Monday, June 30, 2008

A request from the Media and Joe Leisz

A friend of mine (Peggy Nitchel) from the Ames Jaycees is looking at doing a number of articles on 4-H and 4-H families in Warren and East Polk County (she’s an editor and writer with a couple of newspapers covering communities in your areas)…

Anyways, the stories she wants to profile is how the high costs of fuel and feed are affecting 4-H’ers and their families leading to the county fairs. She was thinking about those with livestock projects, but this would be a neat opportunity to share how broad 4-H is, and how transportation costs impact our other project areas – like clothing, photography, woodworking, etc. Plus, there should be a side bar about how people can help with scholarships or something. She’d also like to do a profile of a 4-H family (or families) that was affected by the flood; again we’re looking at ways to raise that long-term awareness to encourage people to help…

If you know of families that might be willing to share their stories please let me know; I can either contact them with a brief introduction, or you could do that, and we can then get the info onto Peggy. Stories would run in the next couple of weeks.

Joe Leisz
Iowa 4-H Foundation

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Updated Show Time from the Fairboard

The decision has been made by the Fairboard to move up the time of the Advanced Cattle Feeders show from 11:00 AM to 10:00 AM on the morning of Friday July 18th at the Polk County Fair. It was discussed at the June 18th meeting at the recommendation of a 4-H member, and was approved by superintendant Mike Cory. This move was due to the difficulty that exhibitors had in exhibiting in both this show and the Livestock Judging Contest.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Show your support for 4-H with at 4-H Liscense Plate!

Support the Iowa 4-H Program through your vehicle license plate!

The Foundation and the Iowa DOT have a created an Iowa 4-H License Plate. We need 500 pre-paid orders in one year for the license plate to be issued. License Plate Applications can be found on our website at or can be picked up at your county courthouse.

Contact Ashley Graff ( or Alicea Murra ( for more information regarding the Truck Raffle and the 4-H License Plate.

Community Service Opportunity

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Konfrst, 515-242-3146

Call-in Programs on IPTV Thursday and Friday Address Disaster Recovery Questions
Live Iowa Public Television broadcasts feature disaster recovery efforts with opportunities for viewer calls and email questions
(Johnston, Iowa) – To help Iowans recovering from the devastating natural disasters affecting the state, Iowa Public Television will offer two call-in programs this week. On Thursday, The Iowa Journal will expand to a live, one-hour broadcast featuring experts in home repair, disaster aid, mental health, and more. These professionals will provide practical advice for Iowans, and will take questions from viewers during the broadcast. The Iowa Journal: Disaster Recovery Call-In will air at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 19.
Then on Friday, Market to Market will present an extra 30-minute program following the regular broadcast. This live broadcast, Market to Market: Disaster Recovery Call-In, will air at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, June 20, and will feature experts in agricultural issues facing Iowans answering phone and email questions.
Viewers interested in submitting questions can email them to any time. During the broadcasts, viewers can call (866) 282-2846.
# # #
Mary Bracken Mary Bracken Outreach & Communications Iowa Public Television 515.242.3124
Our Mission: To educate, inform, enrich and inspire Iowans.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Premier Exhibitor Contests for State Fair beef, sheep, and swine exhibitors

Now that the State Fair is less than 50 days away, and entries are due to our office in 20 days, it is time to start focusing some attention to it. One of the things that we are promoting this year is our Premier Exhibitor Contests for our beef, sheep, and swine exhibitors. This program is designed to recognize 4-H beef, sheep and swine project members who can articulate their understanding about the future of the animal industry and their knowledge about animal production.

This contest is open to all 4-H state fair exhibitors who have completed their junior or senior year in high school.

Scholarship money is awarded in the following amounts:

1st - $1,000
2nd - $500
3rd - $250

1st - $1,000
2nd - $500
3rd - $250

1st - $500
2nd - $300
3rd - $200

A composite score will be computed from the following five elements:
1. Showmanship (15%)
2. Best showring ribbon earned (10%)
3. Interview with producers, ISU Extension staff, or industry representatives (25%)
4. Exam on production (25%)
5. Skillathon (might include: reading a medication label or feed tag, identifying cuts of meat, balancing a ration, identifying feed stuffs, etc.) (25%)

All activities will take place at the Iowa State Fair

4-H’ers may compete in only one species contest per year

A contestant who has previously won a scholarship is not eligible to compete in that specie’s contest again, but may compete in another species

They can sign up on the State Fair Entry Form or at the Iowa State Fair during check-in for their species

Please help us in promoting these events. We have a great amount of scholarship money from our sponsors, and the best way to say thanks is to have a high participation level.

