Agent Letter

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Happy New Year 4-H Friends and Families!

We ended 2018 with some great community service activities. 4-Hers were ringing the bell for Salvation Army, participating in Wreathes across America, making nursing home favors and filling our office tree with cold weather gear for needy families. Thank you for serving others!

We have a variety of 4-H activities planned to kick off 2019. First and foremost is the Favorite Food Contest on Jan. 26.  We hope many 4-Hers will participate. Not only can you enter Favorite Foods but also participate in the Foods Judging Contest and submit your photos in the Photography Contest. Parents, leaders and friends can enter the Adult Dessert Competition sponsored by the New Castle County Links. (4-H members will judge adults.) Training for Favorite Foods and Foods Judging is available the evening of Tues., Jan. 8 at the county office (RSVP by 1/7 to or 302-831-8965). Favorite Foods Contest entries are due Friday, Jan. 11 by 4:30 pm.

February Winter Workshop enrollment is now open.  Please see the flyer for all the important information and to reserve your spot now!

State Camp and Day Camp planning is underway. The dates are set and scholarship applications are posted. Day Camp Counselors are needed. If you are age 13-19 (as of 6/1/19) and have an interest in this great service experience please complete the Camp Counselor Application (see posting) and plan to attend the Camp Counselor Club meeting on Jan. 15 at 6:30.

Online registration is now open for two statewide events. On Feb. 2, the Leader Forum will be at Polytech High School in Woodside, DE. This is a great opportunity for all 4-H volunteers. State Teen Weekend will be Feb. 9 & 10 at the University of Delaware Campus. See posted info.

Important Reminders:

** All 4-H Members must enroll with 4-H Online by March 1, 2019 to be eligible to participate in any summer statewide events such as State Camp and State Fair**

Inclement Weather Policy – If the Christina School District closes for the day, has early dismissal or cancels after-school activities, then NCC 4-H events are cancelled.  Weekend 4-H events will be cancelled if the University of Delaware closes or cancels events.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. Hope to see you at a 4-H event soon!

Yours in 4-H,

Betsy, Kaitlin, Serena and Maureen

👨‍🍳 Favorite Foods/Photography Contest 👨‍🍳

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Get your recipe books out! The 2019 Favorite Foods Competition will be held on Saturday, January 26 at Kirk Middle School.

Photography Contest will also be held on January 26.

The NCC Links will sponsor the Adult Dessert Competition again this year. Entries are judged by the youth.

There will also be a Favorite Foods and Foods Judging Contest Training at the NCC Office on Tuesday, January 8 at 6 pm. To register, please contact the office at 302-831-8965 by January 4, 2019.

Registration forms and guidelines can be found under the Favorite Foods and Photography Contest heading HERE. 

Parents, Grandparents, 4-H Volunteers, Links, Alumni and Cooperative Extension Staff are also invited to enter the
NCC Links Adult Dessert Contest, which will take place during the Favorite Foods Contest.

Click on the link above for info and instructions.

Registrations for the Photography Contest are due to the NCC Office by Tuesday, January 8.

Favorite Foods registrations are due to the NCC office by Friday, January 11. 

❄🎨 2019 NCC 4-H Winter Workshops 🔨❄

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Workshops are just like the classes you take at camp; you’ll learn something new and have a finished project to take home with you. Open to the public.

Workshops will be held at the NCC Extension Office.


February 16 

9:30 am- 11 am

Exploring Food Science

Ever wonder how snacks and beverages are sealed to keep them fresh? Join us as we explore Food Science and find out how! Cost: FREE


10 am- 11 am

Intro to Robots: Ozobots

This workshop is divided into two groups.  The first group uses the simplest form of communication to teach kids programing, create and send robots via different mazes and maps while interacting with marks drawn on paper.  This workshop is for younger 4-Her’s (ages 8 or 9) and is limited to 4 participants.  Led by Avery Ruebush – Jr. Leader – Meado-Larks 4-H Club.

