February Newsletter 2020

Dates to Remember

February 15:  Public Speaking Workshop, 9:30 a.m.

February 24:  Free Gardening Class – Houlton Higher Ed Center 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
“Introduction to Growing Your Own Vegetables”

March 14:  Public Speaking, County Tournament

April 1:  4-H enrollment forms due for new members

April 1:  Horse Livestock Approval Forms due if participating in Eastern States

April 4:  State Public Speaking Tournament

June 30:  Livestock Approval Forms due

Happy Birthday to all 4-Her’s born in February!

Michaela G
Paige B

Happy Valentines Day Aroostook County! 

We love our 4-H family and all the wonderful members of the community that actively promote positive youth development. We appreciate all that you do!

Eastern States Horse Show

Last year we had several members attend the Eastern States Exposition Horse Show in Springfield, Massachusetts’s; home of The Big E. This fair is the largest on the East Coast and draws in huge crowds and extensive competitors from across the country.

This year we have received intent forms to try out for Eastern States from all three 4-H horse clubs. Members who will be trying out are coming from the Mane Eventers, Wild Mustangs, and Ultra Clover. We even received one independent submission!

Good luck, ladies!


6 4-H girls headed to eastern states

2019 Eastern States Maine Equestrian Team









Aroostook County Public Speaking Workshop: February 8th @ 10 a.m.

Location: Houlton Office

If you are new to 4-H Public Speaking we would love to invite you to an interactive workshop to learn and to practice communication skills. The two primary types of Public Speaking are a demonstration (how to do something) or an illustrated talk (information about a topic.) Youth can also work as a team of two.

Cloverbuds (ages 5 to 8) present for 3-5 minutes
Juniors (ages 9 to 13) present for 3-8 minutes
Seniors (ages 14 to 18) present for 5-10 minutes

Aroostook County Public Speaking Tournament – March 14th @ 10 a.m. in the Houlton Office
For lots of great resources check out our Maine 4-H Public Speaking page.

Special Visitor to Aroostook

Our County 4-H program was also selected by the Maine 4-H Foundation to host Arthur Pearson, the president of the Thompson Island Outward Bound Center. This center hosts thousands of Boston Public School students each year in environmental education explorations. Arthur toured Maine 4-H camp and learning centers but also wanted to learn about 4-H in a county so he drove all the way up to meet and learn from our 4-H staff. It was quite an honor and we are excited about potentially bring a group of Aroostook 4-Hers to Thompson Island in the future.


Screenshot of Thompson Island


County News
‘Paca Pals!

The ‘Paca Pals are out of the gate and they are kicking up their heels! This group LOVES to get together twice a month for club meetings but January weather postponed their mid-January meeting until February. The club recently held elections for Officers and they also had a Yankee Swap that the members enjoyed!

'Paca Pals



Percy is enjoying his new job as the Houlton Office mascot!

Percy joined the Biology Class twice last month for two afternoons learning about DNA and Mendelian genetics! He also had a chance to learn about Outward Bound from a visit the Houlton staff received from Arthur Pearson, Director, and CEO of the Thompson Island location.


CHOICES Afterschool Program: January 29

The Choices Afterschool Program this month had forty-seven after schoolers and ten wonderful adult volunteers! The afternoon was filled with games and activities as Aroostook County Cooperative Extension staff taught the participants about seed dispersal methods, habitats, and three important elements of an ecosystem; producers, consumers, and decomposers!

Group Photo of afterschool program


Houlton Southside Elementary STEM Program: January 13

Percy piglet helping with programPercy stem piglet helping with programPercy Stem mermaid piglet

Thank you to Houlton Southside School for allowing us to spend the morning and afternoon with you!

Houlton Southside Elementary invited Cooperative Extension staff to the school for three hours of STEM programming. Three classes learned about Winter, a very special dolphin, and prosthetic devices. Fourth graders had the opportunity to work in groups to create a prosthetic tail and learn about the Engineering Design Process. Percy the #STEMPiglet REALLY enjoyed the day, he had a chance to try out several of the tales and even took a few back to the County office for future programs.

