Upcoming Events

2019 4-H Plant Sale Orders DUE March 1, 2019!

ORDER FORM: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2019/01/2019-Tri-fold-4-H-Fruit-Tree-Sale-PRINT.pdf

4-Her’s: The sale depends on you, but your job is simple! All you must do is contact people to tell them about the 4-H Plant Sale. Tell them about the sale and how to order. You do not have to keep track of money or record orders. We (Marion County 4-H) will deal with the customers directly after you have convinced them to order. Some possible customers for you are parents, grandparents or neighbors. If a 4-H’er is credited with a sale they will get to count it as one point towards attending the 2019 County Round-Up!

To order the customer should come by the County Extension Office at our location in the Courthouse Annex, 372 7th Avenue SW, Hamilton, AL. (directly across from the E.T. Sims Neighborhood Facilities Building). Marion County 4-H will take their order and collect their money, or the customer can download the order form below and mail it to us with their payment. We will also ask the customer how they found out about the sale. 4-H’er: If the customer places an order and mentions your name we will credit the sale to YOU! You will get one point to count towards your entry into the County Round-Up Competition scheduled May 2019.

ORDER FORM: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2019/01/2019-Tri-fold-4-H-Fruit-Tree-Sale-PRINT.pdf

Checks, Cash, or a Money Order will be accepted (we do not take credit/debit cards) by the staff at the Marion County Extension Office. Payment must be received in full BEFORE we will order your plants. Payment is DUE to the Marion County Extension Office by March 1st, 2019 by 3:50pm. Youth will NOT collect money.

We do not guarantee plants. Almost all the plants we get are grown in Alabama by established and reliable nurseries.

When we get the plants, we will contact the customer by phone to let them know plants are in. Pick-up is at the Marion County Courthouse Annex, 372 7th Avenue SW, Hamilton, Al 35570. The customer should pick up the plants the same day they arrive or the next day if at all possible.

Plants will be available for pickup at the County Extension Office on the afternoon of March 6, 2019. No orders will be accepted after March 1, 2019.

Sometimes, the exact variety ordered may not be available when we go after the plants. If this happens, we will substitute a similar variety unless the customer requests “no substitute”.

Sometimes, the exact variety ordered may not be available when we go after the plants. If this happens, we will substitute a similar variety unless the customer requests “no substitute”.

Listing every type of plant available is not possible. If the customer would like for us to try to find something unusual or rare, we will try to do so.

Extension System information on growing fruits and shrubs is available upon request.

ORDER FORM: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2019/01/2019-Tri-fold-4-H-Fruit-Tree-Sale-PRINT.pdf

Marion County Extension Office Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30am-12:00pm & 12:30pm-4:00pm

Address: 372 7th Avenue SW Hamilton, AL 35570 Phone: (205)921-3551 Email: rgd0007@aces.edu



2019 4-H Summer Camp







Sign up for your 2019 4-H Summer Camp spot TODAY!
As a 4-H Summer Camper, you’ll be encouraged to make new friends and renew old friendships. You will have the opportunity to try new things and you will be challenged to be the best you can be! 4-H Summer Camp strives to instill the values of Head, Heart, Hands and Health through belonging, independence, generosity, and mastery in the lives of all who come to camp.
Check out our 4-H Summer Camp Video


Alabama 4-H Summer Camp Includes the Following:
-For ages 9 to 14
-June 26-28, 2019 (3 days/2 nights, 6 meals, 3 snacks, all equipment/materials, and extra snacks for dorm)                                                                   –$115 ($25 non-refundable deposit and completed forms are Due: Feb. 20th to the Marion County Extension Office. Final payment of $90 due by April 5th)
-Comfortable lodging
-Fun-filled learning opportunities

**Space is limited to the first 8 youth that complete their forms/deposit by Feb. 20th**

REQUIRED FORMS: Click HERE to Download All Required Forms

  1. Alabama 4-H Summer Camp Health History Form
  2. Youth Consent Form
  3. Physician Referral Form (must be completed by a physician and turned into the Extension Office by May 29, 2019 no later than 3:50pm)
  4. Immunization Form (blue form-call your Health Department)
  5. Copy of Insurance Card
  6. Medicine Form

PARENT PACKET-things to know


Camp Events
Each day campers will enjoy a different series of activities, all designed to help them make new friends, work together, and build relationships. A few of this year’s activities include the following:
-Flag Ceremonies
-Campfire Welcome
-Pirate Deck Party
-Sports Night

Water Adventures
Some of the most memorable activities include adventures in and on the water.  With a full-sized pool and Lay Lake at their disposal, campers can splash into summer with the following favorites:
-Paddle Boards

Sports & Outdoors
From swinging and shooting to racing and roping, there’s always something active to do at camp. An ever-expanding list of sports-related pastimes keep our campers on the move:
-Climbing Wall
-Giant Swing
-Amazing Race

Exploration Awaits!
History, science, art, and design —all this and more can be found at 4-H Summer Camp. If your interest lies in exploring new ways to learn and be creative, we’ve got activities just for you:
-Alabama the Great!
-Arts & Crafts

All 4-H Summer Camp counselors are first aid/CPR certified, are ARC lifeguard certified, have undergone background checks, and completed counselor training. Adult chaperones are Alabama Extension staff and volunteer leaders. All have undergone background checks and completed 4-H overnight chaperone training.

