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    YQCA Replaces Youth Pork Quality Assurance Plus (YPQA) Certification

    A new quality assurance program was released in March 2017. This year, the National Pork Board transitioned to Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) and will no longer be administering Youth Pork Quality Assurance Plus (YPQA) by the end of 2017.

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    Outdoor Activity Safety: Ice Thickness

    With the recent cold weather, thoughts turn to ice fishing and other outdoor activities associated with winter, such as ice skating and cross country skiing. Outdoor activities are a healthy way to enjoy Mother Nature and her bounty. If some precautions are followed ice fishing and ice-skating can be a safe and relaxing activity. These activities may be great ways to fill some of the time off from school during the holiday season.

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    Beat the Heat: ‘Cool’ Activities for Youth and Families

    Camping, swimming, softball, picnics, and family vacations are just some of the activities that families look forward to during the summer. These events provide opportunities for exercise as well as family bonding. While summer is often the prime time for outdoor activities, in extreme heat, extra precautions need to be taken to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

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    Stress Management Techniques for Youth

    When one family member experiences stress, all members are affected. Family stress can be related to multiple factors such as financial struggles, mental health issues, or communication difficulties. These issues may be intensified during environmental phenomenon such as the current drought conditions across South Dakota. Although youth may experience stress related to the drought indirectly through their parents, the development of positive coping strategies among youth can reduce their personal stress while also decreasing the strain felt by other family members.

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    Mentoring Program Begins: 4H Youth & Families with Promise

    Take a moment to think about someone who had an impact on your life. Someone who supported you during a difficult time or provided guidance as you learned a new skill. Who was this person? A parent? A teacher? A coach? A 4H Adviser? A friendly neighbor? Regardless of who assisted you, or what support they provided, you likely feel a deep appreciation for that relationship.

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    Increasing Your Child’s Self-Esteem

    Imagine a time in which you felt really positive about yourself. You probably felt confident and found it easy to interact with others. You felt happy and content. You did not feel the need to prove your worth. Self-esteem is a vital component within mental health and involves respect and a favorable view of oneself. A child’s self-esteem impacts how he or she interacts with the world. Low self-esteem can be seen in a child’s behavior, body language, and approach to life.

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    Dating and Your Adolescent: Part 2

    Dating is an important rite of passage during adolescence. By age 17, 70% of teens report participating in a romantic relationship in the past 18 months (Carver, Joyner, & Udry, 2003). Thus, dating is a common experience among adolescents. Dating is associated with both benefits and potential risks, and understanding these risks and benefits can assist parents in supporting their teen’s development.

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    Talking to Adolescents about Substance Use

    The majority (73%) of adolescents report using drugs or alcohol at least once by the time they reach 12th grade. The most commonly used substances include alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana. Although most adolescents will experiment with drugs or alcohol, only a minority will develop a serious addiction. Yet, even limited exposure to drugs and alcohol is concerning as substance use among adolescents is related to poor academic performance, impaired memory and critical thinking skills, and depression.

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    Understanding Cultural Differences Helps Resolve Conflict

    Can you remember back to when you were a child going on your first sleepover? Did you find yourself in unfamiliar routines or eating unfamiliar food? I remember thinking my friend’s family did things a lot different than my family. From how they did afterschool chores, to snacks and meals, to getting ready for bed and getting up the next day; it was all different. It was neither right nor was it wrong, it was just different than what I knew.

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    Being a Team Member Resolves Conflict Constructively

    Not all conflict is between two individuals, sometimes it is between or within groups of people. In these situations working as a team instead of a group will be beneficial to resolving a conflict. Knowing the differences between a group and a team will assist your group in working as a team which will lead to resolving any conflict that you may have more constructively.

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    Communication is Key in Resolving Conflict

    What thoughts come to mind when you hear the word “conflict”? Do you have thoughts of aggression, hostility, power struggles and bullies? Does just thinking of the word make you feel uneasy? Conflict seems to be something that most people want to avoid due to the fear of the confrontation in the conflict, the anger associated with the conflict or if the conflict is seen as destructive.

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    Importance of Good Record Keeping: The Science & Engineering Notebook

    The 4-H motto is ‘learn by doing’; but ‘doing’ includes so much more than just a once and done activity. Doing refers to the full process of completing a project – experiencing, sharing, understanding, relating, applying, recording, and reflecting. The act of recording in a notebook offers yet another layer of learning by providing an opportunity to reflect on what was done, what was learned, and engage youth in thinking about what’s next.

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    South Dakota 4-H Participates at Big Sioux Water Festival

    SDSU Extension and South Dakota 4-H participated in the 24th annual Big Sioux Water Festival on the campus of SDSU, May 10. Students from area schools were engaged in many area of the festival. The festival is a one day water themed event where youth can apply their knowledge of water education they have learned in their classrooms.

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    4-H Teaching the Science Behind Distracted Driving

    This year’s 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) experiment provides an opportunity for youth to explore the physics behind a moving vehicle. They learn about vehicle speed, momentum, and kinetic energy and the impact that they have on car crashes. In addition to providing an understanding of what happens during a collision, the 4-H NYSD experiment takes this lesson a step further and adds the element of distraction.

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    STEM Mentoring: Micro-messages

    Factors influencing the lives of our youth range from values and situations found in home lives to those in school/daycare and communities. These factors all work together to define perceptions of the surrounding world. With so many influencing components, it should be apparent that schools are not the only places that shape youth opinions of the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

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