Paul Hay to retire

Thanks, Paul, for your service to 4-H and Extension! Paul is retiring Sept. 30 after 42 years of service to the University of Nebraska - Lincoln Extension. You are invited to celebrate his amazing career and wish him well in his retirement on Monday, Oct. 2 from 3-6 p.m. in the Extension meeting room. We will miss Paul's humor, hard work and dedication that he brings to the office and community every day.

4-H winners announced at state fair

Congratulations to 4-H and FFA grand champion exhibitors and families at the Nebraska State Fair, featuring the eighth year grand affair in Grand Island. We celebrate your success of learning and growing. Melina Kostal - State Speech Contest champion; Ryan Sand - 4-H Fashion Show - purple; Jetta Harvey - 4-H Fashion Show - purple; Sophia Lentfer - Swine Showmanship - senior division champion, Elite Showman Competition - sixth place; Emily Rempel - Premier Exhibitor Contest, goat division - third place; Jeffrey Lohse - Premier Presenter Contest - purple, Horticulture Judging Contest Int. - division champion, Tree ID Judging Contest - purple; Taylor Cammack - Hillestad Textiles Gallery, UNL East Campus - quilt; Savannah Gerlach - UNL East Campus Union Art Gallery - painting; Caleb Oltman, Sam Steffen, Kiera Busboom - CASNR & UNL Dean's Office Photo Displays; Norris Neighbors 4-H Club, 4-H Foundation Special Awards - quilt.

4-H career portfolio due Oct. 1

Start strong. Stay strong. Finish strong. 4-H members have worked hard, completed project goals, learned life skills and contributed to our community. Finish strong recording your success and achievements in the career portfolio, add a story and photos then submit your portfolio, along with your award application, to the Extension Office.

Attitude of gratitude will get you far

“Hey, thanks!"

What’s the big deal about having an attitude of gratitude? What’s the importance of saying thanks? Studies cite a growing interest in the area of gratitude in the younger generation. An attitude of gratitude serves as a key factor for success in life.

Gratitude means being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen and taking time to express thanks. Two key factors are “being aware of” and “taking time.”

Youth and adults win honors and recognition. What’s the next, very important, step? Expressing appreciation and saying thanks. Write a note, visit with your donor, shake their hand and say "thank you."

It can go a long way with a donor in their continued support when they receive appreciation and thanks from recipients. With winning comes the privilege of saying thanks! Parents become the first line of support, reminding youth to say thanks, write a note, send a text or email or better yet, meet the donor in person.

Research indicates that gratitude is associated with happiness and personal well-being and helps people form, maintain and strengthen supportive relationships. Gratitude helps people feel connected to a caring community, such as 4-H.

Knowing the benefits, how can we foster gratitude? Our communities, families, schools, 4-H and others must all do our part. While there’s no quick fix, the more we remain committed to it, the more rewards we will reap. By bringing out the best in youth and adults, we bring out the best in our families and communities. Anything worthwhile takes time and effort. It’s up to all of us to make it happen. Adults model and teach gratitude. Kids help other kids learn the importance of gratitude and their responsibility to say thanks. Gratitude is a virtue that anyone can cultivate.

There are many opportunities for us to recognize and thank those who have done something for us, and it’s a habit that if we start young, we will carry through life.

Zig Ziglar summed it up: “Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life changing.”

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