4-H is a Brand Name: Protect It!

Florida 4-H: Northeast District

The logo, the font, the overall style of a brand, improves recognition and builds trust with clients.  Branding for 4-H is no exception.  The 4-H emblem is one of the most recognized logos in the world.  Knowing the strength of our brand, it is critical that we as professionals, take appropriate measures to protect that brand.

The Emblem:  Only produced in green (preferred), black, gold, or white, stem always pointing to the right, and never with anything obstructing the view of the entire emblem.  When using the emblem in print or online materials it should always retain its size ratio.  Read more at: 4-H Name and Emblem:  https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/resource/4-H%20Name%20and%20Emblem%20User%20Guide%202014.pdf

The Name:  USE THE HYPHEN!!!! (Phew, I got that out of my system).  The only appropriate way to write 4-H is… “4-H.”  “4H” or “Four-H” are incorrect.

The Pledge:  What if we added additional motions to the Pledge of…

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4-H Alum and Volunteer earns national ARHA honors!

We are so proud of this young lady and her accomplishments! Cody Jesse is a #4HAlumni and current volunteer. At the American Ranch Horse Association awards in Somerset, Kentucky, she received recognition as the Region 5 ARHA NA Champion & 2016 ARHA most improved. If ever there was an example of a #TrueLeader, Cody is it! #4heverywhere #4HGrowsHere #madco4h

Cody Jesse ARHA awards

Stress Management Series- Part 2 of 4

Per request we are publishing the “Stress Management” series published in our monthly column for the Madison Enterprise Recorder.

Part 2

As we discussed in last month’s column, teaching our youth stress management techniques can often be one of our most important jobs as an adult in their life.  But how can we expect our kids to do what we say if we don’t demonstrate positive behaviors and stress management in our own life?  Like the airplane instructions go, “First you put on your mask, then you assist your [child].”

So what are some ways we can be positive models of stress management?  Let’s take a look at some of the ways the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests dealing with holiday stress in particular.

APA suggests these tips to help parents effectively manage holiday stress:

  • Strengthen social connections– We know that strong, supportive relationships help us manage all kinds of challenges. So, we can view the holidays as a time to reconnect with the positive people in our lives. Accepting help and support from those who care about us can help alleviate stress. Also, volunteering at a local charity on our own or with family can be another way to make connections; helping others often makes us feel better, too.
  • Initiate conversations about the season– It can be helpful to have conversations with our kids about the variety of different holiday traditions our families, friends and others may celebrate. Parents can use this time as an opportunity to discuss how some families may not participate in the same holiday traditions as others. Not everyone needs to be the same. It is important to teach open-mindedness about others and their celebrations.
  • Set expectations– It is helpful to set realistic expectations for gifts and holiday activities. Depending on a child’s age, we can use this opportunity to teach kids about the value of money and responsible spending. We need to remember to pare down our own expectations, too. Instead of trying to take on everything, we need to identify the most important holiday tasks and take small concrete steps to accomplish them.
  • Keep things in perspective– On the whole, the holiday season is short. It helps to maintain a broader context and a longer-term perspective. We can ask ourselves, what’s the worst thing that could happen this holiday? Our greatest fears may not happen and, if they do, we can tap our strengths and the help of others to manage them. There will be time after the holiday season to follow up or do more of things we’ve overlooked or did not have the time to do during the holidays.
  • Take care of yourself– It is important that we pay attention to our own needs and feelings during the holiday season. We can find fun, enjoyable and relaxing activities for ourselves and our families. By keeping our minds and bodies healthy, we are primed to deal with stressful situations when they arise. Consider cutting back television viewing for kids and getting the family out together for fresh air and a winter walk. Physical activity can help us feel better and sleep well, while reducing sedentary time and possible exposure to stress-inducing advertisements.

Stress Management Series- Part 1 of 4

Per request we are publishing the “Stress Management” series published in our monthly column for the Madison Enterprise Recorder.

Part 1

Stress affects us all in different ways.  Some are more resilient to stressors while others are traumatically affected by the smallest of triggers.  According to the American Psychological Association, common symptoms of stress in youth include “feeling nervous or anxious, feeling tired, procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities, feeling overwhelmed, having negative thoughts and experiencing changes in sleeping habits. Problems with concentrating and changes in eating habits (eating too much or too little) are also linked to stress.”