Contact the Marion County Extension Office for more information.  You can also learn more by contacting, 4-H Foundation Agent, Rebecca Danley.

Deal with Holiday Stress & Beat the Winter Blues

The holiday season is here.  It is time for family get-togethers, decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, baking, and attending special events.  You and your family may feel stressed because of the extra demands placed upon already busy schedules.  We put too much pressure on ourselves to create the “perfect” family occasion.  The three main causes of  stress  are relationships, finances, and physical demands.   Sometimes emotional disappointments combined with excess fatigue and stress result in post-holiday letdown.    It can take us the rest of the winter to recover.

 The  following  25  tips  can  help  you  to  avoid  stress  overload  and  ward  off  the  “blues”  :    Make time for yourself each day to relax and plan ahead.

  1. Remind yourself to slow down, take 3-10 deep breaths and relax!      
  2. Check our attitude – Focus on peace, love, joy, and fun!
  3. Be realistic about what you can accomplish. Avoid scheduling too many extra activities and obligations.  It is OK to say NO! Try these statements:  “Yes, if you’ll help me!”, “I really can’t give that the attention it deserves right now.”, or “I’d love to, but right now I just can’t.”  
  4. Don’t raise your expectations too high for the holidays.
  5. Get the whole family involved. Share the work and the joy.  Encourage children to keep up with their chores and responsibilities.   Sharing tasks allows everyone to feel like a part of the celebration and fun.
  6. Sit down as a family and make a list of all the things that need to be done. Let them volunteer to help or  delegate tasks.
  7. Make up a calendar that includes dates and times of all activities to attend, and a schedule of when tasks such as cleaning, baking, and shopping need to be done.
  8. Think about cutting out some activities. Ask your family members if they really enjoy and want to continue to do certain activities.  You may be surprised.  What you thought was a “must do”  may not really be enjoyed by most people in your family.
  9. Plan easy meals. Double batch casseroles and put one in the freezer for a quick meal.
  10. Control your holiday eating by not overeating; eating only what you really need; eating light healthy snacks; and drinking plenty of water (at least 8 glasses or 64 ounces or half of your weight in ounces of water).
  11. Exercise regularly for 30 minutes, get 6-10 hours of sleep, and don’t skip breakfast.
  12. Keep children’s eating and sleep routines as close to normal as possible to prevent them from becoming cranky, overtired, or getting sick.
  13. Expect young children to misbehave occasionally. Remember that they have short attention spans and tire easily.  Continue to enforce rules and limits.  Children need a stable and predictable world!
  14. Keep traditions and family gatherings simple. Allow for flexibility. 
  15. Shop with spending plan and gift ideas for each person. Stick to the spending limits you’ve set to avoid overspending.   When you spend more than you can afford, you prolong the stress into the New Year.
  16. Resist comparisons. Others may be able to do or give more, but more is not always better!
  17. Remember that people are more important than things, events, or tasks.
  18. Focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have. Count your blessings.
  19. Focus on sharing and doing for others rather than receiving (What can I do to help others?).
  20. Discuss holiday schedules and traditions ahead of time. This way, the child and all family members can plan ahead and know what to expect.
  21. When visiting, share your plans with your host/parents, so everyone knows what to expect.
  22. Realize that there will be disappointments as well as excitement and friction as well as happiness.
  23. Don’t expect yourself or those around you to be at their best all the time.
  24. Laugh! Look for ways to keep humor in your life.  It’s good for you!

Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas!  See you in 2019 at an Extension program!


Melanie Allen, REA, Family & Child Development

 256-200-2996    allenmg@aces.edu        



The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!  www.aces.edu



Fall into Health Eating

Perhaps we eat more simply because bathing suit season is over, and we can start hiding excess calories beneath our winter clothes. Whatever the reason, it’s important to realize that fall foods (soups, stews, breads, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples, pumpkins and all types of greens) can actually be healthier than foods of other seasons. They are typically packed with great nutrients, such as fiber, protein, beta carotene and vitamin C. Here are a few tips to keep the fall tasty and healthy:

Soups are great for you if they’re not made with cream or cheese. Just watch serving sizes–we tend to eat whatever’s in our bowls.

Stews can be hearty and fattening. Use loads of fresh vegetables, and go light on the meat and potatoes.

