Category Archives: 4-H

2013 National 4-H Week – Q&A

Happy National Youth Science Day! This year’s science experiment is Maps & Apps! This Q&A post will take the place of an experience today since I didn’t get anything else put together for today.
These questions came from the Iowa 4-H Foundation Blog. I figured I would take the time to answer these great questions!

Q: What are the HIGHLIGHTS of your 4-H experience?
A: I have been involved with 4-H for 12 years and have had LOTS of experiences in 4-H. I have presented at the White House once during the 2013 National 4-H Conference and got invited back to the 2013 White House Science Fair. This was probably the highlight of my 4-H experiences. Another highlight was serving on the 2012-2013 Iowa 4-H State Council.

Q: What does 4-H mean to you?
A: 4-H means the world to me. It has given me leadership, communication, geospatial, and many other skills. It has built my future career path out of nothing. It also means friendships for life.

Q: What is the most important lesson or educational experience you learned/had from 4-H?
A: The most important educational experience that I gained while in 4-H was in geospatial technology. It was geospatial technology that I got the most involved with.

Q: How has 4-H influenced or helped your college experience?
A: Like I said previously, 4-H has purely influenced my college major and future career path (Geographic Information Sciences & Emergency Management).

Q: What does National 4-H Week mean to you?
A: National 4-H Week means the time when I can scream & shout out the greatness of 4-H! 🙂

Q: What is your favorite 4-H memory?
A: Several of my favorite 4-H memories involved Jay Staker (E-SET Guy) when I was on the State Tech Team. Other memories are when I was on State Council. One involved us staying up till midnight during a retreat to celebrate someone’s 18th birthday. I also fondly enjoyed learning the choreography to our dance production for the 2013 State 4-H Conference. Another was during the 2012 State 4-H Conference when Scott Greenburg came and talked about an issue close to my heart and I hugged him and just lost it.

2013 National 4-H Week – Tuesday: Favorite Moment in 4-H – #3

I have seen my friends post about their favorite moment in 4-H, so I thought I would post mine, as this was my last year as a member. The good problem I have is that I have been blessed to have multiple favorite moments while in 4-H, so I’ll be posting 3-4 “Favorite Moments” this week, followed by things I’m looking forward to in the future.

2012-2013 Iowa 4-H Council

This is the first of my last 4-H experiences. I was so excited that I was selected to be in this group that helps plan our yearly State 4-H Conference, run a fundraiser that is the only 4-H’er led fundraisers like that in the country, called “4-Hers for 4-H”, where clubs would contribute money to our group for the next year’s budget. Over the course of the year, our group designed the 2013 State 4-H Conference from the ground up, through planning the theme and design concepts, selecting keynote speakers, making the schedule, and promoting the conference. Even though we all had our differences, in the end we all came together and executed the super awesome 2013 State 4-H Conference (along with a great choreographed production)! In addition to learning how to plan a conference, I developed close relationships with many of the ambassadors, which were really hard to leave. I can’t wait until my 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year reunions! 🙂 Also a special SHOUTOUT to the people who make Council so great… Brenda, Cayla, Matt, Alison, & Kurt!



2013 National 4-H Week – Monday: Favorite Moment in 4-H – #2

I have seen my friends post about their favorite moment in 4-H, so I thought I would post mine, as this was my last year as a member. The good problem I have is that I have been blessed to have multiple favorite moments while in 4-H, so I’ll be posting 3-4 “Favorite Moments” this week, followed by things I’m looking forward to in the future.

2013 National 4-H Conference


I was lucky to be selected as one of 4 Iowa delegates to attend the National 4-H Conference in Chevy Chase, MD. The week I was there went by SO fast. I met TONS of new friends who I’m still in contact with today. In fact, I spent a week with a gal that I met from West Virginia this summer. We started a Facebook chat that now has well over 20,000 messages 🙂 But the people I met from all over the nation (including places like North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Montana, Nova Scotia, and Hawaii), will forever be my best friends. I’m already “planning” a trip down south over winter break to visit my friend Steven in Puerto Rico. As we were from Iowa, we were lucky enough to meet 1:1 our former governor and current Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, after he keynoted on Monday morning.

Iowa Delegates with Secretary Vilsack Talking with Secretary Vilsack
Iowa Delegates talking with Secretary Vilsack Iowa Delegates at the Cherry Blossom Festival
Iowa Delegates at the White House South Dakota and Iowa Delegations take the Metro to DC

The Last Night

Jessi (WV National Guard Teen Panel) and I National Guard Teen Panel
Blake (NC National Guard Teen Panel) & I Jessi (WV National Guard Teen Panel) & I
My friend Steven (PR National Guard Teen Panel) Lexi (MD National Guard Teen Panel) and I
The Iowa Delegation's connecting flight got delayed, but we made it home!

