4-H Club Fees Implemented

Kansas State University’s 4-H Youth Development Department Head and State Program Leader Wade Weber can be reached at 201 Umberger Hall Manhattan, KS 66506, or phone: 785-532-5800, or wweber@ksu.edu

The Kansas 4-H organization experienced budget cuts in the last few years, according to officials, and began a process to keep the youth organization going and growing.

Kansas 4-H implemented a “4-H Program Fee” effective October 2017. This is new since the 4-H organization has traditionally been free for participants.

“Many states have already implemented this type of fee – including Missouri and Oklahoma,” Carla Nemecek, K-State Southwind District Director and Agent said.

The organization gathered input on how to stabilize funding and grow the 4-H program, according to Wade Weber, Kansas State University’s 4-H Youth Development Department Head and State Program Leader.

“We hosted discussions as well as conducted a survey to gain feedback on program impact within K-State Research and Extension,” Weber said. “A task force of eight extension agents was formed to review all information and develop recommendations on how to move forward.”

The task force worked to provide a  means to ensure a steady funding stream to grow the 4-H program, Weber said.

The task force members were Candis Meerpohl from Shawnee County, Monica Thayer from the River Valley District, Michelle Beran from Midway District, Melinda Daily from the Sunflower District, Allen Baker from Wichita County, Nancy Honig from Stevens County, Jodi Besthorn from Sedgwick County
and Brian Swisher from the Wildcat District, according to links provided.

A recommendation from this task force was to implement an annual  4-H program fee of $15 per member, beginning October 2, 2017.

“Funds from the 4-H Program fee are placed in a restricted funds account available for use only by the Kansas 4-H Youth Development Department,” according to Weber.

“Funds generated will strengthen our program priorities of volunteer development, project support, and program enhancement,” Weber said.

“K-State Research and Extension had to face several budget cuts over the past couple of years, and this would seem to be an option to help fund Kansas 4-H on a State level.” Carla Nemecek, Southwind District director, and an agent said. ” The Southwind District will not receive any financial benefit, as 100 percent of the program fee is directed to the State 4-H Program.”

Carla Nemecek is Southwind District Director and agent.

Southwind District encompasses Allen, Bourbon and Neosho Counties.

“Some counties were fortunate to have found donors who are offsetting the cost, but we do not know how long those donations will last,” Nemecek said.

“As a 4-H parent and Director for the Southwind District, I am sympathetic to those who are upset about the fee,” Nemecek said. “Kansas 4-H has always been free for anyone to join, so this is taking us down a path we have never been.”

A provision has been made for those for whom it would be a hardship to pay the $15 per child program fee, she said.

“There is a waiver process for those families or individuals who are not able to pay the fee,” Nemecek said.

Message from Weber on benefits for local 4-H programs:

In January Dr. John Floros, Kansas State’s College of Agriculture Dean presented highlights of 4-H Youth Development efforts in the last 12 months to a joint meeting of state senators and representatives.

Also in January, Dr. Floros, Dr. Greg Hadley, Associate Director of Extension and Applied Research and Weber conducted meetings with local leaders to tell of the progress made.

These findings are what they reported, according to Weber:

“Examples of National and State 4-H Funding Efforts Benefitting Local 4-H Programs:

• Kansas 4-H Foundation Expansion Grant – 2017 marked the conclusion of a five-year effort to expand 4-H youth and volunteer participation in 14 extension units. This effort resulted in an increase of 458 4-H volunteers. Evaluation data has been collected from the units and a framework for growing 4-H will be created based on the learning experiences of those involved and will be shared with local units for implementation.

• National 4-H Council Ag Innovators Experience– 2018 will feature 4-H teen leaders in the Cottonwood District reaching area youth with the “Monarchs on the Move Challenge.”

• National 4-H Council Youth Futures: College Within Reach Grant–The focus of this grant is on providing mentoring partnerships to underserved youth in Seward (2017) and Riley (2018) counties.  Program results in reaching new audiences will be shared statewide for local unit implementation.  

• National 4-H Council Science Matters Grant – Johnson County (2018) is currently collaborating with Bayer to inspire young people to become tomorrow’s science leaders. Program results will be shared statewide for local unit implementation.  

Kansas 4-H Youth Development Program Fee Prioritization Survey

• When: Conducted October 19 – November 15, 2017 by the K-State Office of Planning and Analysis                                 

• Who: 612 Respondents statewide: 67% were volunteers or parents               

• What: Received input within the following program priorities:

1)    Project support and enhancements (i.e. principles of engaged learning, communicate and connect learning opportunities, updating/refreshing existing project materials)

2) Volunteer Development (training materials and support for volunteers; tools for recruitment, growth, evaluation and accountability)

3) Program enhancements benefiting community clubs (including but not limited to updating and refreshing tools for use with youth and volunteer audiences)

4) Foundational Supports (accessibility to all Kansas youth, campus/community partnerships and improved marketing at statewide events, and promotional materials that can be used by local units)

Fast Enrollment Stats 2016-17

•74,837 Kansas 4-H Youth Impact: This includes all delivery modes and has had duplications removed.

