Volunteering In The Panhandle

Etiquette at the Fair? Yes Please!

In the Florida Panhandle, fall is fair time, and many 4-H families are preparing exhibits for the fair.  Here are some tips to help you prepare for your first fair, or show.  For information about how to prepare non-animal exhibits for the fair, read this blogpost.  If you are exhibiting an animal, read on!

  1. Make sure you are enrolled in 4-H for the current year. Some fairs even require youth to be enrolled 30 days prior to the event, or to be able to prove ownership of the animal for X number of days before the show.
  2. Make sure that you have the appropriate health documentation for your animal. If you are not sure, work with your local 4-H or Agriculture Extension Agent to find out what is required.  You can also visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services  Don’t wait until the last minute to get animal vaccinations and documentation ready in time for the show.
  3. All animals must have an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (OCVI) for travel.
    1. Florida-origin cattle or bison moved for exhibition must be accompanied by an OCVI dated not more than 90 days prior to exhibition. Additional requirements vary by species.
    2. Sheep and goats will need a Scrapie Tag in addition to the OCVI.
    3. Poultry and domestic birds are required to have an OCVI for movement into Florida, but not specifically for exhibition. Birds presented for exhibition without an OCVI, will usually be inspected by a representative from the Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Poultry. Ensure that your poultry have no external parasites, i.e., mites, fleas.
    4. Rabbits should be disease free and have no external parasites. All rabbits will be inspected.
    5. Swine entered into shows that are “non-terminal”, will be required to have proof of negative blood tests for brucellosis and pseudorabies in addition to an
  4. Photo Credit: Julie Dillard

    Work with your animal well in advance of the show. If you cannot control your animal, you may be asked to leave the ring. Practice, practice, practice!  It will be worth it!

  5. Learn about your animal. You should have general knowledge such as:  breed, age, weight, what kind of feed you use, protein and fat content, how long have you owned it, how much feed do you use and why, would you change anything about your animal?
  6. Some shows allow you to lease your animal (especially if it is a large animal like a steer or horse). Be sure to submit your lease agreement with your registration and bring a copy of it with you to check in.

Pack a Show Kit- In addition to packing your show clothes (nice blue jeans, collared shirt, closed toed shoes and belt), fill a tote or box with supplies you will need for the show.  Click on the titles below for a printable packing list, or read this blogpost for more details.

General Show Etiquette:

  • Always move in a clockwise circle (unless the judge instructs you otherwise).
  • Keep a sensible distance behind the animal in front of you.
  • When the judge asks you to line your animal up head to tail, leave ample space between your animal and the one in front of you.
  • It is acceptable to assist the exhibitor ahead of you with encouraging their animal to move, but never hit the animal.
  • Do not talk to the exhibitor next to you. The only person you speak to is the judge when answering a question.




Author: amgranger – amgranger@ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/19/etiquette-at-the-fair-yes-please/

4-H Day of Service- Peanut Butter Anyone?

Did you know that the Saturday of National 4-H Week is the 4-H Day of Service?  4-H Clubs across the nation will be celebrating National 4-H Week with “hands to larger service.”  Service is a huge part of the 4-H program (one of the “H”s”) and also helps teach youth compassion for others.  Service is also a requirement in order to maintain a 4-H club charter.

Younger youth typically start out with community service.  Community service is volunteering in your community.  This is usually done through food drives, such as the Peanut Butter Challenge, or volunteering at an animal shelter, collecting coats or blankets for those in need, or a toy drive during the holidays.  If you are looking for an easy but impactful service project for your club, I would encourage you to participate in the Peanut Butter Challenge.  Each county in the panhandle is collecting jars of peanut butter to donate to local food pantries.  The Florida Peanut Producers will match the donation of the county that collects the most peanut butter.  Contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office for more info or refer to this flyer.

Older youth are encouraged to move from community service to service learning.  What’s the difference? Service-Learning is more than a “one-shot deal.”  Instead of spending a day or few hours helping someone, youth identify a need, and develop a strategy to address it.  It also incorporates reflection and celebration.  Service-Learning projects take community service to the next level by emphasizing both service and learning and is more meaningful for older youth.


