Welcoming a New Face to the 4-H Office

20181114_152012.jpgAndrea Miotto, 4-H Baltimore County’s newest VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America), is a Maryland native. She hails from Prince George’s County and attended University of Maryland at College Park for undergraduate studies. She is passionate about increasing equitable access to quality out-of-school programming for under-served youth and is dedicated to helping reduce barriers, such as poverty, that keep young people from participating in exceptional activities like 4-H. Andrea’s goal this year is to grow the number of 4-H afterschool courses and clubs in specific areas of the county where these barriers are particularly persistent.

A “VISTA veteran”, Andrea served as a VISTA shortly after college at a literacy program in Wausau, Wisconsin. More recently, Andrea has worked as a writing tutor at Howard Community College and as a chaplain for hospitals and hospice programs, where she provided spiritual care and counsel. She has also held positions as editor and writer for several technical publications. Andrea continues to work part-time as an independent writer, editor, and tutor and provides pro bono editing services to a couple of nonprofit newsletters.

Andrea holds a B.A. in English and a Master of Divinity degree from Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana. In her downtime, Andrea enjoys church activities, volunteer work such as mentoring, reading, dancing, and trying to reason with her black cat, Loki.

Turkey & Cranberry Quesadillas

Ingredients:
a touch of butter (or oil)
2 flour tortillas
1/4 pound turkey (cooked, shredded)
2 tablespoons cranberry sauce
1 jalapeno (chopped)
1 green onion (chopped)
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
2 handfuls cheese such as cheddar or jack, etc. (grated)balls-3.png

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a pan.
2. Place a tortilla in the pan and rub it around in the butter to coat.
3. Heat the tortilla until air pockets form, flipping a few times.
4. Repeat 2-3 for the second tortilla and leave it in the pan.
5. Place the turkey, cranberry sauce, jalapeno, green onion, cilantro and cheese on top followed by the other tortilla.
6. Cook the quesadilla until golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted flipping once.

Tip: Place a plate onto the quesadilla and flipped it from the pan to the plate and then slide it back into the pan to flip the quesadilla.

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Garments

Make it with Wool

On the first real fall, Saturday of the season an appropriate competition was taking place, “Make it with Wool.” This event took place at the Ag Center in Baltimore County Maryland on October 13, 2018. It attracted people from all over Maryland and from ages 6-7 to over 25.

_DSC1321The day started with all of the youth gatherings in the main room to hear their instructions for the day’s activities. First, they colored creative thank you notes to all of the many wonderful donors and sponsors. Then the youth would have an opportunity to practice walking in and showing their garment in traditional fashion show manner. They were given pointers, and each youth took to it like they have been doing it all of their life.

While the youth were practicing their garments were being judged on three main areas; Presentation/Fit/Appearance, Marketability/Wool Promotion and Materials/Construction. Each garment is carefully looked at by the judges and a score sheet with comments for improvements.

Lunch was provided thanks to the many sponsors and donors, and it gave the youth a chance to socialize with others that have a passion for sewing. Afterward, the participants changed into their garments they created. They would now be judged on how well they fit, and contestants were asked many questions about what they created, why they chose it and how did they go about doing this project.

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While waiting, Baltimore County 4-H caught up with several of our 4-H’ers who entered this contest. First, we spoke with Alexandra Frank, an 8-year-old club member of Liberty 4-H. This was her first time competing. She chose to create a pink skirt and a gray and pink plaid poncho. When asked why do like wearing what Alexandra made she said: “it is comfortable and goes with my flow.” She also said she “liked having fun with the contest and making new friends.”

_DSC1439The other 4-H’er we spoke with was Kailyn Donahue who is a member of Chesnut Ridge 4-H Club. The project she decided to make was a dress with black and white polka dot wool with a black lace zipper on the back. Which in keeping with current _DSC1443 trends the zipper is a highlight rather than hidden. When asked if she would recommend this event she said, “I would recommend it because it is a very unique experience.” She thought this outfit was very comfortable and yet stylish. The judges must have agreed with her as she was awarded the title of Grand Champion of the Preteens division.

