Tag Archives: michigan 4-H youth development

Honey bees are all the buzz for this group of SCIT youth

On Monday, May 9, 25 youth from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe (SCIT) participated in the Honey Bee Challenge hosted at the Ziibiwing Center in Mt. Pleasant. Betty Jo Krosnicki, MSU Extension children and youth educator, and Kristi Schreiber, 4-H program coordinator in Isabella County, organized this event that teaches 4-H youth about the importance of honey bees in food production in order to feed the world.

Youth learned about the process of honey bee pollination and the many foods that we grow that depend on them such as apples, oranges and strawberries. They also learned about the importance of beekeeping and research positions that will ensure we have bees to keep pollinating our food crops in the future. Participants even had the opportunity to build their own battery-powered honey bees. They took home new backpacks filled with information, with seeds to encourage planting flowers that are great sources of pollen and nectar for bees. Each also received a stick of honey.

In Michigan, one of the deliverables for this grant is to train at least 20 4-H teen leaders to lead the Honey Bee Challenge in their local communities. The activity can be scheduled during camps, after-school programs, 4-H club meetings or even during school. With the activity this year, Betty Jo and her team will reach about 1,500 youth participants March through July in Michigan. She has worked with teen leaders throughout the state to train them to lead the activity. Most of the teen leaders for this project received training in March during the Teens as Teachers workshop at Kettunen Center. This is a great opportunity for teens to build their confidence and leadership skills.

Nationally, the Honey Bee Challenge is a program that is a part of the 2016 4-H Ag Innovators Experience, sponsored by National 4-H Council and Monsanto. Betty Jo has managed the grant project for the past 3 years, directing the Fish Farm Challenge the first year and the Windmill Challenge the second. The program reaches 10,000 youth in states with a strong agricultural industry. Its purpose is to help young people develop the professional skills needed to feed a growing world population. It ties in relevant concepts such as aquaculture and environmental stewardship with a hands-on activity that makes learning fun and encourages young people to pursue a career in agriculture and technical fields. This initiative seeks to engage the next generation of farmers, scientists and innovators that will be able to address the needs of an exponentially growing world population.

Comments Off on Honey bees are all the buzz for this group of SCIT youth

Filed under 4-H, Uncategorized

4-H’ers build skills for life through livestock judging

How does one develop self-confidence? If you spoke to the four Michigan 4-H members who recently competed in the livestock judging contest at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky, they’d tell you that self-confidence comes from experience.

Throughout the fall, Lauren Bickel, Lapeer County; Amanda Breuninger, Washtenaw County; Brad Chapman, Monroe County; and Victoria Olger, Clinton County; practiced their judging in four states, improving not only their livestock expertise but also their life skill experiences in areas of decision making, and defending and communicating decisions. When it came time for the contest, the 4-H’ers were ready.

During the contest, the participants had to make quick decisions based on their previous knowledge of livestock and then be ready to defend those decisions in an organized fashion. That’s a skill that will come in handy in any life situation. In addition, the young people got a chance to practice their public speaking skills.

Brad was named an All-American and recognized as the Reserve Champion Sheep Judge as well as tied for the Reserve Overall Judge (placing fourth).

He said that the experience helped him “make connections across the country and become better at speaking in front of others.”

All four participants agreed that the experience boosted their self-confidence.

Read more in this Michigan State University Extension news article: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/michigan_youth_build_self_confidence_and_defend_their_decisions

Comments Off on 4-H’ers build skills for life through livestock judging

Filed under 4-H

Fun camp inspires interest in forestry

Michigan 4-H youth spent two days exploring ideas and taking part in hands-on activities related to forestry at the Michigan 4-H Forestry Fun Day Camp held July 6-7 at the Ogemaw County Fairgrounds in West Branch, Michigan.

The camp was open to young people ages 10‒15 interested in learning about all aspects of forestry. Ten participants attended representing Iosco, Ogemaw and Roscommon counties.

Besides providing hands-on experiences in forestry, the camp taught participants science and math skills related to forest management and even gave them the opportunity to explore forestry-related careers. Campers learned to identify trees, insects and diseases as well as mastered how to take forest measurements and operate a compass. Participants worked in teams to create a mini-forest management plan to present to the Michigan State University Extension District 4 Council members.

MSU Extension, the MSU Department of Forestry, Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, the Marlane and Tim Searfoss family, and the Ogemaw County Fair Board collaborated to make the camp possible.

The leadership team involved included Extension educators Nicholas Baumgart, Julie Crick, Tracy D’Augustino, Tom Long and Dorothy Munn; MSU Extension 4-H program coordinator Peggy Zettle; Iosco Conservation District forester Andrew Beebe and Ogemaw Conservation District forester Lora Freer.

