January 4-H Newsletter

Upcoming Dates & Events

Maine Ag Trades Show: January 9 – 11th, UMA Campus  
Aroostook Leaders Assoc. Mtg: January 19th @ 6:00 pm
Trek to Totality (train the trainer) Workshop: January 30th, Francis Malcolm Science Center   Register Here
Maple Sugaring 101, Sap to Sales Statewide Hybrid Program: Registration due Feb 5th online or contact megan.cook@maine.edu for more information.
Aroostook 4-H Public Speaking Workshop: February date TBA
Aroostook 4-H Public Speaking Competition: March 16th, 10:00 am Houlton Extension Office – register no later than March 8th
Eclipse Virtual Statewide Club: Weekly, March 21 – April 11  Registration opens soon
Read ME Ag: Begins March 18
Maine 4-H Teen Ag Symposium: April 18 & 19 

County News

Greetings & Happy New Year Aroostook 4-H’ers! 

2024 is shaping up to be an exciting and busy year with lots of opportunities for members to “Learn by Doing.”  County and statewide opportunities are numerous and varied so please take time to review the events above and those listed below in the State News section. 

R logo - reminder app logoRemind Text Communications

Aroostook 4-H families will receive a text with a request to join or opt in to text message from REMIND over the next week.  Some families may have already received the request, and some have not.  If you have already registered or opted into the REMIND request there is nothing further you need to do.
Remind is a messaging and alert service used by educational entities to connect with parents.  In the case of Aroostook 4-H it will only be used for emergency notifications regarding event cancelation or changes or other time sensitive notifications in emergency situations.  Participation is not required, but is recommended. 

Trek to Totality Workshop – Volunteer Opportunity

If you haven’t already heard, most of Aroostook County will be in the direct path of the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. This is an incredible opportunity for all of us, but especially our youth. If your members are interested in the eclipse, and you’d like more information on how to help them to understand what happens during an eclipse, as well as how to engage youth in some fun and informative activities, this is the event for you! 

On Tuesday, January 30, Francis Malcolm Science Center will be offering Trek to Totality: Train-the-Trainer Professional Development Workshop from 3:30-7:30 PM. This workshop is being facilitated by the FMSC in cooperation with Aroostook 4-H, school educators, and others involved in the Aroostook CLE. 

The following activities will be offered:

  • Totality Plus – view the full dome show, Totality (created and produced by the Houston Museum of Natural Science [HMNS] in Conjunction with Rice University and ePlanetairum), and have a chance to go more in-depth with Amateur Astronomer, Jim Stepp.
  • Make-and-Take activity stations – visit eight stations scattered around the Science Center to build a folder of activities that include building models of a total solar eclipse, providing eye safety, exploring what you can do if it is cloudy on the day of the eclipse, viewing solar eclipse books, making solar bracelets, and much more.

Participants will receive a $75 stipend for attending thanks to the generous grant from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, earn 4 contact hours, enjoy free snacks and dinner.

Please register HERE as soon as possible, but no later than January 20th.  (If all spots are filled a second workshop will be offered at a later date, additional details to follow.)

black and white partial eclipse of the sunFor additional information regarding the eclipse as well as local events and opportunities check out these sites. 

Why is a total solar eclipse so exciting?
Maine Eclipse Festival 
NASA – 2024 Total Eclipse
Total Solar Eclipse 2024 – Maine


black and white drawing of public speaking with one speaker at podium and 7 head figures in audiencePublic Speaking Season 

If the Demo Ex competition at the Northern Maine Fair was any indication, our members have some amazing talent with public speaking.  The county will be hosting a 4-H Public Speaking workshop(s) to help members prepare, practice, and hone their skills in preparation for county and state competitions.  Traditional 4-H public speaking events vary slightly from Demo Ex so if you enjoyed participating at the fair we encourage you to join us to learn more about 4-H public speaking. 

The Aroostook County public speaking competition will be held on March 16th.  The state level competition will be held in early April in Orono for those members who qualify at the county level. 

Stay tuned for more information regarding the upcoming workshops and public speaking events. 

female 4-H leader with a girl and a boy holding, girl holding triophy for best non profit exhibit at the winter holiday paradeClub News

The Evergreens Club received their trophy for placing 1st in the non-profit division of the Holiday Light Parade. 


Happy birthday banner

State 4-H News

Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey

Do you know someone who is interested in becoming a 4-H Volunteer? Tell them to Start Their 4-H Volunteer Journey!   University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer a two-part online informational session for adults interested in becoming Maine 4-H volunteers on Jan. 16 & 23 from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. “Start Your 4-H Volunteer Journey” will provide participants with information about the UMaine Extension 4-H youth development program through four short e-Learning modules. Attendees will also participate in an experimental learning activity, learn about the key aspects of positive youth development, and be introduced to ages and stages of youth. The two one-hour virtual sessions will wrap up with an outline of next steps and an introduction to a county staff contact to help with the application process if desired.  Registration is required. The sessions are free. To register, visit our website.  For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Jennifer  Lobley, jennifer.lobley@maine.edu, 207.255.3345.