The second group workshop is for ages 10 to 12 and is also limited to 4 participants.  Each 4-Her will use their own phone, laptop or tablet (bring your own if possible) to code more dynamic instructions for the OZOBOT to follow and react to different objects.  Led by Cole Simpson – Jr. Leader – Meado-Larks 4-H Club. Cost: FREE


1- 3 pm

Livestock Judging

Come out and learn about Livestock judging and what to look for when evaluating animals. This is will a fun and interactive workshop. Cost: FREE

February 23

9 am- 12 noon

Drawstring Bags

Participants will choose from a variety of fabrics to create a custom bag. Sewing machine use and basic sewing skills will be taught. This project may be entered in the State Fair. Cost: $5. 


1- 3 pm

Faux Stained Glass Project

Using glass paint, participants will create a beautiful piece to display in front of a window or light. This would be a great item to submit as a home decor entry in the State Fair. Cost: $10. **Must be 12 or older for this workshop. 

2019 Winter Workshops Registration Form



2019 State Leaders Forum

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2019 Delaware 4-H State Leader Forum
Polytech High School, Woodside, Kent County
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Making the Best Better 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Registration will be available online beginning Friday,
January 4, 2019. This is the preferred method. Please note that the workshops will be filled on a “first come, first serve” basis, so the earlier you register the better chance you will have of getting your first choice.
The cost of the Forum will be covered by each county’s Leaders’ Association or a staff purpose code. Deadline to register is Monday, January 28.

Register HERE

2019 DE 4H State Leader Forum Workshop Packet

Club Reports

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Holy Angels 










In October, we made little Halloween notes to put with the Meals on Wheels meals.  We also made hanging pumpkin decorations.  In November, we made Christmas wreaths (and one Christmas halo).  We also made Christmas place cards for the Nursing Home residents.  In December, we rang bells for the Salvation Army and gave out candy canes.






Summit Bridge

At our December meeting, we did all sorts of fun things. We presented a special gift to our special leader, Mrs. Brenda Shaffer. Our club made 4-H Christmas ornaments and we played board games. We did a fun healthy living activity and we ended the night with yummy appetizers- Santa inspired fruit, cookies/desserts, and hot chocolate. The Summit Bridge 4-H Christmas party was a success! We all took home a special 4-H gift.








New Castle County 4-H Spotlight Leaders

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Organizational Leader: Brenda Shaffer

Club: Summit Bridge

Mrs. Shaffer is currently the organizational leader of the Summit Bridge 4-H club. She has been a 4-H leader for 23 years. Mrs. Shaffer also serves as Ag Day Chairman, and is President of the NCC Links. Growing up, Mrs. Shaffer was a 4-H’er in several clubs over 10 years. Her projects included Foods, Clothing and the Fashion Revue Project.

Mrs. Shaffer wanted to be a 4-H leader because she enjoys working with 4-Hers! She says it is very exciting to see her club growing and becoming more involved in their community.  Her kids were all in 4-H, so helping out as a leader was something she found very satisfying and fun.

Some advice she has about being a 4-H leader is to be prepared to learn more than you teach!  Be sure to explain everything to new members because it can be overwhelming.

A fun fact— Mr. Shaffer and Mrs. Shaffer met as camp counselors!

Calling all Camp Counselors

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Are you between 13 and 19 and looking for a fun and enriching opportunity to work with other youth this summer? Consider becoming a NCC 4-H Day Camp Counselor!

These positions are for the NCC 4-H Newark Day, Cloverbud and Animal Science Camps.

There will be a meeting for camp counselors on Tuesday, January 15 from 6-8 pm at the NCC Office.

Details and application below:

Camp Counselor Expectations

2019 NCC 4H Camp Counselor Application



December Recap

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree 

How lovely are thy branches of the 4-H Christmas tree.  The boughs are beautifully decorated with hats and gloves denoted by 4-Hers, Master Gardeners, and staff.  So many items were donated that hats and gloves were also placed beneath the tree.

Thank you so much for supporting our annual collection for the New Castle County Adopt-A-Family Program.   The recipients will be more comfortable when they venture outdoors.

Winter Fun Day 

Many people are singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”  This statement was evident at the 4-H office on Saturday, December 8.  Evergreen branches covered a large portion of the conference room floor, several pounds of cookie dough had been rolled out on a table in the kitchen area, and craft projects were tucked into another corner- while Christmas music added to the spirit of the day.

