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2016-2017 4-H Year

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Regional Hippology and Horse Bowl Contests

On March 4th Steuben County had 4-H members participate in the 2017 Regional Hippology and Horse Bowl contests held at Midlakes School, in Clifton Springs, NY.

Hippology is an activity that can enhance learning for 4-H members by letting them showcase their knowledge and understanding of equine science and husbandry in a competitive setting. Participants are able to demonstrate their experience and knowledge gained in horse judging, quiz bowl, speeches, and practical horse management. Phases of the contest include a written exam, identification of items shown on slides, nutrition, parasites & diseases, tack & equipment ID, judging, ID stations, team problems, etc.

For the morning’s Hippology contest, this year Steuben had 5 Junior members, 1 complete team and 1 member who combined with another county to make a team. Individual results were: Morgan Cheney, Prattsburgh Pioneers, 5th Place; Isabel Sprague, Prattsburgh Pioneers, 10th Place; Lily Donnan, Loon Lake Raiders, 17th Place; Emily Wheelock, Prattsburgh Pioneers finished just out of the ribbons at 24th; and Kylee Herndon, Prattsburgh Pioneers rounded out the top 30. As a team Morgan, Isabel, Kylee and Emily finished in 3rd place – a HUGE accomplishment for the first time Junior Level competitors. The combined team with youth from Steuben (Lily), Yates and Ontario finished respectively in 9th for the day – all of the kids on this team worked well together, considering they hadn’t met or practice together prior to that day!

The afternoon’s Horse Bowl Competition, Steuben’s Junior members face some fierce competition. Collectively, the Steuben team of Isabel, Kylee, Morgan and Emily placed 9th and individually Isabel placed 19th. Again on a combined team, Lily’s team placed 6th. We also had a single Novice competitor, Burl Donnan, Loon Lake Raiders, who walked away with a ribbon for a 5th place finish with his combined team, and a 7th place individual ribbon.

Steuben County 4-H Program is proud of these youth and to have them as representatives of our program! The amount of effort and practice they put into a very limited about of time really showcases their dedication and interest in the equine science project!

County Public Presentations

One of missions of 4-H is learning life skills. One of these essential life skills is learning to speak with ease to a group of people. One of the main projects in 4-H each year is to do a public presentation. This is done by choosing a topic of interest then researching and organizing it to be interesting to the audience. Next, deciding how to present it by preparing a demonstration, illustrated talk, or speech. Or choosing a poem or reading to recite. Or practicing a play and presenting a dramatic interpretation. A new category this year was the interview. An application and resume for either a summer job or a college application was sent in beforehand and then the presentation was conducted just as an actual interview. If you like thinking on your feet, an impromptu can be selected. A topic is drawn “out of a hat” and the 4-Her has 20 minutes to prepare and then give a 5-8 minute speech!

At the Fall and Winter county pubic presentation days, 120 4-H members have given a presentation. There were a wide variety of topics -firesafety, archery, dogs, horses, fishing, gardening, wood cutting, fiber to yarn, the Constitution, Yoda-gami, no-bake cookies, Paul Revere, the how to show sheep, benefits and uses of vinegar, raising rabbits, lowline cows, electronics, robots, Making Maple Syrup to name a few.

From these presentations, the judges chose 21 to represent Steuben County at the Finger Lakes District on April 1 at the Mid-Lakes School.

District Public Presentations

 On April 1st seventeen Steuben County 4-Hers joined other 4-Hers from the nine county Finger Lakes Region at Midlakes Intermediate School for District Public Presentations. About eighty 4-Hers and families filled eight classrooms to hear the presentations.

Those who attend were: Madeleine Gurecki, Michal Eckler, Rachel Eckler, Aaron Lloyd, Jacob Schultz, Peter Kelly, Victoria Kelly, Samantha Towner, Kaitlyn Orcutt, Gabrielle Orcutt, Alicia Lawson, Sarah Lawson, Aubrie Laverty, Ryleigh Laverty, Jacie Beebe, Arlynn Robbins and Isaac McFeaters.

The day ended with an awards ceremony. The top 20 presenters by score received special recognition. Those from Steuben County were Gabrielle Orcutt, Kaitlyn Orcutt, Victoria Kelly, Peter Kelly, Michal Eckler, Sarah Lawson.

Each Judge could each choose a presenter that they judged that stood out or that they wanted to recognize. These were: Victoria Kelly, Michal Eckler, Gabrielle Orcutt, Peter Kelly, Kaitlyn Orcutt, Alicia Lawson.

Those who served as a Room Host/Hostess, introducing the presenters and helping them set up/clean up were: Michal Eckler, Rachel Eckler, Victoria Kelly, and Samantha Towner.

Thanks to Penny Kephart, Christina Towner and Betty Holden for judging at the event.

Super Job Steuben County!!!

