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Washington State University Extension



2021 National 4-H Conference Update

Communication from Christopher Petty, Program Specialist, Division of Youth and 4-H, Institute of Youth, Family, and Community
USDA | National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Thank you for your patience as we work to create the best virtual National 4-H Conference possible!  I am pleased to share the attached information with you, which includes the conference theme, dates and times, keynote speaker, value statement, and other important information.

Additional information is forthcoming, including registration information and a code of conduct form.

Theme: Shaping the Future
Dates: April 10-14, 2021 Virtual Format

The link to the information letter is here.

Leader Training for Running Zoom Meetings
to be Repeated On January 27th!!

Did you miss last week’s leader training on running zoom meetings?  Fear not!! You can make your zoom meetings more interesting for your members? This training is aimed at 4-H leaders to help give them more information on Zoom tools to use in their meetings and learn about running an effective 4-H club or project meeting using Zoom.

The upcoming Zoom session is scheduled for Wednesday, January 27, 2021. It will open at 6:00 pm for technical support and to learn about the Zoom annotation function. The main training will begin at 6:30 pm. Support material for this course can be found at

This training is being presented to support club leaders:

• Run a 4-H club meeting virtually.
• Keep kids’ attention and keep them engaged.
• Tips on virtual meetings.
• By providing a selection of activities to pick from.
• By showing some key Zoom functions.
• Showing the connection to the essential elements.

Contact for more information and the zoom link.

Save the Date! 28th Annual Springtime Youth Calf Sale on March 20, 2021

New! Calf Scholarship and Grant Application Links!

Mark your calendars for the 28th annual Springtime Youth Calf Sale date of March 20, 2021 to be held at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds, Monroe, WA. We are making plans to move forward as January is the time we start making calf sale selections. As we look ahead, we would like to hear from you if you are interested in purchasing a dairy heifer project for 2021 as well as those who would be interested in the $500 calf grants. It will give us a better idea of how to make the sale happen and what it might look like in 2021.

Please contact sale chairman, Liz Holtcamp at For more information about the Springtime Youth Calf Sale please go to this link:

The link to the Calf Scholarship Application is here.

The link to the Calf Grant Application is here.

You may also find us on Facebook at Springtime Youth Calf Sale.

New Experience 4-H Virtual Activity Coming – Sew A Table Runner!

In this class, 4-H sewing volunteers will teach you how to sew a table runner. For success, youth must be able to sew a long continuous seam on a sewing machine. This class requires sewing supplies, sewing machine, and an adult to help. Supply list will be emailed to registered participants.

January 23, 2021 @ 1:00PM Pacific Time 

Register in advance for this class at

Questions? Contact Toni  Gwin at

Register Now for the 2021 Virtual Sewing & Stitchery Expo!

The 2021 Virtual Sewing & Stitchery Expo is Feb. 24-28, 2021. You can register now! The 2021 Class Catalog is online now! Follow this link to find it on the Sew & Stitch website.

More information and registration link is at

Washington State 4-H Scholarship Applications Are Open!

The 4-H Scholarship application is now available for Washington 4-Hers in the 12th grade. Information can be found at

Please note: 4-H Scholarship applicants must be enrolled and approved in 4-H Online to be eligible. Previously, applicants only needed to be enrolled in the previous two years.

12th graders are encouraged to check out the available scholarships and apply! Applications close on March 15th.

Registration Open! – National 4-H Summit for Healthy Living

Registration is now open for the National 4-H Summit for Healthy Living.

This is a virtual event scheduled for February 12-15 for high school students and adults. Registration closes January 29, 2021.

Registration is $75 per person, youth or adult. Each participant will receive a Summit box of materials to promote having a great Summit experience.

Registration will be a two-step process. First, the attendees need to be registered and payment made in order to get the Summit boxes to everyone in time.  Secondly, after registration closes January 29, attendees have one week to designate the track they will stay in: nutrition, physical activity, mental health, substance abuse, health equity, and food insecurity plus an adult track for professional development. This needs to be done by February 5 and you will receive information on what the workshop offerings will be for each track prior to the deadline.  The tracks are the “how” behind allowing unlimited participation.  Workshop offerings are being finalized now.

Please pass this information along to county staff, 4-H Club volunteers, anyone with an interest in deepening their 4-H Healthy Living knowledge.

Register here.

Application Open! – 2022 Youth In Action Awards

Applications for the 2022 4-H Youth in Action Awards are open! Four dynamic youth leaders will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share their stories along with unforgettable experiences, celebration on the national stage, recognition in the media and a $5,000 college scholarship. Open to youth age 15-19. Apply beginning January 6 through March 29, 2021. The four youth leaders will represent STEM. Healthy Living, Agriculture and Civic Engagement.  Please pass this information along to anyone working with our youth!

Apply at!application.

Update: The State of Innovation Challenge!

Challenge Check-in 

Let the State of Innovation Challenge team know how your Challenge experience is going for you:

Is at least one young person in your classroom or program committed to submitting a Challenge response before March 4th?