  • Community Service – Youth prepare and serve a meal at a local homeless shelter.
  • Service-Learning – Youth research homelessness in their community and contact local homeless shelters to learn about the types of services they provide.  Youth then decide together on a service project that will support this community need.  After planning and completing the service project, youth reflect upon both the Service-Learning process and the service project.

Did you know Florida 4-H has a state service project selected by our youth executive board?  Each year the State Project Committee of the Executive Board recommends activities in which 4-Her’s can participate that will carry out the state wide community service project of the Florida 4-H Council. This year, the committee decided that the theme for 2017-2019 will be “Living In Florida’s Environment (LIFE)”. This project is focused on creating a greener tomorrow by hosting beach cleanups, planting trees, and participating in citizen science activities.

Youth can receive recognition for their service efforts at 4-H University.  It is also a requirement for the District 4-H Spirit Stick Awards.  The State Project Committee encourages all youth to participate in at least one state project that is associated with LIFE.  The committee would also like to recognize the youth that do participate in these projects. Once a project is completed, please record it on the project report-back sheet found in the tool kit below. These record sheets will need to be submitted to Grace Carter by July 3, 2018. The committee would appreciate if pictures were included in these reports.

The report form can be found in the LIFE Service Project Guide.

Project Achievement

Bronze: Youth who complete 1 service project will receive a bronze certificate of completion.
Silver: Youth who complete 2 service projects will receive a silver certificate of completion.
Gold: Youth who complete 3-4 service projects will receive a gold certificate of completion
and will also receive recognition at 4-H University 2018.
Emerald: Youth who complete 5 or more service projects will receive an emerald certificate
of completion and will also receive recognition at 4-H University 2018.


Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/06/4-h-day-of-service-peanut-butter-anyone/

Benefits of Competition

From its beginning, the 4-H program has used a system of clubs and competitive activities to promote learning and the development of specific skills of 4-H members (Ladewig & Thomas, 1987). Sometimes competition is viewed negatively.  Florida 4-H does not believe that competition is beneficial for youth under the age of eight, but for older youth, competition can help promote the development of life skills.  When you break it down, competition is simply the process of comparing skills (Midura & Glover, 1999).  Competition provides opportunities for youth to master and demonstrate life skills that can be used in the real world. For example, livestock judging participants learn more than animal science- they learn about the ethical treatment of animals, how to communicate and critical thinking.

Weber and McCullers (1986) stated that “young men and women who traditionally attain the highest levels of achievement in the 4-H program are typically very successful ‘in other aspects of life as well.” Other studies have also shown that competition helps to decrease juvenile delinquency, foster responsible social behavior, stimulate creativity, motivate young people to set goals, prepare them for the competitive world and gain important life skills.

Competitions involving judging are beneficial educational tools used to prepare youth for the workforce, regardless of their chosen careers. Former participants have learned to become team players, which is essential to their success and efficiency in the workplace.  Teambuilding skills are an essential element of success at any age.

In a 2003 study conducted by the University of Idaho to determine development of beneficial life skills associated with past participants in 4-H Livestock and Horse Judging programs, over 97% of the judging alumni indicated that the Idaho 4-H judging experience positively influenced their personal success. The participants indicated gaining the following life skills:

  • Ability to verbally defend a decision
  • Animal industry knowledge
  • Decision-making
  • Oral communication
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem solving
  • Team building
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-motivation

Overall, 4-H participants perceive that 4-H competitions are very valuable to them in terms of teaching responsibility, building self-confidence and self-worth, and preparing them to face challenges in a competitive world.  Florida 4-H offers many opportunities to help youth develop through competitive events:

  • 4-H record books
  • Public speaking
  • Demonstrations, or show and tell presentations
  • Graphic design
  • Photography
  • Judging competitions
  • Shooting sports
  • Animal shows
  • Fair exhibits

To learn more about competitive opportunities in 4-H, or how you can become involved as a coach or project leader, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.

