The Sussex County RCE/4-H Office will be closed Monday January 15 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Registration for the 2024 County-Level 4-H Public Presentations is now open!

County-level presentations have been scheduled for the first four Friday nights in March. Presentation nights will be held at local schools with presenters being divided among multiple classrooms. Check-in begins at 6:45 pm and presentations will begin promptly at 7:00 pm.

Presentations are being held on and at the following dates and places:
March 1 – Frankford Twp. School, 2 Pines Rd. Branchville (live animals allowed)
March 8 – Frankford Twp. School, 2 Pines Rd. Branchville (live animals allowed)
March 15 – High Point Regional High School, 299 Pidgeon Hill Rd, Sussex
March 22 – Kittatinny Regional High School, 77 Halsey Rd. Newton

We will again be using 4-H Online to register for presentations. Please use the following guide to help you: How to Register for Events in 4-H Online 2.0. The deadline to register is February 1. 

If you will be new to 4-H presentations, please download the NJ 4H ‘How to Make a 4-H Public Presentation’. In addition, there is also a YouTube video on how to give a public presentation. Both are great resources for those presenting for the first time, but also a great refresher for more seasoned presenters.   

For any questions or concerns please contact Tanya Patrie (patrie@njaes.rutgers.edu)

2024 Winter NJ 4-H Model Horse Show
Saturday January 20, 2024
Somerset County 4-H Center
Bridgewater NJ


The New Jersey 4-H Model Horse Project is an educational program, entailing the collecting, photographing, and showing of model horses. This sincere hobby inspires 4-H’ers to pursue perfection, authenticity, and artistry. The “world of the model horse show” involves vast equine knowledge and skill to reproduce the realism needed to portray the image of a live horse. The world of model horses is both interesting and informative. 4-H horse lovers of all ages will enjoy participating in this project. It is especially accommodating for 4-H’ers who do not have horses or for 4-H’ers who, because of health reasons, cannot physically work around live horses.
NJ 4-H Model Horse Shows are open to ALL 4-H members, not just those registered in the Horse Project. 

For more information and registration info go to:
NJ State 4-H Model Horse Show: Horses : Rutgers New Jersey 4-H

The deadline for entries is January 12, 2024

4-H Top Chef Virtual Competition

Start off the new year with a fun 4-H event! Become a 4-H top chef and create your own cooking video using a favorite recipe! Team or individual entries allowed!
Contact the 4-H office for more info.
To register visit https://forms.gle/4UKuCcimMtkZPSen7

2024 4-H Teen Winter Camp

February 9-11, 2024
Lindley G. Cook 4-H Camp 100 Struble Rd. Branchville, NJ 07826

Meet other 4-H Teens from Sussex, Somerset, Warren, and Morris at the 4-H Teen Winter Camp. Enjoy games, winter activities, crafts, and meals together; have fun and make lifelong friends

Winter camp is a fun weekend getaway for 4-H members in grades 8-13 grade. Members from multiple counties gather together for sledding, hiking, crafting, games, and making new friends at L. G. Cook 4-H Camp in Stokes State Forest. On Friday night teens play a variety of ice-breaker and games. Saturday is spent exploring the various camp activities. When not enjoying the outdoor activities, teen spend their time in heated buildings and sleep in heated cabins.

Cost is $60 and includes meals. (Teen Council members cost is $30).
If interested in attending please contact Tanya at patrie@njaes.rutgers.edu for registration information. Space is limited, registration is first come first served. Deadline to register is January 19. Camperships may be available.

Space is limited, registration is now open! https://forms.gle/ywnBmmYgMYy82Q36A or call 908-475-6502 to register!

The Teen Café program is back!

Join STEM Ambassadors from Rutgers Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine on January 27, 2024 for a workshop on gut microbiology and how research helps us determine what is or isn’t good for gut health. Workshop is open to youth in grades 8-12 and includes lunch. Please scan the QR code or visit go.rutgers.edu/3u8uopkx. Space is limited, register now!

Laughing Lagamorphs Small Animal Show

Show will be held Saturday, January 27, 2024  at the Salem County Ware Building, 51 Cheney Rd. in Woodstown. Registration is from 8-9:30 AM and the show begins at 10 AM.  Mailed entries must be postmarked by January 19th and emailed entries must be received by 9 PM. Wednesday, January 24th. No phone entries or pictures of entry forms will be accepted. For the show catalog click here.  Registration forms are available here.

