Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wise County 4-H Banquet

            Wise County 4-H families gathered together Monday, August 11 to recognize the accomplishments of the youth in the 4-H program. It was an excellent evening with catering provided by Wise County Electric Co-op and speaker Currey Cook, former Georgia 4-H state officer, sharing the message that through dedication, hard work and the support from adults, a 4-H member can achieve anything they put their mind to.

            The banquet’s theme was “All Around 4-H” and table decorations were designed by 4-H members which featured various 4-H projects. At the beginning of the night, 4-H leaders and volunteers were recognized for their years of dedication and service to the 4-H program.

            The Greenwood Extension Education Club was named the ‘Friend of 4-H’ for 2013-2014 and we greatly appreciate all they do to help support our 4-H youth with scholarships and donations throughout the year.

            The Leader of the Year was Kelly Martin. She serves as the Club Manager for the Chico 4-H club and offers support to the dairy goat program in Wise County.
            The Club of the Year was the Slidell/Greenwood 4-H. Their hard work and commitment to improving their community has not gone unrecognized. 

            The Farm Bureau Leadership award was presented to Olivia Bettesworth of the Paradise 4-H Club by Wise County Farm Bureau Board President Herb Williams. Texas Farm Bureau recognizes youth each year that exemplify leadership and knowledge in agriculture.

            William H. Danforth believed that each person had special gifts. He regularly threw out the challenge, “Be your own self and at your very best all the time.” The Danforth ‘I Dare You’ award winners were Caitlin Pruett of the Slidell/Greenwood 4-H Club and Lyndi Luttrull of the Decatur 4-H Club.

            The Bronze Star award goes to the top two Junior 4-H members, ages 8-10, that complete a recordbook and interview. Though relatively new to the 4-H program, these 4-H members have learned a lot about their projects and are becoming involved in their communities. This year’s winners are Clayton Myers of the Alvord 4-H Club and Easton Vanover of the Slidell/Greenwood 4-H Club.

            The Silver Star award goes to the top two Intermediate 4-H members, ages 11-13 that complete a recordbook and interview. These 4-H members are starting to find their niche in 4-H and are not only shining in the livestock arena but in the public speaking project as well. This year’s winners are Clint Demmitt of the Chico 4-H Club and Cassady Craddock of the Bridgeport 4-H Club.

            The Gold Star award is the highest recognition for a 4-H member. It is awarded to Senior 4-H members that go above and beyond in their clubs and community, and continuously strive to ‘Make the Best Better’. This year’s Gold Star recipients were Logan Moore of the Boyd 4-H Club and Morgan Barnes of the Slidell/Greenwood 4-H Club.

            I personally would like to thank everyone that came out to recognize the youth, volunteers, and leaders in 4-H. Without them the Wise County 4-H program would not be possible!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hay Quality & Wise County Hay Show

For most area cattlemen, hay feeding time is just around the corner.  When supplementing cattle with hay it is important to know the quality of the hay you are feeding and the nutritional requirements of the livestock consuming the hay.  Winter supplementation and hay production are significant production costs for Wise County beef producers.  If your eye is on profitability, you should pay close attention to a cow’s body condition, forage (hay) quality and winter protein supplementation expenses.  Forage quality has a major influence on the type and amount of supplement required to meet a cow’s daily requirements.

Variable rainfall in our area for June and July has robbed many Wise County hay growers of at least one hay cutting and in some cases negatively impacted hay quality.  Though appearance and production history can provide some indication of quality, the only way to be certain is a laboratory analysis of your hay samples.  Random forage samples should be obtained that represent all harvest dates and all fields.  Use a probe inserted into the bale from the curved side of the bale.  Ten per cent should be sampled to obtain a composite sample.  Classifying hay based on its nutritive value would help you as a producer to know the class of livestock for which a particular lot of hay is suited.  For example a beef cow needs a minimum of 7% crude protein in her diet, while a broodmare needs at least 10% crude protein.

Feed prices don’t seem to be coming down anytime soon if history serves us right.   20% breeder cubes could get very competitive this fall and these have been a common source for supplementing with marginal quality hay during the winter months.

If you are interested in having your hay tested, we have a hay probe and forage testing information here at the Extension office.  By testing now, you have plenty of time to adjust your winter feeding plans. 

All of the reasons above are why you should become involved in the Wise County Hay Show that will be held on September 4 at the Wise County Fair Grounds.   Along with the Hay Show, Dr. Larry Redmon - Professor & State Forage Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, will be speaking to producers on the results of hay sampling and how to produce quality hay.  We will also have live demonstrations of hay equipment and new technology provided by McMaster New Holland and AG-POWER.  We invite you to be a participant in the event.   Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the program is from 10:00 to 12:00 with lunch to follow. The program is free. Pesticide license applicators will receive 2 general CEUs. We will conclude with a hay auction,  proceeds will benefit the Wise County Youth Fair.  Please contact the Wise County Extension office to reserve your spot or if you have any question 940-627-334.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Building Character in Children and Youth

