- Author: Suzanne Morikawa
The State 4-H Advisory Committees play an important role in improving the programs, processes, and opportunities in the University of California 4-H Youth Development Program. Applications for State Advisory Committees are open now until May 31, 2022. Youth are especially encouraged to join and share the youth perspective on topics that the Advisory Committee addresses.
Thanks to the work of our State Advisory Committees, we have been able to create new opportunities for 4-H youth, such as:
Public Speaking Advisory Committee: Piloting two new categories for State Presentation Events at this year's State Field Day.
Camping Advisory Committee: Plans and hosts the California 4-H Camping Conference every two years. The committee was also awarded 2020 Eleanor P. Eells Excellence in Research in Practice Award for their work to engage camps in evaluation review and the program improvement process.
STEM Advisory Committee: Created two new events for State Field Day – the 4-H STEM Shark Tank and 4-H Coding Challenge. Both events were introduced during the virtual State Field Day and were so popular that we are bringing them back to the In-person event.
Civic Engagement Advisory Committee: Launched a voter registration and information drive and also supported the Census project.
Incentives & Recognition Advisory Committee: Created new processes for virtual record book evaluation and submission, and created an updated County Ambassador program guide.
These are just a few of the recent accomplishments and contributions that our Advisory Committees have made to improve the 4-H Youth Development Program. Their impact influences state events and activities and supports the growth of opportunities for 4-H members statewide.
Using a youth-adult partnership framework, committees meet throughout the year both virtually and in-person. Because the work of Advisory Committees can span more than one program year, adults serve a two year term. Youth serve a one-year term, and have an option to continue an additional year.
Apply by May 31, 2022
Youth and Adult Volunteers are highly encouraged to apply! Please see the State Advisory Committee webpage for more information about each committee and to apply.
- Author: Joseph Rowlands
- Editor: Suzanne Morikawa
Editor Note: The following essay was submitted by Joseph Rowlands for a 4-H scholarship from the Napa County 4-H Council.
4-H has had a drastic impact on my life. Having been born with cerebral palsy meant that I required many therapies on a weekly basis. I always needed people to assist me physically with activities. This meant that I didn't have much confidence in myself.
I joined 4-H at the age of eleven and raised two goats. Suddenly I was responsible for the care and well-being of two living things. They didn't care whether I was as strong as my peers, they just wanted food and water. I found that my strength improved, my confidence grew and I loved showing at the fair, even though I still required an assistant to help me control the goat. The next year I showed all by myself and placed! I realized then that I could do anything, my disability would not stop me. I didn't need a first place ribbon to feel like a winner, I was one as I was as capable as everyone else. 4-H gave me the confidence to believe in my own abilities.
The summer after middle school, I attended 4-H camp, having never been away from home before. My oxygen requirements have always meant that people were nervous to have me without my mother, just in case something went wrong. 4-H was amazing and said, “of course I could attend,” and they bent over backwards to make the week happen. This was my first experience being away from home. It started to put a seed in my head: “I could go away to college. I am capable of leaving home and I will be fine.” I will be moving to Sonoma State in the fall, living on campus. Close enough that I can still keep my regular doctors, yet independent. 4-H helped me to be independent.
I have been a member of Valley Ranchers 4-H since I was eleven years old. I have raised goats and steers. I used to be mentored by the older youths in the program and now I am one of the mentors. I have been involved in various projects through 4-H, such as the robotics club, arts and crafts, summer camp, presentation day, favorite food day and various other activities. Over the years I decided that I wanted to be more than just a member and joined as an officer. I became Club Treasurer for two years, then I became Club Co-President for two years, this year I am Club President. I am a Napa County 4-H Ambassador and I am also on the Napa County 4-H council as the member at large.