If you are interested in hosting the Houlton Cooperative Extension staff at your school or organization for programming, please feel free to reach out and touch base!  532-6548 or mari.glatter@maine.edu

State 4-H News

February, 2020

  1. Come to Orono for the 2020 4H@UMaine May 29 – 30, 2020
    Planning has started and the wheels are in motion thanks to the efforts of a tremendous team! We are always looking for individuals interested in helping with pre-event planning or attending the event itself! Stay tuned for details. For more information about 4-H@UMaine, contact Greg Kranich atkranich@maine.edu or 207.581.3292.
  2. Save the Date for 2020 Maine 4-H Days
    Maine 4-H Days will take place July 16 – 19, 2020 at the Windsor Fairgrounds. If you are interested in helping to plan next year’s event, please contact Jessy Brainerd at brainerd@maine.edu or 207.581.3877.
  3. UMaine 4-H Unconference – not your average volunteer forum!
    UMaine 4-H Unconference – a volunteer forum led by 4-H volunteers for 4-H volunteers.  UMaine 4-H Unconference will be an organized forum for 4-H volunteers, club leaders, afterschool providers, teachers, parents and teens leaders to gather.  UMaine 4-H Unconference is intentionally designed to have YOU teach and learn from each other. There is no agenda – you come with 4-H ideas and topics you want to talk about or learn more about, and we’ll guide the process to get folks into groups where YOU are the experts.  All experience levels are welcome and no one person has all the answers.  Door prizes will be given at the end of the day. Register online. Join us for one or both of these awesome dates!  Registration begins at 8:30 and door prizes will be drawn by 3:00:

