“Make the Best Better” with a 4-H Foundation Grant!

Fair season often leaves us inspired and full of ideas and goals for the upcoming 4-H year.  If your creative juices are flowing and you have a project in mind to “make the best better” in 2019, consider applying for a Cherry County 4-H Foundation Grant!  The form has been updated and is currently available at https://extension.unl.edu/statewide/cherry/2019%20application.pdf.  The Foundation typically meets and awards grants annually in March, but additional meetings can be called if inspiration strikes!  Examples of recent projects supported by this grant:

  • 3D Archery Targets & Bows
  • Trap thrower and accessories
  • Family & Consumer Sciences Learning Tour (Lincoln/Omaha area)
  • Horse Clinic

The purpose of the 4-H Foundation is to act as an integral support system of 4-H programs and youth in Cherry County.  The goal of the foundation is to develop leadership and to stimulate interest in lifelong learning, while encouraging the betterment of Cherry County and its communities.  Funds generated by the Cherry County 4-H Foundation are to be used for adult and youth training, program development and acquisition of equipment to benefit 4-H and youth.


Michelle Garwood is New 4-H Associate

Michelle Family Photo

Nebraska Extension in Cherry County would like to introduce Michelle Garwood as the new 4-H Associate.  Michelle is a native of Cherry County, growing up in the 4-H program.  She attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she earned her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and Health Education and her Masters in Youth Development.  Michelle served as the 4-H summer intern in Cherry County twice during her college years.  The rest of her time in Lincoln was spent working with curriculum development at the State 4-H Office and teaching FCS at Lincoln High.

Michelle and her husband, Jeff, returned to Valentine in 2010 to help run the family ranches.  Since returning home, Michelle has been active as a 4-H leader.  She has served on the 4-H Council for many of those years and was the organizational leader for the Town & Country 4-H Club.  Michelle is also raising a couple of active 4-Hers – Jenalee (age 10) and Jaeden (age 7).  She looks forward to when her daughter, Jenessa (9 months), will also be a 4-H member!

The 4-H program has helped Michelle get to where she is today and she wants all families in Cherry County to reap the benefits of this powerful youth development program.  She is passionate about carrying on the strong traditions of our local program while encouraging growth and introducing new opportunities.  She is excited to “make the best better” in Cherry County!

You can reach Michelle at 402-376-1850 or mgarwood3@unl.edu.


The Art of Appreciation

The Art of Appreciation

We have closed the doors on another fantastic county fair and the 4-H year is winding down.  The 4-H program wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the generous support (time, money, expertise, facilities, etc.) of countless volunteers.  It is so critical that each and every 4-H member takes the time to give thoughtful thank you notes and/or gifts to these individuals!  It is also important that these thank yous are done in a timely manner.  To help with this important task, we are providing some tips, ideas, and resources!

  • Make it your family’s goal to have thank you notes/gifts out no later than August 31!  If you sold livestock, it is recommended that you thank your buyer(s) within a week’s time.  Some 4-Hers even have thank you notes and gifts in-hand at their events so the thank you can be immediate.
  • Take advantage of the die cut machine at the Extension Office to make a very personal, hand-crafted note. There are numerous shapes to choose from that can directly tie the note to your project – animals, plants, foods, etc.  Families can stop in any time 8-12 or 1-5 and use the die cut machine.  If you need to send your children over while you are working, our new 4-H Associate, Michelle Garwood, is available after school!  Just give her a call at the Extension Office to set up an appointment!  Robbi Blume will be doing a card-making workshop after school on Wednesday, August 22 (3:30 pm – 5:00 pm).  There will also always be examples available by the die cut machine to help get the creative juices flowing!
  • Whenever possible, deliver your thank you in person. Nothing compares to human contact!  Smile, shake the hand of the person you are thanking, and have a little conversation.  Tell them what a difference they are making and that you hope they come back next year.
  • If it is a business person, think of thank yous that could be displayed year-round for their customers to see.
  • Get creative! Countless ideas are at your fingertips thanks to the Internet.  You don’t have to spend a lot to show that you have put time and effort into your thank you.  Find the idea that works best with your budget while being personal and heart-felt.

Here is a link to a great website with recommendations for writing livestock buyer thank you notes.  The same concepts can be applied to any project:


Here are some fun ideas:

Cherry County Shoot-Off Aug. 3rd & 4th

Hey Shooters,

The County Shoot- Off for Trap is August 3rd at 6:30 pm. BB, Air Rifle, .22 Rifle and Archery will be on August 4th at 9:00 am.

The targets are ready and the schedule is made. Follow the link to download the 2018 Shoot-Off Rotation Schedule. If you have any questions please call the office.