If you need help getting started, check out the resources below or please email us at

State of Innovation Challenge Update 

Only seven (7) weeks left in the Challenge, now is the time to get started on your projects!
It’s only weeks until the March 4 deadline for project submissions, so if you haven’t already started, now is a great time to get going on your projects:

  • Visit our “Get Started” page to find everything you need to get going with the Challenge

What happens to project submissions? 
All students who submit a Challenge solution — whether it’s a Nano project, a Micro project, or a Macro project will be recognized for their contribution.

The most innovative projects will be awarded special recognition at our award ceremony in March — for those innovation awards we are looking for projects that meet most of the submission guidelines.

I don’t have a lot of time for special projects, can my students still participate? 
Yes. A Challenge solution doesn’t have to be a major project, it can take as little as one hour or one class period to create an idea to submit.

The Challenge is scalable based on the needs and capacity of adults and students — so choose what works best for you — the State of Innovation Challenge team can’t wait to see the responses!


Read the press release from the Office of the Governor – “State of Innovation Challenge invites Washington youth to design solutions to the state’s big issues.”

Possible Education Opportunity – CDC Museum Disease Detective Camp (DDC)

The Center for Disease Control Museum’s Disease Detective Camp is an interdisciplinary educational program organized by the CDC Museum. DDC reflects the museum’s mission of educating the public about CDC’s work. This academic day camp is held at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Admission is open to high-school students during the summer before their junior or senior years. During camp students are immersed in the diverse field of public health.

Topics vary year to year, but may include: public health interventions, global health, infectious disease, chronic disease, injury prevention, data analysis, surveys, school wellness programs, violence prevention, environmental health, emergency preparedness, outbreaks, scientific communication, laboratory technology, disease surveillance, epidemiology, and public health law. Camp is a fast paced, academically demanding program. Participants are expected to fully immerse themselves, work together, and become a diverse team of disease detectives!

AUDIENCE: All students to who will be high-school juniors or seniors during the 2021-2022 school year and at least 16 years old on the first day of the camp session to which they are accepted.

HOW TO APPLY: Please check back at February 1, 2021 for application information.

Highly Pathogenetic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Info Available for Poultry Project Youth

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is very active right now around the globe. Outbreaks are presently occurring in North Korea, China, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Iran, Poland, Norway, France, and Ukraine.

Wild waterfowl are one of the main ways the virus moves around. A major migratory flight path for wild waterfowl includes Washington State; many waterfowl species (swans, ducks, geese) overwinter in the state as well. These birds can carry the avian influenza virus and spread it to chickens, in which it is much more deadly. Please refresh your knowledge of the biosecurity practices recommended to keep your birds safe and take these actions every day! Here are some good resources:

More Information on HPIA:
Washington State Veterinarian News: Batten Down the Hatches Against Avian Influenza

Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza are happening in several countries around the globe now. Please share this important info with 4-H members, commercial poultry owners, and any other stakeholders who would be affected by an outbreak in the U.S. We do NOT want this disease to get a foothold here! Thanks.

Link to the CORRECTED WSDA document here.

.Susan Kerr, DVM, PhD
WSDA Education and Outreach Specialist

Plea for 4-H Horse Project Youth to Vaccinate for Equine Influenza

Dr. Susan Kerr, WSDA Education and Outreach Coordinator

4-H horse project youth, your horse depends on YOU to keep him/her safe and healthy!

There were 33 confirmed cases of equine influenza in Washington State in 2020. There were an additional 29 suspected cases, and 25 more horses were exposed to the virus by infected horses. These cases were distributed throughout the state. Fortunately, none of these horses died, which is typical for this disease.

Part of influenza treatment involves strict rest, and some horses do not return to normal for six months! Can you imagine not being able to ride or exercise your sick horse for weeks or months? Horses infected with the influenza virus can develop secondary pneumonia, which can be much more serious and require antibiotic treatment.

If your horse is at risk of catching influenza from other horses, why not prevent this disease and all its complications by vaccinating him/her? The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) recommends horses at risk be vaccinated for influenza every six months.

Is your horse at risk of influenza? YES if he/she has contact with other horses “outside its bubble” at shows, trail rides, schooling, etc. Also YES if you keep your horse at a stable where other horses are coming and going and mixing with other horses. Even if your horse doesn’t go anywhere, another horse can bring the virus to him/her.

If your horse stays at your home barn with a steady “bubble” of barn mates and doesn’t have direct or indirect contact with other horses, he/she is at minimal risk of influenza.

A very good article with more details about equine influenza is available at For more information about equine vaccinations, see the AAEP’s recommendations at or speak with your veterinarian.

The foundation of animal welfare is preventing animal illness, pain, and suffering. Vaccinating against diseases of concern is a very simple and effective way to do this.