Related Article- The Impact Ag Judging Had on Me










Author: amgranger – amgranger@ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/05/benefits-of-competition/

2017 National Youth Science Day

As part of National 4-H Week, 4-H’ers participate in 4 H National Youth Science Day (NYSD), the world’s largest youth-led science experiment. This year’s 4 H NYSD event will take place on October 4. The 2017 4‑H National Youth Science Day Challenge is called Incredible Wearables!  This year’s challenge was developed by University of Nebraska-Lincoln and incorporates the fast-evolving field of wearable technology, teaching kids to not only use technology but to create it and understand how it works.

From watches and eyewear to fashion and virtual reality headsets, wearable technologies are fast becoming the must-have accessory for forward-thinking people around the world. Wearable technologies didn’t start out as trendy however – one of the world’s first wearable technologies was the hearing aid! Wearable technologies are now used in industries around the globe, from education and sports, to health, fashion, entertainment, transportation and communication. In this year’s challenge, youth use the engineering design process to build a prototype wearable technology that will gather data to help solve a real-world problem. They will design and build their own low-cost wearable health monitor following the engineering design process. This process includes defining the problem, designing and building prototypes (solutions) then systematically testing and evaluating enabling them to redesign for optimization of wearability and functionality.

During the innovative, hands-on project, these future engineers must work together to design, build and refine a wearable health-tracking device that is easy-to-use and aesthetically appealing. In fact, youth from Bay County have been training with their adult leaders to teach this challenge to other youth in their community on National Youth Science Day. Jason Scott, from Scott Innovative Solutions and an engineer at NSA PC, teamed up with the Bay County 4-H Agent to teach youth and adult partner teams about this project enabling them to be able to share their knowledge with others on October 4. When participants will attempt to solve the problem of people not staying active enough to lead healthy lives. In fact, youth will build a prototype fitness tracking device that could ultimately be marketed and sold to consumers to positively affect fitness behaviors.

After completing the challenge youth will have had an experience of using the engineering design process to build a device to help them monitor their health so they can gather data to make better decisions. They will understand more about how wearable technologies like FitBits, Smartwatches and other wearable devices are made.

The field of wearable technologies continues to grow in both quantity and quality. New technologies are being developed and put on the market on a regular basis, including virtual reality and augmented reality devices, clothing and accessories, as well as health monitoring devices. The future of wearable technologies is limited only by the imaginations of those designing them. By studying STEM and participating in this National Youth Science Day Experiment, youth could use technologies to develop products and mechanisms we haven’t even thought of, but definitely desire! To find out more information about other 4-H programs like this or volunteer your time to work with youth, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.

Comparing device to prototype



Author: pmdavis – pmdavis@ufl.edu

4-H Youth Development Faculty Bay County Extension


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/04/2017-national-youth-science-day/

The Three Dysfunctions of a Club Meeting

Youth should run the business portion, which should be only 1/4 of the meeting time

The very word meeting makes me sigh and roll my eyes.  I’ve been to so many that are a waste of time and energy and, let’s face it, boring!  Are they ever really productive?  Can’t they (please) be more interesting?

Meeting is just another word for get-together, assembly, encounter, engagement, rally or reunion.  When 4-H Clubs follow the club meeting model, meetings can actually be fun!  The 4-H Club meeting has three distinct parts:  business, recreation and educational program.  Business should take up 25% of the agenda, the educational program 50% and recreation 25% of your meeting time.  The order of your 4-H Club meeting isn’t set in stone; club officers and leaders can be creative in how they set up the agenda for each club meeting.

Dysfunction #1 – Adults Lead the Business Meeting

There’s no way around it; 4-H Clubs have business that needs to be dealt with including roll call, secretary and treasurer reports, committee reports, old and new business and announcements.  It’s tempting for club leaders to take over and do this part of the meeting, but our youth learn nothing from this!  Some of the most useful skills youth develop come from getting ready for the actual meeting and leading their peers in an organized setting, and as an adult, it’s really cool to see youth get things done efficiently.  It’s also important to remember that business doesn’t have to be conducted at every 4-H Club meeting.