You can use this handy Shooting Sports Checklist to keep your gear organized. Shooting Sports Checklist

**Below are the Cherry County 4-H Premium Book Rules**


A- County Fair Contest – Age divisions are as follows: Junior 8-10, Intermediate 11-13, Senior 14 & up. Disciplines offered at County Fair include: BB Gun, Air Rifle, 22 Rifle, Trap, and Archery.

B-Safety Attire – Any participant while on the shooting line or shooting course in any outdoor 4-H shooting sports event will be required to wear shoes that completely cover their feet. Boots are not allowed. Protective eye wear and ear protection is also required. 4-H armbands or T-Shirts are required.

C- Youth must be eight (8) years old by January 1 of the current year before enrolling in a shooting sports contest.

D – Youth must have completed Hunter Safety and show their certificates to participate in Trap/Shotgun.

E- Hunter Safety Certification – Youth must be 11 years old or older on the day of hunter safety testing to be eligible for Hunter Safety Certification. Contact the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission (www.ngpc.state.ne.us) for information regarding Hunter Safety Education.

I look forward to seeing you all at the shoot-off.

~ Eve Millar

Nebraska Extension – Cherry County

365 N Main, Suite 3, Valentine, NE 69201

(402) 376-1850 * emillar2@unl.edu



*Important* Fair Information

Hello 4-H Families,

Fair is just a week away.  This year’s Fair Theme is “Making the Fair Great”.  As in year’s past I look forward to seeing the premium livestock you will bring to the fair and the unique projects exhibited in the 4-H Building.  Below you will find some information to make your time at the fair an enjoyable one.

 Fair Clean-Up/ Set-Up Day

I want to extend a HUGE Thank you to those who turned out on Sunday to help with fairgrounds clean-up/set-up day. We had a great turn out and the Fairgrounds look really nice.  The garden gazebo area was weeded and new landscape chips were put down, the concession stand picnic tables were painted, the barns were cleaned and weeds were cut down and the show ring and pens were set up.  It was a big project and we had many helping hands to make it all come together.  Your time and service are very much appreciated.

 Fair Schedule

If you haven’t printed your schedule now is the time. The schedule can be downloaded here CHERRY COUNTY FAIR Schedule .  You can also download the Open Class Premium book here Cherry County Fair Book.

 Static Entry Day – Wednesday August 8th 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Please arrive with your entry forms completely filled out.  You may stop by the office and pick up the entry form this week or find it online Static Entry Form.  The Premium Book can be found here.  If you have questions about how to correctly fill out the form please call or stop by the office.  The entry process will go much smoother if everyone does their part to be prepared on entry day.

 Mandatory Livestock Exhibitor Meeting at NOON on Thursday August 9th.

This year we will have a mandatory livestock exhibitor meeting which will be held in the Pavilion show ring following the market animal check-In at approximately 12:00 pm.  We will go over expectations and Livestock Sale requirements.  Please be sure to be there.

Livestock Committee Members are Craig O’Kief, RJ Luthy, Sarah Schied, Dale Bowlin, Rob & Brenda Brawner, Dan O’Kief, and Brent Nollette.

Show Superintendents
Livestock: Dan O’Kief
Team Fitting: Craig O’Kief
Round Robin: Rob & Brenda Brawner
Sandhills Production: Dan O’Kief & Dale Bowlin

 4-H & FFA Livestock Sale Info

We have information to assist you in providing sale information to buyers.  Copies of the Livestock Sale Brochure are available at the Extension Office or you can download the brochure from our website at here Link to Livestock Sale Brochure.

Our 4-H & FFA members enjoy the success of the livestock sale each year.  IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EVERYONE TO PROMOTE THE SALE.

It is the responsibility of every exhibitor to personally visit with potential buyers.

PARENTS:  Make sure your children deliver the brochures in a timely manner and in person. A good place to start is with the person who was at the sale bidding on their animals last year. Make the effort to directly visit with the person who will be attending the sale (not the secretary or other office staff or by passing brochures in the drive through).  A nice handshake and a thank you for attending last year’s sale and a sincere invitation to attend this year is perfect. Your sale price reflects your direct involvement with potential buyers.

Our economy is tight and it is going to take effort on the part of everyone to have a successful sale.  There are a lot of people looking for support from our area businesses.  Having an attitude of gratitude and that personal contact is always important.

Poultry and Rabbit Exhibitors

Space will be available in the northwest corner of the Beef Barn for Poultry and Rabbit exhibitors during the Cherry County Fair. Exhibitors must bring their own cages and housing for display. If 4-Hers choose to display their poultry and rabbits, they will be on exhibit following the poultry and rabbit show until all other animals housed in the beef barn are released on Saturday following the livestock sale.

