Tag Archive: Exciting

Exciting Updates for the 4-H Horticultural ID Contest

4-H Judging Contests, like horticulture identification, teach essential life skills for work and personal success.

Horticulture is one of our state’s leading industries, and for decades, the 4-H Horticulture ID contest has helped youth learn about this industry and demonstrate mastery of horticultural identification skills.  Even if a youth does not pursue a career in the horticultural industry, learning the material for this contest can benefit them in other ways.  To learn more about how judging teams teach workforce skills, check out this previous blogpost.  

This year, the State 4-H Horticulture Judging Contest received an extreme makeover, to expand the program to even more youth.  The state contest was held this past Saturday, June 10th at the Hillsborough County Extension Office in Tampa, FL (previously, the contest was held in Gainesville during 4-H University and was only open to 4-H seniors).  For the first time ever, the contest is now open to youth between the ages of 8 and 18 (juniors, intermediates, and seniors).  Study materials were adapted and revised to be age appropriate, and a webinar for coaches was offered.  The webinar was archived and can still be viewed by anyone interest in coaching a team.

There are five parts to the contest:

  • Woody Ornamentals identification
  • Flowers and Foliage identification
  • Fruits and Nut identification
  • Vegetable identification
  • Judging classes (youth look at a group of four fruits, plants, vegetables or nuts and rank them from best quality to poorest quality).

The contest is organized by a group of University of Florida Extension Specialists and volunteers.  In addition to the resources online, youth can contact their local Master Gardener Program through their local UF IFAS County Extension Office for support.  Many master gardener volunteers are willing to help teach plant identification, and may be willing to serve as a coach for your club.  In fact, Master Gardeners can earn bonus points towards their state contest for helping 4-H clubs and teams prepare!

If this program interests you, sign up for 4-H!  4-H is open to youth ages 5-18.  Adults can join 4-H as volunteers.  Florida 4-H offers a variety of volunteer roles to fit your specific interests, skills and schedule.  For more info, visit http://florida4h.org or contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office.

Helpful Links:



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/2017/06/15/exciting-updates-for-the-4-h-horticultural-id-contest/

Exciting Changes for 4-H Day at the Capitol #4HtoTally

4-H Day at the Capitol provides youth an opportunity to use their voice and practice good citizenship while
educating representatives and senators about the 4-H Program. 4-H members are highly encouraged to make an appointment with their congressmen or a congressional aide to talk about how the Florida 4-H Program has impacted their lives. During the day, participants will hear from public officials, participate in educational workshops, and see their congressmen in action.  This year’s event is planned for Thursday, March 23rd.

Registration for this event is open through March 1st via 4HOnline.  You may have participated in this event in the past, but this year, there are several important changes that will make your experience a little different (and hopefully even better).

This year, there will not be planned workshops for you to register for, but the 4-H Day at the Capitol Guidebook does include suggestions for educational tours and sites in Tallahassee that your club may want to take advantage of.  Your registration includes a 4-H polo and lunch.  Please wear dress pants, a skirt or khakis with your polo (no jeans or shorts).  You want to look professional for your meetings with elected officials!

One of the primary goals of this event is for 4-Hers to have an opportunity to connect with their representative and/or senator to educate them about the 4-H program.  Learning how to do this is a valuable citizenship skill.  Please refer to the guidebook for detailed information and frequently asked questions.  Here are a few tips to help you set up your appointments and prepare for your visit:

  • Identify your State Representative and Senator
  • Call the Capitol Office and request an appointment- Contact the Capitol office the first week of March to request an appointment. The secretary will ask you to call back closer to March 23, 2017 to confirm an appointment time.
  • Learn about your Elected Officials
  • Make a Plan for your Visit and Practice – During the months the Florida Legislature is in session, legislators work long hours and have limited time. Most likely you will only have 3-5 minutes for your meeting, so you need be prepared.  Refer to the guide for some tips on preparing for your meeting.  Decide what member(s) of your club or council will speak and practice!
  • Call to Confirm your Appointment- Call your legislators’ Capitol Office again the week before 4-H Day at the Capitol to confirm your appointment with your legislator (or their aide of the legislator is not available)

Do you have an interest in government and citizenship?  If so, consider enrolling in 4-H as either a member or volunteer.  We have several programs to help youth learn about how our government works and how they can be an involved, caring and compassionate citizen.  Contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit some of these links:



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/2017/02/08/exciting-changes-for-4-h-day-at-the-capitol-4htotally/