Friday, September 24, 2010

4-H Billboard Campaign

Texas 4-H has partnered with Lamar Advertising Company to promote 4-H across the State of Texas with it's "poster panels" affixed to it's statewide network of outdoor advertising billboards. Keep a watchful eye for these in your area and report any sightings to us .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Changing Times Call for Changing Strategies

By Luis H. SaldaƱa (

Winston Churchill was recorded as stating, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” While some change slips in by cover of darkness, it is the more obvious change that grabs our attention. Some jump in with both feet while others are dragged into change, kicking and screaming. Changing demographics, economic challenges nationally and statewide and even locally can have a great impact on our 4-H program. It is those that take change and find those unique opportunities to turn them into growth and improvement that make them special. A recent report on 4-H enrollment in District 12 reflects that 4-H club membership grew 11% and other 4-H youth programs grew 10%. That is certainly change in the right direction, despite all those other challenges. This is a testament to the quality of 4-H programs across the district, and you are the reason for that change. The quality of 4-H members, parents, volunteers and county Extension agents is fundamental in the success of your program. People want to be associated with a great program, a successful one, and one that builds young people into true leaders…not for the future, NOW!

Over 58,000 youth, including over 4,800 4-H club members, across the district are what makes your program GREAT! The volunteers, parents and county Extension agents are what keep it moving which speaks volumes for what each contributes to its success. Changing times call for changing strategies and you have found those things that work To Make the Best Better!
...You Rock!

This is the first in a series of quarterly briefs for the entire 4-H family in the 20-county district (District 12). Changes in how we share information, learn, train, and experience the 4-H program add challenges in bridging an ever-growing need to stay connected. The 4-H program in D12 has been working with its newly elected District 12 4‑H Council officers to bridge strengthen the bridge and network across the district. The newly designed D12 4-H website ( has a clean look that is easy to navigate. New features include a dedicated page to community service, photo and video galleries, and a new “social networking” approach. Research shows that adults use the internet, blogs, and email to communicate. Teenagers, on the other hand, use SMS and MMS (texting), social networking, and other technologies to stay connected, but almost exclusively through phone technology. Herein lies the challenge. How do we keep everyone plugged in when they choose to use different technology to do so? Our approach is to add Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, and YouTube channels as a form of keeping connected. Follow, sign-up, register, and watch D12 4-H by any of these to stay connected…try it and let us know. Send me a note ( about any of our posts, videos, tweets, or any of our other strategies to keep you informed. We want to hear from you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Calf Scramble Programs Offered to 4-H

Every year, a number of statewide livestock shows offer “Calf Scramble” programs inviting participation from 4-H members from across the district. This email is intended to summarize these opportunities for you, and to encourage you to extend this invitation to your 4-H families. Applications are reviewed and assigned on a first-come-first-served basis so get your applications in as soon as possible.


Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo – Austin, Tx. (March 11-26, 2011)
Entries due to the district office by September 24, 2010.
Entry requires County Extension Agent approval and submission to be valid.
Forms, Rules & Performance Schedule
Notice sent: See email on September 1


San Antonio Livestock Exposition – San Antonio, Tx. (Feb 3-20, 2011)
Entries due to the district office by September 24, 2010.
Entry requires County Extension Agent approval and submission to be valid.
Forms, Rules & Performance Schedule
Notice sent: This is the first notice


Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo – Houston, Tx. (March 1-20, 2011)
Entries due directly to Houston Livestock Show – Livestock Office. Deadline not currently published.
Entry requires County Extension Agent approval and submission to be valid.
Forms, Rules & Performance Schedule (2011 information not currently available)
Notice sent: This is the first notice


Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo – Fort Worth, Tx. (Jan 14 – Feb 5, 2011)
Entries due directly to Fort Worth Stock Show – Livestock Office. Deadline not currently published.
Entry requires County Extension Agent approval and submission to be valid.
Forms, Rules & Performance Schedule (Applications available online Oct 1 or by calling 817-877-2400)

Contact your county Extension agent for more information.

Friday, September 10, 2010

D12 4-H Council Challenges Counties to SERVE!!!

Service is one of 4-H' most visible and impactful facets represented by one of the four H's in the 4-H Pledge, "My hands to larger service." Serving your community and serving others is a point of focus of teh 2010-2011 District 12 4-H Council Executive Committee. At their recent planning retreat last month, the newly elected Council set many goals but specifically identified "greater community service" as a priority. Service merited special communication across the district and some of the Council's projects essentially challenge counties to perform "greater service" locally. Each district activity has a service project associated with it and this post is intended to communicate a shared approach to greater service with all counties and encourage them to participate in this effort. Get more details about these projects on the District 12 4-H website and look at the 4-H Serves! page.

Counties should also be planning their one day 4-H events to take place on October 9th. Resources and information about this event can be found on the Texas 4-H website. Clubs and counties across the state will be conducting in one unified effort of service across the state. Don't get left behind!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

D12 4-H Website Gets New Look

The District 12 -H website is now on a new content management system designed to make web editing and posting easier. That remains to be seen. As technology changes, in many cases quicker than we would like, it becomes a challenge to keep up. You’re either leading the charge or dragging behind kicking and screaming. Over the years, the District 12 4-H website has evolved from a “presence” to actively posting information and resources for agents, and as more families gained broadband access the site continues to provide more for parents and 4-H members. Mobile technology allows many 4-H members to access websites, download information and communicate with other 4-H members with their cell phones. One of the biggest challenges is having a site that essentially serves three distinct groups of people in the 4-H program: agents, parents/leaders, and 4-H’ers.

The new website is an attempt to reach all three groups in different ways. Youth tend to use email less than adults, relying more on cell phones and texting. Adults use website, blogs, and email more frequently as a source of information. Agents need resources available to them at any moment, especially when they’re burning the midnight oil or trying to get the newsletter published. The new District 12 4-H Website includes some of the following features in a clean, crisp, format that is easy to navigate.

  • Design - the design is simpler to navigate and includes a search box to look for information on the site.
  • Activity pages – the website will host unique pages for each event to collect data, letters, results and other important information about specific district events.
  • Galleries – both photo and video galleries are gathered together to make it easier for those needing the visual “fix” by accessing that snapshop you missed or view a cool video.
  • Service – the site co-locates all District 12 4-H Council community service projects to help counties engage locally with these projects.
  • Blog - this is currently in two different locations but will evolve to only include the native (AgriLife) blog and eventuall discontinue or RSS feed the Blogger site to this one.
  • Twitter - yes, D12 4-H tweets and those can be found on the website or you can follow tweets through your mobile device.
  • Facebook – D12 4-H is on Facebook and has a forum for anyone to post comments, discuss topics and find out what is going on with the District.
  • YouTube – D12 4-H has its own Channel on YouTube where videos of events and other informational will be posted for all to access.
While this is not the end, it is certainly not the beginning of the site’s development. Work is ongoing, but thanks to recommendation from District 12 4-H Council officers this hopefully gets us off in the right direction. If you have anything you would like to see or add to this site, don’t hesitate to Blog me, Tweet me, FB me, or Email me or simply call me. If you look off into the dark sky at night, that glow with be all the technology eminating from my kicking and screaming body. I am learning…please be patient…as I try to Make the Best Better!