4-H and FFA Reminders


1. 4-H Achievement Event will be Sunday, January 11 at the Oakland Auditorium beginning at 4:00 p.m. More details to come!
2. 4-H and FFA Market Beef Weigh Day, Saturday, January 24 at Johnnie Johnson’s show barn from 8:30-11:00 a.m. Keep this in mind as you are getting your project animals.
3. Need an extra Christmas gift idea? Tickets for the Burt County Fair Foundation Fundraiser are now available at the Extension office and local banks. The event is Saturday, February 28 at the Tekamah Auditorium. Don’t miss out on the fun!

Doing Something New


Have you recently done something you’ve never done before? Children are always trying something new…always learning. As we age, doing something different often becomes the exception rather than the rule.

 

We get stuck in our own little routines…or deep ruts for some of us. Often we avoid the opportunity to try something different. We go to the same restaurants, often ordering the same foods; we shop at the same stores, buy the same items, make the same recipes; work our same jobs, go to kids events and do our regular chores. Believe me, I’m in this rut too…until just the other day.

 

After attending Sunday services at Alder Grove United Methodist Church (where I’ve been a member for nearly 35 years and my husband and family have been lifetime members) I noticed the church yard was in serious need of mowing. This has never been a job I’ve done for the church…matter of fact…there are precious few people that have done this job in the LONG history of the congregation. Marion Loftis was the champion of all grounds-keepers as he faithfully mowed for probably 60 plus years with his wife Gladys by his side trimming. You can bet he wasn’t using a riding mower all those years either!

 

Of course there have been a few other mowers after Marion including Bob Anderson, for about 10 years and a few other “part timers” like me and they are all very much appreciated. It just happened that the yard needed mowing and I knew our current “mower man” Mike Nowacki was out of town, so I decided I could mow once. Well, if you know the Alder Grove Church grounds, it’s not just a simple little yard…there is a cemetery in the church yard, and of course trees, and a fence, a ramp, an outhouse (probably the newest one in Burt County) and of course tombstones! YIKES!

 

When you do something new you wonder “How do I do this? What are the rules, the guidelines, and the methods?” My biggest question was “Where do I start?” and then it became…”Where do I stop?” When mowing at home I know if I haven’t mowed there this year and it’s overgrown that means I SHOULD NOT mow there or I’ll be paying for mower repairs. At the church it was a new game plan because you don’t know the risks or the boundaries for sure. I figured the fence was my guiding edge, but I was wrong…there was mowing on the other side of the fence, including the field road!

 

Then you find out about the risks…how close you can or should be to the fence, if my big mower will fit between ____ and ____ (fill in the blanks) and then you look back and realize you just mowed over a large concrete hole!  Oh, not just one…at least 7 of them!

It turns out they were used to hold the hitching posts to tie up the horses, etc. when they came to church. I would have loved to see that!

 

Here I am, riding along in the sunshine on the windy hillside, watching fluffy clouds against the bright blue sky as the background for the pretty white church. I couldn’t help feeling so incredibly peaceful taking in all this beauty. Of course that was on the South side of the church…the North and West sides were pounded with hail this past June and the siding, windows and roof tell the sad story.

 

The history of the church and especially the cemetery made this job especially interesting, as well as challenging. Mowing around tombstones marking deaths in 1880 and before. Wondering why so many young children died and feeling a little uneasy driving over the graves of the fathers and mothers of this church community. Was I reverent enough as I mowed? What could they tell me about Alder Grove in those days? (Not that I wanted any of them to speak up while I mowed!)

 

With a little help from my husband Steve and Marge Sommerer (who stopped by to make sure everything was tuned off after services that day) we got some of the heaviest grass swept up (she had brooms, not rakes, but we made do) and it looked much better…after four hours of effort.

 

Considering this job is just one of many that keeps this and any church going I’m trying to decide how to share this renewed appreciation with the Jr.-Sr. High Sunday School class we teach. We may be doing a project of some sort to enhance their appreciation as well!