For several years now, I have been a part of the Wise Coalition for Healthy Children which is led by Cook Children’s. The coalition’s vision is that “All Wise County children have the opportunity to grow in a safe and loving environment free of abuse and neglect”.  Objectives to reach that vision are to: promote healthy family relationships; and engage the community to build healthy families. Taking care to build character in our children and youth is a great way to strive to meet those objectives.
 According to the publication “Building Good Character, Teaching Your Child Positive Values”; good character means having positive values and acting on those values. A person with good character wants to do the right thing.   Teaching your child good values is a wonderful gift for the future. Children with good character tend to be happier and friendlier and do better in school. And, a child with good character becomes an adult with good character.
Parents can take an active role in helping their child develop good character do by providing feedback, direction and being positive role models for their children. Children learn character by observing adults around them. How adults interact with others both in and outside the home are crucial lessons in your child’s character development.
 Following are just a few tips that you may find useful for building character in your children.
·         Think about how your family already shows good character. Ask yourself, how do we try to be caring, fair, honest, respectful and responsible? How do we try to be good citizens and helpful members of our community?
·         Make a plan for building good character in your family. For example, post a list of family goals in a special place. Goals may be simple, such as: be quiet when someone is using the phone; or be honest if you make a mistake.
·         A regular mealtime gives families a chance to teach good character. This can be a time to share thoughts with each other. Children can also learn about their parents hopes for him or her and about good manners.
·         Point out examples of good character and talk about it whenever you see it in yourself, in your child or in others. Explain why you care about doing the right thing,
It is important to remember that building good character takes time. Working on it as a family can help make it become a habit. Look for opportunities to teach about good character every day. Many school systems teach character skills each week. Some of the character traits which are taught: caring, fairness, honesty, respect, responsibility and citizenship. Discussing with your child which character traits are taught in their classroom would be a wonderful way to assist you with building character at home. 

For more information on tools for effective parenting and to obtain a copy of the booklet “Building Good Character; Teaching your Child Positive Values”, contact the Extension office at 627-3341.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Guidelines for Effective Discipline

After what I hope was a fun filled summer for all Wise County School-aged children, it’s time to switch back to the routine that school days bring. Parental discipline may be necessary when challenges arise as parents introduce new schedules that include homework and earlier bedtimes.
Special consideration should be paid when deciding upon a style of discipline that is appropriate, effective, and in the best interest of the child. While it may appear this way on the surface, addressing a child’s misbehavior provides parents with a great opportunity to teach their children valuable life lessons. Although no one has all the answers when it come to disciplining children, the following guidelines can help parents discipline their children in a loving, fair and effective manner.
1. Have Realistic Expectations. When it comes to discipline, there’s not one particular technique that works effectively with all children in all circumstances; therefore, when considering how to deal with a child’s negative behavior, parents need to think about that child’s developmental capacities and consider how to use the misbehavior to teach an age-appropriate life lesson.

2. Communicate Expectations Clearly. Children will have a very difficult time following the limits established by their parents if they don’t know what those limits are. Likewise, when children violate limits, it is critical to let them know that they have violated a limit. Taking advantage of these “teachable moments” promotes positive behavior and helps prevent future misbehavior.

3. Establish Reasonable Consequences. Establishing reasonable consequences is an essential aspect of effective discipline. What constitutes reasonable versus unreasonable depends on the age and developmental stage of the child and the severity of the behavior. The consequence, however, should be in line with the offense.

4. Be Loving, Yet Firm. Researchers have discovered that the most effective style of discipline is an authoritative one, in which adults openly express their love for their children, yet expect them to behave in ways that are consistent with the guidelines they have set in the home. When rules and/or limits are violated, consequences are implemented that are intended to teach the importance of proper behavior.

5. Be Consistent. Consistency is another factor that is associated with effective discipline. Consistent parents do what they say they are going to do, when they say they are going to do it, without partiality. If a parent tells a child she is going to receive a consequence for violating a rule and the parent fails to enforce it, the parent is not being consistent. Children who are cared for in a consistent manner know what to expect from their parents. They are not surprised when they suffer consequences for misbehavior.

To assist you with setting limits for your children, publications are available from the Extension office located at 206 S. State Street in Decatur.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wise County 4-H Members Dominate at State 4-H Horse Show

Shelby Haggart HHaggof Bridgeport 4-H and Seth Byers of Decatur 4-H dominated the 3 year old stock horse futurity, taking home Grand Champion and Reserve Champion honors respectively.  The 3 Year Old Futurity is made up of three different classes; Reining, Stock Horse Pleasure and Trail.  The overall winners are cumulative score from the three different classes.

Shelby received Grand Champion 3 Year Old Stock Horse honors by placing 1st in Reining, 1st in Pleasure and 1st in Trail, making it a clean sweep.  In the regular Stock Horse Show division she made the finals in Working Cow Horse, Trail, Reining, Stock Horse Pleasure and Stock Horse Horsemanship.  Making the finals in all events is quite an accomplishment.  Shelby will be attending NCTC in Gainesville to ride stock horse at the collegiate level.

Seth Byers received Reserve Champion by placing 2nd in Stock Horse Pleasure, 3rd in Reining and 4th in Trail.  He also had a very good week with his yearling futurity gelding placing 4th in Halter and 3rd in Lounge Line.  In the regular show Seth placed 7th in Halter in 4 yr. Old Mares & Under, he was 5th in Western Riding and 7th in Stock Horse Horsemanship.

In the English Riding Show, Monika Qualls placed 9th in Equitation Over Fences and Working Hunter, 8th in Open Jumping and 7th in Hunter Hack.
Emma Karle, also a Wise County 4-H member participated in the Western Pleasure Class in the Qualifying Show.