Greetings during this chilly season!
As we reflect on the year and prepare for 2018, those of us in UI Extension 4-H Youth Development are excited about some milestones. The first is that we are celebrating one year of our 4-H Matters newsletter. We hope you are enjoying this new avenue for sharing information and we welcome your feedback. We appreciate the chance to share our successes and points of pride with you.
The other milestone is coming this February, when we will celebrate the 30th year of the Know Your Government Conference in Idaho. For 30 years youth from around the state have come together for this incredible hands-on experience to learn about state government. A celebration is being planned for Feb. 16; more details will come in January.
Thank you to those who make 4-H great throughout the year: the families, volunteers, donors and advocates. We look forward to seeing what we do together in 2018.
4-H Youth Development Program Director
Did You Know?
Know Your Government is celebrating its 30th anniversary! This annual conference allows youth to participate in hands-on workshops that teach them about state government and the Idaho judicial system. To ensure that this program continues into the future, please consider making a gift. You can impact the lives of youth across our state through your contribution.
Know Your Government's 30 Years of Citizenship
For the past 30 years, the UI Extension 4-H Youth Development program has helped Idaho youth learn more about state government and how they can make an impact on policies that affect their communities through the Know Your Government Conference (KYG). Held each Presidents Day weekend in Boise, KYG is designed to teach students in eighth and ninth grades about how state government decision-making works, how the state judicial system works and to let them observe the legislative process in action.
KYG began in Idaho in 1988 when Mary Jean Craig took an extension associate position with the UI Extension 4-H state office in Moscow. Craig had been serving as a UI Extension educator in Clearwater County where she helped to organize a community pride conference that included a mock legislative session.
“One of the reasons for starting it was that we had a buildup of money that Chevron had donated to the community pride program and it wasn’t being spent,” Craig said. “We needed to do something to use this money that was being donated. The Chevron representative was very interested in the KYG program that Washington was doing and really encouraged us to start one in Idaho.”
Creating ongoing programs
Craig began her new job in October 1987 and was expected to implement the first KYG conference in February 1988. A planning committee helped to organize the event, but Idaho state legislator Claud Judd proved to be an invaluable asset to the KYG program.
Judd had worked with Craig on the community pride conference in Clearwater County and was an active 4-H volunteer. He helped connect Craig with fellow legislators, and his wife Elvita agreed to serve on the first planning committee.
“It wasn’t really hard getting started because we had the connection with Claud,” Craig said. “He was contacting his fellow legislators. From the very beginning we had very good support from the legislators. Cecil Andrus was the governor at the time and he had started out in Clearwater County and knew the Judds very well. We had kind of an ‘in’ there to get him involved too.”
The first KYG program was capped at 100 4-H’ers, but Craig quickly saw that this was a program that could be around for a while.
“We didn’t realize what kind of interest there would be in this,” Craig said. “We filled our 100 spots quickly. We had some Boise area kids who were there waiting to see if anyone didn’t show up. I’m very pleased that it is still going on.”
Today, each county can send two delegates for a total of 175 youth participants.
The first year of KYG focused on the legislative program which features mock committee meetings with guidance from legislators followed by a mock legislative session. The judicial program, which features mock trials, was added during the second year of KYG.
“The second year, kids wanted to come back,” Craig said. “Well, you have to have something different to offer them.”
Craig discovered that one of the KYG chaperones, Jack Varin, was a judge. She enlisted his help with setting up the judicial program and he served as the judicial coordinator for several years.
A generation gets involved
Since the beginning, KYG has been offered to eighth and ninth graders.
“One of our goals was to try to help young people learn about government,” Craig said. “For most of them, they hadn’t taken government in school yet. We wanted to help them get involved in government, in their communities, before they got apathetic.”
Nearly 5,000 Idaho youth have benefited from the KYG program over the past 30 years. While not all KYG alumni have gone on to careers in government, the delegation from 1988 does include a current Idaho state senator, a magistrate judge, a city treasurer and a commander in the U.S. Coast Guard.