If you or exhibitors have any questions about this contest please contact me via email or phone @ 515-294-3187.



Jake Rouse
Summer Livestock Assistant
State 4-H Office
3630 Extension 4-H Bldg
Ames, IA 50011-3630
(515) 294-3187 (phone)
(515) 294-4443 (fax)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

4-H Camp Update

The following is updated weather-related camp information we wanted to share.

#1 The Iowa 4-H Center has emergency procedures in place to prepare us for situations like severe weather. The Iowa 4-H Center is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA) every year. They require us to have detailed written emergency procedures. Our 26 full-time summer camp staff also go through two weeks of intensive training before each summer camp season that covers our emergency procedures, CPR & First Aid training, practice drills, and the location/use of emergency equipment around camp. Rental groups and visitors at the camp also have a camp staff member assigned to their group as a host while they are here and this person is responsible for orientating each group upon arrival with our emergency procedures and are to alert them to any severe weather and assist them in following our procedures. We do not have a tornado siren at camp, but we do have other means of effective emergency communication. Each lodge at the Iowa 4-H Center is equipped with an intercom phone system to communicate emergency information. We also have three weather radios at camp that are monitored closely during the day and staff are assigned for night watch to answer phone calls, watch the weather, and put our emergency procedures into action if needed. Staff also carry portable walkie-talkie radios with them so we can reach everyone with necessary alerts. In addition we also have a large bell at camp that we ring three times in a row repeatedly to alert groups to seek shelter. If there is a threat of weather we keep groups in activities in or near buildings so they are close to shelter if the weather worsens. Our rainy day activities are quite popular and help campers pass the time while waiting inside and we try our best to keep the campers busy having fun and not worried about the weather. The staff are trained to remain calm and proceed as needed to keep the campers safe. Due to the size of our camp and the distance between buildings, our primary weather emergency shelter location is the bathroom areas of the 5 main lodges in each camp village. The campers are told to gather inside the concrete walls of the bathrooms because they are the innermost part of the buildings and away from windows. In a last resort the staff are told to stay in the cabins, get in the middle of the room, and cover the group with mattresses from the beds. The only basement we have at camp is under our health center (Cedar Lodge), but it is not designed for large groups.

#2 The Iowa 4-H Center is NOT flooded! Yes, we are wet and muddy, but not flooded. Our camp was fortunately built on high ground and we are surrounded by multiple ravines that drain all of the water to the Des Moines River and Richardson’s creek around us.

#3 The Iowa 4-H Center is open and operating as normal. Yes, there are some of our typical summer camp programs that we have to substitute with other activities, but flexibility and “camp” go hand-in-hand. For example: the creek is too high for creek walks but we have been doing day hikes in the woods and out to the wetlands or the pond instead. The river is also too swollen for river canoe trips (but Pack & Paddle camp next week is still on!), so we are canoeing on our camp pond and other local lakes instead. All other camp program areas are open for use, just please send old shoes with your campers because the trails are wet and muddy after it rains.

#4 We just had 1,111.49 tons of new gravel put on the camp road!! Getting to camp from across the state may pose a problem for some of you with road closures in various towns, but all of the roads in and out of camp are very passable and not in any threat of being closed due to excess water. The only road even close to camp that is closed is Highway 30 between Ogden and Boone and they have re-routed traffic to E-57 that is actually closer to camp. If you have concerns about road closures, please visit this DOT website: #5 The Ames day camp pick-up and drop off location will be changed from Brookside Park to Emma McCarthy Lee Park off of Ross Road if Ames closes the roads around Brookside Park again. For now, please continue to use the Brookside Park location. If we get enough lead time, we will try to email all day camp parents about road closures, but if roads are closed overnight, we will call you from the day camp vans to alert you of the location change. If you need directions to the alternative park location, please visit this website: NOTICE: Right before we sent this message out we were informed that Brookside Park in Ames has recently been closed due to flooding, so our Thursday afternoon June 12th pick-up location WILL BE at Lee Park today! Finally…Our staff realize the trust you are placing in us to keep your children safe while they are here at the Iowa 4-H Center and we take our responsibility very seriously. John has children of his own and I am expecting my first child in September, so we do understand the concerns you have shared with us through the calls and emails we have answered so far. If you have further questions, please feel free to call the camp office at 515-795-3338 or 515-795-2389. You are also welcome to call Traci’s cell phone number at 515-291-1093. We will be posting updates on the main page of our website at if conditions change and we need to alert you of further information.