Over 20 youth from several 4-H clubs and camps learned how to make a Christmas centerpiece and then created their own, using fresh cut greenery and berries, holiday and winter decorations, and bows.  All the centerpieces were remarkably well done and will look beautiful on tables or mantels.

After finishing their arrangement, the youth rolled out sugar cookie dough, cut out shapes, and added their personal touch by adding sprinkles and other decorations.  While they impatiently stood around the oven waiting for the cookies to bake, there was an assortment of healthy goodies to eat.  It was a delicious and warming activity.

The participants also spent time making beaded Christmas wreaths, craft stick trees and Santa hats, and pipe cleaner candy canes.  Some designed their own crafts with the supplies.

All left with their hands full of beautifully hand-made decorations and their stomachs satisfied with delicious cookies and healthy snacks.

Exchange Group Fundraiser

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Eat dinner out at Grotto’s in Middletown on Wednesday, January 16 from 4 to 9 pm and help support the NCC Exchange Group!

A paper voucher must be presented in order to receive credit.  Showing on a phone or tablet cannot be accepted.

Organization members and guests will be seated throughout the restaurant.  Because these events take place over a five hour period, Grotto’s is unable to hold designated areas.

Please print voucher below:

Exchange Group Grotto’s Vouchers

Animal Science Updates

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Delaware Equine Council Foundation Scholarship- $1500


  • Must be a U.S. citizen and a Delaware resident or Delaware Equine Council member. ($10.00 to become an individual member)
  • Must be enrolled and in good standing in an agriculture, equine, veterinary or vet tech program in the United States.
  • Must submit a typewritten 400-word essay :

“How I plan to use this course of study to further the equine or agriculture industry.”

  • Must complete a typed application and include a transcript of a minimum of one full semester’s grades from an accredited college or university.

All awards are given without discrimination as to race, sex, or creed.

Application postmark deadline is January 31, 2019. Winners will be awarded on April 6, 2019.  To download the application or for more details please visit:


Delaware 4-H Horse Bowl

The Delaware 4-H Horse Bowl will be held on March 9, 2019 at Lake Forest North Elementary.  Divisions are available for Ages 8-10, 11-13, and 14-19 as of January 1 of the 2019 4-H year. Entry fees have increased this year to $15 per team but prize money has also been increased.

Questions may come from:

  • 4-H Horse Manuals(blue cover 2015 version):

“Giddy Up and Go”, “Head, Heart and Hooves”, “Stable Relationships”,

“Riding the Range,” “Jumping to New Heights,” “Horse Project Helper’s Guide.,”

and 4-H Horse curriculum corrections found on-line at

  • In addition to the 4-H Horse Project manuals:

Age 8-10: Horse Care for Kids, by Cherry Hill

Age 11-13: Your Horse, a step-by-step guide to horse ownership, by Judy Chapple (and age 8-10 material).

Horses and Horsemanship – by Ray Antoniewicz, National 4-H Council-

Age 14 and older: Storey’s Horse-Lover’s Encyclopedia, edited by Deborah Burns (and age 8-10 and 11-13 material).

Horse Science- by Ray Antoniewicz, National 4-H Council

Complete contest rules and guidelines are posted on the State 4-H Animal Science page at  The 2019 Horse Bowl entry deadline is February 11, 2019.


Delaware Ag Week

Delaware Ag Week programs, along with an agricultural trade show and exhibits by the First State Antique Tractor Club, are being held January 14-18, 2019 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington, Delaware.  Sessions focused on beef cattle production, small ruminants and hay and pasture are among the events being held.  For the complete schedule of events and individual session schedules please visit


Delaware Ag Week Seminar for Beef Cattle Producers

January 14, 2019- 6:00-9:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Board Room

6:00 p.m.—6:30 p.m.- What’s in the Color? Managing Diseases for High Quality Forages
Sudeep Mathew, Agronomic Service Representative, Mid-Atlantic, Syngenta

6:45 p.m. – DINNER- Sponsored by the Delaware Beef Advisory Board

 7:30 p.m.—8:00 p.m.- Strengthening Health and Farm Vitality- Maria Pippidis, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator and Laurie Wolinski, Director, Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Center, University of Delaware  

8:00 p.m.—8:45 p.m.- Feeding Lower Quality Hay- Dr. Jessica Williamson, Extension Forage Specialist, Penn State University 


Please RSVP by January 4 to Susan Garey or call  (302) 730-4000 if you plan on attending so we can make the necessary arrangements for food and materials.