Avoid unconscious eating while watching football and the new fall TV lineup. Never bring the whole bag or bowl of anything to the couch or coffee table–pre-measure it in the kitchen beforehand. When it comes to chips, make sure they’re baked, not fried.

For pizza, watch the toppings–they can double the calories.

Celebrate the fall harvest in other ways besides making pies. Apples are low in calories when they’re off the tree, not in a pie.

If it’s got to be pie, try making pumpkin pie with artificial sweetener, egg whites and low-fat milk. And of course, just have one piece. Keep in mind that pumpkin seeds have about 300 calories per 1/4 cup.

Turkey is healthy, as long as you keep it lean and white.

Get out and enjoy the fall weather. The air is cooler, the leaves are turning and the countryside becomes more scenic. It’s the perfect time to go outdoors and do something: Take walks on the beach or by the lake; go to the zoo; or ride a bike.

Keep in mind that once we set the clocks back, it gets darker earlier, so there are fewer outdoor options for physical activities in the evening. Make adjustments by joining a gym, planning evening walks at the mall or becoming an early riser.


Taco Soup

2 lb. ground beef, browned and drained

1 onion, chopped

1 package taco mix

1 package ranch dressing mix

1 large can diced tomatoes (undrained)

1 can whole kernel corn (undrained)

1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies

1 can chili beans (undrained

1 can black beans (drained and washed)

Combine, cook, and serve. This is good for a large crowd.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University), is an equal opportunity educator and employer.  Everyone is welcome!

 Elaine Softley, MS, Home Science Agent II, Family Nutrition and Health

Alabama Cooperative Extension System

2018 Farm-City Contest

Marion County Rules: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2018/09/Farm-City-2018-Rules.pdf

State Rules: http://alabamafarmcity.org/

County Prizes Provided by the Marion County ALFA Farmer’s Federation

1st Place $50.00

2nd Place $25.00

3rd Place $15.00

**ALL submissions must be made to the Marion County Extension Office by October 31st, 2018. The Marion County Farm City Committee will select the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. 1st Place work will be submitted by the Marion County Committee for state submission. **

DUE: You can turn in your entry at your scheduled 4-H club meeting or drop off your entry by October 31st, 2018 to the Marion County Extension Office.

The Alabama Territory was carved out of the Mississippi Territory in 1817, and Alabama was admitted to the Union as the 22nd state Dec. 14, 1819. In those days, farming was the way of life for, the majority, of Alabamians, but the interdependence between urban and rural communities was already evident. Cities sprang up along major waterways, which farmers relied on to ship goods from land-locked areas to worldwide markets via the Port of Mobile. In the past 200 years, technology has transformed Alabama’s agricultural footprint and its cityscapes. The old mule and plow have been replaced by GPS-enabled tractors and cover crops. Farmers have embraced the importance of crop rotation and agricultural diversification to conserve soil nutrients and protect against market fluctuations. The former “Cotton State” now produces a vast array of agricultural products-from timber, beef, pork and poultry to fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, corn and soybeans. The once bustling riverfronts teeming with farmers, merchants and traders have grown into densely populated city centers with towering skyscrapers. Today, numerous city-dwellers never drive past or walk by a working farm. Regardless of a person’s chosen career-be it lawyer, doctor, mechanic, banker, teacher or scientist-everyone relies on agriculture for food, clothing, shelter and much more. We celebrate the contributions of our state’s farmers over the past 200 years.

Call the Extension Office with any questions. (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu

Open Monday-Friday 7:30am-12:00pm & 12:30pm-4:00pm

372 7th Avenue SW Hamilton, AL 35570


2018 4-H Summer Day Camps

All Marion County 4-H Events are open to all youth in Marion County Ages 9-18 years old. Alabama 4-H and Auburn University require that all youth be at least 9 years old as of January 1st, 2018 in order to participate in any 4-H Events.


2 Day RiverKids Event Cost: $5

JUNE 6: 8:30am-11:30am Meet at the Extension Office. Lunch Provided.

JUNE 7: 9:00am-12:00pm RiverKids Float (Location Disclosed June 6th)

2 Day RiverKids Event Cost: $5

JUNE 14: 8:30am-11:30am Meet at the Extension Office. Lunch Provided.

JUNE 15: 9:00am-11:30am RiverKids Float (Location Disclosed June 14th)

2 Day RiverKids Event Cost: $5

JUNE 21: 8:30am-11:30am Meet at the Extension Office. Lunch Provided.

JUNE 22: 9:00am-1:00pm RiverKids Float (Location Disclosed June 21st)

REQUIRED FORMS: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2018/05/Summer-Day-Camp-Forms-1.pdf

FLYER: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2018/05/2018-Summer-Day-Camp-Flyer-1.pdf


JULY 9th: Painting/Art Day Camp Cost: $5 (Spaces are first come, first serve)

8:30am-12:30pm Supplies and Lunch Provided.

