Monthly Archives: January 2014

4-H Summer and School Year Hosting Opportunities

Applications are currently being accepted for 4-H International Summer Hosting Opportunities.  The month-long summer stay possibilities include hosting students from Argentina, Finland and Japan.  In addition, individuals interested in hosting an international student for an entire school year beginning Fall of 2014 can apply as well.  New links have been added to the Virginia 4-H International website with more information on these programs.  Please share with potential host families in your units.  Direct access to the link is:

Thank you for your support of this 4-H Citizenship Program.


North Central Region 4-H Volunteer e-Forum
The North Central Region 4-H Volunteer e-Forum will consist of four volunteer leader training webinars. The format allows Extension offices to host facilitated discussions locally while participating in the live webinar. Host Site Facilitator Guides will be posted on the website one month in advance of each session. Each live webinar will be held 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Recordings of the sessions will also be posted for those unable to participate during the live session. Visit the North Central Region 4-H Volunteer Development website for full session descriptions, customizable promotional flyer, host site facilitator guides, and archived sessions from the 2011 e-Forum.

You’ve Got 4-H Parents! Now What??
Access the recording of this session at:

Engaging Teens & Older Youth
Access the recording of this session at:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 – Using Technology to Enhance Your 4-H Experience

Monday, February 3, 2014 – Exploring the Science of 4-H Projects
Register here:

Volunteer Screening Update

Volunteer Background Screening Update

Virginia Cooperative Extension is continuing to work with departments across the Virginia Tech campus to finalize a formal policy and procedure for  background screening for  current volunteers and volunteer applicants. As efforts progress, Virginia Cooperative Extension continues to encourage background screening for volunteers that work with vulnerable populations including youth, seniors, individuals with special needs, volunteers handling funds, and volunteers transporting participants in vehicles. These volunteers generally complete the Volunteer Enrollment/Application Long Form VA-114 and reference checks are conducted as part of the initial application process.  Units should continuing  screening volunteers as they have done in previous years. These efforts may include using local county/city resources to conduct criminal history screenings if available.

At this point the background screening is suggested as stated above and will  become mandatory sometime in the near future.  We are still waiting for University Council to come out with the official policy/process.

If units do not have access through the locality to run a background screening, there is an opportunity to conduct the check through the portal available in the State 4-H Office.  Sam Fisher is the current contact to work out how to complete a screening. Cost for screening is $10 each and may be paid by the volunteer, unit or combination.  It is an online process that allows the volunteer to enter the information directly and results are received within 36 hours.  This helps address the security of the sensitive information and has a quick turn- around time.

National 4-H History Preservation Program

The history of 4-H is one of the most significant and far-reaching stories in America: a story of youth education, community pride and responsibility, personal leadership, and volunteerism. Truly unique – born at the grassroots level and involving special public-private partnerships at the local, state and national levels – it represents the very essence of America’s growth.

Over a century since it began, 4-H continues to thrive and expand today as one of America’s foremost youth development initiatives. While constantly continuing to change in support of the evolving needs of young people today, most of the original concepts and philosophies – the proven strengths – remain unchanged.

There is no better guide toward our future than to learn from and build upon our past. The primary purpose of this 4-H History Preservation website is to provide a central resource on 4-H history, particularly at the national level.

4-H IRS Update

We have received questions concerning recent notifications from the IRS. If your club has closed their account and have received notifications related to filing issues for 2010 or 2011, you do not have to respond. These will be automatically corrected when the transition is completed. Like last year, please forward a copy to the State 4-H Office and keep the original on file.

You should keep club records turned in December 2012 for a period of seven years since they pertain to IRS EINs.

Have a great day,

CommonHealth-Five Diet Resolutions for 2014

Are you making bold resolutions in the New Year to “eat right” – whatever
that means? Stop trying to overhaul your entire diet in a day! Resolve to
think small and you can reach any diet goal – one focused step at a time.
Why not start with these simple tips?

Resolution No. 1: Go Slow
Resolving to get more fiber in your diet this year? Maybe
more fish or fresh fruit? Any diet change is easier if you take
slow, small steps.

Resolution No 2: Water, Water, Everywhere
Water: It’s cheap, fat-free, and gives your body a quenching boost.

Resolution No. 3: Go for the Gold… and Red… and Purple
Colorful produce is packed with disease-fighting plant
compounds, so when you shop, reach for a rainbow.

Resolution No 4: Tackle Mindless Munching
You’re chatting with friends around the dinner table or
watching a DVD – and you just keep nibbling. Try these tips
to reign in the munchies:
ƒ*Pop a stick of gum or a sugar-free mint in your mouth.
*ƒBrush or floss your teeth.