Cloverbud Day

Our bi-monthly Cloverbud Day Series is in full swing! This is a county-wide educational opportunity that provides programming geared specifically for our youngest 4-H members. Our January 28th meeting had a winter theme. The kids learned about bio-degradable materials as they made bird feeders; we engineered some stained glass using tissue paper and melting wax paper; and we learned some kitchen science when we air popped and flavored our own popcorn!

The group met again March 18th at the County Office Building where we prepped for spring! Activities included hand stitching a lucky 4-H clover, making pin wheels for community service, and we finished with reading this year’s Ag Lit book “The Grapes Grow Sweet” and sampled two types of table grapes and two types of grape juice.

Afterschool Programming

Steuben County 4-H Program has a very long and proud history. 4-H Professionals and 4-H Volunteers have kept the program up and running for almost 100 years! While the traditional club model has been the most popular delivery method in our agricultural rich county, there’s a new delivery method gaining momentum which enables even more youth to experience 4-H!

Over the last four years Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County has been a program provider for the A-3 Consortium in Addison, Bradford, Campbell-Savona, Canisteo-Greenwood, Hornell Bryant, Hornell Intermediate schools. This is a federally-funded afterschool program focused on college and career readiness, science, technology, engineering and mathematics; so it is easy to see how well 4-H fits into these priorities!

CCE of Steuben is responsible for twenty-four, six (minimum) week-long programs. Of those twenty-four programs offered this year, 4-H is completing ten programs within the six different schools covering topics of 4-H Science including areas of chemical reactions, consumer science, engineering, fiber science, polymers, mathematics, etc.; Kitchen Science; and Sew Much Fun I & II. This exposes an additional 175 youth to 4-H State and National initiatives of STEM, Healthy Living, and Civic Engagement.

Whether afterschool or club settings, 4-H curriculum uses and encourages an inquiry-based experiential learning method designed to help young people first ask questions, then seek answers through hands on activities, and finally to reflect on what they’ve learned. Learning by doing is the best way to learn! Youth learn important life skills that they will use as they grow into competent, caring, contributing members of society.

Community Service

Every 4-Her who has ever had to recite the pledge knows “…pledge my hands to larger service…” is the third H and a very important one! Community Service has always been one of the major areas of focus for the 4-H Program. With clubs scattered across the county, local 4-H Leaders and their youth have done a commendable job keeping that a priority as they consider activities they wish to partake in; last year alone we had more than 300 4-H community service projects completed – talk about impact!

There are several reasons why 4-H, the largest youth organization in the country, views Community Service as a very important piece of Youth Development. When participating in Community Service Projects it’s been found: youth develop an increased sense of social responsibility or a global view of society and a heart for "giving back" and helping others; exposes youth to diversity; provides an opportunity to apply academic learning to real human needs; helps build relationships with peers, adults, and activists sharing a cause; and lastly improves communication and critical thinking skills.

The Steuben County 4-H Staff have been working with three local schools (Addison, Hornell, Bath) through the Extended School Day Program to connect kids with their community through 4-H Community Service Projects as a part of a Cornell Cooperative Extension Sampler Menu. The Extended School Day Program is offered in Addison, Bath, Bradford, Campbell-Savona and Hornell for students in grades 7th – 10th. So far, the 4-H community service program has been carried out in the Hornell School District where the group made a few feline fancy items which were donated on behalf of the Hornell Extended School Day 4-H Class. Additionally, the students were able to find enough time to make some very nice valentine greetings for the residents at the Updyke’s Willow Ridge Quality Care Facility and were also donated on the group’s behalf.

Since it’s never too early to learn the importance of volunteering, community service and giving back, even our Cloverbud members, ages 5-7, participate in helping out. As recently as March we had a dozen Cloverbuds create pin wheels for Child Abuse Awareness. The kids really seemed to enjoy knowing they were showing support for kids their age

April 29th is the National 4-H Day of Service Event where 4-Her’s across the national will be participating in thousands of community service projects to better their communities and help meet the needs of others. If you have a community service idea or need, please contact us: 607-664-2300. 

4-H Spring Garden Meeting

Forty 4-H members along with parents and leaders participated in the 4-H Spring Garden Meeting that was held on April 8,, 2017 at the Civil Defense Building in Bath. Stephanie Mehlenbacher from CCE Steuben’s Ag department was present and led the discussion on different techniques and the reasons for composting. Additionally, she discussed habitats and the important role various insects play in the garden.

Members were also informed that soil samples can be brought in and tested by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Additionally, attendees received information about harvesting their vegetables, the importance of eating vegetables, home composting, indoor seed starting, and soil prep materials all compiled by a key volunteer/Master Gardener Joan Tichenor. As a fun activity participants made their own “bug houses”! They were reminded to think of various insects and the habitats they most preferred when they were building their houses. Hopefully the new houses will entice some helpful friends into their home gardens!

A special thank you goes to Joan Tichenor for sorting and organizing the seed donations that were received from various companies – it is no small task to organize the thousands of seed packets! All the participants received a certificate, seeds, and door prizes.


Jenny Groen
4-H/Youth Program Leader
(607) 664-2576

Last updated July 26, 2019