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Congratulations to all 4-H and FFA exhibitors and families at the Nebraska State Fair, featuring the ninth year of the grand affair in Grand Island. Gage County highlights: Olivia Lentfer - Elite Showmanship Contest; Taylor Cammack - Quilt selected for 4-H Design Gallery; Monica Fujan - Rainbow Recognition for Original Acrylic Painting; Jeffrey Lohse - 1st place Horticulture Judging, 4th place Tree ID Contest, Intermediate Division, Rainbow Recognition for Disaster Kit; Caleb Oltman - Photography exhibit selected for CASNR and Extension Dean's Office, Rainbow Recognition for Photography Lighting Display/Exhibit Print.

Emily Rempel - 3rd place Tree ID Contest, 3rd place Weed & Grass ID Contest, 3rd place Horticulture Judging Contest, 10th place Insect ID Contest, Senior Division, Goat Premier Exhibitor Contest - 2nd place; Ryan Rempel - 10th place Insect ID Contest, 10th place Tree ID Contest, Intermediate Division.

Korey Theye - Rainbow Recognition for Heritage exhibit depicting member's family or community; Payton Smidt and Melina Kostal - Fashion Show, purple ribbon; Autumn Bartlett - Dairy Jr. Showmanship, 4th place, Champion Holstein Herd; Colton Herfel, Dairy Novice Showmanship, 2nd place.

Records and awards due Oct. 1

Got talent? It’s time for 4-H members to record accomplishments for the year. October 1 is the deadline to submit the Career Portfolio, award application, and Diamond Clover form. Finish Strong! Website: gage.unl.edu

4-H 4 U

Every child is a success story waiting to begin. All of us can get involved to make this happen.

4-H is an organization devoted to helping kids learn life skills and recognizing them for their accomplishments. Every child is a winner in 4-H. “The best way for children to believe they are winners is for them to see themselves winning. We invite youth to join 4-H. Online enrollment due date is May 1.

We are proud of our 4-H members and their accomplishments. We are happy to provide experiences for youth to have the opportunity to be winners - in 4-H and life. We invite adults, organizations and businesses to join with us in making kids successful. Contact the Extension Office, 402-223-1384, or email: jesau2@unl.edu

Septemberfest at the Speedway

Racing season comes to the final event, September 20-22, at the Beatrice Speedway. Website: www.beatricespeedway.com

Family Day is Sept. 24

Celebrate parental engagement as a tool to help keep America’s kids substance free. Everyday activities like family dinners together, helping kids with homework or projects, attending school functions, working together at home and in the community, etc. have a lasting effect on your kids. These times together help you connect, share and really listen. Research shows that children with hands-on parents are far less likely to smoke, drink or use other drugs. Parental engagement matters! 4-H is a great tool to help us observe and celebrate Family Day every day of the year. Become a Family Day STAR: Spend time with your kids. Talk to them. Answer their questions and listen to what they say. Website: http://casafamilyday.org

Sportsmanship is #1 priority

Sportsmanship is about good character. Playing by the rules, respecting teammates and opponents, and giving our best effort are essential to the competitive experience. Through fair and honest competition we are pushed to learn, improve, and challenge ourselves to reach a higher level. The six pillars of character, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship, serve as a model for sportsmanship.

Involvement in competitive events is a cornerstone in our communities. Schools are back in session and athletic and academic competitions have begun. There are many opportunities in practice and competition that serve as teachable moments. Parents, coaches, youth and fans all need to be involved in creating a positive atmosphere, whether in sports, music, drama, or community activities.

While it is often thought that participation builds good character, it doesn’t automatically happen. Often, youth look to adults for examples of either positive or negative reactions to sportsmanship issues. They may give our examples a higher level than our words.

Good sportsmanship is also central to being a great fan. The same qualities that make us good sports, make us good citizens in life. Sportsmanship makes a good athlete, fan, school or community great!

Jesse Owens stated, “It’s extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more than that. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. It takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don’t win, how can you lose?”

Quote of note: “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks

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