After the contestants were finished with the personal judging, they lined up for the fashion show. Here they demonstrated their runway techniques to best show how their ensembles fit and how it moved and flowed as they walked about in front of the crowd. It was during this part that we learned of the many activities most of these participants took part in. Some were involved in sports, 4-H, band, they showed animals or were good students. One of the contestants flew in from Ohio State University to take part in the competition. Many of them are planning to wear their outfits to various social engagements, interviews, church or professional situations.

Each garment reflected its maker’s unique lifestyle.

As awards were presented, each participant received a large bag full of sewing equipment given generously by donors and by some very smart shoppers on the planning committee. It was so lovely to see so many excited and talented youth participate in “Making it with Wool.”

Next year’s contest has already been set for October 12, 2019. And you get some of your wool at the Sheep and Wool Festival on May 4-5, 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

September 15 – October 15, 2017

Hispanic MonthHispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the many contributions of Hispanic and Latin people to the world.  This is true in 4-H as well since the organization seeks to provide a “supportive and inclusive setting for all youth to reach their fullest potential in a diverse society”.  Many Hispanic scientists have added to the body of knowledge that we now enjoy.  Did you know Dr. Mario Molina is a chemist who received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1995?  He was recognized for his work in helping to identify the man made compounds that contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer?  Dr. Luis Federico Leloir also won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1970.  He is known for his discovery that sugar nucleotides help the body turn some sugars into energy.  We salute these and all Hispanic scientists this month and every month because in Baltimore County 4-H Grows Here!

 

Our Future Aerospace Engineers

Baltimore County 4-H is pleased to share a blog post written by our 2 State Aerospace champions, Logan Moon and Craig Stone. While one of our 4-H’ers is starting his 4-H career, the other is finishing it out and beginning the next chapter of his life in college. Best of luck to both of these fine youth.


By Logan, Age 10, Hunt Valley Robotics Club 

I’ll never forget July 22, 2018. It was a Sunday, and it was the finals of the Maryland 4-H Aerospace Challenge. After the qualifier in June where I presented judges with a stomp rocket I had made, I was so excited to qualify for the finals. I spent weeks studying rocket parts, building model rockets, and learning facts on aerodynamics, rocketry, and model rocket safety. It was hard taking time out during my summer vacation to prepare for the challenge, but I did it because I wanted to do well at the competition.

I had butterflies in my stomach when we drove there that day, but since I had been at the competition last year, I felt better as soon as we got out of the car because I recognized the building and the adult volunteers who tried to keep the day fun. I was relieved when the first part of the challenge was to name parts of the rocket. I got through it quickly, and it helped me feel more confident to complete the knowledge test which was a lot harder. Lastly, they had us build a model rocket with a payload section.  That’s the part of some model rockets that carry cargo. This year the juniors would launch a live cricket in our rockets. I felt a little weird about that because I’m not sure if our crickets wanted to take a ride in our rockets. Before we left the table, I decorated my rocket that I named the Cricket Crusader, and  I had to double check the fins and launch lug to make sure they were on straight otherwise the rocket wouldn’t fly straight, and I knew my cricket was depending on me to make sure he was safe. After our rockets dried, it was time to launch. All I wanted was to do better than I did last year. Last year my rocket fizzled out on the launch rod and never took flight.

When they asked who wanted to go first, I volunteered. I was so nervous and excited. Five, four, three, two, one, lift off. My rocket launched straight up, the parachute deployed, and the cricket landed safely inside the payload. After the judges inspected the rocket one last time, I released my cricket. He was alive, and I felt relieved. I did it! My rocket launched! No matter where I placed I felt proud of myself. It turned out that all of that hard work paid off. I was awarded the junior champion ribbon. It’s a ribbon that means so much to me, and the challenge is an experience I will always remember.

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By Craig Stone, Age 18, Sparks 4-H Club

“Throughout my 4-H career, I have participated in various types of activities. Out of the many activities I have participated in, the aerospace program has influenced me quite a bit. I have been participating in the Maryland 4-H Aerospace Challenge for about five years, and it has taught me many things about rocketry that I didn’t know before. For example, I never knew that the maximum height a rocket reaches in its flight path is called apogee. The aerospace program that 4-H has to offer is extremely beneficial to the 4-H youth because it uses the experiential learning model in “learning to do by doing.” This teaches the 4-Hers about all sorts of scientific discoveries in a way they would never experience in school. Overall, my 4-H aerospace experience has greatly influenced my 4-H career, and will continue to help me through college and beyond.”