So what can we do to help our youth manage their stressors a little better?  The most important thing adults can do is model healthy coping skills.  Just as everyone is affected by stress differently, each person finds different coping methods more effective than others.  If your child doesn’t benefit from the methods you find useful, don’t add more to their stressors by making them feel that they are doing something “wrong.” Help them seek out positive alternatives and activities.

The APA suggests the following methods for stress management in youth:

Move your body. 

Physical activity is one of the most effective stress busters. That doesn’t mean you have to go for a jog if you hate running. Find activities you enjoy and build them into your routine such as yoga, hiking, biking, skateboarding or walking. The best types of physical activities are those that have a social component. Whether you’re into team sports, or prefer kayaking or rollerblading with a friend or two, you’re more likely to have fun — and keep at it — if you’re being active with friends.

Get enough shut-eye. 

Between homework, activities and hanging with friends, it can be hard to get enough sleep, especially during the school week. Ideally, adolescents should get nine hours a night. Most teens, though, are getting less. According to APA’s Stress in America Survey, teens say they sleep an average of just 7.4 hours on a school night. That’s unfortunate, since sleep is key for both physical and emotional well-being. To maximize your chance of sleeping soundly, cut back on watching TV or engaging in a lot of screen time in the late evening hours. Don’t drink caffeine late in the day and try not to do stimulating activities too close to bedtime.

Strike a balance.

School is important, but it’s not everything. When you plan your week, schedule time to get schoolwork done, but also schedule time to have fun. When it’s time to enjoy yourself, try not to worry about school or homework. Focus on having fun.

Enjoy yourself. 

Besides physical activities, find other hobbies or activities that bring you joy. That might be listening to music, going to the movies or drawing. Make a point to keep doing these things even when you’re stressed and busy.

Let yourself shine. 

Spend some time really thinking about the things you’re good at, and find ways to do more of those things. If you’re a math ace, you might tutor a younger neighbor who’s having trouble with the subject. If you are a spiritual person, you might volunteer at your church. If you’re artistic, take a photography class. Focusing on your strengths will help you keep your stresses in perspective.

Talk through it. 

It’s so much easier to manage stress when you let others lend a hand. Talk to a parent, teacher or other trusted adult. They may be able to help you find new ways to manage stress. Or they may help put you in touch with a psychologist who is trained in helping people make healthy choices and manage stress.

Reflection Activities You Can Use Right NOW

Florida 4-H: Northeast District

Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model, used by 4-H, allows learners to construct their knowledge by reflecting on activities and then determining how to apply them in their lives.  With this being said, reflection isn’t just important, it’s critical.  An activity without reflection is just that- a fun activity.  We owe our learners more.

Reflection is important, but it’s also hard.  Fortunately there are a couple of great resources with ready-to-use reflection activities which can be used in your program right away.

Check out:

Building Your Program Quality 20 Minutes at a Time

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Even More Building Your Programs 20 Minutes at a Time

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Jennifer Nettles 4-H Alumni at Tallahassee Center December 9th

Jennifer Nettles is a 4-H Alumni and the National Spokesperson for 4-H.  She is a huge supporter of the 4-H program, because she found her “voice” through the 4-H performing arts project.  Since she supports us, we want to support her on December 9th, when she comes to the Tallahassee Center to promote her new Christmas Album.

Bring your 4-H pride and come vist the 4-H booth and watch Jennifer Nettles live at the Tallhaasee Center!

For tickets, visit

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/220051338CA87474?clickid=3xh0dXT0ZzRoQFtWLvVj73wgUkkTngxZs1wVw80&camefrom=CFC_BUYAT_253158&impradid=253158&REFERRAL_ID=tmfeedbuyat253158&wt.mc_id=aff_BUYAT_253158&utm_source=253158-Facebook-+TM&impradname=Facebook-+TM&utm_medium=affiliate&irgwc=1

jennifernettles_holiday_Can’t go but still want to offer support?  Please like and share the concert info on your FB page https://www.facebook.com/TallyPavilion.