2013 National 4-H Week – Sunday: Favorite Moment in 4-H – #1

I have seen my friends post about their favorite moment in 4-H, so I thought I would post mine, as this was my last year as a member. The good problem I have is that I have been blessed to have multiple favorite moments while in 4-H, so I’ll be posting 3-4 “Favorite Moments” this week, followed by things I’m looking forward to in the future.

2013 White House Science Fair

I was invited to the 2013 White House Science Fair this year, to represent 4-H and geospatial technology. While there, I met the Deputy Secretary of the USDA in addition to other AMAZING people like Jack Andraka, Bill Nye the Science Guy, a Dean’s List recipient, Falcon Robotics #842 Team Members. Although I was hoping to be selected to have a display there, I look back and I am glad I did not. The reason behind that is because my friend, Jim Kahler, who is the National Program Leader of STEM at the National 4-H Headquarters in Washington DC, showed me all the AMAZING programs that 4-H is getting into. From Team Rocket America! to FIRST Robotics, we are or are getting involved with almost EVERY single program that was represented.

View my 2 other posts on my adventure in DC: Sunday post & Monday post

WHSF: Monday

So I was invited to the White House and today I actually went to the White House. It was pretty cool! I went to the White House Science Fair.

I’m happy to say that FIRST was WELL represented there! I got to meet the Atomic Flying Pickles FLL Team from New Mexico, Team LANDROIDS FTC Team #4220 from New Jersey, a member of Bomb Squad FRC Team #16 from Arkansas, and Falcon Robotics FRC Team #842 from Arizona! FIRST also had a board director there! It was a blast to meet them all! I was able to represent 4-H, Geospatial Mapping, and Team Neutrino FRC Team #3928.

It was cool to see all these amazing Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Agriculture, and Mathematics (STEAM) projects and to be able to hear and see the president speak about growing STEAM. Click here to watch a video of all the projects at the fair.

WHSF: Sunday

Hey guys! I was invited last week to participate in the White House Science Fair. I plan on blogging about my experience here. Shout out to the National 4-H Council, esri, and the Story County 4-H Program for helping me get here!

This morning I flew into DC. Below are some photos from the travels. (coming soon)

When I got here, I “lost my way”. I could swear I was going to Silver Spring, when actually I was suppose to go to Branch Ave. I got to see a lot of DC along my looong journey. To make matters worse, is the fact that they were doing MAJOR track work, so I had to wait ~20 minutes at the airport for the first Metro.

Once I got to my hotel, I went back into DC to run into the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. They have a new exhibit on GPS named Time and Navigation.

After that, I rode a bike around…

and stopped at the fish market…

and had some of the most amazing supper…

2012 National 4-H Week is October 7th-13th!

What do you plan to do during 4-H week? I plan on actively participating in 4-H activities. To start things off, we have a State 4-H Council Retreat that goes from the 6th to the 7th. Then later in the week (Thursday-Sunday), I’m going down to Wichita, Kansas to participate in the North Central Region 4-H Volunteer Forum where I’m going to learn about 4-H from the other side (the leaders point of view) and offer my insight into that as well. Feel free to comment below what you are doing during National 4-H Week to promote 4-H!

I encourage you to call your fellow club members up and coordinate “dress-up” days at your school. Here is an example of what your school week could look like:

  • Monday: “Promotion Day”You could make an announcement during your daily announcements about 4-H and National 4-H Week! Don’t forget to mention how they can get involved in 4-H (by contacting their local extension office) along with all the other dress up days that you are planning at your school this week.
  • Tuesday: “Club Day”  – Wear your club shirt to school. If others come up to ask you about your club, talk about all the awesome and interesting things you do in your club, that you can only find in 4-H.
  • Wednesday: “4-H Day”Wear a 4-H shirt to school. Did you know that 4-H has an impressive list of 4-H alums? Chances are, you’ll probably find many people that you may know that were never in 4-H! Also today is the 4-H National Youth Science Day Experiment. Talk with your science teachers about conducting this exciting and fun experiment no matter what grade you’re in!
  • Thursday: “Revolution Day” – What is your Revolution of Responsibility? Post about it on your Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media pages (don’t forget to tag it with #4h and @iowa4h!
  • Friday: “Project Day”Dress up with what 4-H means to YOU. Whether that means wearing a livestock show number if you’re into showing livestock, or a shirt you got that has flowers or rockets on it if you’re into gardening to technology. The sky is the limit this day!

A Touching 4-H Story

Hi All,

I thought I would take some time on this final day of my second to last county fair to share with you a story of someone who I have inspired, and who has inspired me back.