Dysfunction #2 – Skimping on the Educational Program

For clubs with younger youth, you can have them lead the pledges.

I’ve seen 4-H Club meetings that were literally 15 minutes long and consisted of only running through a business meeting.  It made me cringe, and I know that 4-H parents were thinking the same thing as me… “Did I really leave my house for this?”  “I could be sitting at my house in my PJ’s.”  “I have three loads of laundry I should be folding.” “Is this all?  It took me more time to drive here!”  The educational program is the most important part of our 4-H Club meetings!  After all, 4-H is in the business of providing high-quality educational experiences for its members, and those experiences can be pretty easy to pull together.  Here are a few examples:

  • 4-H Club members share what they’re doing with their projects.
  • Invite a guest speaker.
  • Take a short field trip.
  • Show a video.
  • Practice for judging contests or do a skill-a-thon.
  • Create a fair project.
  • Work on a community service project.

Dysfunction #3 – Forgetting the Fun

My co-worker, John Lilly, has a tag line on his email signature – Jefferson County 4-H is the place where there’s fun in learning and learning in fun!  I firmly believe that the club that plays together stays together.  Why?  Because kids are going to want to come back, volunteers are going to stay engaged and most importantly, the parents will bring their kids back.  Recreation helps kids make new friends and learn important social skills.  Whether it’s through songs, ice-breakers, games, team-building activities or food, don’t forget to inject fun into 4-H meetings.

As a club member, leader or parent, you can help your 4-H Club avoid these three dysfunctions.  Good 4-H Club meetings help youth make new friends, develop social skills, increase confidence and leadership and make decisions.  To learn more about 4-H Club meetings, visit the florida4h.org and explore our Volunteer Training Series.  The information here is great for club leaders but also for youth leaders and parents.


Author: Julie Pigott Dillard – juliepd@ufl.edu

Julie Pigott Dillard is the 4-H Youth Development Agent in Washington County..

Julie Pigott Dillard

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/03/the-three-dysfunctions-of-a-club-meeting/

4-H in October

October is an exciting month for 4-H – we have some great things happening. First, it includes National 4 H Week, October 1-7. This year during National 4-H Week, The Northwest district is proud to celebrate the #TrueLeaders that make our community great. Every child deserves to be recognized for the great things they are doing. Help us celebrate #TrueLeaders during National 4-H Week by shouting out your favorite 4-H’er. #TrueLeaders lead by example, empowering their peers and inspiring communities. 4-H’ers, show your pride this National 4-H Week! Share photos of how youth are stepping up as #TrueLeaders in your county.

As part of National 4-H Week, 4-H’ers participate in 4 H National Youth Science Day (NYSD), the world’s largest youth-led science experiment. This year’s 4 H NYSD event will take place on October 4.

Our local Tractor Supply Company will be supporting 4-H clubs October 4-15 with their Paper Clover Campaign, this is a national in-store fundraiser that benefits state and local 4-H programs. Tractor Supply invites friends and family to support 4-H by donating $ 1 at store checkouts for scholarships that send local kids to 4-H camp and other 4-H leadership experiences.

October also represent a time when our local tailgating youth will advance to the state finals. The northwest district will have 8 youth advancing to the state competition October 14.

October also means that it is fair time! You will be able to view our 2017 4-H youth exhibits across the Panhandle at local fairs and rodeos!

Central Panhandle Fair – October 2 -7
Art in the Garden Festival at the UF IFAS Research Center in Quincy- October 7th
Bonifay Rodeo – October 5-7
Walton County Fair – October 9-14
Panhandle Youth Expo– October 11th-14th
Pensacola Interstate Fair – October 19-24
North Florida Fair – November 2-12

Local 4-H youth will exhibit their artwork, plants and animals that they have been caring for this past year. Youth exhibits and plants are judged. Youth receive ribbon awards using the Danish judging system at county and regional fairs. This means that exhibits are judged against a “standard” rather than against other exhibits. For example, a painting that has been created by a 4-H’er is not compared to other paintings. Rather, it is judged according to the criteria of standards for paintings. A blue ribbon means that the exhibit meets high standards and good quality work is shown.