    • Ellsworth (Ellsworth High School 24 Lejok St. Ellsworth, ME), Saturday February 8, 2020 (snow date February 29, 2020 – location TBD)
    • Lewiston (USM Lewiston Auburn Campus – 51 Westminster St. Lewiston, ME) Saturday, March 14, 2020
  4. Citizenship Washington Focus
    Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) Start making plans now to visit our Nation’s Capital during the week of June 27 to July 5, 2020. CWF is a leadership program conducted by the National 4-H Council for high school youth ages 14 to 18. Delegations of 4-Hers from across the country spend six days touring the city and attending leadership skill-building workshops. This summer, the Maine delegation will travel down on Saturday, June 27 and travel home Sunday, July 5, 2020. You will stay at the National 4-H Conference Center just outside Washington, DC. Visiting the most popular sites in Washington, DC will be a part of the trip, including spending the 4th of July in our nation’s capital. There is a mandatory orientation for Maine delegates on April 25th, 2020.  For more information.   Contact your county 4-H office for details about how to be a part of this experience if you don’t hear from them very shortly. All county offices have different criteria/dates to apply, so please contact them ASAP.  For specific questions, please contact Heidi Palmer, State Activities Coordinator at:  thuotte@maine.edu.
  5. National 4-H Trips (Conference and Congress)
    National 4-H Trip Applications are due March 20th, 2020 (Conference and Congress). National 4-H Trips are excellent opportunities to meet 4-H members from across the nation. Participants learn about many career options, and learn through educational workshops at Congress or become a part of a team making recommendations to National 4-H Council at Conference. To learn more about these trips, visit: https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/national-trips/.  For specific questions, please contact Heidi Palmer, State Activities Coordinator at: thuotte@maine.edu
  6. 4-H Science Saturdays are Returning in 2020!
    Thanks to the generous support of the Maine 4-H Foundation, we will be offering opportunities for middle/early high school aged youth to visit the UMaine campus for targeted science or engineering experiences!Science Saturday programs run from 10 AM – 1:30 PM, and include time for youth to engage in hands-on activities with professors and current UMaine students, as well as time for lunch in a UMaine dining hall! We need your input!  What topics should we offer?  Please let us know by filling out the survey here:  https://umaine.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9pN1is3NtSzne4J
  7. Maine 4-H Project Records Survey
    The final survey regarding the Maine 4-H Project Records is available. You are invited to participate in a statewide research project being conducted by Kristy Ouellette and Jennifer Lobley, Extension Educators at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. This is the third of three surveys. If you decide to participate, you will be asked to complete an on-line survey with questions pertaining to your attitudes and beliefs regarding 4-H project records in Maine.  The survey will take you approximately 20 minutes to complete. You will be entered in for a drawing of a Hannaford Gift Card. The survey is available here: https://umaine.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_78SczkYK7t5bMIl
  8. Higher Education Scholarships
    The Maine 4-H Foundation provides a number of scholarships for graduating seniors. The applications are found on line and are due in the county office by March 1 and to the Maine 4-H Foundation by March 8th. Please see the rubric and application requirements on line at Higher Education Scholarships.
  9. Camp Scholarships Available
    The Maine 4-H Foundation has camp scholarships ranging from $100-$200 available for 4-H members to any one week of 4-H camp. Try one of our University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Centers at Blueberry Cove, Bryant Pond, Greenland Point and Tanglewood. Call the camps to ask for a scholarship. Scholarships are based on need and first come, first serve. https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/camps/
  10. National 4-H Dairy Conference
    The 66th National 4-H Dairy Conference will be held September 27 to September 30, 2020in Madison, Wisconsin. It will be held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo and attendees will have the chance to visit Expo as part of the conference agenda. Additionally, the conference will offer opportunities to learn more about careers in agriculture, seminars on dairy topics, and a wealth of chances to interact with dairy 4-H members from across the country.More info about the conference can be found here (check back for updates as they happen): The Maine 4H Animal Science Dairy Committee would love to try and send/support a team of motivated kiddos who are involved with the Dairy Goat, or Dairy Cattle Project Areas for this very unique and meaningful opportunity.The National 4H Dairy Conference requires that 4H team members: Have spent at least 3 years in those project areas, and be at least 15 years old but not yet older than 18 (4H age).We are also looking for potential VOLT Chaperones who might like to help organize and facilitate this trip.  If we have an idea of how many kids are interested we can plan our fundraising efforts accordingly.  Interested parties can contact Tara marble at marble@maine.edu, or 207-778-4650 at the Franklin County Office.
  11. 4-H Statewide Teen Dance Seeks Planning Committee Members
    There is a small group of 4-H members who would like to plan a statewide formal dance for teen 4-H members across the state. We are looking for teen volunteers who would like to be a part of the planning committee for this Winter event. FMI please contact Maddie Gray maddicus83@gmail.com.
  12. 4-H Dairy Team Dates
    The summer show season is fast approaching and it is time to start preparing for the 2020 Eastern States Exposition. Please save the dates below for Eastern States 4-H Dairy team tryouts and events. More information on the Eastern States Exposition 4-H dairy team and how to get involved in a 4-H dairy project can be found at https://extension.umaine.edu/4h/animal-science-resources/dairy/. Please contact Tara Marble at marble@maine.edu or Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu with any questions.Note: In order to be eligible for participation on the 2020 ESE 4-H Dairy Team youth must:

    • Be enrolled in a 4-H dairy project for at least one year
    • Be 12 years old or older by December 31st of the current 4-H year
    • Submit an ESE dairy team intent to participate form by Feb. 1, 2020
    • Participate in at least one state tryout event
    • Submit their animal approval form to their county office by May 1st (if they intend to bring an animal)
    • Participate in the Maine State 4-H Dairy show in July

Maine 4-H Dairy Team Dates:

  • 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Team Tryouts: 2/15/2020, at 10:00 am at UMA in the Randall Student Center, Room 218 (snow date: 2/16/2020 same time and location)
  • 4-H Dairy Judging Team Tryouts: 4/18/2020, time and location TBD
  • Animal Approval and Lease Form Due Date (for ESE participants): 5/1/2020, in your local County Extension Office
  • Animal Approval and Lease Form Due Date (for non-ESE participants): 6/30/2020, in your local County Extension Office
  • Maine 4-H Dairy Show (including 4-H Grilled Cheese Contest and 4-H Dairy Fitting Contest): 7/18/2020 – 7/19/2020 at the Windsor Fairgrounds