Sincerely, Traci, John, and the 2008 Iowa 4-H Center summer camp staff

Traci Haselhuhn
Camp Program Specialist
Iowa 4-H Center
1991 Peach Avenue
Madrid, Iowa 50156
phone: (515) 795-3338
fax: (515) 795-2107

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Community Service Opportunity

Hi, I am wondering if any of you know of any 4H groups who might like to help sell raffle tickets on the PONY EXPRESS HORSE RAFFLE? Proceeds go to penefit Easter Seals. The winner may take the horse or the $2,000 cash offer, so they almost sell themselves. Several groups do this for us, then the kids can use or turn in the hours as a community service project. I would be more than glad to attend any meetings, etc to present this to the groups and/or answer any questions that may arise. If the groups have any upcoming events between now & the state fair, it may be possible for us to bring the horse & let the group display the horse while selling tickets. Please feel free to pass this email on to any parties that may be interested, and feel free to contact me as needed.

Thanks for considering this project for us,

Carole Bailey
Pony Express Coordinator
Easter Seals Iowa
401 NE 66th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50313

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Polk Co. 4-H Beef Producers Should take a look...

AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa Beef Center is co-sponsoring a pasture walk in Milo, Iowa, in collaboration with the Iowa Forage and Grasslands Council, Iowa State University Extension in Warren County, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Warren County Cattlemen’s Association. The walk will take place June 24, 2008, at the Ohnemus Farms, located at 21392 G58 Highway in Milo, Iowa.
The event, which will begin at 6 p.m., will include speakers discussing a variety of topics and a tour of the OhnemusFarms grazing systems. Beef producers, landowners and agribusiness professionals will benefit from the discussionsled by the event’s speakers, including Duane Ohnemus, local producer; Joe Sellers, Iowa Beef Center beef specialist; and Brian Peterson and Nick Morrell from the NRCS.
Discussion topics will range from exploring methods to extend grazing, to managing grass height. Attendees are also encouraged to bring specific questions they have regarding grazing management to receive assistance from these industry experts.
Sellers, one of the event’s speakers, believes the pasture walk, and events like it, are bringing Iowans the knowledge they need at a crucial time for the beef industry. While it’s always important for those involved in beef production to learn money-saving techniques, conditions in Iowa have made this information that much more vital.
“Iowa is rapidly losing pasture and hay acres, and feed costs are rising, so it is critical to manage forages we do haveeffectively,” Sellers said.
The walk is free and attendance is open to everyone, with a meal provided by the Warren County Cattlemen’s Association. For more information, contact Sellers at (641) 203-1270 or Joy Rouse, Warren County Extension education director, at (515) 961-6237.
The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It serves as the university’s extension program to cattle producers and is comprised of faculty and staff from ISU Extension and the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Veterinary Medicine. Together, the Iowa Beef Center’s members work to develop and deliver the latest in research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. To learn more, visit

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's official 4-H is good for kids

AMES, Iowa -- You may assume that adolescents are inherently “at risk” and try to “fix” their problems. Or you may take another perspective –- positive youth development – believing that youth have assets and can become constructive contributors to society. That’s the perspective of ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development. A new national study confirms that positive youth development and 4-H get better results.
The Tufts’ 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development has found that youth involved in high-quality, structured programs during out-of-school-time, such as those offered by ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development in every county in Iowa, are more likely to experience positive youth development.
“This study confirms that youth involved in 4-H are leaders, contribute to their communities and are civically engaged, which strengthens communities,” said Keli Tallman, an ISU Extension 4-H youth development state specialist.
The Tufts’ study is a first-of-its-kind, longitudinal study measuring the impact personal and social factors have on youth as they develop. Findings reveal that all youth have the capacity to thrive, regardless of where they live, their family situations, their socioeconomic status, races and genders.
Study findings also show that quality and quantity matter when it comes to youth involvement in structured, out-of-school-time programs, Tallman said. The more often youth are involved in high-quality youth development programs, the more they and their communities benefit.
“We’re excited about this research and will be applying what we learn to Iowa 4-H,” said Chuck Morris, director of ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development. “We want to ensure that our 4-H program continues to provide opportunities that will help our youth become successful, contributing members of their communities.”
The Tufts’ study further shows that, in order for youth to experience success, communities, families and schools need to provide access to programs such as 4-H as well as provide sustained adult interaction and mentoring.
The 4-H study, conducted by Tufts University and sponsored by the National 4-H Council, involved more than 4,000 youth and 2,000 parents from 25 states to measure the impact personal and social factors have on a young person’s development.
-30-Contacts :
Keli Tallman, ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development, (515) 294-0688,