I hope your busy spring is going well. Your work is making a lasting impact on the youth engaged in your unit program. I appreciate your efforts in supporting our members and volunteers in the vast array of programming efforts that occur throughout the spring and summer!
I am writing to provide you with a few updates.
2014 4-H Symposium – Please hold the dates for our next Virginia 4-H Symposium scheduled for November 20 – 23 in Blacksburg. We plan to use a similar format as 2013 with agent professional development on Thursday and Friday, leading into concentrated tracts on Saturday in addition to our on-going partnership conference with the Virginia Association of Adult 4-H Volunteer’s Fall Conference on Saturday and Sunday. There will be extraordinary learning experiences for all!
Congrats to Holiday Lake 4-H Center staff, Board of Directors, and Agents for soliciting and receiving 4-H camp scholarships for all of the 19 units served by the center. As a result, 190 youth will have a positive camping experience next summer that may not have otherwise had the opportunity! This is a true testament to our commitment as a state of allowing every child the opportunity to experience camp.
4 for 4-H Runs – As you know each 4-H center is holding a 4 for 4-H Run this spring to raise funds for 4-H camp scholarships. This is a fantastic opportunity to engage youth, volunteers, and community members in a fun, family friendly activity that will result in positive outcomes for each Unit and 4-H Center. I would like to challenge each Unit to raise funds for 1 full scholarship by means of these runs. $250 to support programming will be placed in the 4-H Foundation account of the Unit in each district that raises the most for their center run. Each district that has 100% participation by their units will also receive $250 in 4-H programming funds. Let’s all get on board to support our centers and promote Healthy Living!
Livestock and Horse Events – It was fantastic to see nearly 900 youth participating in the Block and Bridle Livestock events and the EquiSmartz Horse Competition Weekend. It was also nice to see the number of units participating that had not in recent years. I am constantly reminded of the energy and enthusiasm that you and your volunteers have for 4-H programming and I feel blessed to work in Virginia 4-H.
Virginia 4-H Strategic Plan – A huge thank you to everyone who provided input for the strategic plan that we have been working on over the past year. I want to thank the steering committee that spent significant time as a group and then collecting input from their colleagues. Please take some time to look over the document which will serve as a roadmap for our efforts. You can find the document at the following location: http://www.intra.ext.vt.edu/4h/stratplan.html. This document was shared with the 4-H Positive Youth Development Program Team. As the team conducts their work, we will revise the document as needed.
State 4-H Congress – I am very excited about the 2014 4-H Congress. The workshop and competition workshops are shaping up to be the best ever. The Centennial Celebration will be a fantastic event with special guests that you will not want to miss. Please refer to the Congress website for more information. Last year, we saw significant increases in both the number of delegates and the number of units represented. Please let us know if we can assist you in recruitment and we look forward to seeing you and your teens in June.
Who Should I Contact? For camping and general risk management questions call Sandra (Sam) Fisher. If it is 4-H Horse related, contact Celeste Crisman. Anything to do with 4-H Livestock, call Paige Pratt. If your need is related to youth Dairy, call Dave Winston. Curriculum, After-School, or STEM? Call Kathleen Jamison. If you need information on teen programming, Character Counts!, 4-H Healthy Living, or the 4-H Ambassador Program, call Tonya Price. If it is a Congress question or 4-H Mentoring grant question, call Mike Martin. All things related to VCE volunteers, start with Jeremy Johnson. Let’s say you want to chat about 4-H international programs or new agent support, you will want to contact Glenda Snyder. Any event related question can be directed to Katie Lafon. If you have anything concerning the Virginia 4-H Foundation, you will want to direct it to Amanda Lucas. All program issues should be directed to me and if you have no idea where to start please contact Melissa Breen and she can direct you to the most appropriate person.
Please let us know how we can better serve you as we work to “Make the Best Better”.