 

Doing something new has its risks, but it also has its rewards. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Be a little more child-like!

 

As Nate Berkus an interior designer and TV personality said: “You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.

 

 

Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930

Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis Visits Science Class


Fifth graders in Holly Loftis’s science class had another Mrs. Loftis visit their classroom last week. Mary Loftis, UNL Extension Assistant brought in her groundwater flow models and discussed how water moves through the ground as well as the hydrologic cycle. Watching the groundwater demonstration were: Alex Davis, Addisen Regalado, Maddy Jacobs, Kailey Voss, Carson Lavaley, Aubrynn Sheets, Noel Monif, and partially hidden, Kaleb Quick. Photo courtesy of Mary Loftis.

Fifth graders in Holly Loftis’s science class had another Mrs. Loftis visit their classroom last week.
Mary Loftis, UNL Extension Assistant brought in her groundwater flow models and discussed how water moves through the ground as well as the hydrologic cycle.
Watching the groundwater demonstration were: Alex Davis, Addisen Regalado, Maddy Jacobs, Kailey Voss, Carson Lavaley, Aubrynn Sheets, Noel Monif, and partially hidden, Kaleb Quick. Photo courtesy of Mary Loftis.

4-H Adventure Day Camp


By Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant

UNL Extension in Burt and Cuming County joined together to host the 4-H Adventure Day Camp in Neligh Park in West Point Thursday, June 5.

34 Campers had the opportunity to get a taste of what a true 4-H camp can be during this day camp experience. Ten teen counselors from both counties helped supervise the campers, assisted with workshops, played games and in general, made the camp memorable for the participants. Behind the scenes the Cuming County Adventure Day Camp Committee worked to provide meals, snacks and help with activities.

Adventures awaiting the campers included workshops on:

Electrical Safety, presented by Nikki White of the Cuming County Public Power District;

Leaf Printing presented by UNL Extension Assistant, Kelli Lechtenberg;

Building a Bird House and Wildlife Tracks sessions led by UNL Extension Educator, Debra Schroeder and Sarah Herzinger.

Food Science Activities and making Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag sessions led by UNL Extension Assistant, Mary Loftis;

Introduction to Entomology presented by Erin Ingram and Ivy Orellano of the UNL Department of Entomology and canoeing which was led by Cory Krause, Conservation Officer of the Nebraska Game and Parks.

It was a full day of fun and education for everyone involved and hopefully the campers will decide to attend one of the many multiple day camps offered at the Nebraska 4-H Camps near Gretna and Halsey, NE. If you’d like more information on these camps (4-H membership is not a requirement to attend) please call the UNL Extension Office at 402-374-2929 or go to the Nebraska 4-H Camp website at: http://4h.unl.edu/4hcamps

Part of the Food Science workshop at the Adventure Day Camp found these 4-H members experiencing inertia and gravity. Madison Mandel, Reese Hansen and Sami Linder watching the eggs experience gravity and drop safely in the glass of water after they provided the unbalanced force to change inertia (hitting) the pie tin and toilet paper tube out from underneath them. Photo Credit/Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant.

Part of the Food Science workshop at the Adventure Day Camp found these 4-H members experiencing inertia and gravity. Madison Mandel, Reese Hansen and Sami Linder watching the eggs experience gravity and drop safely in the glass of water after they provided the unbalanced force to change inertia (hitting) the pie tin and toilet paper tube out from underneath them. Photo Credit/Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant.

Alex Davis of Tekamah gets help from Jordan Fullner as she makes a bird house at the 4-H Adventure Camp.  Photo Credit/Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant.

Alex Davis of Tekamah gets help from Jordan Fullner as she makes a bird house at the 4-H Adventure Camp.
Photo Credit/Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant.

