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Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 Advisory: WSU Extension is working to keep our communities safe. All Extension programming is being provided virtually, postponed, or canceled. Effective March 16, 2020, WSU Extension county offices and WSU Research & Extension Centers will be closed to the public. We are available via email, phone, and webconference.


Posted by beverly.sarles | March 6, 2020
USDA Confirms Additional Case of Virulent Newcastle Disease

During the week of February 14 – 20, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed one additional premises as positive for virulent Newcastle disease in San Bernardino County, California.

Affected flocks are quickly euthanized. Together, these actions will help us prevent additional disease spread and eradicate the disease more quickly.

APHIS will only issue weekly stakeholder messages when there are new cases to report. Samples are still being tested and confirmed as they are identified. If there is a finding in a new state, APHIS will issue an announcement immediately. A complete list of confirmed positive premises is available on our website at

No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products. Properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat. In very rare instances, people working directly with sick birds can become infected. Symptoms are usually very mild and limited to conjunctivitis. Infection is easily prevented by using standard personal protective equipment.

Samples from the flocks were tested at the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS). The APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirms all findings. APHIS is working closely with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to respond to these findings and to conduct an epidemiological investigation. Federal and State partners are also conducting additional surveillance and testing in the area.

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity for poultry flocks can be found at Defend the Flock.

SeaPerch Update

Pend Oreille Tech Wizards youth took top honors at the Inland Northwest Regional SeaPerch Challenge. SeaPerch is an underwater robotics program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research and RoboNation. Youth build an underwater remotely operated vehicle while learning about structural, mechanical, and technical engineering as well as the forces such as buoyancy and currents that affect the SeaPerch.

At the Regional Challenge, youth compete in three events: an underwater obstacle course, capping the well, and retrieving objects from the bottom of the pool. Additionally, there is a technical report competition. Inspired by the ROV that capped the well during the BP oil spill, “Cap the Well” requires youth to place a PVC cap onto a traffic cone at the bottom of the pool. The twist is that the operator views the cap and well via a camera and close circuit television system. The 2D television image messes with depth perception and the directions for movement are reversed. Perseverance and patience are built as students ply their skills.

Ten Pend Oreille youth, grades 6-10, competed in house on February 22nd at Eastern Washington University. High School youth, Jeremy Ward and Frankie Chambers designed and 3-D printed their SeaPerch this year with the intention of entering in the Open Class at the International Competition if they qualified. The Open Class allows participants to use more than the three stock motors and to add features that are powered by an additional motor. It also removes the $25.00 upgrade restriction. After completing all three events at the Regional Challenge, they had placed first in the High School Division. Unfortunately, the Inland Northwest SeaPerch Challenge does not have an Open Class and so they were asked to complete all three events again using a borrowed SeaPerch, constructed from a stock kit. Ironically, their times improved for all three events, reducing their averaged combined time from 11:58 minutes to 6:57 minutes.

Pend Oreille middle school youth, Malachi Frantz and Sawyer Wiese, were the First Runner’s Up in the Middle School Division. Two very differently skilled youth, Malachi and Sawyer worked hard to meld into a team. Their hard work was rewarded with Slalom and Cap the Well times under 1:40 minutes. Gavin Chatfield and Forrest Heaton placed first in the Middle School Technical Report Competition with Carson Wyrobek and Aydan Zweigler coming in a close second.

Jeremy Ward and Frankie Chambers advance to the International SeaPerch Challenge at the University of Maryland – College Park over the last weekend of May. This will be Jeremy’s fourth time at the International Challenge in the last four years. Well done, Pend Oreille Tech Wizards Teams!!!


Next Leader Council – March 19

Please join us for the next Leader Council meeting, scheduled for Thursday, March 19.  The meeting will take place at the WSU Extension Office, 227 S Garden Ave, Newport.  It will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Application Window Open Now for 2021 4-H Youth in Action Awards

A new application season for the 4-H Youth in Action program was initiated in January by National 4-H Council; after hearing from Extension professionals and students that spring is a better time for youth to apply for scholarships, the application season has been shifted to better support 4-Hers and professionals alike. From now until April 27, 2020, youth can share their stories of developing passion, finding purpose, and inspiring others by applying here for the 2021 4-H Youth in Action Awards for a chance to earn a $5,000 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C.