Solar Eclipse Coming to Maine!

On April 8th, 2024 Maine will experience a full solar eclipse, a once in a lifetime opportunity!  What is a solar eclipse?  When the moon orbits the earth, sometimes the moon moves between the earth and sun. At the right angle, the moon blocks the sun’s light from reaching earth and causes a solar eclipse. During  a solar eclipse the Moon’s shadow is cast upon earth in certain locations.  What is a total solar eclipse?  A total solar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in a direct line. It is visible from only certain locations on earth during a solar eclipse when the center of the Moon’s shadow hits the earth, the sky goes dark and we can experience changes in a short amount of time (temperature, sounds, etc.).  This link will bring you to a short animation from NASA that explains what we will see during a solar eclipse and why it happens. Curious whether you’ll be in the path of totality? This solar eclipse look up tool allows you to see whether you will experience a total or partial solar eclipse on April 8th. Stay tuned for more eclipse information and opportunities!

Maple Sugaring 101: From Sap, to Syrup, to Sales

Not long after the New Year celebrations have ended and Maine hunkers down for several more weeks of winter, some farmers and landowners across the state turn their attention to maple sugar season. Depending on the weather, maple trees start to release their sweetness anytime between February and April and there’s a lot of work to be done to prepare for collecting the sap and boiling it down into syrup. Maple Sugaring 101 is a 6-week program open to Maine youth ages 9 to 15 who are interested in learning about the entire maple sugaring process. Participants will learn about forest management, tapping trees, transporting sap, using an evaporator, grading and storing syrup, and operating a maple sugaring business. Each week, participants will learn about the process and connect with other young maple sugar makers through online meetings and in-person workshops led by Extension and University of Maine experts. Online meetings are scheduled for Wednesday evenings: February 7, February 14, and February 28. On-site workshops will be held at participating sugarhouses following the virtual sessions.

Club leaders who would like to have their club participate in this program, please contact your 4-H County Professional or Andrew Hudacs by Monday, January 29, 2024: andrew.hudacs@maine.edu, (207) 581-8204.

Youth who are interested in the program but are not a member of a participating club are welcome to register.  Travel beyond their home county may be required to attend onsite sessions. Registration ends: February 5, 2024.

Tidepool Immersion Discovery + Ecology Workshop Series

Explore the intertidal zone and help with marine science research! In this workshop, we will learn about animals you might find during low tide and use some amazing equipment to take awesome pictures on your phone to identify them. Along the way, we’ll learn about invasive species, climate change, species identification, and how you can participate in research by just taking a picture. Please note that the ability to get to the beach and supervision are required (at least once, between sessions). Participants must have access to a durable digital camera (a phone is fine). This workshop is supported by Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine. Register by March 27th, so supplies can be mailed to attendees’ homes.

Dates: Tuesdays, 4:00-5:00, April 9, 2024 through May 11.  In person field day at SMCC, South Portland (optional) scheduled in South Portland on April 13  (rain date April 14).  Ages 11-18

Most activities will be held via Zoom. Materials will be provided and shipped directly to participants before the workshop. In-person field day scheduled in South Portland on April 13 (rain date April 14). Participants will be asked to visit the ocean at least once, at low tide, during this series. Facilitators: Emily P. and Sam B.

Pre-registration is required by March 27, 2024.

Come to Work at Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove!

Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove are now hiring for our spring and summer seasons! Positions include Educators, Counselors, Trip Leaders, and more. Please visit our website   for more information and to apply.

Young Explorers Early Childhood Enrichment

Young Explorers at Blueberry Cove, our new early childhood enrichment program, is accepting registrations for 2024! The program focuses on play, sensory learning, and developing social skills in an outdoor setting. Explorers spend time with our camp animals, play at the forest and beach, and read stories. Ages 3 – 5, M, W, &  F from 9 am – 12 pm.
For more

4-H Volunteer Workshops for the 2023-2024 4-H Year

We invite you to participate in our 4-H Volunteer Connections virtual workshops! Join other 4-H volunteers from the North East region to learn, share and engage with one another on a variety of topics related to 4-H. All workshops are free and offered via Zoom in the evenings from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

Topics include:

January 10 – Creating LGBTQ+ Inclusive Programs
February 13 – Be a Positive Communicator
March 12 – Finding Space for Mental Wellness in Every Program
April 9 – Animal Science: Strong Relationships and Sportsmanship
Click here to register now! Come to one or come to all! We look forward to connecting with YOU! 