October and November are busy months in 4-H. To find out more information about other 4-H programs like this or volunteer your time to work with youth, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.


Author: pmdavis – pmdavis@ufl.edu

4-H Youth Development Faculty Bay County Extension


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/02/4-h-in-october/

What are 4-H Standards of Excellence?

4-H Standards of Excellence are tools to help individual members and clubs set and achieve goals and are part of our recognition model.  Recognition is an important part of the 4-H experience; it helps master skills and knowledge by providing feedback on progress towards goals.  Standards of Excellence is one of my favorite ways to recognize youth and clubs.  Here’s how it works:

At the beginning of the 4-H year, youth decide which level of recognition they would like to receive.  The levels are bronze, silver, gold and emerald.  To help youth decide, they should review the Standard of Excellence matrix with their parent or club leader. The matrix outlines what a member needs to do in order to achieve each level of recognition.  For example, if a junior member (ages 8-10) wants to achieve the gold standard, he/she would need to plan to do the following throughout the course of the 4-H year:

  • Attend at least 2/3 of club meetings (or number established by club).
  • Share project experiences by giving a presentation.
  • Attend three different activities
  • Participate in three different activities
  • Participate in three community service activities
  • Participate in four different competitions / exhibitions
  • Complete two project record reports
  • Teach one club level activity
  • Make a poster on “My 4-H Experience” or submit Building My 4-H Portfolio

But wait, that’s not all!  4-H Clubs can also achieve Standards of Excellence.  During the club organizational meeting, members can choose which type of club they want to be (bronze, silver, gold or emerald), and build those requirements into their club plan (most of the items are things that clubs would want to do anyway, so why not be recognized for it?):

  • Bronze club- 12/20 items on the list
  • Silver club- 14/20 items on the list
  • Gold club-16/20 items on the list
  • Emerald club- 18/20 items on the list

Once a member or club establishes their goal, they can submit their plan to their club leader.  Towards the end of the 4-H Year, the member submits their application to their leader, who signs off on it and submits it to their 4-H agent.  Youth are recognized during their County Achievement Night, or Awards Banquet.

Interested in helping?  We need volunteers to serve as project mentors, review/judge awards applications or help plan annual recognition programs.  Contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office if you would like to get involved.



Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/28/what-are-4-h-standards-of-excellence/

4-H Family Guide

This article will help you know what to expect at your first club meeting.

Is your family new to 4-H?  Welcome!  We are glad you chose us to help your child reach his/her fullest potential.  Here are a few basics to help you become familiar with 4-H as you begin your journey with us:

  • The 4-H year starts September 1st through August 31st.  Whatever your child’s age is on September 1st is his/her “4-H Age” and determines his/her eligibility for certain programs.
  • There are four age divisions in 4-H (you can find policies for participation based on age here):
    • Cloverbuds (ages 5-7)
    • Juniors (ages 8-10)
    • Intermediates (ages 11-13)
    • Seniors (ages 14-18)
  • Youth can participate in 4-H through a variety of methods (camps, school programs, after school programs, and clubs).  Youth can participate in all or just one of these delivery modes, or types of 4-H memberships.
  • To join a club, you will want to enroll through 4HOnline.  Many counties offer an Open House, or Kickoff night where families can preview the different types of clubs available in their community. Some clubs offer a variety of projects, while other clubs focus on a particular project (like archery or sewing) or a project area (like animal science or leadership).  Some clubs meet all year and others may only meet for six consecutive weeks (SPIN clubs- special interest clubs).  If you are not sure which club is the best fit for your family, schedule an appointment with your local UF IFAS 4-H Extension Agent.

Talk to your local 4-H Agent to decide which club best suits your family.