Bucket Calf

There will be a designated area in the Beef Barn this year for 4-H and Open Class Bucket calves. If 4-Hers choose to display their bucket calves, they will be on exhibit following the bucket calf show until all other animals housed in the beef barn are released on Saturday following the livestock sale.

State Fair Entries

4-H members exhibiting any 4-H live animal exhibits or participating in any 4-H contest at the Nebraska State Fair must be entered in ShoWorks before 8:00 PM CST on August 10, 2018.  These exhibits and contest participants must be entered by the 4-H member (or their family). Fees must be paid for using a credit card. There are no other options for payment. Live animal exhibits and contest participants will not be entered by the county Extension office. For help entering, please review the 4-H/FFA Registration Instructions or watch our tutorial video.

Contests Include:

Culinary Challenge Contest
Dairy Judging Contest
Digital Video – 4-H FilmFest
Dog Skillathon
Fashion Show
Horticulture Identification Contest
Insect Identification Contest
Premier Livestock Exhibitor
Presentations Contest
Public Speaking Contest
Tree Identification Contest
Weed and Grass Identification Contest

If you have any questions be sure to call the office.  It is going to be an Awesome Fair this year as we are “Making the Fair Great”.  I look forward to seeing everyone.

~ Eve Millar

Nebraska Extension – Cherry County
365 N Main, Suite 3, Valentine, NE 69201
(402) 376-1850 * emillar2@unl.edu


Preliminary County Shoot-Off Information

Hey Shooters,

The County Shoot- Off for Trap is August 3rd at 6:30 pm

BB, Air Rifle, .22 Rifle and Archery will be on August 4th at 9:00 am.

The entries are in and the County Shoot-Off is just a mere 2 weeks away.  We will be going over the entries and will have a rotation schedule out by the end of July.  In the mean time I would like each shooter to look over the rules and dress code so you all come prepared and ready to shoot.

You can use this handy Shooting Sports Checklist to keep your gear organized.  Shooting Sports Checklist

Archery rules can be found here:  Archery Rules

BB rules can be found here:  BB Rules

Air Rifle rules can be found here:   Air Rifle Rules

.22 Rifle rules can be found here:  .22 Rifle Rules

Trap/Shotgun rules can be found here:  Shotgun Rules

*Please note these rules will be adapted to our Shoot-Off so not all rules may be required but we will update the day of the shoot. 

Remember if you need a 4-H T-Shirt we have them here in the office, so be sure to stop by and get one.

I look forward to seeing you all at the fair.

~ Eve Millar

Nebraska Extension – Cherry County
365 N Main, Suite 3, Valentine, NE 69201
(402) 376-1850 * emillar2@unl.edu


Fairgrounds Clean-up/Set-up Day July 29th 1:00 pm ct


, ,

Hello all 4-H Families,

Every year we join together to clean up and set- up the Fairgrounds.

 All 4-H Families please make plans to attend and assist with this project.

Many Hands Make Light Work

 We will be cleaning up trash, cleaning out pens, setting up the hog/sheep barn panels, sweeping, pulling weeds and anything else which needs done to get the grounds ready for the Fair.

~ Please bring gloves, shovels, rakes, brooms, wheelbarrows, weed eaters and helping hands.

* There are a couple of painting projects which need done.  If you or your club would like to help with a painting project please email me at emillar2@unl.edu so we can work out the details.



2018 Cherry County Fair Schedule

* Please Note this is a Tentative Schedule and dates and times may change.

The schedule can be downloaded here CHERRY COUNTY FAIR Schedule 2018 Tentative

 Denotes 4-H Event
Friday/Saturday July 27th & 28th
Time TBA Queen Contest

Friday, August 3
 6:30 p.m. Trap Shoot-off

Saturday, August 4
 9:00 a.m. BB, Air Rifle, Archery & .22 Shoot-off

Sunday, August 5
9:00 a.m. Junior Rodeo

Monday, August 6
10:00 a.m. Open Horse Show

Tuesday, August 7
 8:30 a.m. Check In & ID Horses
 9:00 a.m. 4-H Horse Show

Wednesday, August 8
 2:00 – 5:00 pm 4-H Static Entries & Interview Judging
5:00-7:00 p.m. Open Class Entries
6:00 p.m. Best Dressed Pet Contest

Thursday, August 9
 9:00 a.m. Dog Show (Pavilion)
 10:00 a.m. Market Beef Check-in & Weigh, Dairy Heifers, Breeding Heifer Check-In
 11:00 a.m. Market Goat, Sheep & Swine Check-in & Weigh
 12:30 p.m. Companion Animal, Poultry, Rabbit & Clover Kid Animal Show & Tell Check-In (Pavilion)
 1:00 p.m. Companion Animal, Poultry, Rabbit Show & Clover Kid Animal Show & Tell (Pavilion)
 3:00 p.m. Bucket Calf & Dairy Goats & Breeding Goats Check In
 3:30 p.m. Bucket Calf Show (Pavilion)
7:00 p.m. Parade