4-H Tick Project

The 4-H Tick Project is a community science project engaging K-12 youth and educators, made possible through a partnership between 4-H Youth Development, UMaine Cooperative Extension Tick Lab, Maine Forest Tick Survey, and members of the Learning Ecosystems Northeast partnership. The project provides youth an opportunity to explore ticks and tick-borne diseases, which is a connected story of climate, ecosystem change, and public health.  All educators interested in teaching about ticks in Maine are encouraged to participate in the
project at no cost to you. This is a great project for 4-H clubs, SPIN clubs, homeschool groups, and more. For more information and to register, visit the 4-H Tick Project webpage.

Fryeburg Market Animal Intents Now Available

Intent to sell forms for Fryeburg market projects are now available .  Steers must be owned and in the possession of the 4-H member by December 31st and intent forms, including RFID tags, bill of sale, and photos of the steer must be submitted by January 5 th . Lambs must be owned and in the possession of the 4-H member by June 1st and intent forms, including bill of sale, scrapie tag number, and photos of the animal, must be submitted by June 5. For more information on 4-H market animal projects please contact your county cooperative extension office or call 207.581.3877.

Maine 4-H ESE Beef Intent to Participate Forms are Now Available

The 2024 Maine 4-H Beef ESE Intent to Participate form is now available online and must be submitted by January 15, 2024. This is a requirement for all youth intending to participate as members of the Maine 4-H Beef Team at the Eastern States Exposition in September. Youth must be 12-18 years old as of December 31, 2023 and have completed one year in a beef project prior to this year. Please contact Kristen Grondin, kristen.grondin@maine.edu, 207.581.8193, with any questions.

National 4-H Trips for 2024/2025

The National Trip websites will be updated by the beginning of the year.  They will be updated with as much information as known currently, and will continue to be updated as information is available. 

The State of Maine 4-H Program sends four delegates to “The National 4-H Conference” in Washington DC held in April 2025. (National Conference delegates for 2024 were selected this past year.)  State of Maine 4-H also sends 4 delegates to “The National Congress” on November 29-December 3, 2024 to be held in Atlanta, GA.  Interviews for both these trips will be set for Friday and Saturday February 9th and 10th, 2024 via zoom.  All online applications are due on January 26, 2024, to your county office.  As with all of our trips, special thanks to the Maine 4-H Foundation for supplementing significantly to these trips. For more information or help with the interviewing process, please contact heidi.palmer@maine.edu.

Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF)

CWF will be held on June 20-27, 2024 in Washington DC.  We have reserved space for 15 Maine delegates. The cost will be in the area of $1200 + or -.  We will most likely fly and will be staying at a different hotel than in the last couple of years.  Be sure to connect with your county office and let them know your interest.  They in turn will correspond, on behalf of their entire county to me.  They also will know if there is additional help in funding the trip through your county.

A big Thank You to The Maine 4-H Foundation for significantly funding this incredible trip.  (County Offices, Heidi Palmer will need your delegate names by March 20, 2024). This trip is amazing and very well known and liked.  This trip will be on a first come basis.  There are limited spaces as the program is only being run for 1 additional week from our spoken week. So only two weeks total.  An orientation will be planned as we get closer and will be on the website and communicated to candidates directly.  If you need more information, you can check the CWF UMaine website in early January, or email, Heidi Palmer:    heidi.palmer@umaine.edu.

National 4-H Congress, November, 2023

National Congress this year was held in Atlanta GA.  Maine sent 3 delegates and 1 chaperone in November.  Congratulations to Kendall S. and Sadie O. from Cumberland County, Nathan D. from Waldo County, and our chaperone, Jenn Grant from Cumberland County.  A very special thanks to Jenn for agreeing to chaperone.  Congratulations to our Maine delegation!

ESE 4-H Dairy Intent Forms

The 2024 Maine 4-H Dairy Eastern States intent to participate form is available online . In order to be eligible for participation on the Maine 4-H Dairy Eastern States Team this fall, 4-H members must submit their completed intent form online or to the Waldo County Cooperative Extension office before February 17, 2024. Please contact Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu or 207.342.5971 with any questions

2024 Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Contest

The Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl contest will be held on February 17th at the UMA Randall Student Center in Augusta, ME. The contest consists of a general knowledge exam, individual questions, and buzzer questions. The contest will serve as the official tryout for the Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Team that will represent Maine 4-H at ESE this fall. All 4-H dairy project members ages 9-18, regardless of whether or not they wish to try out for the quizbowl team, are invited to participate. Contestants will be divided into two age divisions, Jr.’s ages 9-11 and Sr.’s ages 12-In the event of inclement weather on the 17th, the event will be rescheduled for February 24th. For a complete set of rules for the contest, study materials, and directions to the venue please visit our website.  For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation please contact Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu.

graphic of four different types of potatoesMaine Potatoes are the January Harvest of the Month

Check out the resources from Maine Ag in the Classroom for the Harvest of the month.




green soup with cucumbers4 Reasons Why Practicing Mindful Eating Should Be Your New Year’s Resolution