Preparing for your first club meeting:

  • There is no uniform for 4-H, but some clubs will order shirts for youth to wear when they go on field trips or compete in contests.
  • Clubs typically open with icebreakers, or get to know you games (especially at the beginning of the 4-H year).
  • The club business meeting lasts about 1/4 of the total club meeting and is always opened with the American Pledge and the 4-H Pledge.  Check out this video to learn the 4-H Pledge. During the business meeting, youth will give committee reports, discuss and vote on club business, and announce other 4-H opportunities.  Clubs made up of primarily Cloverbud members do not have elected officers, but encourage members to take turn leading the pledges and helping with the business meetings.
  • The first club meeting is the organizational meeting.  During this meeting, youth will plan the club calendar and elect officers.  If it is a new club, they will also select a name for the club.
  • Once the club calendar is set, about half of the club meeting time will be spent on educational activities.  This may include a guest speaker, field trip, or a hands-on activity to learn about a subject or project area.
  • Every club participates in at least one service project each year, decided on by the club members.
  • The last 1/4 of the meeting is usually spent on recreation- this can be icebreakers or team building activities.  Sometimes, it is just a time to socialize while enjoying light refreshments.

What is the role of the parent?  4-H is a family affair, offering many opportunities where both child and parent participate in common interests.  This not only strengthens the club, but strengthens family ties. When parental support is positive, the club is likely to become stronger, larger, and more active because parent volunteers help broaden the scope and reach of the club.  A few ways parents can support and strengthen the club include:

  • Arriving on time and being prepared (if working project books, make sure your child has theirs)
  • Offering to help with a club meeting or activity
  • Sign up to help with refreshments
  • Offer to share a skill or knowledge that you have by becoming a 4-H project leader

We are glad to have you as a part of our 4-H Family and look forward to getting to know yours!


Author: Heather Kent – hckent@ufl.edu

Heather Kent is the Regional Specialized 4-H Agent in the Northwest Extension District.

Heather Kent

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/21/4-h-family-guide/

NO! Not the Dreaded Record Book. . .

Many youth (and parents) dread the 4-H Record Book

In the early years of 4-H, record books were a way to document profit or loss on a project, such as raising and preserving a crop or raising a herd of cattle. Over the years, record books have expanded to include topics like babysitting, robotics and sewing.  However the reasons why 4-H encourages youth to complete record books is the same- it is one of the most effective tools in positive youth development.  4-H Record Books foster the Essential Elements of positive youth development through:

  • Belonging: 4-H members are awarded for their participation in activities, earning symbols of belonging as they continue in 4-H (e.g. ribbons, achievement pins).
  • Mastery: Through competition, 4-H members receive feedback on their participation and record keeping skills so they can improve and grow.
  • Independence: 4-H members set and record goals and their progress towards those goals throughout the year. Record books also encourage members to participate in leadership development activities.
  • Generosity: 4-H members are provided an incentive to engage in their communities through positive citizenship and community development activities.

Record books are an effective way for youth to learn life skills.

However, record books are generally regarded as a chore young people; most fail to realize its value until they reach adulthood.  However, many 4-H Alumni still have their record books and will be quick to point out that the process taught them multiple life skills such as:

  • Time management and organizational skills.
  • Responsibility
  • How to set goals
  • Preparation for completion of resumes and applications for awards, college scholarships, and jobs
  • Financial literacy and keeping track of expenses
  • Written communication

But what does the research say?  Life skill development through record books is well documented.  During a recent study, 4-H alumni were polled regarding their experiences in 4-H and the use of record books (Bikos, Haney, Kirkpatrick-Husk and Hsia. Journal of Youth Development, 2014).  Alumni spoke of the real-world applicability of skills acquired during completion of record books to their adult life:

“It prepares us for life after we leave 4-H,” and “It has helped with a number of projects since I’ve left 4-H.”

Comparing skills learned in her Sewing/Needlework project to those gained from completion of record books, one alumnus said:

“Even though I’m not still doing clothing type things, I’m still doing things that I have to take records of.”

Leader perspectives voiced a similar theme but with a more parental tone:

“They may not be really aware of how this is going to relate in their real life, but it’s going to   whether they know it, or like it, or not.”