Friday, August 10
9:00 a.m. Nebraska States Rodeo Slack
 9:00 a.m. Swine, Sheep, Dairy Heifers, Market Goats, Dairy Goats & Breeding Goats Show (Pavilion)
9:00 a.m. Trade Show Open until 7:00 p.m.
 10:00 a.m. 4-H Building/Exhibits Open until 10:00 p.m.
10:00 a.m. Scavenger Hunt “4-H Themed” until 6:00 p.m.
 1:00 p.m. Market Heifer & Steer Show (Pavilion)
 4:00 p.m. Team Fitting/Salesmanship Contest
 3:00-4:00 pm 4-H Music Entertainment (Glory Be Studio- “Annie” Songs) (Pavilion Stage)
 4:00 Team Fitting/Salesmanship Contest (Pavilion)
 5:30 Fashion Show (Pavilion Stage)
7:00 p.m. Mutton Busters
7:30 p.m. Nebraska States Rodeo

Saturday, August 11
 7:00 a.m. Feeder Calves Weigh-in, Breeding Heifer Calves & FFA Bulls Check-In
7:00 -11:00 a.m. CCH Foundation Pancake Breakfast
 8:00 a.m. 4-H Building/Exhibits Open until 10:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. Trade Show Open until 7:00 p.m.
 9:00 a.m. Stocker Feeder, Breeding Heifer, FFA Bull Show Beef Showmanship (Pavilion)
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Art Workshop- Landscapes in the 4-H Building (Contact Pat Schemmer 402-376-4222)
10:00 a.m. Scavenger Hunt “What Doesn’t Fit” until 6:00 p.m.
10:30 a.m. Turtle Races
 1:00 p.m. Round Robin (Grand & Res Champs from Horse, Swine, Sheep, Beef) (Pavilion)
2:00 p.m. Kids Ranch Rodeo
 4:00 p.m. “Friend of 4-H” Presentation prior to Livestock Sale (Pavilion)
 4:00 p.m. Livestock Sale (Pavilion)
6:00 p.m. Chamber of Commerce Watermelon Feed
7:00 p.m. Mutton Busters
7:30 p.m. Nebraska States Rodeo
9:30 p.m.-1:00 a.m. DANCE TO THE SHEILA GREENLAND BAND (Old Show barn)
Sunday, August 12
9:00 a.m. Cowboy Church – Pavilion
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Art Workshop- Landscapes in the 4-H Building (Contact Pat Schemmer 402-376-4222)
10:00 a.m. Borderline Tractor Pullers Tractor & Truck Pull
12:00 p.m. Ranch Rodeo
 12:00 p.m. 4-H Building/Exhibits Open until 4:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. Heartland Series Tractor & Truck Pull
3:00 p.m. Paul Goodwin Horseshoe Tournament
 4:30-5:00 p.m. 4-H & Open Class Exhibit Hall Pick-up



Premier Livestock Exhibitor Award

Attention Livestock Exhibitors,

The Premier Livestock Exhibitor Award is designed to recognize and honor Cherry County 4-H members that show a dedication to the agricultural industry. Winners of this award will have demonstrated their passion, hard work and integrity through participation in events related to their livestock projects.

4-H exhibitors must meet the minimum requirements, have the highest score from the point system and show at least one of the species of beef, sheep, swine, goat and/or dairy to qualify. Points will be accumulated starting after the end of the Cherry County Fair of the previous year (2017) until/including County Fair livestock shows of the current year (August 2018).

The winner will be awarded their choice of a belt buckle or an equivalent monetary award donated by the Dale and Karen Bowlin family.

If this is an event you would be interested in, the complete details can be found at Premier Livestock Exhibitor Award

Robotics Kick-Off July 18th 3-5 pm


Hey Kids do you like robots and legos?

The Town & Country 4-H Club is working together to make a more active Robotics/Lego program for all youth in Cherry County!  If you are interested, please attend a kick-off activity on July 18 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the Extension Office.

The kids will get a chance to explore one of the Robotics kits and program the robot to write “4-H”!  Parents are encouraged to attend or at least try to make it for the last part of the meeting so we can discuss the future of a robotics club that will meet throughout the school year, possibly as an after-school club.

Please bring your ideas for making this a success!  We would love to eventually send a team to the state competition.  Questions?  Contact Michelle at michellejeangarwood@gmail.com.  Chad Gaver will also help lead this group.  No pre-registration required for this workshop and it is FREE!

~ Eve

Nebraska Extension – Cherry County
365 N Main, Suite 3, Valentine, NE 69201
(402) 376-1850 * emillar2@unl.edu