August 2023 4-H Newsletter

4-H Calendar
4-H Club Happenings
State 4-H News
Other UMaine Extension Cumberland County News

August 17: 4-H Exhibit Hall Cleanup and Leader’s Association Meeting 

Cumberland County 4-H Office Hours

The Cumberland County office is currently open Monday-Thursday from 8:00am-4:30pm and Friday from 9:00am-2:00pm.

4-H Exhibit Hall Cleanup, Pizza Party, and Leader’s Association Meeting at the Cumberland Fairgrounds on Thursday, August 17, at 5:00PM

The Cumberland County 4-H Leaders Association is having their annual clean up of the 4-H Exhibit Hall at the Cumberland Fairgrounds on August 17, at 5:00 – 6:30 PM for 4-H’ers, leaders, parents, grandparents, and friends, at the fairgrounds. Pizza will be provided from 6:30 – 7:00 PM. for all those who come and help. Please bring your own drink. Masks are now no longer required and may be worn according to personal preference. The hall always needs a good cleaning before the fair, especially with a year off!
We can always use someone to bring an iron, ironing board, hedge trimmers, & rakes.

After cleaning the grounds and having some pizza, leaders are invited to stay and join the Leaders Association at their August Leaders meeting to get ready for the fair. We look forward to seeing you there!

Save the Date Annual Meeting, Wednesday, September 6

4-H leaders and members are invited to the 2023 Cumberland County Extension Association Open House & Annual Meeting will be held on September 6, 2023 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at UMaine Gardens at Tidewater Farm in Falmouth. For location information visit the Tidewater Farm page.

We will hold our 2023 King Arthur Flour Pie-Bake Off as part of the Open House! For more information, including rules and a prize list, please visit our pie contest page.

2023 Pig Raffle Tickets Available Now

The Pig Raffle is one of the most interesting fundraisers that Cumberland County 4-H does each year. The Pig Raffle raises funds to support 4-H scholarships, trips, and other awards for 4-Her’s in our county. If you would like to purchase or sell these tickets to start raising money before the Cumberland Fair starts, please contact our office, 207-781-6099 to have some mailed to you, or arrange to pick some up! Tickets may also be picked up by contacting Jenn Grant, at or 207-318-9166.

Volunteers Needed: 4-H Kitchen Fundraiser and Pig Raffle Ticket Sales at the Cumberland Fair, September 24- September 30, 2023

The 4-H Kitchen and Pig Raffle Booth is looking for volunteers for the week of the Cumberland Fair to prepare and serve foods as well as sell pig raffle tickets. This is the primary fundraiser held by the Cumberland County 4-H Leaders Association to support all of the scholarships, camperships, County events, and programs.

Shift times:

  • 6:30 a.m. – 8:30-9 a.m.
  • 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • 4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Please email Nicole Foster at or call 207.615.7558 for more details or to sign up your family or club.

Cumberland Fair, September 24 – September 30, 2023

All 2023 Cumberland Fair 4-H information is available on the Cumberland Fair 4-H Information page. Please be sure to look over the page carefully for important information. Livestock entry forms will be due to Mark Cooper by September 1st. Here are some helpful suggestions for you while you are getting ready for the fair:

  1. Club Exhibits: Be sure to bring everything for your display, including a table no larger than 4 ft. by 4 ft., if it will be needed!
  2. Projects: Pay close attention to the details on your projects and allow time to complete them and not leave things to the last minute.
  3. Exhibit Forms: Be sure to get your Cumberland Fair Exhibit Hall Entry form (Google Form) filled out early so we can make sure we have room in the hall for your exhibits and enough judges. Please also make sure each project you enter has an Exhibit Form AND Skills Card OR the new double-sided Exhibit Form/Skills Card filled out completely and attached. The Life Skills Wheel side of the skills form DOES NOT need to be filled out.
  4. Project Drop Off: Make sure to note the new drop off times for all projects. Some projects will be judged on Friday and some on Saturday in order to space out people in the Exhibit Hall and make set-up of the hall easier.
  5. Fair Passes: Same as 2022. Your 4-H member cards will NOT work as gate passes. Livestock members and families showing at the fair will receive fair passes from Mark Cooper, Livestock Superintendent. Those exhibiting in the 4-H Exhibit Hall who are 13 and older must see Allison Pollock during project drop off in the 4-H Exhibit Hall if you need passes, or arrange a time to pick them up from the 4-H office prior to the start of the fair.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is hiring!