Alumni and leaders who had completed record books reported that the experience helped them successfully apply for college, scholarships, and employment. While most used the record book as an organized resource for easily locating information (e.g., “It was all there for me which was amazing”), a few were able to use the actual record book itself. 4-H members in Florida refer to their record books when completing their 4-H Portfolio, part of the process for applying for state awards and scholarships.

If you have a skill to share and would like to inspire the next generation, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer.  We offer a wide variety of roles to fit your interests and schedule. For more information about 4-H, visit our website or contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office.

Next up, how to complete a record book (the easy way) by Escambia County 4-H Agent Brian Estevez.

 Full research article on the benefits of 4-H Record Books  


Author: amgranger – amgranger@ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/14/no-not-the-dreaded-record-book/

4-H Record Books…Simplified!

No need to dread the record book! This article breaks it down into simple steps.

In 4-H, young people have tracked their activities, events, profits and losses, skill development and learning experiences, and much more using the iconic 4-H Record Book. In addition to record keeping, the 4-H Record Book gives members an opportunity to reflect on their year, measure their achievements and growth, set goals, and develop plans to meet those goals. Once you understand the purpose and value of record books, you are probably wondering where to start.  Here are the most frequently asked questions about record books to simplify the process:

What’s the difference between a project book and a record book?  A project book guides youth through the project and includes background information and activities to help them master the subject matter.  A record book is the record of what youth did and learned in the project and documents goals, knowledge and skills gained, leadership experiences, awards earned, and service to the community. Record books are typically bound in a cover, scrapbook or three-ring binder and turned in for evaluation at the end of the project or 4-H year.

Some project books include a records section, but many do not.  If your project does not have a section for records, then you will want to insert a Florida 4-H Project Report Form (based on your age level).

What types of information should I keep track of for my record book?

Cloverbuds Juniors Intermediates Seniors
Personal information Name, 4-H age, club, # of years in 4-H, member, parent/club leader signatures
Project Plans and Goals NA What are your goals (run for office, attend a workshop, earn a blue ribbon in showmanship)
Project Highlights A list of activities you did this year (demonstrations, field trips, leadership activities, workshops, exhibits)
Project Attachments Photos of you doing project activities; newspaper clippings, club or workshop programs, exhibitor tags, cage cards, feed tags
Project Story, or Reflection NA What you learned, who helped you, what you liked (or disliked) about the project, what you would do differently next time, whether or not you encountered any problems and what you did to overcome them
Financial Records Financial records are usually only associated with animal science, gardening and entrepreneurship projects.  Not all record books will have a financial record section.

How do I keep up with all that information?

Calendar Have a calendar dedicated to your 4-H work and record your activities- club meetings, workshops, how often you feed or water your project, shows or exhibits, etc.
Index box Keep a recipe box full of index cards with dividers for each section of the record book.  Each time you do something related to one of the sections, write it on the card.
Notebook Keep a journal of your project, recording activities.  You can even divide the notebook into sections that correspond with each section of your record book
Electronic Device Yes!  There is an app for that.  Sponsored by Tractor Supply and National 4-H Council, there is a market animal record book app you can download from iTunes.

To inspire you, here are some quotes that Florida 4-H youth wrote in their record books:

  • “As the VP (vice president) of my club, I had many opportunities to speak in front of a crowd.  This has helped me in other aspects of my life such as school.  I have become a better public speaker.”
  • “I have taken bigger and better responsibilities.  I learned to be responsible and to challenge myself to bigger expectations and to be kind, nice, and pleasant to others.”
  • “4-H has given me the opportunity to do things that I normally would not get to do.”
  • “4-H has meant a lot to me because it teaches me so much about my project and our world.  (I learned) to follow safety practices, treating animals with respect, being careful when leading an animal and watching out for others and their animals.”

As we start the 2017-2018 4-H year, think about your 4-H project area and how you will document it this year. If you have a skill to share and would like to inspire the next generation, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer.  We offer a wide variety of roles to fit your interests and schedule. For more information about 4-H, visit our website or contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office.


Author: bestevez – bestevez@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County 4-H Coordinator


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/14/4-h-record-bookssimplified/

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