Music Education Matters Summit Slated for July 14-16, Hosted by Georgia 4-H

The Music Education Matters Summit, hosted by Georgia 4-H, will be held this year July 14-16, 2020, at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia, near Atlanta. The Music Education Matters Summit provides an experience for youth across Georgia and around the nation, to practice and grow in music education, network and learn from industry professionals, and develop as a leader, team member, and performer.  The Summit offers youth the opportunity to select one of five tracks:

  • Vocal
  • Instrumental
  • Songwriting
  • Dance; and
  • Musical Theatre

Each track is designed to focus not only on skills development, but mentorship and career exploration with industry professionals. Additionally this year, adults will be offered an supplementary workshop to discuss the processes used to launch, organize, and sustain a 4-H Performing Arts program. The facilitators will discuss the “nuts and bolts” of a Performing Arts group including auditions, travel considerations, funding, rehearsals, volunteer recruitment, and marketing.

Registration is limited to the first 200 people (youth and adults), after which individuals will be placed on a waiting list.  There is no limit to the number of 4-Hers a county or state may bring.  Event Registration opened Monday, February 3, and will remain open until Friday, May 15. Partial and full scholarship will be awarded to youth who complete and submit the Scholarship Application form by April 1st. All scholarships will be awarded on a financial needs basis.

Out of State Registration opens on February 3.rd. In an effort to aid in the registration process, the registration form (here) should be used to collect registration information from youthGeorgia 4-H requests that all out of state registration be coordinated through the state 4-H office. This helps ensure the enrollment of youth participants as 4-Hers and streamlines the communication channels.

Prior to the event, adults attending the Music Education Matters Summit are required to meet the requirements of serving as a “Screened Volunteer Working with Youth” as listed in the following policy:

Information on the event can be found at

Hippology Academy is Back

Hippology Academy courses are available again, as of February 17th, through extension All courses are online, so they are accessible anytime. Silver Level registrations have access to Professors of the Week and course access for nine months; Bronze Level registrations have access for six months. For more information, click here.

New Guides for the 4-H Horse Advancement Program

New Guides for the 4-H Horse Advancement Program are now available; they have been updated from 1993 versions. 4-H Advancement Programs are competency designed programs for 4-H leaders to assist 4-H members to navigate their projects. This 4-H Horse Advancement Program is designed as a checklist to build the competency and confidence of 4-H Horse members. During the process of working through the Steps, the 4-H members will gain skills and experiences necessary to have success in the 4-H Horse Program. It provides an opportunity to develop skills and mastery that fits individual learning styles and abilities. Each county program or 4-H club has the flexibility to make adaptations and provide oversight to the 4-H Horse Advancement Program relative to the riding discipline and the needs of their local audience. This Advancement Program will measure 4-H members’ knowledge and skills in General 4-H Knowledge, Horsemanship, Selecting & Judging, Equine Science, Leadership, and Personal Development. Each Step in the 4-H Advancement Program builds upon the previous Step based in terms of skill level and age appropriateness. 4-H members will not just be gaining knowledge about their project area, they will also develop skills they will use during their life.
Guides include handy resources as well as personal development and leadership skills. 4-H Advancement Programs can also assist in risk management for projects. Participants will be provided with strategies and activities to enhance their Advancement Programs for important projects. A presentation with discussion will help participants utilize the Horse Advancement Program as well as create or enhance their own Advancement Programs.
The 4-H Horse Advancement Program Guides are published through WSU Publications at here, and are also available online in .pdf form for free at here  (Member Guide) and here (Program Leader Guide).

If you have any questions, please contact Debbie Williams –, Jennifer Leach –, or Janet Schmidt –

Save the Dates – Springtime Washington State 4-H Equine Events are Coming Up

Save the Dates for these Springtime Washington State 4-H Equine Events:

Washington State 4-H Horse Bowl
April 25, 2020
Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA

Washington State 4-H Hippology Contest
Date and Site to be Determined

More information will be coming soon!

University of Idaho Hosts 4-H Teen Association Conference – and Washington State 4-H is Invited

University of Idaho Extension 4-H will be hosting their 2020 State Teen Association Conference (STAC) June 22-25, 2020 on the University of Idaho campus in Moscow. Washington State University 4-H has been invited to participate – more information coming soon!

Apply Now for the Washington State 4-H Scholarships

The Washington State 4-H Scholarship Applications is available now! If you are a senior 4-H’er, now is the time to apply. The deadline for applying is March 15, 2020.

More information and instructions for applying can be found here:

4-H Super Saturday – March 7 – Camas Center

For the schedule on workshops, trainings, activities and times, click here:  2020 Super Saturday Flyer (1)