- Author: Susana Bruzzone Miller
Specially trained and dedicated volunteers work alongside staff to deliver fun and hands-on agricultural based lessons. For many Kindergarteners, this is their first time on a farm. Getting a glimpse of where food comes from, planting seeds and learning what makes them grow are unforgettable experiences. Older students delve deeper into plant growth and development, discover the important role pollinators play in our food system, and learn about the agricultural county where we live.
Picking and sampling farm fresh vegetables such as beets, carrots, sugar snap peas, and lettuce are favorite activities with all ages and a great way to introduce MyPlate, the newest USDA guide to healthy eating choices, and encourage daily physical activity. What can be better than getting your hands dirty, smelling the rich Santa Paula soil, and eating vegetables you helped harvest? Children aren’t the only visitors. Over 300 parents and teachers will visit, learn, and munch alongside youth.
The cost of buses makes a trip to the farm prohibitive for many schools. When visiting the farm is not an option, lessons delivered in the classroom bring the farm to life. The 4-H Classroom Outreach Program is an opportunity to learn about agriculture without leaving the school grounds.
Yes, it’s a busy and exciting time. Happy spring!
- Author: Cris L. Johnson
The 4-H teams were assigned to build and program a robot that was capable of cleaning a hypothetical environmental spill of birdseed, rice and macaroni that stood in for spill elements considered too dangerous or difficult for humans to handle. Teams were supplied masking tape, straws, string, paper cups, index cards, a toothbrush head, foam and a digital battery. Utilizing these materials they worked to fabricate tiny robot sweepers that would be able clean the mess before being swept out to an improvised ocean.
The challenge tested their imaginations, patience, skills and ingenuity as they took their contraptions through timed trial runs, making adjustments and modifications along the way. A three-second breathing period was required whenever a robot needed manhandling during a run which allowed participants a short space to react with a more considered response.
Two members from the Citrus Valley club, Allison Sim and Patrick Bello, finished first with an 87% spill removal. The 10 and 11-year old experimented by overcoming obstacles that allowed their robot, Brushie, to achieve the winning score.
Millions of youth throughout the nation participated in the 4-H National Science Experiment and the EcoBot Challenge complements the robotics and engineering programs that are a significant part of the 4-H science curriculum. Learn more about the EcoBot Challenge here.
- Author: Cris L. Johnson
Over 38,000 monthly Food Share clients are expected to benefit from this program. Last year's volunteers collected over 6,500 pounds of food and a goal of 7,500 pounds to food marks this year's goal.
The UCCE office in Ventura has set up a donation bin in our lobby. If you would like to contribute at our office:
Location: UC Cooperative Extension
669 County Square Dr., Ste. 100
Ventura, CA 93003
Dates: October 9, 2012 through November 9, 2012
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Link here to learn more about Food Share, the TOTSOCE program and other ways this group serves the county.
- Author: Kyla Vinson, President 4-H Conejo Valley Club
The Conejo Valley 4-H club is located in Thousand Oaks.
This year our theme is: Fine Art. We have worked with water colors, made tie-dye shirts and this month we will decorate blown out eggs.
The Conejo Valley 4-H club participates in many community service projects including: Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat, Project Linus, we recycle books and eyeglasses, pet shelter supply drives, People-to people lunches and Stockings 4 Troops.
Some of the projects we currently have in the club are: International Foods, Leadership, Pet Therapy, Sewing, Marine Biology, and Poultry.
Our members participate in Small Animal Science Field Day and County
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Written and submitted by Santa Rosa Valley 4-H
Santa Rosa Valley 4-H is a diverse club with members ranging in age from 5 to 19 years old. It is fun to see the older kids come home from college to go to the fair. And it is fun to see the younger members get excited with their first animal project of guinea pigs, rabbits or chickens. Our club has offered our members so many different types of projects. One of our biggest is the equine project. We had about 20 members riding or learning to harness horses with carts.
Another active group is our backpacking project that went on hikes or backpacking trips nearly every month. Our cake decorating group and cavy project entered projects at Super Field Day. Our photography and jewelry making projects entered their pieces to the fair. New this year was a blanket making project that offered younger kids an opportunity to learn this new skill. Our poultry project once again formed a team and won awards at the Avian Bowl. We made bread and butter on a cold afternoon in January and canned blackberry jam in June. Another new project was the mini-cattle. Project members learned to halter break and groom steers and cows and even watched the birth of a new calf!
At the fair we had projects entered in the youth building. And in the livestock dept, we had our lamb, pygmy goat, beef, swine, rabbit, cavies and poultry projects entered. It was fun to see our kids running around the livestock area with their club members and their friends from other clubs. It is rewarding to see our club members meeting up with their friends from 4-H clubs around the county. Everyone helps each other with their animals and cleaning stalls.
Our club also works to make sure we all participate in community service. Each year we participate in California Coastal Cleanup, Trick-or-Treat So Others Can Eat and Operation Gratitude.
We end our 4-H year with our annual pool party and potluck. This is a chance for all our members to have fun, get to know each other better and eat some great dishes. We also give out our club awards at this fun event.
Each year we try to make our club a little bit better. We enjoy hearing how other clubs work so we can learn from them. This coming year our goal is to become a closer group and share among our projects. We hope to see the other clubs at the county events this year. It is going to be another great 4-H year!