Involved in my community
Prior to COVID, I was involved in the robotics club at Justin-Siena High School. I was also in the choir at my church and very involved in the youth group. Unfortunately, once Covid-19 started, I had to give up most of my extracurricular activities. Over the years I have done a lot of volunteering work. I was one of the teen leaders of a STEM event at the Boys & Girls Club. I have been a Vacation Bible School counselor for various summers since middle school at Saint Apollinaris Catholic Church. I was a tribe leader at the 4-H summer camp in Angwin. I volunteered through Gigg at the Community Projects Christmas tree sale every year since middle school. I handed out water to runners on Thanksgiving mornings at the Turkey Trot held at the Napa Valley College, amongst other activities.
Technology and Robotics
Technology has a way of making the world accessible for people like me who have disabilities. From a young age I learned to program robots and I see the potential use of robotics to better our world. Robotics has uses in many ways: from the medical field, to the car industry, to assisting people with disabilities in leading a more independent life. I decided that I would like to pursue a career in technology and I hope to narrow down a specific field during these next four years of college.
I will be attending Sonoma State University and majoring in Computer Science. This scholarship would change my life. It would help to open doors to me that have previously been closed. As a recipient of a 4-H scholarship, I would utilize this scholarship to help with my college expenses such as my tuition, room, board and books.
Supportive 4-H Leaders
As for the 4-H leaders I have come into contact with, they are so numerous to mention. I have had nothing but amazing 4-H leaders who have supported me throughout my 4-H career:
- Jennifer Wade-Yeo, Valley Ranchers 4-H leader who has believed in me and encouraged me to try out for officer positions, ambassador positions and the 4-H council. She has always been such a great mentor, without her encouragement I am not sure I would have applied.
- Tammy Hill, who believed in me and my abilities and encouraged me to not only enjoy camp as a camper but to come back and be a tribe leader! I don't know if I would have had the confidence to try for tribe leader without your encouragement. Again, when you were interviewing me for the Ambassador position and I stumbled through my interview, you helped me find some talking points helping me through the process.
- Mrs. Maria Thomason, the Robotics leader, has always been so encouraging.
- Jennifer Goodrich who has been awesome in the leadership group
- Jennifer Jensen who has been amazing with the leadership project and the ambassador group!
- Of course Paul Tarap has been another mentor that could not go without being mentioned. He is a 4-H leader and he is the Ag4Youth leader, but I could not mention one group without the other as I would not have been in 4-H without Ag4Youth.
I know I am missing leaders that I have had interactions with, but I honestly could not talk about one leader standing out over anyone else as 4-H only has amazing leaders (at least in my experience). Everyone I have been in contact with has truly been a wonderful role model, encouraging and willing to bend over backwards to help.
Update from Tammy Hill, 4-H Volunteer for Napa County 4-H Camp
Joseph will be receiving the Polly Wagenknecht Memorial Scholarship from the Napa County 4-H Council.
- Author: Gemma Miner
Dear 4-H Volunteer,
Last year during National Volunteer Month, you were in the beginning of so many unknowns. Who knew that you would continue to be challenged to help youth thrive for another year? You had to continue to think hard about your capacity to deliver 4-H programming virtually, to meet young people where they are with new sets of rules and boundaries and far too many pivot points.
For some, the ask was too much given the realities of everyone still at home: working, schooling and managing all the things. We see you; we hear you.
And we understand.
Thank you for your courage to learn and try new ways—again and again and again—to serve youth in your communities.
Thank you for your perseverance even when things did not work the way you thought or wanted them to, even when there were so many roadblocks it brought you to tears.
Thank you for recognizing the look in the eyes of the youth that you serve that said how much they need you right now—and for responding in whatever way you could.
Thank you for all the deep breaths that you took as you managed challenge after challenge after challenge.
Thank you for digging deeply for patience and calm even when it eluded you. Thank you for having the clarity to know when you needed a break.
Thank you for your kindness, always kindness—and for understanding that relationships are what matters most.
Your contributions to help youth in these unprecedented times has never been more critical. We know that your young people struggled with you as they too managed so many stressors. We also know that your youth are resilient and have the confidence to help others to cope. Thank you for providing opportunities for young people to feel supported and for them to contribute.
