Growing strong leaders through 4H



4-H has always emphasized the importance of developing passionate, well-informed citizens who are involved in their communities and help to foster positive social change. Civic engagement helps young people understand the big picture and learn skills that will encourage them to become engaged, responsible citizens and successful leaders. With 4-H citizenship programs, youth learn how to lead, make decisions and contribute to their communities from an early age.

Civic education focuses on helping youth to understand how the government works and how history, heritage and culture affects and influences individuals, groups of people and society.

An example of a Kansas 4-H program that focuses on this area of citizenship is the Kansas 4-H Citizenship In Action. The 4-H Capitol Experience is an annual program that brings youth from all over Kansas to Topeka for two days to develop knowledge of state government and public policy by working in "issue groups." Along with other teens, participants develop a legislative bill and pass the bill through a mock legislative session. Throughout the event, youth have the opportunity to meet with their state legislators, as well as representatives of community agencies, state agencies, lobbyists and legislative aides.

Kansas Citizenship in Action dates are Feb. 16 and 17 in Topeka. Deadline for registration and fee payment is Wednesday. You do not need to be a 4-H member to register. Information about the event is available at under 4-H. For more information on the event and registration, call Barbara Addison at 272-3670.

Become a 4-H VIP

Volunteers are fundamental to the Kansas 4-H program as they serve as advisors, guides, coaches, helpers and mentors. They come in all shapes and forms with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Some volunteers are long-term and others are short-term, some work with 4-H clubs, some work with 4-H project groups and some help in other ways and all play an important part in developing 4-H members.

In Kansas 4-H, all volunteers are to complete the 4-H VIP process including the orientation section. The 4-H VIP process is a key component of the Kansas 4-H commitment to provide a safe learning environment for Kansas youth. Volunteers who have completed the VIP process are required to renew their VIP profile each year.

If you have not already contacted the local Extension office at 272-3670, and you plan to volunteer, please do so as soon as you can to obtain the required Kansas 4-H Volunteer Service Application Volunteer Information Profile (VIP).

The Kansas 4-H VIP process is part of the Kansas 4-H commitment to providing a safe learning environment for Kansas youth. All Kansas 4-H volunteers must complete the 4-H VIP process to work with Kansas 4-H youth. This 4-H VIP orientation to Kansas 4-H volunteer leadership will give you information and skills to help you provide this safe, positive, caring and nurturing environment for youth to thrive.

Ag Profitability Conference

Farmers and ranchers make many decisions in their farming operations. Grain and livestock marketing considerations as well as machinery decisions are some of the important ones to consider. Kansas State ag economists will address these important and timely subjects at an Ag Profitability Conference from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 5 at the SW Research Center, 4500 E. Mary St., and sponsored by Finney County Extension.

The agenda includes the following speakers and their topics: Dan O'Brien, "Grain Market Outlook and Strategies for 2014"; Glynn Tonsor, "A Deeper Look at Beef Demand and Recent Study"; Brian Briggeman, "Agriculture and Macro Outlook"; and Kevin Dhuyvetter, "Machinery Economics." Everyone with an interest in these topics is encouraged to attend.

The conference is open to the public. The only charge is an at-the-door $10 fee for lunch. Please pre-register by calling the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670 by Jan. 30 to ensure a meal.

K-State Research and Extension is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. If you have special requirements due to a physical, vision or hearing disability, call David Coltrain at 272-3670.

Pawnee Fry

The 66th Annual Pawnee Fry will be Jan. 27 at the Pawnee Acre Community Building located three miles east of the US-156 and K-23 junction and four miles north on Community Road in northeast Finney County.

Each year local friends and neighbors have joined in hosting this unique social dinner and evening in cooperation with Finney County Extension. The evening will begin with a meal at 6:30 p.m. that includes calf fries, ham sandwiches and all the trimmings. The public is invited to attend. For more information, call the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670 or Larry Scott at (620) 855-3371.

This year's program will be "Horizontal Drilling and Fracturing," presented by Shane Lyle, Kansas Geological Survey. This presentation will provide an overview of oil production, hydraulic fracturing and the geology of the Mississippian Limestone Play in Kansas.

Oil production in Kansas has mostly declined since the late 1950s. The declining trend reversed in 2008 when new horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques revived some of Kansas's mature oil fields, especially within the Mississippian Limestone Play.

The Mississippian Limestone Play is a porous limestone oil reservoir in northern Oklahoma and southern and western Kansas. It was extensively developed with vertical wells and was considered a declining resource until the recent application of hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells led to an oil boom in the region.

The Kansas Geological Survey and several other state agencies have examined the benefits and challenges of redeveloping Kansas' oil fields as a new energy resource for the state.

If you have any questions about upcoming meetings or any other concerns, call Coltrain at 272-3670 or email

Winter cruise control caution

Most people think they are more cautious when driving if they use the cruise control to maintain a constant speed. This is only true when the road is dry. If the cruise control is on and the car begins to hydroplane on wet or icy roads, the tires will lose contact with the pavement. Without traction, the cruise control causes the car to accelerate to a higher speed and it will take off like an airplane. Your car could reach speeds of 10 to 15 miles per hour faster than the speed set on the cruise control.

Extension program

When was the last time you couldn't find an important document, receipt or statement that you know you have but can't remember where you put it? Organized records can mean the difference in financial gain or loss, not to mention the time and frustration you will save by knowing right where to look to find what you need when you need it. And, what does being organized have to do with my credit report?

Find out the answers at the Facts of Life noon program, "Managing Your Household Records," to be given at noon Thursday. Belinda Olham, Wichita County family and consumer sciences agent, will present the lesson.

Participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch. Beverages will be available.

For more information, call Lehisa de Fornosa at 272-3670.