Category Archives: Uncategorized

4-H Marshall Mentor Program

Written by Tonya Price, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, 4-H

The University of Missouri Extension has launched a new Bullying Prevention/Character Education Mentor Program. Missouri 4-H, partnering with Marshall the Miracle Dog, developed a social-emotional positive behavior curriculum, The Marshall Mentor Program. This program helps youth understand the importance of empathy, strengths, courage, perseverance, kindness, and forgiveness while challenging them to implement these traits in their daily lives.

The program utilizes teen mentors to deliver Marshall the Miracle Dog’s cornerstone messages. Cyndi Willenbrock, who rescued Marshall fro a dangerous animal-hoarder said, “Marshall embodies what it means to ‘do good’ in the community and what it means to survive and thrive after being bullied or experiencing any of life’s tough challenges. Marshall’s messages inspire youth to find their voice and not give up five minutes before the miracle.

The 4-H Marshall Mentor Program curriculum has been fully vetted by National 4-H Council and includes two years of pilot programming in a wide variety of settings including: in-school/classroom enrichment programs, after school programs, 4-H summer camps, military family programs, 4-H life prison/detention programs, and a Community Empathy Training Program.

To ensure a successful launch of the program, trainings will be offered to 4-H faculty and staff members across the country. The training will be offered directly through Missouri 4-H and may be delivered virtually or in person. To learn more about this exciting social emotional program and Marshall the Miracle Dog, visit this recorded webinar from National 4-H Council:

After clicking on the link, register just as if the webinar is upcoming and you will be taken to the recording.  To see how Marshall is teaming up with 4-H, check out this video:


Virginia State University invites all interested and eligible youth to apply for the AgDiscovery 2017 summer program at Virginia State University. AgDiscovery is a fantastic summer program sponsored by USDA APHIS to help teenagers explore careers and opportunities in agriculture. There are several program focus areas at different universities across the country to consider, including one at Virginia State University.

At Virginia State University, participants will explore the Animal Science Program in the College of Agriculture and discover the essential interconnectivity of agricultural sciences in sustainable production and development. Activities will follow an animal science theme through the lens of sustainable and efficient food production amidst the shifting population growth needs and environmental pressures. Students will gain experience in the disciplines of animal science, aquaculture, and environmental science through a series of hands-on activities with small ruminants, farmed fish, on-farm processing, and field and laboratory research. Field trips and guest speakers provide exposure to a variety of related professions in agricultural production and research. Students will live in a university dormitory for the 2-week program that begins June 18th and ends July 1st. This program is facilitated by the Virginia State University (VSU) College of Agriculture/Agricultural Extension, with collaboration from USDA partners and industry representatives.

There is no cost to attend the AgDiscovery program as tuition, room and board, lab supplies, meals and activity fees are covered by APHIS. Students selected for the program are only responsible for the costs associated with traveling to the university campus on opening day and returning home at the conclusion of the program. Students applying to attend the program at Virginia State University must be age 14 to 17 and complete the application process provided in the link below. Applications must be postmarked by March 1, 2017 and mailed to the provided address. Applicants will be notified during the week of May 8, 2017 if they have been selected.

Please encourage everyone interested to find out more about the application requirements at:

Megan Cameron Shares Her National 4-H Congress Experience

Written by Megan Cameron, 2016 National 4-H Congress Delegate and 2016-2017 State 4-H Cabinet Vice President


During the 2016 Virginia 4-H Congress, I was waiting outside of the interview room with my portfolios and laptop. Weeks in advance, I prepared a nine-page resume containing every detail about my 4-H experience along with a slide show. When it was my turn, I came into the room, set up my laptop, shared my 4-H story with everyone, and answered some questions from my interviewers. A day later I received a letter informing me that 11 other delegates and I had been selected to attend the 2016 National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Georgia.

National 4-H Congress started the day after Thanksgiving. Everyone brought pins that represented their state and traded with one other, which encouraged us to meet new people. Each night we had amazing guest speakers who motivated and empowered everyone in the audience. Throughout the week we attended a variety of exciting workshops, from Junk Drawer Robotics, to Healthy Gourmet, to even Dancing with the Stars. Our second night we had an international dinner and dance. We ate food from around the world and danced the night away. We also visited the Atlanta History Center and learned the basics to ballroom dancing and African dance. Our fourth day we spent most of our afternoon volunteering at multiple locations. My group visited an elementary school and taught 5th graders about cotton production. I was also able to tour the Atlanta CNN Headquarters and visit the Centennial Olympic Park.

National 4-H Congress was one of the most exciting and memorable weeks of my life. I became very close friends with many on that trip. I was also pushed outside of my comfort zone and became more outgoing. I urge other 4-Hers to apply to attend this wonderful event, for it is truly an amazing experience.

Opportunities for Youth 2017

Virginia Institute on Cooperative Education: March 31st-April 2nd, 2017

  • Free, all-expense paid conference. (travel arrangements are up to the participant)
  • For students ages 16-19 years old; see for more information
  • VICE is a three-day youth leadership conference
  • interactive, educational and entertaining
  • students enhance their business, teamwork, and leadership skills.
  • Hands-on with “the cooperative way of doing business
  • Features “Who’s Minding the Store”, a computerized, interactive, business-simulation game involving making business decisions for a fictional farm-supply store.
  • Scholarship Opportunity. $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000 awarded to the three top performers


Holiday Lake Forestry Camp: June 19-24, 2017

  • for students ages 13-16 years old; See for more information.
  • Holiday Lake Forestry Camp is ideal for students:
    – to explore and experience activities in forestry and wildlife related careers
    – who participate in 4-H/FFA teams, Envirothon competitions, or ecology clubs
    – to experience hands on learning about natural resources conservation
  • Sustainable Forest Management, Forest Ecology, Reforestation and Tree Improvement, Tree Measurement and ID, Environmental Protection, and Wildlife Management
  • Other learning experiences include a field trip to a local paper mill; urban forestry demonstrations; exploratory classes in topics such as forest fire equipment and tactics, wilderness survival, canoeing, archery, skeet marksmanship, and wood turning; and lead by Conservation Police Officers, arson investigators, and wildlife researchers.
  • Campers participate in a Lumberjack Field Day with group competition in crosscut sawing, log rolling, and other traditional outdoor skills contests.


