Tag Archive: Guide

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/

New Insect and Mite Control Guide for Florida Cotton Growers

New Insect and Mite Control Guide for Florida Cotton Growers

Joe Funderburk, Professor of Entomology, NFREC Quincy

A UF/IFAS EDIS fact sheet is now available entitled “Insect and Mite Integrated Pest Management in Florida Cotton” by Joe Funderburk, Nicole Casuso, Norman Leppla, and Michael Donahue. The guide provides growers with up-to-date information on scouting and managing insects and mites in their fields.

The guide contains a link to a cotton insect identification guide. It also contains links to information on individual insect identification and their damage, including tobacco thrips, tobacco budworm, cotton bollworm, true armyworm, beet armyworm, fall armyworm, cutworms, loopers, boll weevil, plant bugs and stink bugs, cotton aphid, broad mite, two-spotted spider mite, and silverleaf whitefly.

The guide provides scouting information and damage thresholds which are important to avoid unnecessary pesticide application and to conserve important natural enemies. Conversely, cotton fields require frequent scouting from emergence to harvest as damaging pest populations can develop quickly. The guide details the recommended period of sampling and methods of sampling that are appropriate for individual pests. The average number of the pests in the samples then is used to determine if a management tactic is needed to prevent the pest from reaching a damage threshold.

For example, sweep netting is frequently used to estimate the number of plant bug adults once squaring begins in a cotton field (Figure 1). Take several 25-sweep samples in a field to determine if populations are approaching damage thresholds in a field.

Figure 1. Sweep netting is a way to monitor several cotton insect pests, including plant bugs and stink bugs. Credit: Joe Funderburk

For cotton boll weevils, pheromone traps are an efficient way to monitor (Figure 2). One trap is recommended for every 20 acres in a field.

Figure 2. Pheromone traps are used to monitor for boll weevils. Credit: Joe Funderburk

The guide serves as a reference for management tactics with links to other EDIS articles and external sources of information on arthropod management in cotton. These include cultural controls, mechanical controls, biological controls, and chemical controls. The article serves as a guide for Bt and non-BT cotton.

A pesticide table is included from the National Pesticide Informational Retrieval System that lists the major arthropod pests of cotton in Florida, the active ingredients and example products registered for controlling them, and the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) classification system for use in rotating active ingredients to prevent resistance in target pests. The table includes special information on precautions and recommendations for maximizing control in Florida.

This EDIS publication website allows UF/IFAS extension researchers, extension specialists, and extension agents to regularly update fact sheets to include the most current information.

Download and print out the pdf, printer friendly version of this new fact sheet:

Insect and Mite Integrated Pest Management in Florida Cotton



Author: Joe Funderburk – jef@ufl.edu


Joe Funderburk

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/08/new-insect-and-mite-control-guide-for-florida-cotton-growers/

Family Guide to Fair Exhibits


It’s that time of year again, Fair Season! The delicious smells of the midways, the sights and sounds of carnival rides and livestock in the arenas. During Fair Season, youth throughout the state dress up with pride in their 4-H green attire and prepare for what’s to come…Fair Exhibits! Fair Exhibits can range from artwork to plants to animals and finally the epic fair booths. What is most important in all of the categories for youth and adult exhibitors is knowing:

1. What counties are allowed to participate?

2. What and how many categories you may enter?

3. Exhibit requirements.

Here, we’ll cover preparing for fair booths and animal exhibits but you can find multiple links below for the state and local fairs with more information on exhibit entries and requirements.

FAIR3Fair booths are the highlight of static displays at the fair! Organizations like 4-H use fair booths to visually communicate with potential clients and members to make them aware of what we offer. In order for this communication to be effective, you must prepare yourself a checklist. First, research the fair you want to enter and determine the deadline and registration requirements. Second, determine if you’re receiving a booth premium. If so then determine how much the fair pays out for booth space. These questions are not intended to portray you as selfish, but you will need to determine how much your club is willing to spend on supplies based on the premium could receive. Third, determine the size of your booth. Often times being outside of booth boundaries or what is allowable can be a point deficit on the scorecard so definitely research this prior to committing. Fourth, pick your theme and layout for the booth. This is also a great time to get commitments from members and parents on helping with the preparation, setup and breakdown of the booth. Delegate tasks so everyone feels like they have contributed. Fair booths can be a great way to create a sense of Belonging in your club by having all members feel like they’re part of the 4-H Family! Check out Exhibits and Displays” below for a full checklist and more information!


4-H’er talking to the judge of the Rabbit Show at Walton County Fair.

