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A Note from Virginia.......

Hey guys! I, for one cannot believe its February already. That means the fair will be here before we know it.  And the fair was a major topic of conversation at our recent Leader’s Council meeting.  Here’s what happened at that meeting:

Project Day
We discussed project day dates and locations.  The United Methodist Church in Sebeka will be our first choice location with Our Savior’s Lutheran in Sebeka being our backup plan.  March 11th will be our first choice date with March 4th being our back up.  If you’d like to help out with project day (and we’d LOVE to have you!) there are a couple of options—you can either plan your session or have us pick one for you.  Contact Virginia or Anni Olson and we’ll get you all set up!  Information for registering kids for project day will come out once the date and location are solidified.

Livestock Project Day
The next item on the agenda was a different kind of project day—focused on teaching kids more about 4-H projects, most specifically livestock.  With the growth in 4-H members the last few years, we are seeing an increase in kids that are new to project areas and we’d like to help them learn and succeed.  We’re looking at offering breakout sessions that kids can attend and learn more about elements of different species (ex: how to show a rabbit, how to clip a beef cow, what to feed a sheep, etc.)  A date for this awesome project day will be decided at the next Leader’s Council meeting.  If you have interest in serving as an expert and offering a session or know of someone who would be great, please let me know!  I look forward to this great opportunity coming to fruition!

Finance Request
Alexzander Burckhard will be attending the National Shooting Sports Invitational in Grand Isle, Nebraska June 25-30.  The trip will cost $750 for travel, lodging, and registration fees.  The finance committee will put together a recommendation of how much to donate and it will be voted on at the March Council meeting.

County Fair
County Fair is quickly approaching and while we are in the planning phase, there were some things to be discussed.  There will be some slight schedule changes occurring this year:

  • General/non-livestock judging will be scheduled by club—watch for those assignments later this spring (each club will either be 1-3 or 3-5)
  • Clothing judging will take place with non-livestock judging on Tuesday, June 20. This includes constructed, purchased, non-garment and fashion revue.  Clothing projects will be judged in your timeslots, fashion revue will be judged at 3pm.
  • All livestock must be in place by 5pm on Wednesday, June 21 (this is compared with the previous rule of 10pm).  With the fair preview opening at 6, it’s safer for all if livestock is in place and we aren’t running trailers and animals while people are walking through and around the barns.
  • The rabbit show will now begin on Thursday, June 22 at 9am (previously Friday beginning at 5:30pm)
  • The 4-H Horse Fun Show will be Friday, June 23 at 1pm.  This is mostly a typographical error, it was at this time last year but we had it listed as Saturday morning at 9am.
  • New this year: we will have a Round Robin Showmanship for all large animal species—it will take place on Saturday, June 24 at 11am.  More details on this to follow in the spring.
  • State Fair meetings will be split up for better effectiveness and efficiency. 
  • The livestock State Fair exhibitor meeting will remain on Saturday, June 24 following the Pride Auction. 
  • The general State Fair exhibitor meeting will be Sunday, June 25 at 11am, corresponding with exhibit release.
  • This year, we are going to start a Round Robin Showmanship.  This will be for showmanship winners in the grades 6-8 and grades 9-12 age groups.  It will give these kids a chance to compete for overall showmanship bragging rights (and some cool prizes, too!). Starting out, we are just going to do large animals (beef, dairy, lama, sheep, swine, and possibly horse).  This should be rewarding, challenging, and a great learning experience for all!  More details on this to come this spring.
  • After the awesome increase in rabbit numbers in 2016, we decided that we need to do something to control the numbers for barn space, fair and healthy competition, and length of show.  This year, rabbit exhibitors will only be able to bring one rabbit per class/lot.

Building Dues
Building dues are $15/family and will be due to the Extension Office March 1st.  Clubs are asked to pay for their entire club with one check (it is then your choice how to handle families paying the club, it seems like most clubs pay them for families that sell fruit, but charge those that do not.) Independent families will each pay their own UNLESS you sell a minimum of 3 boxes of fruit, in which case your building dues would be waived.

Fruit Sales
Packets went out to start our annual fruit sales fundraiser.  All orders (club and independent) and the money to accompany them will be due to the Extension Office NO LATER THAN MARCH 3 on the final order form.  Fruit will be delivered on Saturday, April 1.  I suggest you write this date on your calendars as this is the only time for fruit pick up.  It is not fair to the volunteers that come in to sort and help to have to stay later than the assigned pick up window (generally 10am-noon but time will be solidified as April 1 draws nearer).
Club members: have checks made payable to your 4-H club, each club will then just write one check to the county for the portion that you owe (profits are split between the club and county).  Clubs will decide the date fruit orders are due to the volunteer in charge of compiling the club order (it will be before March 3 since the club order is due to me that day)—be mindful of that date when it is set!  I can’t be adding things to club orders as it messes up the money owed and increases the odds of mistakes in our final county order. 

Independent Families: Have checks made payable to ‘Wadena County 4-H’ and turn in all money and the final order form by March 3.  Since independent families can’t make a profit, if you sell AT LEAST 3 boxes of fruit, your building dues will be waived. 

Reminder, the highest selling club and independent family (calculated in boxes per member) earn free t-shirts! Shout out to 2016’s high sellers Jack & Katie Benson and the Blowers Rockwood 4-H Club—great work to all, let’s see if you can keep your titles this year!
If you need additional order forms, you can download and print them from our website or stop into the office and pick them up.

Animal ID Deadlines
All market beef and dairy steers must be identified to us on paper on in 4-H online by midnight on February 15th .  If you have any questions on this, please contact the office.  All other animals must be ID’d by the May 15th  deadline.

Theme/T-Shirt Reveal
The theme for this year’s 4-H promotion doesn’t wrap up in to a nice sentence as it has in the past (‘Dancing with the Steers’ and ‘There’s Magic in the Fair’) but it is simple and will be easy and fun to promote.  Simply put it is about showing all of the awesome things that you can do in 4-H and that it is more than just the classic projects that it has long been known for.  We want to show that showing livestock and baking great pies and cookies are still very important to our organization and our heritage but we also have opportunities in robotics, computers, and many other project areas! It will be summed in in these simple words ‘4-H: JOIN THE CLUB’  (See the picture at the top of this page)

(You may not be able to tell from this picture but the clover is made up of all of the different project areas available in 4-H—all 64 of them!  It makes for a simple yet powerful image.)
These are the t-shirts that the high selling club and independent family will earn through fruit sales.  They will be available for all others to buy starting in March.  Final orders will be due to the Extension Office sometime in April so that we can have them in in time for the County Fair.  Watch for the sale information next month.

This was a GREAT Leader’s Council meeting—amazing attendance and very productive and really pretty quick.  Thank you so much to all who attended and helped to make it so good!
Groundhog’s Day approaches it marks the most symbolic and least scientific holiday In America.  If Phil sees his shadow and retreats inside, winter will continue for another six weeks.  Although he sees his shadow 87% of the time, I’m hoping for the 13% chance that he doesn’t and we get an early spring!  Realistically, though, the temperature isn’t supposed to be great so I’d run back in based on that alone!   

Oh, and quick question: What’s the best part about Valentine’s Day?
Answer: The day after, when all the chocolate goes on sale!


Virginia Hendrickx
County 4-H Program Coordinator
(218) 631-7623
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