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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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    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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