This story is about a boy enrolled in our county 4-H program, he actually lives in the same town with me and we’re part of the same shooting sports club. His mom and I were chatting a week ago, and she said this: “He told me a couple of weeks ago that he wants to get good enough so he can take pictures for the paper like you do. He really admires the pictures that you take. Thanks for being such a good role model for him!! … I know you inspire him!” This year he brought several photos and some visual arts projects to the county fair.

Our county separates visual arts and photography judging from the rest of the county fair, and we have that all judged and displayed at our local mall, and then we bring it over to the county fair and display it with the rest of the exhibits. However, we only award whites, reds, blues, and purples at the mall. The rosettes of alternate state fair, state fair, and top award are a secret until the opening day of the county fair we call these orange dots, because we award them an orange dot signifying that they are different from the rest of the photos.

The boy got several orange dots and was pretty excited at the mall. I told him good luck when I saw him. That night as the judges were making their selections, I saw that his made state fair. Mind you, no one except the judges, superintendents, and I knew the rosette placings. That’s the night I started talking with his mom about doing a workshop for their club, and ultimately how I got his story that inspired me.

It didn’t dawn on me that something like that could have such an impact on a 4-Her. Yes, I knew state fair was extremely exciting, but how he reacted really touched my heart. His mom told me, “He is SO EXCITED!!!!! He couldn’t believe it when he seen it!!” When I ran into her the other night, she said how he stood standing, staring at his photo with his mouth wide open in awe for like 5 minutes. THAT is what I want EVERY 4-Her to experience at least once in their 4-H careers, that is the 4-H moment.

As 1 of 40 state council members, representing the statewide Iowa 4-H program to the 4-H members, and with my impressive 4-H career of attending the 2013 National 4-H Conference in Washington DC, the 2009 esri International Users Conference, along with all of the other conferences I’ve attended and presented at and all the other 4-H events and activities that I helped lead, it’s stories like this that really make me remember where I was just 7 years ago today that have made me who I am today.

Speak Out for Military Kids

Hello, I just wanted to update you on something that is becoming EXTREMELY close to my heart that I’ve just become involved with in the past few days. I’ve just become involved with Speak Out for Military Kids, which is a really cool organization/group that is dedicated to helping kids whose family members are in the armed forces. Why have I gotten into this you may ask, well, several of my friends are involved with this group, and I learned of it’s folding during pre-conference of the 2012 Iowa 4-H Youth Conference which was held last week (more in a later post) due to funding cuts from DoD. Anyway, since I learned of their folding, I have concepted an idea to get SOMK restarted, but this time on a much more national level with support from the National 4-H Council. We are currently still in the development phase of this concept, but we are hoping to get something sent out to Chevy Chase, Maryland very soon. If National 4-H Council doesn’t fund our concept, we will still be extremely happy knowing that we did the best we ever could do to try to save SOMK.

Also, I just learned yesterday, that I am a military kid as well (I have several cousins in the military).

I’ll post more updates as we talk.

First Lego League Tournaments…

FLL was my life a few years ago around this time of year. This year, my school had 3 FLL teams and our county 4-H program had a team. I mentored 2 of our schools teams. It brought back so many good memories, making me a bit sad I still couldn’t play with the awesome LEGO bricks at the same time. I wish US FIRST would still host FLL at the high school level. Anyways, Iowa FLL is making it a bit more challenging for teams, since they implemented regionals at multiple locations through out the state that happened last weekend and this weekend. This weekend however is special for me, as the 4 teams I know are battling it out over in Marshalltown. I think they should be arriving back in town any minute now…

I was in FLL for 2 years. I first got interested in it when I saw Ocean Odyssey in 2005. I got together a team as part of my 4-H club in 2006 (Nano Quest), which we did extremely well in. In fact, we got 1st place for Robot Performance (Highest Score) and 1st place for Programming. I think we only did so well, because I put in a LOT of long nights and weekends at my mentor’s garage the last couple of weekends before the state tournament. I also used a concept that I thought saved us a TON of time as well. We only had 1 program with all the missions in it (as My Blocks) and we had a set order of FLL missions we were going to complete. To transition from each mission, we just tapped the touch sensor after we had the robot lined up. I believe this helped us a lot, because if you watch kids, they fiddle through all their programs, wasting valuable time. After 2006, we participated in Power Puzzle, which was our last year. Luckly, I got my school’s TAG teacher involved and she started 3 teams at the middle school level, and has been going ever since.

I just registered to volunteer with this year’s state tournament which happens January 14th, 2012 to take photos or help out on the tech crew (we livestream ours with Extension’s Adobe Connect service). — Click here to find a link to the livestream if you are interested in watching as it gets closer.

Have you been involved with FLL? Do you have an interesting story?? Let me know!