Resolution No 5: Stack the Odds in Your Favor 
Don’t forget to help yourself succeed, and to reach out for
help when you need it.
Buddy up with a friend or family member with diet and
weight loss resolutions. Then share your ideas, plans,
and successes regularly.

Take enough steps and you’ll reach any goal. Resolve to
make a few small diet resolutions this year and then just
watch how far you’ll go!

For more in-depth information on how to make these resolutions work and other great tips check out the CommonHealth Compass

Changing Lives One at a Time


Changing Lives One at a Time

“4-H in America –  Clovers’ lovers – Great people, they are not angry. They are not judgmental. They are not unkind. They are not nasty. They are brilliant. They are loving. They are kind. They are generous. They are strong. They are passionate. They are gentle. They are peaceful. They are full of laughter, full of good cheer. They are generous, lavish, and they love a good fight. They will contend for what is ours, but they will contend with joy! 

The Best Place I never dreamed of…. May God Bless you and help the world get to where you are.”

~ Bineta Khalla Guisse

Bineta Khalla Guisse from Senegal Africa sent the above message after she visited Virginia May 27 – June 20, 2013 to learn about the Virginia 4-H Youth Development program as she is interested in starting 4-H in her country.

During her visit, she spent a few days with Kaci Daniels, Extension Agent 4-H Youth in Orange county  participating in 4-H Camp Counselor Training and learning about Virginia Cooperative Extension programming. She attended a Virginia 4-H Strategic Planning session observing the group process learning about people working together for a common goal.  Spending a week at the Henry County/City of Martinsville 4-H Camp with Brian Hairston, Extension Agent, 4-H Youth, she observed Teen Counselors and Adult Volunteers putting their training into action while working with the campers. She participated in camp classes, interacted with the campers, teens and adults and had an unforgettable experience.  In June, she participated in Virginia 4-H Congress working with the 4-H Cabinet learning what happens behind the scenes, staying in the dormitories with the delegates, participating in workshops, observing presentation contests, and experiencing all aspects of 4-H Congress. 4-H Agents Linda King, in Prince William County, Rita Schalk in Hanover County, Michelle Dickerson, in Montgomery County and Sonya Furgurson, in Halifax County hosted Bineta at various times during 4-H Congress sharing about the 4-H program and our culture while learning about her interests and her culture.  Bineta interacted with 4-H teens, 4-H agents, 4-H volunteers and parents learning while sharing. At the end of the 4-H Share the Fun show, Bineta shared about her culture by performing an African dance on the Burruss Hall stage for all of the Congress delegates.

After her return home, Bineta remarked, “You were remarkable! I have learned so many things from every one of you… I must admit that I owe you and so does my country!  Thinking of you makes me feel strong because you made me a new person…and I can feel the difference!”  “I really do not think I will forget this for the rest of my life.”

Bineta is currently working with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty and students to help Senegal farmers learn conservation practices to maximize their resources. On December 28, 2013 a delegation of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty and students left Virginia to assist with farming practices in Senegal villages.  In addition, the college students will engage the youth in some 4-H hands-on activities.

Bineta is the current Gender and Community Outreach Officer specializing in strategic planning and organizational policy development/implementation with a focus on innovative approaches to securing child wellbeing and women’s empowerment through education and micro enterprises.

Officer Training – Saturday, January 18

The Southeast District 4-H agents and cabinet members have been working hard to prepare for this weekend’s state 4-H officer training! Just a few reminders about the upcoming officer training on Saturday, January 18 at Virginia State.

1. If there is a cancellation due to weather we will send a blast email to those that supplied an email on their registration form. Check your emails if the weather seems hazardous.
2. We will begin promptly at 10:00 am in the Wilder Building Auditorium located on the campus of Virginia State in Petersburg. Registration begins at 9:30 and I encourage you to come in time to be ready to begin at 10:00.
3. The training has been extended by 15 minutes so it will now end at 3:15 instead of 3 p.m.
4. Lunch will be provided. If you indicated a dietary restriction on your registration form, please advise them of this when picking up your lunch.
5. Participants do not need to bring any supplies with them besides a positive attitude. All programming needs will be provided.
6. Several participants ask about proper dress. School appropriate clothing is adequate for this event. There is no need to dress up but please make sure your clothing would be appropriate for school.
7. Parking – There should be parking available in lot 28 or lot 27 (near the athletic field).

The training team looks forward to seeing you this weekend! Safe travels!