We are hiring a position in our office—an Administrative Specialist that supports the Food & Nutrition and 4-H Youth Development programs. Interested applicants can find job details and apply via this link:

Club Happenings

Summer of Science

With 4-H summer of science in full swing, July was a busy and exciting month for our wonderful team of 5 college interns, 10 teen teachers, 4-H staff, and several amazing community partners in Cumberland County. UMaine 4-H and EPSCoR, an initiative funded by the National Science Foundation, partnered to offer local youth a free, educational summer series enabling students’ exploration of eDNA through experiential learning. 4-H’s summer of science model engages a wide range of students from ages 7-21. 4-H staff trains college interns who help train and supervise teen teachers from 8’th-12’th grade who deliver one lesson per week for four weeks to elementary and middle school aged youth. 

This summer, teaching teams taught at 14 sites per week, reaching 100+ students in any given week. Lessons covered Crime Scene Patterns and Polymers, Fingerprinting, Crime Scene Investigations, The Power of Observation, and more. Additionally, students were tasked with solving an ongoing “animal mystery” which provided them with a new clue each week prompting their elimination of one weekly suspect and eventual conclusion about the culprit. We are proud of our teaching teams’ growth and success throughout the program and wish them well with future endeavors! 

GNG 4-H Food Pantry Project

The GNG 4-H Food Pantry Project was started in 2016 and has been helping local families ever since. Our goal is to provide families in need with quality meat that has been raised by 4-Hers. Every year, we fundraise throughout the summer by having a booth at the Gray Village Farmers market every week, selling baked goods and blueberry lemonade at the Gray Blueberry Festival, applying for grants, and we have also been fortunate enough to receive the support of many local businesses. Throughout the duration of this project, we have raised over $30,000 and have purchased a total of 36 market animals from 4-Hers to be donated to the food pantries in Gray and New Gloucester. This project benefits both the 4-Hers involved in the auction and the 100-120 households that use the food pantries each month. If you are interested in supporting our project, you can reach our leaders at (207) 657-4351. Donations can be made out to GNG 4-H Food Pantry Project, and mailed to:

GNG 4-H Food Pantry Project
PO Box 1012
Gray, ME 04039

Farm Bill Listening Session

Three Cumberland County 4-Hers led the Pledge of Allegiance at the recent Farm Bill Listening Session at Freeport Performing Arts Center on July 31st. The farm bill is passed by our national government every five years and is very important to American agriculture (and 4-H, too!). The farm bill connects the food on our plates, the farmers and ranchers who produce that food, and the natural resources – our soil, air and water – that make growing food possible. A big thank you to the 4-Hers who represented us at the hearing!

Your 4-H Club Happenings could be featured here! Just email by the 28th of each month with information about your club meetings, events, or fundraisers. Pictures are always a plus!

State 4-H News August 2023

4-H Ecological Studies (4Est) SPIN Club

Did you know that YOU are a scientist and can contribute to the science community?!? This virtual 4-H citizen scientists club encourages youth to practice citizen science in their own backyard, with a variety of citizen science opportunities to consider, and report their observations while making connections with fellow citizen scientists in their community and around the state.  Along the way, we’ll learn about Maine ecology and how you can participate in research by just taking a picture.

Tuesdays September 12 – October 17, 2023 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm via zoom. This SPIN club is open to up to 12 youth ages 12 – 18. Please register by August 30th, so we have time to mail the materials to you home.  To learn more or sign up, visit our web page.

Fall 2023 Maine 4-H Agricultural Ambassadors Program 

Who: This program is for all Maine youth ages 14 – 18.

What: This hybrid program will provide youth with an opportunity to connect to local agriculture, build relationships with industry professionals, develop professional and advocacy skills, and explore careers in agriculture. The 2023 fall cohort will explore careers and local agriculture through in-person field trips (limited transportation available), and by attending virtual meetings to grow their professional skill set (e.g. resume writing and interviewing skills). Additionally, youth will complete a personal reflective project exploring the role of agriculture and their future. This program includes mentoring in post-secondary opportunities as well as exploring current issues around food systems, livestock, crop sciences, aquaculture, climate issues impacting food systems, food equity, and more.

Why: The goal of the Maine 4-H Ag Ambassador Program is to provide experiences for youth to explore their interest in agriculture. The program focuses on.
– connecting youth with their local food systems and industries
– exploring the richness and diversity of the Maine food system
– developing “ag-vocacy” skills
– increasing access to career and post-secondary opportunities in agri-science and food systems.

Where: Virtually and in-person throughout Maine.

When: Virtual Meeting Dates: October 18 & 25, November 1 & 15
– In-Person Meeting Dates: October 21, November 10, and December 2.

How: Interested in Joining? Register Online by October 11th.

Other UMaine Extension Cumberland County News

UMaine Extension Cumberland County offers many different workshops throughout the year. To learn more about our workshop offerings please visit