4th Annual 4-H Day with the Gators

Florida Gator vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

The Florida Gator Ticket Office is proud to announce a special discounted ticket offer for the 4-H community, their family, and friends! 4-H Day with the Gators will take place on Saturday, September 30th, against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Tickets are on a first come, first served basis and seats are extremely limited. Get yours today to help support Florida 4-H!

Seats in the Upper South End Zone: $35.

Seats in the Upper North End Zone: $20

Use 4HGATORS in the promo code box at:


How to Register for 4-H

The new 4-H year is almost here!  We are looking forward to welcoming back old members and volunteers and introducing any new faces to the fascinating world of 4-H.  Here are some things you should know to get started:

Youth and Volunteers may register for the new 4-H Year beginning August 17th.  Please go to http://florida.4honline.com and create a new account for your family if you are new members OR login with your family’s account information and follow the re-enrollment instructions for each member.  You will be prompted during the enrollment process to pay your membership fee of $20.  Members are not accepted or enrolled until fee is received.  If a membership fee is a barrier for any youth to join 4-H, please contact Becky Bennett at the Extension Office for more information.

Youth Members

  • Must be 5 to 18 years old as of September 1, 2017; youth with an IEP will be eligible through age 21.
  • Register EACH 4-H year to be a member.
  • You will either be a Cloverbud (5-7 yr olds), Junior (8-10 yr olds), Intermediate (11-13 yr olds), or Senior (14-18 yr olds).
  • Choose a club(s) to participate in and attend at least 75% of the meetings to be considered a member in good standing.
  • Pick a project(s) to explore for the year and present your discoveries at club meetings and County Events.
  • Turn in your project(s) and/or record book(s) at the end of the 4-H year. These are due on the first Friday of August each year.
  • Contact the Madison County Extension Office to start your adventure today!!

Teen Members (13-18 yrs old)

  • Follow registration procedures listed above.
  • Encouraged to be a member of the 4-H Leaders of the Legacy leadership club, attend at least 75% of all meetings, and attend all Camp Counselor trainings in order to attend 4-H Camp Cherry Lake.
  • Earn volunteer hours by assisting with 4-H events and activities.
  • Become eligible for scholarships and Senior 4-H events.
  • Become a mentor for younger 4-H members and help continue the Legacy of 4-H to Make the Best Better!

Adult Members

  • Must be 21 years old or older for supervisory roles. Roles under the supervisor may be filled by persons 19+ years old.
  • Register EACH 4-H year to be a volunteer.
  • Required background check and screening for all volunteers. Fingerprinting required for certain volunteer roles. Complete all training requirements.
  • Adhere to 4-H policies and procedures as well as all Florida laws and statutes. Youth safety and positive development through adult partnerships are our top priorities and we expect all volunteers to help us achieve these goals.
  • Participate in 4-H events, Club meetings, and activities throughout the year to support our youth and their program.
  • Volunteer in roles that utilize your best skills with time commitments you are able to make. Remember this is a yearlong commitment to our youth and their program. We have use for volunteers in all capacities and time commitments, so check with the 4-H Office to see how you can help!
  • Contact the Madison County Extension Office to start shaping our youth into the generation of tomorrow!

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane season always makes Florida residents start thinking about if their family is prepared in case of an emergency, but we should be taking steps year round to ensure our safety and the safety of our loved ones.  Instead of waiting until hurricane season to start or replenish your family emergency kit, try adding a few things each month.  This will keep you from having to spend a lot of money at one time and allow you to purchase items at their best sale price.  To help you and your family get started I’ve put together a list of items you may want to include.  Remember to get the whole family involved so they know what is in the box and what it should be used for; most importantly what they should do in case of an emergency.  If you have small kids at home, hold an emergency drill once every month or two; this will keep them (mostly) calm in an emergency situation because they know where to go and what to do!

72 Hour Emergency Kit Starter Items:

Month 1– Container for supplies, 1 flash light per person with extra batteries, current family or individual photos labeled, emergency exit route (laminated), important phone numbers list (laminated), current list of medications and allergies (laminated), $20 cash in various bills (remember power failure makes debit/credit card machines inoperable)

Month 2– Toiletry items, blankets, paper towels, can opener, candles & matches, $20 cash in various bills

Month 3– First Aid kit, bottled and jugs of water, canned/instant food items, small pot, propane camping grill, $20 cash in various bills

Month 4– One change of clothes per family member plus extra under garments, garbage bags, hand sanitizer, $20 cash in various bills, limited entertainment (playing cards, paper, pens, toys for little ones, etc.)

These items should be adapted to meet the needs and size of your family.  Always remember to replenish the kit (especially perishable items!) either at the end or beginning of each hurricane season so you are always prepared.


Originally published in our monthly column for the Madison Enterprise Recorder.

Water Safety!

Summer is here and that means it’s time to get in the water!  Beaches, springs, rivers, lakes, pools, and rain puddles there isn’t a limit for water activities in Florida.  That’s why teaching our children (and reminding ourselves) the importance of water safety is critical.  No matter how young or old, everyone should have a basic understanding of how to stay safe in and near the water as well as looking out for the safety of others.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ready.gov, and the American Red Cross all provide tips on staying safe in all types of water conditions.  Here are a few to remember as water levels are high and summer water activities ramp up.

Flood Safety:

  1. Avoid flooded streets or water running across a road. Water is deceptive and is often deeper and stronger than it appears.  Flood water poses drowning risks for everyone, regardless of their ability to swim. Swiftly moving shallow water can be deadly, and even shallow standing water can be dangerous for small children.  Remember “Turn around, don’t drown!”
  2. Vehicles do not provide adequate protection from flood waters. They can be swept away or may stall in moving water.
  3. Roads may still be closed because they have been damaged or are covered by water. Barricades have been placed for your protection. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, go another way.
  4. Be alert and avoid contact with displaced animals, insects, and reptiles due to flood waters or storms.
  5. Be cautious if you have to cross standing waters as flood waters may contain sharp objects, such as glass or metal fragments, that can cause injury and lead to infection.
  6. Do not drink water from standing puddles or flooded areas as these may be contaminated and contain infectious diseases and/or chemicals.
  7. Avoid downed power lines, especially near water. The risk for electrical shock is even greater near water.