“It was a wonderful program, I enjoyed it very much,” Craig said. “We’ve always had really good support from the legislators in Idaho and the judges. I don’t know how that compares to other states, but we’ve always had good support.”
The 2018 event will celebrate 30 years of impact, including an evening reception on Friday, Feb. 16 at the Red Lion Hotel in Boise for all KYG alumni.
Save the Date:
KYG Alumni Reception
- Friday, Feb. 16, 2018
- 6 p.m.
- Red Lion Hotel Downtowner, Boise
- Join us to celebrate 30 years of impact of the Know Your Government Conference at a reception in Boise.
Details and formal invitations to come.
Hall of Fame Inductees
Twelve honorees who have made significant contributions to the University of Idaho Extension 4-H Youth Development program were inducted into the Idaho 4-H Hall of Fame at an awards ceremony held in Pocatello on Nov. 4.
The 2017 inductees include: Bud and Betty Allen, Elmore County; Marie Baucum, Gooding County; Roxanne Berheim, Twin Falls County; Sharon Bradley, Custer County; Betty Campbell, Idaho County; Beth Kienitz Carter, Gem/Boise County; Dixie Christensen, Canyon County; Julie Kerner, Washington County; Mary Kay Law, Nez Perce County; Arlinda Nauman, Latah County; and Linda Webb, Ada County.
Bud and Betty Allen mentored three generations of youth as 4-H volunteers in Elmore County. In the late 1980’s, Bud created a Ranch Horse Training video for National 4-H Council. The couple opened their home and gave time to any youth wanting to learn and were true 4-H mentors, leaders and supporters. Bud Allen passed away in 2009.
Marie Baucum’s 4-H career began when she joined a 4-H club in Salmon when she was 10. She became a volunteer leader when her two daughters became 4-H members. After six years as a volunteer, Baucum began working in the UI Extension, Gooding County office. She worked there for 23 years before retiring in 2011. Baucum continues to be involved with 4-H, once again as a volunteer.
Roxanne Berheim has been a 4-H volunteer in Twin Falls County for 25 years. She has served on county, district, state and national levels and is currently the 4-H poultry superintendent and a member of the junior market animal sale board. At the national level, she has served as a coach at the National 4-H Shooting Sports competition and is level two certified to teach archery, pistol and hunting to other 4-H volunteers throughout the state.
Sharon Bradley was active in 4-H growing up in Montpelier and has been a part of Idaho 4-H for over 54 years. For the past 28 years, Bradley has been a 4-H volunteer and since 1998 she has attended the Horse 4-H Camp in Alpine, Wyoming where she teaches trail classes and forestry sessions. She was awarded the Idaho 4-H Leaders' Association Distinguished Service Award in 2004 for her years of service and leadership to Idaho 4-H.
Since 1974, first as a 4-H member in Idaho County and now as a volunteer, Betty Campbell has led by example and taught many youth about horsemanship. She has taken 4-H members to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Texas and New Mexico for 4-H Horse Bowl and 4-H Horse Judging, each time organizing fundraisers so all members could participate, regardless of their economic situation.
Beth Kientz Carter began her 4-H involvement in 1979 as a 4-H member and for the past 27 years has been involved as a volunteer, mentor and friend of 4-H. She chaired the Idaho 4-H Distinguished Service Award committee for seven years and has been a representative on U of I’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Advisory Board and the UI Extension Advisory Board. She also served on the Know Your Government planning committee for 26 years.
Dixie Christensen was a 4-H member in Kuna, starting with a dairy calf project before switching to the horse project when it was introduced to Idaho 4-H when she was 13. Since then, she has been a 4-H horse leader in Idaho and Oregon and has been a certified 4-H horse judge for more than 20 years.
Julie Kerner was a longtime volunteer and a 4-H member in her youth. She served as a 4-H leader in Washington County for 13 years before she passed away earlier this year. Over the years she served in leadership roles for the Washington County 4-H Leaders Council and volunteered for anything needed within the program.