The Storm and its Aftermath/4-H Reminders


Everyone has their “storm stories” from last week and they are all interesting to hear. Thankfully except for a few minor injuries, the main damage has just been “stuff”. But, when it comes to cleaning up, and trying to replace this “stuff” we face the hard part.

The financial damage of the storms will continue to cause impact this year and for years down the road. Decisions must be made: whether to replant crops or not; what kind of tree to replant which might hold up better during future storms; and how or who can you trust to repair, refurbish and/or remodel damage. Of course insurance rates will likely go up after having so many claims in an area and/or individuals may choose to increase the amount of insurance they carry.

Emotional damage is also real. Our feelings of safety and security have been challenged. We experienced real fear and danger and it will be a long time before many of us take storm warnings for granted like we tend to do.

Our communities will be scarred for a long time from the damage, but what is strange to me is how after things get cleaned up it’s hard to remember what it looked like before.  We lost some big grain bins in Craig. After the crushed metal was cleared away, all that’s left are giant concrete foundation circles. It’s hard for me to imagine how it used to look. Maybe its “amnesia” and probably not necessarily a good thing, but it helps me face the future and not dwell on the past.

Hopefully everyone impacted by the storms will be able to successfully recover from its effects in as short of time as possible. And thanks to ALL who helped with the recovery, from volunteers to those employed to help with clean-up, and repair, to insurance adjustors and all the power company people and many, many more. Taking a shower by candlelight sounds better than it really was, but the hot water held out!

 

Quick 4-H Reminders:

June 16 – Aquaculture & Fishing Workshop Dodge County Extension Office, Fremont 10:00 a.m. -2:30 p.m. Registration deadline is June 11.

June 17 – Experiment with Color Composition Workshop, Creative Connections, Oakland 1:00-3:00 p.m. Registration deadline is June 11.

June 17 – Dodge County Family Livestock Judging Clinic & Contest, Masonic-Eastern Star Home for Children, Leonard A. Johnson Building, 2415 North Main Street, Fremont. 6:00 Judging Clinic, 7:00 Judging Contest.

June 19-20 – Making Money Camp, Burt County Fairgrounds, Oakland.  Registration deadline is June 11.

June 24 – Patriotic T-shirt Workshop, Creative Connections, Oakland 1:00-2:30 p.m. Registration deadline is June 19.

June 26 – Let’s Paint Workshop, 4-H Kitchen, Burt County Fairgrounds, 9:00-Noon Registration deadline is June 19.

July 1 – Clover Kid Camp (ages 5-7) 9:00-Noon or 1:00-4:00 Burt County Fairgrounds, Oakland, Registration deadline is June 25.

If you have any questions about these activities please call the UNL Extension Office in Burt County at 402-374-2929.

 

 

Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

Beware of Online Summer Vacation Rental Scams


By Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

Planning you summer vacation? The internet is a budget conscious planner’s best friend, but watch out for these typical rental scams.

Craigslist Cons:

Con artists will lift a legitimate ad from Craigslist or another website, attract attention by adding a bargain-basement rental price, including a fake email address, and then ask prospective renters to wire money or send a prepaid debit card for a security deposit.

 

Only in Your Dreams:

With budget rates attached to a too-good-to-be-true listing, scammers try to get your money before you find out the property just doesn’t exist.

 

Full Service Fraud:

In more advanced scams, scammers create entire websites highlighting a variety of rental properties around the world at attractive prices. The sites come complete with detailed photos and descriptions of the properties, information on local attractions, renter testimonials, and currency exchange calculators.

What to Do:

  • Use a reputable website, travel agency, or online broker to find your rental.
  • Do your research and check that the person offering the rental is the actual owner, and verify that the address is real.  For example, use Google image search to see if the photos in the listing are actually duplicates, and search for the actual street address to see what comes up.
  • Never wire money; paying with PayPal or a credit card can offer some extra security.
  • Beware of below-market rate rental offers. Understandably, consumers will be tempted to act quickly to take advantage of a “great” deal. Con artists depend on that.
  • Be wary when a property owner claims to be outside of the United States.
  • Try to get referrals from friends who might have some vacation properties they can recommend and are familiar with.