Each camper participating in the Forestry Fun Day Camp will be awarded a Silver Forestry Digital Badge. The badge will be linked to Michigan Educational Standards and can be used by youth when applying for summer jobs and scholarships, and on college applications indicating their areas of interest and willingness to continue to learn, grow and develop when not in school. Read more about digital badges in this MSU Extension news article: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/digital_badging_a_bright_new_way_for_students_to_showcase_their_skills_andl

Comments Off on Fun camp inspires interest in forestry

Filed under 4-H

Students learn about good government at 4-H Capitol Experience

More than 80 teens from across the state experienced and explored various aspects of policy, civic engagement and leadership at the annual 4-H Capitol Experience, March 22-25. High school students gathered in Lansing to begin learning from and interacting with state senators and representatives, chaperones and other youth participants.

Over the four-day event, youth participated in a nine-hour Michigan legislative simulation, which required teens to research and propose Senate and House bills, conduct House and Senate leadership position elections, participate in legislative committee meetings, debate and vote on bills, and see their bills signed into law by an acting governor.

In addition to the structured simulation, participants observed actual House and Senate sessions, and visited community and state agencies, lobbyists and legislative aides.

Involvement in Michigan 4-H and Capitol Experience helps foster skills of leadership and involvement in youth. These experiences can be very beneficial in the development of this age group, said Darren Bagley, Michigan State University Extension educator.

“Youth learn how to make the world a better place,” Darren said. “Youth have a unique perspective on the world, they see the world in a way no other group can—they’re free from the cynicism of many adults, and they can use that positivity to make a difference in the world.”

4-H Capitol Experience provides youth with tools, experience and guidance to prepare teens for college and the working world. Objectives of this event include helping youth increase communication, teamwork, citizenship, leadership and skills to help them transition to college and life as an adult; allowing teens to expand career and personal interests while discovering how to be actively involved in influencing policy decisions; and providing youth tools to explore policy issues that may affect individuals and communities.

Comments Off on Students learn about good government at 4-H Capitol Experience

Filed under 4-H

Michigan 4-H expands statewide recruitment campaign

Throughout fall 2014, Michigan 4-H Youth Development launched a statewide volunteer recruitment campaign to encourage new volunteers in the organization with support from the Michigan Community Service Commission. This spring, the organization will launch Phase Two of the campaign, which will focus on recruiting new youth members as well, using multiple advertising channels and supported by local county efforts, in the hopes of reaching additional adult volunteers and new potential 4-H’ers.

“As we strive to reach new and underserved regions of the state through 4-H, youth and volunteer recruitment are equally important to us,” said Julie Chapin, director of MSU Extension children and youth programs. “We hope our renewed campaign efforts will help to attract new audiences as they see all that 4-H can offer them.”

Phase Two of the campaign will continue through the spring and feature youth and volunteer recruitment commercials airing on television stations across the state. Another key channel of the campaign will be social media, where both state and county social media accounts will use a toolkit of recruitment resources to reach out to new audiences throughout Michigan.

Comments Off on Michigan 4-H expands statewide recruitment campaign

Filed under 4-H

Presenting our curricula on a national level

Several Michigan State University Extension staff members shared their knowledge and expertise with the national 4-H community at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) Conference held October 26‒30 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was a great opportunity for MSU Extension to expand our reach to a nationwide audience of our peers.

Deb Barrett, Frank Cox and Janice Zerbe presented on the Career Exploration and Workforce Preparation work group’s National 4-H curriculum “Build Your Future: Choices… Connections… Careers.” Health and nutrition experts Janet Olsen and Karen Pace presented “Be SAFE” – to help addressing bullying in 4-H and other out-of-school settings. Judy Ratkos and Jennifer Weichel joined a panel conversation on using data to creatively make the case for 4-H, and Kendra Moyses, Betty Jo Nash and Jodi Schulz presented “Back to the Basics” – life skills curriculum packages to help 4-H leaders increase their impact. Three staff members, Christine Heverly, Glenda Kilpatrick and Janice Zerbe, were also recognized at the event for their service to Michigan 4-H.

Comments Off on Presenting our curricula on a national level

Filed under Accomplishments, Conferences

4-H gala launches campaign and recognizes awardees

I’m very excited to share that on Oct. 3, the Michigan 4-H Foundation hosted the 4-H Town and Country Gala for Michigan’s Youth at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids. This gala launched the Campaign for Michigan 4-H’s Future, and honored recipients of the Michigan 4-H Citation Award, the members of the 4-H Emerald Clover Society Class of 2014 and the Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award winners.