Mary Kay Law has been actively involved in promoting 4-H in Nez Perce County for 45 years. She helps with community pride projects, has helped facilitate Leaders Forums and also helped write a sewing curriculum.
Arlinda Nauman served as the state director for the UI Extension 4-H Youth Development program for 24 years. She was a 4-H member in Oklahoma and became involved in Extension in Oklahoma and South Dakota before coming to Idaho in 1988. Nauman expanded programming and established 4-H after-school programming while at U of I and also secured over $7 million in grants.
Linda Webb was a 10 year 4-H member and 15 year 4-H volunteer before becoming an Extension educator and then specialist in Valley County. She has served as the Friends of 4-H President and is currently an alternate director for the U of I Retirees Association. Webb retired from U of I in 2008 and was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2013.
This was the sixth induction into the Idaho 4-H Hall of Fame. The first ceremony was held in 2002 and included 100 4-H volunteers. Since then, new honorees have been inducted every three years.
Training Wild Mustangs
The words “wild mustang” often conjure up images of free-roaming horses cantering across a high desert or Old West cowboys hanging on to bucking beasts.
Now, University of Idaho Extension 4-H Youth Development horse project participants in Idaho and other Western states are changing this image by gentling mustang weanlings for public adoption in as little as six to 10 weeks.
Hundreds of horses adopted
The 4-H mustang project started in 2009 when the and the UI Extension 4-H program created a partnership and invited 4-H youth ages 12 to 18 to participate in a project to gentle captive weanling mustangs being held in BLM facilities. The project benefits the BLM by increasing the adoption of young mustangs and helps 4-H youth learn about horse behavior, communication and training, as well as participate in community service.
Since its beginning, the project has secured adoptive homes for 288 horses and raised $28,540 for the participating horse 4-H clubs in Idaho.
Idaho County youth bring challenge north
The UI Extension, Idaho County 4-H Lively Livestock Horse Project started working with wild mustangs in 2016. Three youth have participated in the project the past two summers and have earned the Trail Challenge Championship two years in a row at the Western Idaho Fair in Boise.
“Mustangs feel your energy and are better at reading you than you are of reading them, at least at first,” said Stacy Van Steenwyk, Lively Livestock’s horse project volunteer. “This incredible project pushes participants to study their horse and listen to what it's telling them with its body language. Trainers must read their horse and adjust their actions in order to even get close enough to touch them at first. The trust between trainer and horse is wonderful to witness.”
The first year of the project was funded by donations from volunteers, but with the sale of two yearlings, the club raised $975 to support another mustang in 2018. Traveling back and forth to Boise is the most expensive part of the project, followed by feed expenses.
Once 4-H horse project members select and transport their mustang home, the gentling process begins using least-resistance methods. Training consists of, at a minimum, gentling the horse enough to be able to halter and lead, pick up its feet and load in a trailer. After a period of six to 10 weeks, the mustang is transported to the Western Idaho Fair, where members show their horse in a Trail Challenge as well as other classes, such as showmanship and quality. Members also talk with fair visitors and potential adopters about their experience training their horse. The project ends with a competitive bid auction and the mustang is homed with a pre-approved adopter. Proceeds from the auction, minus a BLM fee, are distributed directly to the 4-H club.
The Lively Livestock Horse Project members' first goal was to develop a consistent training plan that was in line with least-resistance objectives. For three people to train one horse cohesively, they had to agree to follow through with a pre-approved plan and be willing to work as a training team. The challenge for the 4-H volunteer is helping youth to become trainers and ensure consistency without doing the training themselves.
Van Steenwyk’s goal is to bring the 4-H mustang project to more participants in North Idaho. She wants to find a venue to replicate what Southern Idaho clubs are doing and introduce the versatile mustang to the northern part of the state.
Interested horse project volunteers can apply for participation in the 4-H mustang project by contacting their local UI Extension office.