Never respond to an email offering vacation rentals to avoid common phishing schemes.

If you’ve been scammed, notify local law enforcement and your Attorney General. Go here to find out where to report fraud and be sure to warn others by telling your story on our Fraud Watch map.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of identity theft or fraud, contact the AARP Foundation Fraud Fighter Center at 877-908-3360 or the Nebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) and Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-800-234-7119.

 

 

Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930

Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

Spring 4-H Bounty


 It’s spring and that means a bounty of spring 4-H activities are on the agenda.  Here’s a quick rundown you can transfer to your family activity calendar so you don’t miss anything. If you have any questions or need to pre-register please call UNL Extension in Burt County at 402-374-2929.

 

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

Monday, April 21: 4-H Public Speaking Contest, Noon pre-registration deadline or will be dropped a ribbon. The contest will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Presbyterian Church in Tekamah.

 

Saturday, April 26: 4-H Favorite Foods Contest, Pre-entry due by Noon, Friday, April 25. The contest will be held at the Craig Fire Hall with setup at 9:45 a.m. and judging at 10:00 a.m.

 

Saturday, May 3: 4-H Bicycle Rodeo, Pre-entry due by Noon, Friday, May 2.  At least 3 participants must be registered to hold this contest. The contest will be held in the First Evangelical Lutheran Church parking lot in Oakland right off Hwy 77 beginning at 10:00 a.m.

 

Thursday, May 22 – Tagging Day for all sheep, goats, feeder and bucket calves. Tagging and ID sheets will be completed at the Burt County Fairgrounds from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Please bring $1.00 per 4-H tag needed. FFA tags need to be obtained from your FFA advisor. If you are unable to attend you may purchase 4-H ear tags in the Extension office, tag your own animals and have the ID sheet checked by having John or Mary verify the information by driving the animals to the Burt County Courthouse before the June 1 identification deadline. Please call the UNL Extension office at: 402-374-2929 to make sure someone is available to check your animals before you make a special trip to town with them.

 

Thursday, May 22: Regional Speech Contest, Norfolk or Lincoln for those who qualify at the county contest.

 

Tuesday- Friday, May 27-30: Robotics Camp –9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Designed for youth ages10-12. Registration fee $20 (Burt County 4-H members only pay $10.) The camp will be held at the Tekamah Auditorium in Tekamah.

 

Monday, June 2 – Deadline day to have all 4-H and FFA ID sheets in Extension Office, as well as 4-H enrollment and project forms completed and returned to the office. Call 402-374-2929 if you have any project changes you would like to make.

 

Not involved with the 4-H program yet?  We can fix that! Give us a call at the UNL Extension Office in Burt County at 402-374-2929. We don’t want anyone to miss out on any of the bounty of 4-H spring activities.

 

 

Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930

Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

Babysitting Clinic Being Offered


UNL Extension is offering a free Babysitting Clinic for any students in grades 3-6 across the county. This three session clinic will be held April 8, 10 and 15 in the Oakland City Auditorium in Oakland. Sessions will run from 3:45-5:00 p.m. each of the days. Participants must attend all three sessions to receive their Babysitting Clinic Certificate. All students in this age group are encouraged to attend. Call the UNL Extension Office at 402-374-2929 to pre-register by Noon, Tuesday, April 8.

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis,
Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929
Fax: (402) 374-2930
Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

Fake IRS Scam Sweeping the Nation


A fast moving phone scam called the largest of its kind is targeting taxpayers across the country. Victims have reported threats of arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.

What makes this timely scam so tricky? The scammers impersonate Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents and demand payment for taxes owed, and often:
know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number;
make caller ID appear as if the IRS is calling;
send follow-up bogus IRS emails to support their scam; and
call a second time claiming to be the police or Department of Motor Vehicles, and caller ID again supports their claim.

