Thursday, December 21, 2017

2017 Travis County Extension Office Winter Holiday Schedule & TCYS Updates

We hope all of you are getting a chance to wind down and enjoy the upcoming holiday!  We wanted to pass on some information and the Extension Office Holiday Schedule in case you need anything.

Extension Office Holiday Schedule

We like to remind you that the Travis County Extension Office will have the following schedule in observance of the upcoming Holidays:

  • Monday, 12/25 - Office is CLOSED
  • Tuesday, 12/26 - Office is CLOSED
  • Wednesday, 12/27 - Office is open, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM 
  • Thursday, 12/28 - Office is open, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Friday, 12/29 - Office is open, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Monday, 1/1/18 - Office is CLOSED
  • Tuesday, 1/2/18 - Office resumes normal schedule and is open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Our Agents will be out of the office for most of the week, but Mellanie will be checking her emails periodically.  If you need anything between now and January 2, please email her at

TCYS Eligibility:

In preparation for the upcoming Travis County Youth Show, club attendance checks have been sent to the 4-H Club Managers and Eligibility Reports have been sent to almost all of the schools.  We do have a few schools that have asked us to not send them until January 2nd.

If we receive a notification that an individual is ineligible, we will email their parent(s) and let TCYS know.  Please note that the timeliness of this notification is based on when the school lets us know.  We also recommend that parents check with the schools or use their self-service applications to check grades so they are aware of their child's eligibility.

IF you have youth who have not completed your registration in 4-H CONNECT or you received some kind of error from the system, you must complete (or resubmit) their registration in order to be considered eligible and to allow us to send an eligibility check to your child's school.

TCYS National Anthem Singers:

4-H and FFA youth who sing... we are looking for members who sing the National Anthem and would be available to sing at the TCYS. If you are interested, please email Mellanie ( a video submission of you singing the anthem by January 1, 2018 so that the auction committee can make a selection.

TCYS Herdsman Contest:

While all exhibitors and clubs/chapters are required to keep their stall areas clean and orderly at all times at TCYS, there is an additional (optional) opportunity to compete in the Herdsman Contest at the show.  Full details can be found in the TCYS Rulebook and judging will take place Thursday, January 11, through Saturday, January 13, with the final placings decided on after cleanup.  Entries are $20 per specie and are due directly to TCYS by 7:00 PM on Wednesday, January 10th.  Entry forms are available at this link.

TCYS Family Fun Run 1K (Stick Horse Race!!)

Join us for a stick horse race!!  Families can bring their own stick horse or decorate one of the TCYS stick horses.

The Family Fun Run will take place at 2:00 PM on Saturday, January 13, 2018!!  Registration is $20 each and includes a t-shirt, bib, & stick horse while supplies last.  Registration Packets are available for pick-up on Friday, January 12, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Saturday, January 13, from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the TCYS t-shirt booth.  Register HERE (link).

The Stick Horse Decoration Center will be open on Saturday, January 13, from 10:00 AM  to 1:00 PM.  Stick horses are limited, so be sure to pick yours up early with your registration packet while supplies last!

Travis County Inaugural Winter Cattle Grooming & Clipping Workshop - 1/6/18

Some of our fabulous Volunteers & Ag Teachers are putting together a great educational opportunity for cattle showmen!  If you're interested in learning how to groom and clip calves, check out the clinic information below.  

Pre-register by emailing Mr. Marcuse at  Registration for the clinic is $10 per person, this will go towards providing pizza for the clinic and anything remaining will be donated to the Hope Food Pantry of Austin.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2018 Texas Dog Validation & Dog Project Opportunities

Validation Instructions:


Validations, major show entries, monthly reports, oh my!!!  There is one more validation to kick off the New 4-H Year, but this one is easy.  January 10, 2018 is the deadline for Dog Validation on 4-H Connect.  Detailed instructions are available on our Travis County 4-H Animal & Livestock page (click link and scroll down to Dog Project).  There are no fees and, similar to horse validation, we encourage members to validate any dog that may be eligible for them to show.

Mixed breed or purebred, all kinds of dogs are welcome in the 4-H Dog Care,  Training Projects, and Texas 4-H Dog Show.  To be eligible for the State 4-H Dog Show all dogs must be validated through 4-H CONNECT by January 10th of the current year.  There are some opportunities to participate in this project with shelter dogs as a foster, as well.
Dogs must be validated to participate in the Texas 4-H Dog Show on July 13-15, 2018 in Belton, Texas at the Bell County Expo.

4 Other opportunities for youth in the Dog Project:

#1:  Texas 4-H Dog Show T-Shirt Design Contest due February 14, 2018.

#2: Montgomery County 4-H Dog Show – February 2-3, 2018 in Conroe, Texas.  Entries due January 19, 2018.

#3: 2018 Texas 4-H Dog Show

The Texas 4-H Dog Show will take place on July 13-15, 2018 in Belton, Texas at the Bell County Expo.  The 2018 Texas 4-H Dog Show Rule Book is in the revision process and will be distributed as soon as that process is complete.  It will also be posted to the Texas 4-H web page 

#4: 4-H Guide - Dog Training & Dog Tricks is available to be checked out of the Travis County 4-H Office

Image result for 4-h guide to dog training & dog tricks

Monday, December 18, 2017

Anthem Singers Needed for 2018 Rodeo Austin

4-H and FFA youth who sing... Rodeo Austin is looking for members who sing the National Anthem and would be available.  If you are interested, please email Cory ( a video submission of you singing the anthem by January 25, 2017 so that the auction committee can make a selection.

Anthem Singers Needed for 2018 TCYS

4-H and FFA youth who sing... we are looking for members who sing the National Anthem and would be available to sing at the TCYS. If you are interested, please email Mellanie a video submission of you singing the anthem so that the auction committee can make a selection.