Water Activity Safety:

  1. Be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  2. Always wear a lifejacket when enjoying a watercraft activity.
  3. Maintain active supervision within arm’s length of children around any type of water. NEVER leave children unsupervised even for a minute!
  4. Be aware of current water and weather conditions such as approaching storms, tide times, undertow, currents, wind advisory, chop levels, sudden drop offs, etc.
  5. Stay vigilant of watercraft nearby when in the water. These crafts are bigger and move faster than you and often cannot spot a swimmer in the water until it is too late.
  6. While operating a watercraft, be aware of smaller craft and persons in the water. Look for buoys indicating a dive site as well.
  7. Never dive into a body of water unless the depth is known. Water is deceptive and is often deeper than it appears.
  8. Follow posted swimming guidelines and obey flags and orders of stationed lifeguards.
  9. No basic first aid and CPR procedures in case of an emergency.
  10. Never go into a body of water (man-made or natural) alone. Always make sure more than one person knows where you are and establish check-in times.

Originally published in our monthly column for the Madison Enterprise Recorder.

Suwannee Valley Open House Twilight Field Day, May 2nd


We would like to invite all of you to join the Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center to our upcoming Open House Twilight Field Day on the evening of Tuesday May 2nd   from 5pm to 8:30pm.

We have divided the evening into five tour options and you will be able to join any two of the five tours during the event. The tours include: Agronomic Crops, Vegetable Crops, Greenhouse / Hydroponics, Whole Farm Integrated Pest Management, and Diversified Fruit Orchard Crops. Each tour will give a brief overview of the research and demonstration activities being conducted at this Center.  In addition, youth ages 5-18 can join a Youth Tour that will include an introduction to Florida 4-H with some activities like taste testing, entomology, and a couple of other surprises. This event is open not only to farmers but to the community and to anyone in the region interested in learning about what we do.

The cost is $5, and admission is free for children less than 5 years of age (dinner is included).

Registration is required.

Online registration is available at http://www.2017twilight.eventbrite.com or https://tinyurl.com/l5hjhww

For more information see the attached flyer or contact Dilcia Toro at (386)362-1725 ext. 102 or svaec@ifas.ufl.edu

Please share this information with anyone you think might be interested.

2017Twilight Field Day Flyer


We love our TedTalks at Madison 4-H! Be sure to check out this informational article on TedxTeen, a Ted site molded for our youth.

Florida 4-H: Northeast District

Love TED Talks but looking for something that resonates even more with your 4-H youth?

Enter TEDxTeen.  Talks especially designed with teens in mind.  Check them out at:  www.tedxteen.com

How can you use TED Talks?

  •  To teach public speaking.  A great way to allow 4-H members to critique other speakers.
  • To learn new skills.   The magnitude of the scientific TED Talks available is mind-boggling.
  • To motivate.  Are you about to teach bullying prevention to 4-H camp counselors?  Find a video that paints the importance of looking out for one another.
  • To continue a conversation.  Have you been discussing the value of leadership in 4-H County Council meetings?  How about assigning a TED Talk of the month, and dedicate a few minutes of each meeting to discussion on how 4-H’ers can apply what they learned to their own leadership style.
  • Search TED-ed for lesson plans based on TED Talks!

What’s your favorite…

View original post 13 more words

Give the Gift of Camp!

If you are interested in supporting the 2017 Madison County 4-H summer programs or the general fund, please contact the Madison County Extension Office.  Our office hours are 8a.m. to 5p.m., Monday through Friday.  You can reach us at 850-973-4138.

Thank you to our 2016 summer sponsors!

4-H is a national and international non-profit organization that depends heavily on generous supporters to maintain our quality programming and activities.  Madison County 4-H is proud to have the wonderful support year-in and year-out from our community.  Even the smallest monetary donation or provision of supplies allows us to give our youth the opportunity to develop into bright, independent, contributing citizens.

We would like to thank our 2016 Summer Sponsors who helped send 110 youth to summer camps, day camps, and leadership opportunities:

Madison County Community Bank

Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Jeff & Mina Bloodworth


Ronnie Moore

Leigh Barfield (Political Advertisement)

Lisa Tuten (Political Advertisement)

Tim Sanders (Political Advertisement)

Bailey & Leigh Ann Browning (Political Advertisement)

Tommy Hardee (Political Advertisement)

Johnson & Johnson

Freddy Pitts

Deloris Jones


Journey 2050 Online Game Teaches Students Sustainability

Via Florida Ag in the Classroom:

Hello, Florida middle and high school teachers. On days when you have a half hour or so to fill and you need to teach your students about sustainability in an engaging way, Florida Agriculture in the Classroom has the answer.

Journey 2050 is an online educational platform that allows students to compete against each other to become the most sustainable farm. They can play individually on hand-held devices or lap tops or computers, or as a class with the game projected on a screen. If you play the game, conduct a couple of the activities available on the Journey 2050 website and complete a short Survey Monkey poll at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Journey2050 by June 1, 2017 we will pay you $50. Just email Becky Sponholtz at sponholtz@ufl.edu and let us know you completed the project.

To learn more about the Journey 2050 educational platform and to register as a teacher at no cost, please visit http://www.journey2050.com/teacher-experience/ Please feel free to contact Lisa Gaskalla at info@naitco.org if you have any questions.