• 17,796 4-H Community based Club Enrollment: This includes Cloverbuds (ages 5-6) who are enrolled through a Community Club. 

Dean Floros and Dr. Hadley provided the ability for the 4-H Youth Development program to hire a statewide volunteer development specialist while facing increasing budget challenges.  This act affirmed the strategic support from administration to assist the 4-H youth development program in growing and modernizing.

Starting on Feb. 5,  Shane Potter, New Volunteer Specialist, is tasked with refining the volunteer development process to ensure safe learning environments for youth and grow local 4-H volunteer capacity beyond the 6,000 existing adult 4-H volunteers statewide.”


Shane Potter is Kansas State University’s Volunteer Development Specialist. He started Feb. 5.

Here are links provided for more information:

Downtown Meet and Greet April 3

This is a reminder that the Downtown Meet & Greet is TOMORROW, April 3rd from 8:30 to 9:30 am at Common Ground.  Come join us for networking and to share ideas related to Downtown.  Light refreshments will be served.  And, of course, if you want to come a little early you may purchase the specialty drink of your choice. The quarterly event is sponsored by the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce.

Bourbon County Commission Agenda April 3


Bourbon County Commission Room 

2nd Floor, County Courthouse 

210 S. National Avenue 

Fort Scott, KS 66701 

Tuesdays starting at 9:00 


Date: April 3rd, 2018 


1st District-Lynne Oharah                                          Minutes: Approved: _______________ 

2nd District-Jeff Fischer                                                                Corrected: _______________                                                                                                  

3rd District-Nick Ruhl                                                              Adjourned at: _______________ 

County Clerk-Kendell Mason 


9:00-9:45-Jim Harris-Replacement of tractor and mower 

    Lawn mower for Elm Creek 


9:15-Executive Session-Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of a corporation 


9:45-10:00-Tim Travis and Lynette Westhoff-Billiard-Hammer 


10:15-10:20-Right away for private sign on County property  




11:00-Justin Meeks 


11:15-Executive Session-Privileged in the attorney-client relationship 


11:30-12:00-Landbank and publication of title insurance 


12:00-1:00-Commissioners gone to lunch 


1:00-1:30-Review of Neighborhood Revitalization program 

       School Board meetings and FSCC dates and times 


1:30-2:00-Clint Anderson/Justin Meeks-Executive Session-Privileged in the attorney-client relationship


2:30-3:00- Review any and all handbook issues/Prep for meeting 

 Justifications for Executive Session: 

          Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel 

          Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship 

          Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency 

          Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships 

          Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property 

          Matters relating to the security of a public body or agency, public building or facility or the information system of a public body or agency, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize the security of such public body, agency, building, facility or information system 


Fisher Park Project Moving Forward

The new Fisher Park parking lot at 7th and Main streets will be located on the northwest corner and will accommodate 25 regular size parking spaces and 1-2 handicapped accessible spaces.

Frank Adamson started seeing the need for improvements of Fisher Park, when his daughter, Hunter, starting playing softball there, three years ago.

Eventually,  others joined him in the pursuit to improve the park and today they are awaiting engineering specifications of the first step, making more parking spaces at the park located at 7th and Main.

The Fisher Park Project group received a grant this last month from a local industry, the Timken Company, in the amount of $5,200 for the purpose of helping offset engineering fees

Agricultural Engineering Associates, Uniontown, is currently working on those specifications.

Once received, the specifications will help with the process of getting more grants to fund future park improvement projects, according to Adamson.

In addition to the parking lot, also envisioned in the project are concrete pads for wheelchair accessibility, more bleachers for viewing games, tearing down an unused tower that obstructs sight for viewers, and reconfiguring of the south ball diamond to make it regulation size.

Adamson points to where the concrete pad for wheelchair accessibility is envisioned. In the middle of the picture is the unused green tower which will be demolished. The tower obstructs the view for fans of softball.
More bleachers behind home plate are planned in this spot.
Adamson stands in the spot that will be the home plate, once the south ballpark is reconfigured to make it regulation size.
Adamson stands in the vacant lot at 7th and Main streets across from Fisher Park that will be the new parking lot for 25 vehicles and 1-2 handicapped accessible vehicles.

More parking spaces are first on the list for improvement at Fisher Park.

Twenty-five standard parking spaces and one or two van accessible spaces will be provided in an off-street lot across Main Street from the ballpark.

Those serving on the Fisher Park Project board are Adamson, Josh Jones, Bill Michaud, Tom Robertson and Rhonda Dunn.

For more information, see the Fisher Park Project Facebook page or contact Adamson at the Courtland Hotel & Spa at 620-223-0098

The concession stand currently has wheelchair accessibility and faces the south ballpark.
Looking east towards the north ballpark in Fisher Park from the vantage point of the proposed parking lot.


Fort Scott News

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