New Links For 4-H Horse Leaders and Members

4-H horse members and leaders–below are two links for you to look at and access. Thank you to Dr. Susan Kerr, Professor Emerita, WSU Livestock and Dairy Extension Specialist,  for sharing this information with us.;!!JmPEgBY0HMszNaDT!7h58KXqPMs7JIjowYRlO7Uo0oXHx48vGPL8NFQ8H8_QyRdCSUfhkL6SKijvp$

And this just for fun:;!!JmPEgBY0HMszNaDT!7h58KXqPMs7JIjowYRlO7Uo0oXHx48vGPL8NFQ8H8_QyRdCSUfhkLzLTLwVo$

African Swine Fever (ASF) Info Available for Swine Project Youth

African swine fever (ASF) is now active in North Korea, South Africa,
Ukraine, Romania, Russia, Moldova, Hungary and Germany.

As every country is now separated by only a few hours of travel, please encourage swine project youth to learn about ASF, including its signs and how to prevent it. Here is a simple and quick animation to encourage youth to do their part, followed by a link to youth-friendly resources for additional info.;!!JmPEgBY0HMszNaDT!-R7x3C4t-YWd2zNwl-hpbRDvrZuJLcDHG3uM8dVbxDTm-1njBwL3co1QYElZ$;!!JmPEgBY0HMszNaDT!-R7x3C4t-YWd2zNwl-hpbRDvrZuJLcDHG3uM8dVbxDTm-1njBwL3cla_RrRF$ (the biosecurity links focus on birds, but principles apply to all species).

4-H National Hall of Fame Nominations Are Now Open

The National 4-H Hall of Fame Committee of the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals (NAE4-HYDP), in cooperation with National 4-H Council and 4-H National Headquarters (now the Division of 4-H and Youth/NIFA,USDA), is pleased to announce that nominations for the Class of 2021 are now being accepted.

The National 4-H Hall of Fame honors 4-H volunteers, extension professionals and staff employees, donors and others who have made a significant impact on the 4-H program and/or 4-H members through the contribution of time, energy, financial resources, etc. Current employees of 4-H, Cooperative Extension, the Federal Extension System or National 4-H Council and those with 4-H or Extension administrative responsibilities will not be considered until three years following retirement. The three-year rule also applies to deceased employees. Unsuccessful candidates must be re-nominated for future consideration. The induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, October 16, 2021 at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The goal is for NAE4-HYDP members, foundation/development professionals and 4-H faculty/staff at all levels to work together to select and nominate the most deserving candidate of each Land-grant institution to the National 4-H Hall of Fame. The State 4-H Leader’s signature is required to confirm the Land-grant institution’s nomination. All land-grant institutions are encouraged to nominate an outstanding individual who has had a significant impact on the 4-H program. Please visit the National 4-H Hall of Fame website at: to view laureate photos, biographies and other interesting information from recent classes.

Nominations should be submitted to Tony Dell at, or Rachel George at no later than February 10, 2021.

Share Your 4-H Event on the 4-H Website!

Do you have an upcoming 4-H event scheduled that you would like to publicize to members across the state? Submit your event information for inclusion on the Washington State 4-H Website! Submit your event information to for inclusion on the event calendar!


Exciting Career News for 4-H Dog Project Youth!

Check out these opportunities!

Seven things to know about being a military veterinarian:

More opportunities for “sniffer dog” trainers:



Susan Kerr, DVM, PhD
WA State Dept. of Ag Educational Outreach Specialist


Resource Illustrates Differences Between COVID-19, Flu, and Common Cold
As we enter cold/flu season at the same time as a very concerning covid-19 surge, WSU Klickitat County Extension and One Community Health have collaborated to create flyers that show some of the subtle differences between COVID-19, the flu, and a common cold.

IMPORTANT REMINDER Regarding WSU Extension Adult/Youth Interactions during COVID-19
As we are all in communication via technology with youth at this time, I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of WSU Extension’s policy on interactions. Under this policy, AT NO TIME should one adult be meeting or communicating with youth WITHOUT the presence of another adult. This policy pertains to Zoom conferences, telephone conversations, text messages, social media posts, etc. To facilitate communication, make certain to cc another adult on written communications, and invite another adult to be present during virtual meetings. The second adult is recommended to be a WSU volunteer; other adults can serve in this role if you’re in a pinch.

Jana S. Ferris
Associate Professor
Volunteer Specialist, WSU Extension

A Reminder: COVID-19 Resources Available from WSU Extension
The WSU Extension COVID-19 Updates and Resources page is updated as new information becomes available. The Link to the page is

Caring for Your Family During COVID-19

The Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families has created a
resource for parents during COVID-19. The WASHINGTON STATE RESOURCE GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS: Caring for Your Family During COVID-19 was developed to help parents and their families navigate the pandemic and the days to follow. The publication is available at

Keeping Your Distance to Stay Safe
With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing every day, psychologists offer insights on how to separate yourself from others, while still getting the social support you need.

Everyday Actions to Help Prevent the Spread of Respiratory Viruses
Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

A WSU hand-washing video can be accessed here.

There’s also this link to the Washington State Department of Health’s ‘WashYourHandsingTon” web page.

WSU has established an informational website that is being frequently updated – it can be found here. It has general information from the Center for Disease Control and the Washington State Department of Health.

Because of differing levels of outbreaks and risk of exposure to covid-19 and the coronavirus in different communities, please refer to your local health department and your local County Extension Office for information applicable to your community.

Updated January 19, 2021