu/leadership/4-h-ambassadors/becoming-an-ambassador

Cathy Allen


Horse Communication Contest February 4

The Horse Communication Contest will be held on February 4th at the Animal Science Building in Stillwater. Entries to the contest are due Monday, January 30th, prior to the contest. Entry forms and guidelines can be found here: http://osuhorse.okstate.edu/4-h-and-youth-activities/communication-contest

Kris Hiney


2017 Volunteer Recognition and Awards

Details in the September 2016 issue of Focus on Youth http://oklahoma4h.okstate.edu/focus/2016/september/sept.html

A county may submit one nominee for each of the two awards:

  • Volunteer of the Year (less than 10 years of experience)
  • Lifetime Volunteer Awards (an accumulation of 10 or more years of experience).

County nominee(s) will be recognized at the state awards luncheon on June 24, 2017 as part of the State Parent-Volunteer Conference.

The nomination process includes volunteer resume, 3 letters of recommendations and an electronic photograph. Plan adequate time to work closely with the volunteer to prepare the materials. Application available at http://4h.okstate.edu/for-youth/awards/2014-ok-volunteer-salute-to-excellence-awards-form

Electronic nominations are due to the District 4-H Office no later than 5:00 PM on or before March 14.

Karla Knoepfli

4-H Volunteers: Let the Good Times Grow - Workshop Application

The 2017 State Parent-Volunteer Conference will be held June 24th in Stillwater. The conference theme is "4-H Volunteers: Let the Good Times Grow."

2017 Objectives will GROW the Eight Essential Elements of Positive Youth Development. See January Focus on Youth.

Workshop applications being accepted, due March 3, 2017. Down load application at http://4h.okstate.edu/parents-volunteers/conferences

NE District Volunteer Board
Karla Knoepfli, Advisor


All due dates listed in this publication are the dates that county staff are to have items in the state 4-H office or other designated location. Each county will establish due dates prior to the dates posted here. These dates are set to accommodate things like screening of applications, processing payments, and adequate mailing time. All forms should be submitted through your county Extension office unless otherwise indicated. Forms that require an Extension Educator's signature may not be processed if mailed directly.