Session Summary: DE Pesticide Certification Credits:  1.0  MD Pesticide Certification Credits:  1.0
DE Nutrient Management Credits:  0 MD Nutrient Management Credits:  0
Certified Crop Advisor Credits:  PM: 0.50

Delmarva Pasture and Hay Conference

MD/DE Forage Council

Commodities Building

January 15, 2019

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.- Welcome and Housekeeping Details– Dan Severson, University of Delaware Extension Agriculture Agent

9:15 a.m.—10:00 a.m.-What’s in the Color? Managing Diseases for High Quality Forages- Sudeep Mathew, Agronomic Service Representative, Mid-Atlantic, Syngenta 

10:00 a.m.—10:45 a.m.- Feeding Lower Quality Hay- Jessica Williamson, Extension Forage Specialist, Penn State University 

10:45 a.m.       Break/visit with Exhibitors 

 11:00 a.m.—11:45 a.m.- Are Clovers Worth It and are Phytoestrogens in Clover Good or Evil?- Dennis Hancock, State Forage Specialist, University of Georgia 

11:45 a.m.—12:00 p.m.- Words from the Maryland-Delaware Forage Council- Les Vough, President MDFC and Forage Crops Extension Specialist Emeritus, University of Maryland


Session Summary: DE Pesticide Certification Credits:  1.0  MD Pesticide Certification Credits:  2.0
DE Nutrient Management Credits:  0  MD Nutrient Management Credits:  0
Certified Crop Advisor Credits: PM:.50, CM:.50

1:00 p.m.—2:00 p.m.- Advancements in Alfalfa Production and Management- Dennis Hancock, State Forage Extension Specialist, University of Georgia

2:00 p.m.—3:00 p.m.- To Be Announced- Roeland Kapsenberg, Vice President Agricultural Division, DLF PickSeed

3:00 p.m. ADJOURN

Session Summary: DE Pesticide Certification Credits:  1.0  MD Pesticide Certification Credits:  4.0
DE Nutrient Management Credits:  0.50  MD Nutrient Management Credits:  1.0
Certified Crop Advisor Credits: CM:1.0


Small Ruminant Program

January 15, 2019- 6:00-9:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Board Room

6:00 p.m.—6:45 p.m.- Exploring “Ethnic” Markets for Lamb and Goat Meat- Dr. Tatiana L. Stanton, Small Ruminant Extension Specialist, Cornell University

6:45 p.m.- DINNER- Sponsored by Delmarva Feeds 

7:15 p.m.—7:30 p.m.- Past and Future Plans of the Small Ruminant Program- Delaware Cooperative Extension Small Ruminant Team 

7:30 p.m.—8:15 p.m.- Lambing and Kidding- Dr. Tatiana L. Stanton, Small Ruminant Extension Specialist, Cornell University 

8:15 p.m.—8:45 p.m.- Apps to the Rescue- Delaware Cooperative Extension Small Ruminant Team 


Please RSVP by January 4, 2019 to Susan Garey or call 302-730-4000 if you plan to attend so we can plan accordingly for meals and materials and accommodating any special needs.

Session Summary:  DE Pesticide Certification Credits:  0  MD Pesticide Certification Credits:  0
DE Nutrient Management Credits:  0  MD Nutrient Management Credits:  0
Certified Crop Advisor Credits:  0


Delaware Junior Dairy Futurity Second Entry Deadline

The second entry deadline for the 2019 Delaware Junior Dairy futurity is February 1, 2019.  The entry form can be found here  To participate in the 2019 Futurity for Summer Calves, a calf must be nominated by May 1, 2019.  All calves, born June 1, 2018 to August 31, 2018 inclusive, of any dairy breed are eligible to enter the Delaware Youth Dairy Futurity. Calves MUST be exhibited by a Delaware State Fair Junior Dairy Exhibitor.  Leased animals are eligible and an exhibitor must be named on the last entry on May 1, 2019.