INTERNET SAFETY

by Terry Fields, Hunt Valley Robotics Club

We are members of the Hunt Valley 4-H LEGO Robotics team. We have been learning about the FBI and some of the ways they keep us safe. Our club would like to tell you about the importance of internet safety! Here are some tips we learned from the FBI:

Don’t use your name, birthdate or address in your password

  • This can cause someone to track you down

It is safer to use websites that end in .gov, .edu and .org

  • Things that end in .gov stand for government
  • Things that end in .edu stand for education
  • The website more likely to be appropriate for kids

Don’t download any app without your parent or guardian’s permission…it may be a scam!

  • This could be a scam and what a scam is a trick that people play to gets someone’s location

Create a password that is 13 characters long and made up of letters, numbers and symbols

  • If you have a username that is short and has your name, it is unsafe because this is giving away personal information

Don’t share your password with anyone

  • If you share your password with anyone except parent or guardian someone might do something bad to you

Follow all of these tips and maybe when you grow up you can help the FBI too!

Parkers Flyer 4H (2)

Learn more about our club at: http://huntvalleyrobotics.org/

 

Leicester Longwool Sheep

Baltimore County 4-H wanted to catch up with Lynne Thomas a senior 4-H’er in the Baldwin 4-H Club to talk to her about her Leicester (pronounced lester) Longwool Sheep. After seeing Lynne in the ring showing her sheep we wanted to know more about how she acquired her, why she picked this breed and what plans did she have with her.

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Lynne showing Melody at the Baltimore County 4-H Fair.

Lynne shared the history of this breed, and that was in part what attracted her to this beautiful animal. It seems that a breeder by the name of Robert Bakewell around 1755 wanted to improve livestock breeds, so he used modern selection techniques to crossbreed an animal that was a large, slow-growing animal into one that grew more quickly for market and had a much better fleece. Word quickly spread from England to the rest of Europe and North America that the Leicester Longwool was an excellent animal to add to your herd. George Washington, upon hearing about the breed added it to his flock.

In America, this breed was used to crossbreed with native stocks during the 1800s, but soon the strain lost popularity and nearly became extinct by 1930. But then in 1990, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation began to bring the Leicester Longwool Sheep back. The numbers have been slowly growing. It is still a rare breed globally.

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Seen in the ring are Cadence and Baritone.

Lynne discovered the breed at the Sheep and Wool Festival in 2016 through the Youth Conservationist Program. She applied to the program by completing an essay they require and recommendations from her teachers and 4-H mentors. She was accepted, and she was the proud owner of Melody her first Leicester Longwool sheep. Lynne has shown her in the County Fair, the Hereford Jr. Farm Fair and others. Additionally, Lynne enjoys educating the public about the genetics behind this beautiful breed. Details like its strong bloodline, and that it produces the best quality fleece and the history of how they came to be here in the US.

In addition, to showing Melody, she has also bred her with Baritone who is of natural color. They produced a set of twins named Cadence (a boy) and Symphony (a girl). Their names come from Lynne’s natural love of music and one of the other talents that she has of playing the clarinet. This summer Lynne showed all four animals at the Baltimore County 4-H Fair.

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Symphony takes her debut at the Baltimore County 4-H Fair.

Some of the characteristics of the wool are that it is easy to spin and makes for soft scarves, hats, gloves, and sweaters. One of the more unique items that the wool is used for is doll hair since the fleece has a natural curl and is long. It can grow up to 14 inches. The coat is ideal for doll hair.

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Closeup of the Leicester Longwool fleece.

As part of Lynne’s high school education, she used her sheep project for her Supervised Agricultural Experience. In her sophomore year Lynne tracked the rate of gain of Melody. Then in her junior year, she followed several other breeds and compared them to the rate of gain of the Leicester Longwool.

When asked what’s next Lynne said she would love to learn to spin the wool from her sheep and create some wonderful garments or accessories from this extraordinary breed. She plans to continue educating the public about this breed and wants to encourage other youth to get involved with animal conservation. We look forward to seeing what comes next.

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