Discover the World of Small Animals! 

This event is hosted by Ocean County and will be held January 26th, 2024 from 6-9 PM at the Ocean County 4-H Office in Toms River. Event is open to all NJ 4-H members who are interested in learning all about basic care, health concerns, housing and more of  rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils and chinchillas. Registration is available at http://tinyurl.com/3hy32r9m.  If you have questions contact Denise at 732-349-1227 or dgerhauser@co.ocean.nj.us. Event prices is $5 per person and optional $2.50 per slice of pizza. 

2024 4-H Legislative Leadership Experience

Registration deadline is February 1 and space is limited.
For more info click here.  Visit this site to register!

Horse Bowl Practice nights are back.

You all loved these during the pandemic. You asked for them back and here they are! Check out the info below. Zoom link will be sent through the Horse Program Listserv like YPAC! This is completely OPTIONAL! We hope you will join us!

Calling All 5th Graders!

The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey annual Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest empowers fifth grade students to advocate for an endangered or threatened species from New Jersey through a well-researched, creative essay and original art piece.

The winners, one from each county, are honored at an awards ceremony, have their artwork exhibited at various venues around the state and featured in a calendar, and are invited on an eco-tour at Sedge Island in Barnegat Bay.

All educator materials, including detailed STEAM-based lessons (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), are included in the free contest kit. Kits can be found at www.conservewildlifenj.org. Entries due by February 9, 2024. Download your kit today!

4-H Animal Science Video Contest and Film Festival

New Jersey 4-H, in cooperation with the New Jersey Junior Breeder Symposium, is sponsoring the 4-H Animal Science Video Contest and Film Festival to include ALL 4-H animal project areas.

Youth may work individually or as a team to create short educational videos (3:30 minutes or less) about alpacas, cats, cattle (beef/dairy), dogs, goats, herpetology, horses, llamas, poultry, rabbits, sheep, small animals, and/or swine to enter in the 4-H Animal Science Video Contest.  Youth must upload their video and media release(s) by the end of March 4 (see website for details).  The videos will then be shared at the film festival in the Round House of the Rutgers Cook Campus Farm during an afternoon session of the Junior Animal Science Symposium on Saturday, March 23.  

Youth of the top scoring videos will receive awards, including gift cards.  Videos will be scored on educational value, creativity, clarity, pacing, and technical quality (sound, lighting, etc.) – 20 points each, total of 100.  A tip sheet and a description of the judging criteria are both available on the website, along with the top scoring videos from prior years. Youth are encouraged to have fun and be creative in designing their video entries!

Details are available on our website at http://nj4h.rutgers.edu/animals/film-festival

4-H Record Book Reminders

Just reminder that you should be working on your 4-H record book though-out the 4-H Project year. Some areas you should have completed or be a work in progress are:

  • Cover
  • Goal Setting
  • Logging monthly activities
  • Finances

Your Goals should be:

Specific – a specific goal is well defined, with a clear outcome in mind. It should answer the questions of what you want to achieve, who is involved, and where it will happen.
Measurable – a measurable goal has clear criteria for success and a timeline for achieving it. This allows you to track your progress along the way.
Attainable – An attainable goal is one that is possible to achieve with your overall vision and long-term objectives.
Relevant – A relevant goal is aligned with your overall vision and long-term objectives.
Time-based – A time-based goal has a clear timeline for completion, with a start and end date. This helps provide motivation and sense of urgency to achieve the goal.

New members should aim for 1 or 2 goals their first year. Returning members should increase the number and complexity of their goals as their years in 4-H grow.


Don’t forget to have your parent or guardian and your 4-H club leader sign off on your goals!

New Jersey 4-H Summer Camp Sign Up – Open November 15th!


Registration opens for both:
Our 74th summer at L.G. Cook 4-H Camp, New Jersey 4-H’s overnight summer camp in beautiful Stokes State Forest. Join our caring, tech-free community for a one-week sleepaway session in July or our BIG 18 day session in August … AND …

Our 2nd summer at 4-H Camp at Rutgers Gardens, our brand-new day camp program combining the social-emotional learning of 4-H Camp’s friendly, communal experience with the educational opportunities of Rutgers Gardens. 