It is my hope that as we emerge from this pandemic that we are stronger, more creative, more resilient, and more kind. Know that your dedication to help youth lead happy, healthy, thriving lives made a difference to those lives that you touched.
It's your energy, dedication, talent, time, and gifts that makes the impact for youth in California. We see you. We hear you. We appreciate you more than you will ever know.
On behalf of the University of California 4-H Youth Development Program, we thank you for all that you did and do.
Academic Coordinator for Volunteer Engagement
- Author: Nicole Marshall
After a two-year pandemic hiatus, we are excited to bring back our California 4-H Camping Conference! Every two years, camp planning adults and teens come together for a weekend of networking, learning, and growth. This year, the conference will be held March 25-27, 2022 at Sly Park Environmental Educational Center.
The 4-H Camping Conference brings those passionate about camp together for learning opportunities. Learn from educational workshops and guest speakers. There is also plenty of informal time to network, connect and learn from other camp loving adults and teens.
Why you should attend
If you are a residential or day camp staff, this conference will help you prepare to host a safe camp during COVID-19. Add to your list of ice breakers and activities; learn more about fostering a safe and inclusive camp culture; and experience first-hand the Covid safety measures put in place for a safe camp experience.
We hope that the recent announcement suspending 4-H indoor events will be lifted by the conference. Please note that many conference workshops will take place outdoors, and should the need arise, we will accommodate all workshops accordingly.
Register by Feb. 4 for Early Bird Pricing
The conference fee is $210 per person and includes lodging, food, and workshops. Register by February 4th for the early bird rate of $180. Archery certification is an additional $20. Register here!
To learn more about the 4-H Camping Conference, please see the Camping Conference event page.
- Author: Suzanne Morikawa
Due to the Dixie Fire, the traditional Plumas County Fair was canceled, however volunteers are working hard to make the Plumas-Sierra Junior Livestock Show happen. 4-H and FFA youth will show their prize-winning livestock this weekend at the Sierraville Roping Grounds. The showing of animals is scheduled to take place on Aug. 13 and 14 with the Junior Livestock Auction on Sunday, Aug. 15.
“We really hope junior livestock supporters in the region and beyond will raise their hands often this year to support the youth livestock producers of Plumas and Sierra Counties,” said Megan Neer, Plumas-Sierra Junior Livestock Auction chairman.
“The kids have overcome the challenges of COVID and now face another year of canceled county fair due to the Dixie Fire,” she said. “Many of our youth have been directly impacted by the fire evacuations and some even have lost homes to the catastrophic fire. We are really looking to the community and beyond to support our youth during this difficult time.”
Profiles of participating youth can be viewed
on the Plumas-Sierra Junior Livestock Auction Facebook page.
Interested buyers can participate in the livestock sale on Sunday, Aug. 15, and help reward the young people for their hard work in raising steers, lambs, swine, goats, rabbits, turkeys and other animals.
On the Plumas-Sierra Junior Livestock Auction website there is an option to donate to the Dixie Fire Relief Fund. There will be opportunities on sale day to support the 4-H members who were affected by the fire. In addition, there is an option for add-ons for both 4-H and FFA members that are in the sale.
“We would like to thank volunteers and sponsors for coming together on such short notice to host the livestock show event for my fellow 4-H and FFA exhibitors as well as myself,” said Kristin Roberti, Sierra Valley 4-H president, who has a steer entered in the event. “I will be joining over 100 other youth exhibiting livestock at the event this year, including a number of friends who have been impacted by the ongoing Dixie Fire and the Beckwourth Fire last month.”
For more information about the auction, visit plumas-sierrajla.com or contact Jane Roberti, advertising coordinator, at (530) 249-4036 or (530) 993-4097.
4-H youth participating in the auction
Below are the 4-H youth participating in the auction, listed in alphabetical order by first name. Note that we have quite a few who are raising an animal for sale for the first time!
You can also see the FFA youth participating at the Plumas-Sierra Junior Livestock Auction Facebook page. Follow them for updates!