Youth Conservation Camp: July 9-15, 2017

  • For students in grades 9-12 – Contact local SWCD for application, sponsorship provided
  • YCC is a week-long summer conservation camp for Virginia high school students held on the campus of Virginia Tech. The program brings together students for a week of learning about natural resources. Most of the instruction is hands-on and outdoors.
  • Find more info here:


VA Soil and Water Conservation District Scholarships

  • contact local SWCD for local scholarship opportunity
  • Scholarship program provides financial support to students in a college course curriculum
    related to natural resources or environmental conservation or agriculture and life sciences.
  • State Scholarship Deadline – March 24th.
  • Application available:

Outstanding Young Agriculturist Award – by Farm Bureau

  • The Outstanding Young Agriculturalist Award recognizes a high school junior or senior for
    outstanding academic, community and agricultural achievement. The award also encourages students to strive for leadership opportunities and involvement in the agriculture sector.
  • Scholarship awards for district, runner-up, and state winners
  • Applications due by March 31st
  • Find more info here:

Teen Link – A Guide to Resources on Teen Issues

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to share with you a resource I find extremely helpful in my teen leadership and development work. Teen Link, a web site developed by the University of Minnesota, provides resources, both academic and practical, addressing issues commonly faced by teens.  They have done a wonderful job in organizing teen issues into topic areas, and under each topic you will find books, websites, and journal articles that address that particular topic.  All of the included resources are peer-reviewed and are constantly being updated, so bookmark this site ( and refer to it often as you work with the teens in your community.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or are in need of additional resources, tip sheets, etc. in regards to teen leadership and development.

Thanks for all you do!


4HOnline Year End Reporting and Rollover

As we approach the end of another 4-H year, I wanted to remind you that all enrollment data for the 2015-2016 4-H year needs to be entered into 4HOnline prior to midnight on September 30, 2016.  It is the responsibility of the 4-H Agent or person in charge of the 4-H program to review the ES237 report and check it for accuracy.  Online enrollment data is shared with local, state, and federal partners so it’s critical that your ES237 data is accurate and that all of your youth and adults members are entered into 4HOnline prior to midnight on September 30. 

To help you and your families with the rollover process, please visit this web link for tip sheets and resources:  I’ve also attached the tip sheets specifically for rollover to this email.  If additional help is needed, please don’t hesitate to contact me as I’m happy to walk you through the process or answer any questions you may have.  

In preparation for the new 4-H year beginning on October 1, 2016, 4HOnline will be shut down October 1 – 4.  What this means is that no unit (county and city) managers, club leaders, and/or families, will be able to enroll or re-enroll members during this time.  The system will reopen on October 5 for re-enrollment and data entry.  During this time, I will be updating the project list to include Teen Cuisine as well as adding SNAP-Ed to the EFNEP project offerings and District Horse Show will be added as a competition area.  Furthermore, to help collect 4-H Alumni data, a check box will be included for parent one and parent two to indicate if they are 4-H Alumni.  If there are other changes to the project listing you would like made, please let me know.  

Thanks for all you do!



Character Counts! and SOL Correlation

Are you interested in implementing Character Counts! into your school system but are having trouble getting school administrators to buy into the program? Check out this web link for the correlations to the SOLs:

Schools are very much focused and driven by SOL testing and are much more inclined to “buy in” to a program that is correlated to them. Therefore, the State Character Counts! leadership team has worked hard in reviewing the Character Counts! program and correlating it to the Virginia SOLs. On the website you will find the correlations for each pillar and grade level. It is our goal to have Virginia 4-H actively engaged in implementing the Character Counts! program in all schools. Research indicates that the Character Counts! program fosters a positive environment that helps improve overall attendance and test scores and has reduced negative behaviors such as bullying and disciplinary referrals. We hope that by having these correlations you will have an easier time getting your school system to buy into this program. Should you have any questions about these correlations or the Character Counts! program in general, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Tonya Price.

These correlations would not have been possible without the tireless work of the State Character Counts! Leadership Team! Special thanks goes out to: Karen Baker, Dara Booher, Sonya Furgurson, Brian Hairston, Jeremy Johnson, Jocelyn Pearson, and Glenda Snyder.

April is Month of the Military Child

April is the Month of the Military Child and today is Purple-Up for Military Kids Day!  Virginia is home to more than 108,000 children with  a parent serving in the military.  These youth face many challenges that are unique to their situation, such as having a parent deployed, frequent moves, new schools, and leaving friends.  4-H works to provide a community for these young people to connect with other youth and caring adults.  In Virginia, there are 11 military installations with 14 youth sites, that conduct 4-H programming through the 4-H Military Partnership.  These youth represent the Army, Navy and Air force branches of the military.  In addition, 4-H clubs across the Commonwealth embrace military connected youth whose parents may be in the National Guard or Reserves.  The latest enrollment data shows that more than 1,600 4-H members in Virginia are military connected.  Take a moment to thank a military child  for the sacrifice that they make each day.  Thanks also to the many 4-H Agents and  Volunteers who take time to make a positive difference in the lives of these youth.  For more information on how Virginia 4-H Programs for military youth go to:

purple up