Kent County 4-H alumnus Dick Posthumus, former Michigan lieutenant governor who was inducted into the 4-H Emerald Clover Society in 2002, served as the master of ceremonies
The following awards were presented:

  • Michigan 4-H Citation Award is the highest recognition presented by Michigan 4-H. The contributions of honorees have served to expand the capacity of Michigan 4-H to make positive impacts on the lives of Michigan’s young people in significant and meaningful ways.
  • The Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society honors Michigan 4-H alumni whose professional leadership and community service reflect the ultimate outcome of 4-H membership – extraordinary use of an individual’s head, heart, hands and health to make communities, the country and the world better places in which to live.
  • The Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award (funded by the Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Endowment Fund) recognizes outstanding achievements of Michigan 4-H volunteers or groups who have exhibited excellence in 4-H youth education and leadership development in the areas of 4-H beef cattle; dairy cattle; goats; horses; horticulture, crops and soils; poultry; rabbits; sheep; swine; or veterinary science. Honorees designate a $1,000 award to a 4-H agricultural program of their choice.

4-H Citation Award recipients were Pamala R. Babbitt of Muskegon and the Michigan Division of the Woman’s National Farm and Garden Association.

The Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society inductees were Jamie Clover Adams, Lansing; Kelly Boles Chapman, Bellevue; state Sen. Judy K. Emmons, Sheridan; state Sen. Joseph R. Hune, Fowlerville; Betsy McPherson Knox, East Lansing; Harmony L. Nowlin, Elwell; Matthew T. Shane, Manchester; Douglas A. Sprik, Hamilton; Doris Stuever, Lynn; Susan L. Safford Traubenkraut, Frankenmuth; and Karen L. Waite, Mason.

The Michigan Farm Bureau 4-H Excellence in Agriculture Award recipients were Marci René Charest, Lansing; Patti Christmas, Eaton Rapids; and Ray Kuehnlein, Monroe.


Congratulations to all recipients!

Comments Off on 4-H gala launches campaign and recognizes awardees

Filed under 4-H

Education grant provides funding for improving youth awareness and understanding of zoonotic diseases

Julie Thelen, Michigan State University Extension educator for Michigan 4-H Livestock and Veterinary Science Programs, along with her partners in the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), recently received funding for the Michigan Youth Zoonotic Disease Education Grant.

A zoonotic disease is a disease that can be passed between animals and humans. This project will focus on improving youth awareness and understanding related to the possibilities of zoonotic disease transmission when working with animals, and motivating young people to take appropriate precautions to minimize risk. This is an important life skill in personal safety and disease prevention for our youth and a very relevant educational component for our animal and veterinary science programs.

By working with our young people, we are preparing current animal handlers and educating the next generation of animal production agriculture leaders. Not only are well-trained, cautious personnel susceptible to diseases transferred from animals, but youth who have not been educated about such possibilities run an even greater risk of potential health concerns with zoonotic diseases. With this educational outreach opportunity, youth will better understand the precautions they should practice when working with or near animals.

This educational effort offered to 4-H youth will allow them to live healthier lives and help to make a difference in their clubs, communities, country and world. Michigan 4-H engages almost 30,000 youth annually in 4-H animal programs. This funding will provide Michigan 4-H with a much-needed educational resource. We look forward to the impact that the created zoonosis educational materials and resources will have on our youth.

Congratulations, Julie!

Comments Off on Education grant provides funding for improving youth awareness and understanding of zoonotic diseases

Filed under 4-H, Accomplishments

MSU Extension Children and Youth has new associate state leader

I am pleased to announce that Jake DeDecker has accepted the position of associate state leader for Michigan 4-H Youth Development, part of the Children and Youth Institute (CYI) in Michigan State University Extension. He will begin his new role November 3.

Almost eight years ago, Jake began his career with MSU Extension as a 4-H program leader with responsibilities for science and animal science programs. He has continued to provide leadership in Michigan 4-H in the areas of science, engineering and technology programs. He has also worked extensively with the State 4-H Awards Program, conducted workshops and served as a linker for the North Region. He currently serves as the co-chair of the Academic Success Work Group and is a member of the Science Team. In addition, he has been a key member of the CYI MI PRS (Michigan Extension Planning and Reporting System) team.

Congratulations, Jake!

Comments Off on MSU Extension Children and Youth has new associate state leader

Filed under 4-H

More help for the Michigan 4-H Volunteer Recruitment Campaign

Last week, I wrote about the Michigan 4-H Volunteer Recruitment Campaign. The campaign launched successfully, and additional kudos must go out to Jennifer Weichel, Michigan State University Extension volunteer specialist, who has been a key contributor to launching this campaign.

Help promote the campaign and Michigan 4-H by following them on Facebook and Twitter, and liking or sharing their messages.

Comments Off on More help for the Michigan 4-H Volunteer Recruitment Campaign

Filed under 4-H