- Author: Richard L. Mahacek
Merced County 4-H Updates
Well the spring and Merced Fairs are complete, 4-H Campers had a great time in the mountains, and the new 4-H Year is ready to begin. Here are a few items to note as we start the 2010-2011 4-H year.
Completion of 4-H Record Books
With the change in Merced Fair dates this year, we adjusted the annual record book dates to correspond with the July 1 to June 30 annual reporting. This means that the 4-H Books for last year are to the local club and the top book to the county office on Monday August 2 for county level judging.
For club and project leaders the county level book judging evaluations will be done on August 10 and 12 at the 4-H office. This is good way to learn more about how to help your members in completing their books for next year, sign with your club leader to be a judge at county level. Contact 4-H board director Linda Borba at 826-1343 for more information or to help be a judge.
4-H Management Team Meeting and New Year Kick-Off
The August 2nd board meeting will be a kick off for the 2010-2011 4-H year. In addition to reviewing past events like the fair and camp, we’ll review a tentative calendar of events for the year, hand out re-enrollment packets, Dinner Auction tickets, and more to get the Clubs ready to sign up new and returning members and leaders. Club Leaders also have some end of year reports for club officers, treasury and inventory reports, and club activity summaries due on the 2nd as well.
State 4-H raises Member fee for 2010-2011
The state 4-H membership fee, that includes accident insurance, has been raised this year to $15.00. This is $3.00 increase over last year but it had not been raised for many years. The fee for volunteer leaders had not changed and remains at $6.00 for leaders.
4-H All Stars Attend State 4-H Leadership Conference
A delegation from Merced County 4-H will be headed July 29 to UC Davis for the annual state 4-H Leadership Conference. Chaperoning from St Anthony 4-H is Leader, Amanda Schoonhoven will be leading the delegation including All Stars, Janelle Burns, Travis Conniff, Timothy Schoonhoven, and April Summer. Also attending will be Tess Schoonhoven, and part time presenters Jamie Xiong as part of the National 4-H Conference Team, Ka Xiong as advisor to the 2010-2011 State 4-H Ambassadors (Diamond Stars), and session presenters Larry Burrow, Danny and Andrew Lee, Spencer Downey, Richard Mahacek, Ernesto Mora, K Chico, and Danny Leong.
Merced Focus 2010: Communication is Fun, Spread the Word!
Come ready to blog! Explore the world of modern communication and learn how to get your message across. The theme for Merced Focus 2010 is using media to make a difference. We will listen, watch, and read our way through effective communication focusing on print, radio, video, web media and more. Merced Focus is a two-day annual youth conference for 4-H members in eighth grade or above. The event will be held on Tuesday August 3 through Wednesday August 4 and will include tours of local news stations, guest speakers, a BBQ at the 23rd street pool, a movie night campout at the 4-H office, and more. Participants will even get to make their own modern media presentation.
Merced Focus 2010 is sure to be an awesome conference. But, before we can continue planning, we need to know if you’re interested. Please reply to this email or follow the link to our online survey. http://ucanr.org/mercedfocus
Countywide Vegetable Gardening project to be offered
Working with the Master Gardener volunteers, a special monthly meeting/workshop will be offered for 4-H members interested in gardening. This can be a supplement to regular project meetings at the local club or used as a project by members in any club in the county. More details to be shared at the August 2 kick off meeting.
Annual 4-H Dinner and Auction to be held October 23 in Los Banos
The annual fundraising event will be hosted in Los Banos at the fairgrounds pavilion. We are excited to be returning to the Los Banos area in our event rotation around the county. This is the first return to Los Banos since the diner was started some 15 years ago. Dinner tickets packets for clubs and individuals to sell will be available for distribution at the August 2nd board meeting. Get your now and start selling. Helpers and club assignments will be review on the 2nd as well. Remember to hold the October 23 date for a fun evening in Los Banos to support our local county program.
Program State of the State report
Due to a number of reasons we have been experiencing limited staffing for the county 4-H program. While the trend is continuing there is some forward movement. We should have the part time 4-H Program Rep position advertized by the end of this week or early next week. This position is to replace Russ Hill’s move up to the State 4-H Office. I know that I have received many inquiries of interest in the position so I hope that we have a good pool of candidates from which to choose. The position will have a base at 50% and with addition funds we should able to keep it near 100%. Look for the position announcement and applications shortly in the newspaper, on our web, and in the office. So that is some good news.
On the other side it has been almost a year since the county made cuts and we lost the 4-H secretary. The county budget looks worse this year so we may have additional reductions in support for supplies etc. Our office staff, Cathy and Amelia, are working extra hard trying to keep up with all of their other duties and the 4-H support. They have been doing the best they can (which is good) but can only do so much having one less person for the office. They do have a to-do shelf with “projects” that need to be done but are not pressing (filing, copying, etc). These items are ready for anyone who can volunteer some time to assist. If you can, then call Cathy at 385-7418 to see how you can help.
On the University side, a number of changes happened over the last year including the closing of the three regional offices in the state into a statewide support office. We are still learning how this new system works. Then during this year, we (Cooperative Extension) will be reviewing county structures and the possibility of doing more sharing and grouping of our programs and administration. I am not sure at this time, how this will look or how it will affect us, but some change is to be expected both overall and in each of our programs (Ag, 4-H, Master Gardeners, Nutrition).
We will try to keep you updated as we learn more about the needs, adjustments and changes that may be coming at the end of this year.
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Well that’s all for now, and even with concerns around, we are looking forward to fun filled and exciting new year in 4-H. We hope you will join us.