Sign-up before December 31st to take advantage of our Early “Polar Bear” Registration Period. 4-H discount available to all 4-H members.

More details and online registration at nj4hcamp.rutgers.edu! Call 973-948-3550 to reach the Camp Office with any and all questions.

Arbor Day 2024 Photo Contest

All levels of photographers are encouraged to submit your pictures, whether you take a picture on your phone, or a camera, all tree pictures are welcome! Age categories for entries are Grades K-8 (Elementary), Grades 9-12 (High School), and Adult (ages 18+).
Entries will be accepted from now until March 1, 2024

This year’s theme is “My Tree, My Place”. We want you to showcase a tree that is special to you or sparks your interest somewhere that you live, work, or spend a lot of time. Your photograph can reflect “My Tree, My School”, “My Tree, My Park”, “My Tree, My Office”, and so on!

The winning photographs will be featured on the Rutgers Urban Forestry website, by the NJ Shade Tree Federation, as well as NJ Department Of Environmental Protection Urban and Community Forestry Program.

For more information or to enter a photo go to:
Arbor Day 2024 Photo Contest – Urban Forestry Program

Poetry x Hunger: Poetry Call from Middle and High School Youth

Do you want to help eliminate hunger and poverty through the power of your pen? NJ Arts 4-H is introducing Poetry X Hunger. Join in the Poetry X Hunger project promoted by Expressive Arts 4-H of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. If you would like to learn more about the many forms of poetry you can choose from, contact Ellen Williams, Expressive Arts 4-H Agent at williams@njaes.rutgers.edu.

For more information visit https://nj4h.rutgers.edu/comm/poetryxhunger/

Information and Programs For Our 4-H Parents and Leaders


4-H Public Presentation 101 Workshop For Club Meetings

Leaders- Would you like a 4-H Volunteer attend your club meeting and provide a 4-H Public Presentation 101 Workshop?

Members will learn about the different types of presentations, how to choose a topic, about the research process, and the steps needed to organize information into an appealing and creative presentation. It will teach members more about the preparation process and assist youth in creating their presentations.

The workshop should only take 20 minutes of your club meeting. If interested, contact the 4-H Office to schedule it for your next club meeting.


Registration for the program is open now!
Registration link: https://go.rutgers.edu/2xdzpz3d


Make a DIFFERENCE in your community…become a Rutgers Environmental Steward – Classes start in January!
Additional information is on their website- https://envirostewards.rutgers.edu/


Bee-ginner’s Beekeeping: The Basics of Apiculture

Online Class – Opens January 15, 2024 & Closes February 19, 2024 

Participants can complete the course content (which will take approximately 14-16 hours) at their own pace anytime during the period the course is open. There is an optional live Q & A session with the instructors during which you can ask questions about the course content.  
https://cpe.rutgers.edu/beekeeping/beginners-beekeeping

If you have any questions and/or concerns, bee sure to contact Pam Mayer pspring@njaes.rutgers.edu


4-H Public Presentations NEEDS Volunteers

Caring adults are needed to volunteer to help us evaluate those 4-H youth participating in our 4-H public presentations program.

Presentations are being held on and at the following dates and places:
March 1 – Frankford Twp. School, 2 Pines Rd. Branchville (live animals allowed)
March 8 – Frankford Twp. School, 2 Pines Rd. Branchville (live animals allowed)
March 15 – High Point Regional High School, 299 Pidgeon Hill Rd, Sussex
March 22 – Kittatinny Regional High School, 77 Halsey Rd. Newton

Please use the following link to sign up to serve as a presentation judge: https://forms.office.com/r/WLfFSwuHTK, contact the 4-H office at (973) 948-3040, or email Tanya at patrie@njaes.rutgers.edu.

If you know someone who would like to serve or be a good fit to serve as a 4-H public presentation judge, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Tanya at patrie@njaes.rutgers.edu.

For any questions please contact the 4-H Office.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and add us to your favorites so you do not miss a post. 
@SussexNJ4H

About the author