Come enjoy a day of painting with Mandi Sexton and the 4-H Agent.

JULY 11th: Archery/Wildlife Day Camp Cost: $5  (Spaces are first come, first

11:30am-3:00pm Supplies and Lunch Provided.

Come try Archery with the Hamilton Parks and Recreation staff and learn about wildlife conservation with Matt Brock , Wildlife Biologist

JULY 12th: Cooking Day Camp Cost: $5   (Spaces are first come, first serve)

8:30am-12:30pm Supplies, Lunch, and Snacks Provided.

Come cook your own lunch and snack with Susan Hill, Food Safety Regional Extension Agent

JULY 13th: Cupcake Decorating Day Camp Cost: $5  (Spaces are first come, first serve)

8:30am-12:30pm Supplies and Lunch Provided.

Learn cake/cupcake decorating basics and take home your own baked treats!

**The Alabama Cooperative Extension system encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Rebecca Danley at (205)921-3551 in advance of your participation or visit. **

REQUIRED FORMS: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2018/05/Summer-Day-Camp-Forms.pdf

FLYER: http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2018/05/2018-Summer-Day-Camp-Flyer.pdf

Call or email the 4-H Agent with any questions. Spaces will be filled on a first paid, first served basis. (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu



2018 4-H County Round-Up

Project Ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vkfstHOKKE

Photos from the 2017 County Round-Up Event: https://www.facebook.com/pg/marioncountyal4h/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1698085383818391


County Round-Up Event Schedule May 17th, 2018

8:30am – 9:00am            Registration (Bevill State Community College Community Building)

9:00am – 9:15am            General Assembly/Set up Exhibits

9:15am – 11:30pm          Competitions/Outdoor Games

11:40pm-12:40pm          Lunch

12:50pm – 1:30pm         Awards in the Bevill Community Center (Parents are welcome to attend)

1:30pm                              Bus Dismissal

County Round-Up is a reward for active 4-H members! It’s also a celebration of what 4-Her’s have learned and the skills they have developed throughout the 4-H Year! The Marion County 4-H Round-Up is a great place for each Marion County 4-H member to “show off” their talents. Junior winners are selected in each event and will advance to the Regional Competition in June at Bevill State Community College in Sumiton, AL. Senior winners are selected in each event and will advance to State Competitive Events Day in July at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana, AL.

Youth attending 4-H Round-Up MUST compete in at least ONE competition, and may compete in up to TWO competitions. Youth MUST sign up for their County Round-Up Competition with their 4-H Teacher/Sponsor/School Secretary by April 13th (they will have the sign up sheet after your scheduled March 4-H Meeting). Spaces will fill up quickly so register ASAP!

Required Field Trip Form MUST be returned to your child’s SCHOOL (not the Extension office) by April 27th in order to attend County Round-Up. (this form doesn’t apply to Winfield Students): http://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2018/04/2018-Marion-County-Schools-field-trip-parent-permissions-form.pdf

All youth are expected to follow the 4-H Rules found below for their selected competition. Please call or email the Extension Office if you would like the rules printed and delivered to your school (205)921-3551 or rgd0007@aces.edu.

**Please click on the name of the competition below to view the rules.**


  • Chef 4-H (Individual Event) This Event will be held May 15th at 5:30pm at the Extension Office. Youth still get to come to Round-Up on the 17th and the winners will be announced then.
  • Freestyle Demonstration (Individual Event or Team of 2)
  • Poultry Que (Individual Event)



Questions? Ask your teacher or call the 4-H Agent, Rebecca Danley

4-H Music Education Matters Summit Scholarship Application Open Now

2018 4-H Music Education Matters Summit 

Deadline to Apply: May 1, 2018 4:00pm

Send all submissions to Rebecca Danley via email rgd0007@aces.edu

Scholarship Applicationhttp://offices.aces.edu/marion/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2018/04/4-H-Music-Summit-Scholarship-Application.pdf

The Georgia 4-H Music Education Matters Summit will take place at the Rock Eagle Georgia 4-H Center July 17th-19th. Youth will get to watch the Georgia Clovers and Company perform on July 18th. Youth will be working with industry specialists in their selected area of interest to learn and practice techniques, grow in music education, network with industry specialists and youth from around the nation, and get to perform what they’ve learned on the last day of the Summit. This is an excellent opportunity for any youth in grades 8th-12th interested in getting into the music/theater/art industry. Incomplete applications and late submissions will not be considered. The scholarship covers travel from the Alabama 4-H Center to Rock Eagle Georgia 4-H Center, meals, and lodging for 2 days and 3 nights. Please contact Rebecca Danley with any questions you might have.

2017 Facebook Video: https://www.facebook.com/marioncountyal4h/videos/1726112444349018/