The IRS usually contacts people by mail not by phone about unpaid taxes.
The IRS won’t ask for payment using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer, nor will they involve law enforcement or immigration agencies.

WHAT TO DO:
If you or a family member receives one of these calls, your best bet is to hang up. But if you do get into a conversation, do not give anyone money or credit card information over the phone and don’t trust callers who use threats or insults to bully you.

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

NEXT STEPS:
Report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments in your complaint.

If you owe or think you owe federal taxes, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to verify information. For more information, visit http://www.irs.gov.

Please help spread the word about this tax season scam by sharing this information with your friends and family.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of identity theft or fraud, contact the AARP Foundation Fraud Fighter Center at 1-800-646-2283.

Mary Loftis,
Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929
Fax: (402) 374-2930
Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

4-H Leader Banquet and Upcoming Activities


By Mary Loftis

Extension Assistant
4-H Leaders and 4-H Council members from across Burt County met Sunday evening, March 23 for the Burt County 4-H Leader Banquet. Although many of the 4-H leaders were unable to attend, those that did were treated to a wonderful roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy meal with all the fixings prepared by Donna Preston.
The evening started off with the introduction of 4-H leaders, 4-H council members UNL Extension staff and guests via the use of anagrams. An anagram uses the letters of a name or phrase and rearranges them to make other words or ideas. For example the words “Leader Training” can be rearranged to say: Gala Dinner Rite, Endearing Trail or Arterial Ending. (As good as Donna’s gravy was, that is very possible!) The last anagram before the meal was “Ale Test” which was “Let’s Eat!”

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

Throughout the evening, thanks were expressed to the 4-H leaders for their commitment to the program, but not nearly as much appreciation was shared as there should have been. Without our 4-H leaders, the 4-H program simply would NOT be and we thank each and every one of our 4-H leaders for their many years of dedication to the program.
The guest speaker for the evening was Lisa Kaslon, the Northeast District 4-H Youth Program Coordinator. She outlined the newly revised 4-H Policy Handbook and helped make the 4-H leaders, council members and staff aware of several changes which could affect them and the total 4-H program.
During the evening I made several announcements attempting to update and remind the 4-H leaders of activities and events coming up which may be important to their 4-H members. Some of these were:
· Burt County Beef Preview on Saturday, April 5 on the Burt County Fairgrounds in Oakland.
· 4-H Public Speaking Contest, April 21 with workshops offered on March 31 in Tekamah and April 1 in Lyons.
· Favorite Foods Day Contest, April 26 at the Craig Fire Hall. A new portion of this contest is a team event featuring the use of technology along with the traditional table setting favorite food and meal planning. More details will be shared in the 4-H Newsletter.
· Tagging day will be May 22 in Oakland at the fairgrounds from 3:00-6:00 p.m.
· Livestock Quality Assurance training modules need to be completed and turned in to the Extension Office by June 10.
· Early-bird registration for all 4-H camps is April 15 to receive a 10% discount.
Many thanks go out to the Burt County 4-H Council for sponsoring this event.

Eggs Needed for Embryology Project
It’s time to make plans for the 4-H School Enrichment Embryology project, but unless I can find a supplier for the fertile eggs I need it might be a “chickless” year. If you know of someone who has chickens and roosters and is willing to sell the eggs to the 4-H program please let me know.
In addition, I’ve had a request for baby ducks by the Lyons-Decatur High School. They would like to reintroduce ducks to the local park pond. If anyone has both drakes and hens I’d like to attempt to hatch duck eggs for the Lyons 3rd grade embryology project.
If you’ve got any leads on potential egg suppliers please give me a call at the UNL Extension Office at 402-374-2929 or leave a message if after hours by pressing 214 when the voicemail message comes on. Thanks in advance!

Mary Loftis,
Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929
Fax: (402) 374-2930
Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

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