1st payment of $5.00 due on or before November 13, 2018

2nd payment of $10.00 due on or before February 1, 2019

3rd payment of $15.00 due on or before May 1, 2019

Late entries are permitted but if you do not enter the animal on the first due date, the payment will be doubled.  If your first entry is made on February 1, your entry fee will be $30.00.  If you do not enter until May 1, your entry fee is $70.00 on May 1.

Entry questions can be directed to volunteer Dairy Futurity co-chairs John Hickey or Charmayne Busker


🐝 2019 Beekeeping Essay Competition 🐝

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2019 Essay Topic: Honey Varietals, State to State

Each jar of honey reflects an unrepeatable combination of climate, soil, weather and flowers. Each state has unique honey varietals that beekeepers can market to their customers. Please identify one unique varietal to your state and discuss the flower’s uniqueness and how beekeepers can effectively market that varietal.

In your essay, please include a photo of the varietal’s flower, an interview with a local beekeeper who collects this varietal and a recipe that highlights the varietal.

Entries should be submitted to the State 4-H office by Friday, February 1st, 2019. 

Click below for more info:

2019 4-H Beekeeping Essay Competition Info

Links Grant Opportunity

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The NCC 4-H Links is a service organization supporting the 4-H program. We are proud to present grant opportunities of up to $50.00 for an individual and $100.00 for a club. These grants will be offered quarterly this year, in February, May, August and November, to assist with special 4-H projects. A grant could be used for a club project or a community service project, supplies for an Ag Day booth or much more. We encourage you to be creative!
Applications for the first set of grants are due Friday, February 1, 2019. The will be reviewed and awarded at the discretion of the NCC 4-H Links. You will be notified once a decision has been
Please submit all applications to the 4-H Office.

2019 Links Grant Info

Links Grant Application 2019

Agent Letter

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Dear 4-H Families and Friends,

Tis the season of giving and many 4-Hers are taking part in community service activities. The tree is up in the county office for donations of hats, mittens, gloves and scarves. These are donated to the Adopt-a-Family Store where approved families can select the items they need. Thank you for serving others and be sure to share photos of your service projects and club activities with us!

Congratulations to our National Congress Delegates! Logan Aber (Environmental Club) and Hunter Willoughby (Summit Bridge Club), along with delegates from Kent and Sussex County, recently returned from Atlanta, Georgia. They had an amazing once in a lifetime experience!

Cole Simpson (Meado-Larks Club) and Matthew Trunfio (Stump Corner Club) attended the Maker’s Summit in November and are planning to share at the upcoming Leader Forum as well as other 4-H events. We look forward to learning from them!

In November, we held the Achievement Event as well as the Public Speaking Contest. Scroll down for the blog posts about each.

Dec. 5 is the deadline to register for the Holiday Workshop on December 8 from 10-12 at the office. Participants will make a holiday basket using fresh greens. Register with Serena at 302-831-8965 or by email. The Statewide 4-H Ice Skating Party is  December 29 from 5:45-7:30 pm at the State Fairgrounds. You can find more info in the blog post.

In 2019, we will start the year with the Favorite Foods Contest on Jan. 26. See the news blog for details on this as well as the Links Adult Dessert Competition and Photography Contest. Plan to participate in this favorite 4-H event!

­­­4-H families can look forward to interesting Winter Workshops in February. Details will be in the January blog and registration will begin January 7. The Statewide Leader Forum will be on Feb. 2 and State Teen Weekend on Feb. 9-10.

With winter activities come winter weather and the possibility of cancellations. If the Christina School District closes for the day, has early dismissal or cancels after-school activities, then NCC 4-H events are cancelled.  Weekend 4-H events will be cancelled if the University of Delaware closes or cancels events.  In addition, the 4-H office will be closed from 12-22-2018 thru 1-01-2019 for the holiday break.

Have a wonderful holiday season! We hope to see everyone at a 4-H event in the New Year!

Betsy, Kaitlin and Serena

Montly Online Newsletter From New Castle County, Delaware 4-H!