Friday, December 15, 2017

2017 Rabbit Validation Reminders

Saturday, December 16th
Hendrickson High School9:30AM - 1:00PM
(Go to the back of the High School. Look for the greenhouse, the Ag Class Rooms are in the building right by the greenhouse.)

- Please bring your own blankets for your rabbit entries.
- The only paperwork you need to bring filled out with your project is the TCYS Liability Waiver  found at this link 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

2018 Scholarship Opportunity Reminders

Currently posted Scholarship Opportunities (Click on the following titles to be taken to the original post):

 Scholarships Opportunities to look for in the Spring:

  • Travis County Youth Show (TCYS) Scholarships
  • Travis 4-H Scholarships
  • Major Show Scholarships

2018 Texas 4-H Opportunity Scholarships

The 2018 Texas 4-H Opportunity Scholarship applications, guidelines, and examples are posted on the State 4-H Scholarship page.  If you missed out on the Scholarship Overview (Travis County) or the Scholarship Workshop (TAMU) and you have any questions about the scholarships or applications, please contact the Travis County Extension Office at 512-854-9600  We’ll be happy to assist you.  

The timeline and deadlines for the Texas 4-H Opportunity Scholarship in Travis County are:

  • November/December – youth need to complete the FAFSA
  • December 31, 2017 – First Draft of Scholarship application is due to Mellanie (Word Doc via email)
  • January 22, 2018 – Final Draft (original, hard copy, with all paperwork complete) due to Mellanie in the Extension Office
  • February 2, 2018 - scholarships applications are due to District 10 Office
  • February 16, 2018 - scholarship applications are due to the State Office
  • April 13, 2018 – Applicants will be notified if they have been selected for an interview
  • May 4-6, 2018 – Interviews take place in College Station
  • June 12, 13, &/or 14, 2018 – Awards Assemblies/Banquets in College Station (State Roundup Attendance is mandatory)

Capital Farm Credit Outreach Grant Programs

Below is the information for the Capital Farm Credit Community Outreach Grant Program and the “What Agriculture Means to Me” Video Contest.


Capital Farm Credit is committed to the communities we serve. As the largest agricultural lender in Texas, we have a unique opportunity to make a real difference.  A big part of our mission is to help rural areas grow and thrive by providing farmers and ranchers with the capital they need to make their businesses successful. By providing support at the local level, we're helping invest in the vibrancy of rural communities throughout Texas.

Community Outreach Grant
In 2018, Capital Farm Credit is unveiling a brand new Community Outreach Grant Program.  The program is designed to provide grants to Texas FFA chapters and 4-H clubs that have developed a project to better their community. The grant will range from $500-$1000; dependent on the proposed budget of the chapter. Funds will be awarded to assist club and chapter members in bringing positive change by establishing projects that make local communities better places to live.  Each proposal will be reviewed and scored by a grant review team.

The applications for Community Outreach Grants are available here, and the deadline for applications is March 1, 2018. All applications should be emailed to   FFA Chapters or 4-H Clubs will be notified no later than April 1 if they’ve been awarded a grant. 

If you have questions regarding this grant program please contact

Video Contest
Each year, to celebrate Ag Day, Capital Farm Credit holds a contest for high school aged 4-H and FFA in Texas.  Students create a 30 second video to tell us “What Agriculture Means to Me” and uploads the video link to enter.  Winners are determined by online voting.  The video that receives the most online votes wins that high school student a scholarship, and their 4-H or FFA Chapter will also receive a donation.

    • First Place Student: $2,500 & their chapter receives $1,500
    • Second Place Student: $1,500 & their chapter receives $1,000
    • Third Place Student: $1,000 & their chapter receives $500
    • Corporate Selection: $1,000 & their chapter receives $500 (This is a new category this year. We will have a panel of judges to identify a video based on effectiveness of message and quality of video.)

Students can begin creating their video at any time, but they will not be able to upload or start receiving votes until February 1, 2018.  The contest ends on Ag Day, March 20, 2018. Stay tuned for a link to upload videos.

Capital Farm Credit is committed to supporting rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services.  But we’re also committed to supporting the people and organizations who will continue the proud traditions we hold so dear.  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

T-N-T Swine Showdown in Cuero, Texas

2018 Refashion Retreat

Registration for Re-Fashion retreat is open!  4-H members in 3rd-12th grade can register to attend the retreat on February 9-11, 2018. Specialist, agents, and members of the Clothing and Textiles advisory board will be leading educational sessions throughout the weekend. Each camper will create a refashion project with items they purchase at the local Good Samaritan Ministries during the retreat. 

2017 New Years Classic Show - Nocona, Texas

Hotel information in Nocona:

Other things to do:

2017 Grayson County Fur and Feather Show - late entries

The Grayson County 4-H Fur and Feather Committee would like to invite youth from Travis County to participate in the Grayson County Fur and Feather Show on Saturday, December 16th at the Loy Lake Show Grounds in Denison, Texas. There are multiple events for participation!

They are now taking late entries for all shows and contests, excluding food challenge. All events are now double the cost ($6 per entry).

Registration can be completed online at or paper copies can be brought to the show.

Here are the entry totals so far:
  • Rabbit Show - 71 rabbits
  • Rabbit Showmanship - 19 youth
  • Cavy Show - 2 cavy
  • Cavy Showmanship - 0 youth
  • Poultry Show - 45 Chickens / 5 ducks
  • Poultry Showmanship - 10 youth
  • Egg Show - 14 entries
  • Costume Contest - 10 youth
  • Photography Contest - 19 photos
  • Youth be the Judge - 9 youth
  • Breed ID Contest - 15 youth
  • Food Challenge - 4 teams (CLOSED - no late entries)
  • Rooster Crowing Contest - 3 roosters