Animal Exhibits are widely known, loved, and expected at fairs. The fair gives many people the opportunity to see, learn and interact with animals they may not normally have access to. Most importantly, livestock exhibits and shows give youth the ability to gain Mastery through 4-H Project Learning which is highly experiential and teaches youth a multitude of life skills. Preparing animals for exhibit at a fair is similar, but also different from preparing other types of exhibits:

First, research the fair’s deadlines and registration. Often there are deadlines for acquiring ownership of your animals. Be sure to check for these acquisition and birth date deadlines in advance to ensure the ability participate. Second, check the vaccination and health certificate requirements for your animal and secure an appointment with a veterinarian to have this completed. Third, be on time or early to check in. Sometimes there is only one Agriculture Inspector and a long line of exhibitors. With some animals they have to do on site blood testing, so be prepared with your paperwork and be patient. Last, determine if the fair provides the food and bedding, and whether exhibitors are required to care for their animals daily. This is not only important for the nutritional well-being of your animal but also for their emotional well-being.

If you’re a fair veteran, 4-H alumni, or just someone interested in benefiting the youth of your community, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office to find out how you can become a 4-H Volunteer and share your expertise…everyone has one!  Next week, 4-H Agent Angel Granger will share her top 10 tips for showing a pig at the fair.

Helpful Links:

Florida Panhandle Fair Opportunities:


Author: Jena Brooks – brooks15@ufl.edu

Jena Brooks

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/10/13/family-guide-to-fair-exhibits/

Rose Pruning – A Pictorial Guide

Rose Pruning – A Pictorial Guide

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Please follow as a favorite shrub rose, Belinda’s Dream, is pruned.


Belinda's Dream Rose - Before pruning, with dense thick growth. Time to open this plant up !

Belinda’s Dream Rose – Before pruning, with dense thick growth. Time to open this plant up !


Start pruning by removing dead and diseased wood. Next remove crossing or rubbing branches, unproductive old growth and weak spindly growth

Start pruning by removing dead and diseased wood. Next remove crossing or rubbing branches, unproductive old growth and weak spindly growth

Shorten remaining growth by about half and look ! Your rose is pruned and ready to bear large flowers on long stems for another season !

Shorten remaining growth by about half and look ! Your rose is pruned and ready to bear large flowers on long stems for another season !



Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/05/rose-pruning-a-pictorial-guide/

A Guide to Visual Diagnosis for Common Essential Nutrients Deficiencies Symptoms

Alex Bolques
County Agent
Gadsden County





Plants can become nutrient deficient if they do not receive adequate chemical elements for plant growth and development.  These may arise from inadequate essential nutrient levels in the soil or growing media, whether the plant is outside in the landscape or indoor in a pot.  However many factors such as inadequate light conditions, plant stress, incidence of pest, and inadequate soil conditions can prevent plant root uptake of nutrients and can be mistaken for a nutrient deficiency condition.  It may be difficult to determine if your plant has a nutrient deficiency problem without analyzing the plant foliage for nutrient content.

You can get an idea if your plant is experience a nutrient deficiency condition by conducting a visual diagnosis for common essential nutrient deficiencies symptoms.   For this, you will need to identify if the abnormal condition or nutrient deficiency symptom, which could be yellowing, necrosis, spottiness, etc., is occurring on the old leaves (schematic 1) verses the new leaves (schematic 2).

Using the visual diagnosis schematic for symptoms on old leaves, if the deficiency is occurring on old leaves but also exhibiting symptoms on the entire plant with the plant having a light green appearance or lower leaves yellowing that are drying and turning brown, it is usually an indication of nitrogen deficiency.  Nutrients deficiencies for phosphorus, magnesium and potassium are usually expressed in old plant leaves as seen in the old leaves schematic.

Symptoms that appear on new plant leaves that are differentiated by distorted leaves that maybe showing necrosis and depending on whether terminal buds dies would lead to a visual diagnosis of either boron, calcium or copper.  On the other hand, symptoms that appears on new leaves that are differentiated by chlorotic leaves that maybe spreading to entire plant or exhibiting intervenial chlorosis, depending on shortening of the plant stem and the presence of necrotic spots would lead to a visual diagnosis for sulfur, zinc, iron, or manganese.

Amy L. Shober and Geoffrey C. Denny with the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Science, Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (REC)—Balm have more detailed information in their publication on Identifying Nutrient Deficiencies in Ornamental Plants.

Robert Trawick

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/07/16/a-guide-to-visual-diagnosis-for-common-essential-nutrients-deficiencies-symptoms/