January 2021 4-H Newsletter

4-H Happenings

A monthly newsletter for Hancock County 4-H Members

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Table of Contents

Upcoming Dates| County News | Club News | State News | Leaders Meeting Minutes | Cooking with Kids

Upcoming Dates to Remember

January 12 – 4:30 pm – Leaders’ Meeting via zoom
January 12 – 7:00 – 8:00 – Virtual 4-H Special Interest Clubs – What’s all the Hype – (See County News)
January 18 – Martin Luther King Day – Extension Office Closed
January 19 – 7:00 – 8:00 pm – Taking 4-H Outdoors – (See County News)
January 26 – 6:00 – 7:00 pm – 4-H Public Speaking Workshop – Online Presentations – (See State News)
January 26 – 7:00 – 8:00 pm – When Your 4-H Club Can’t Meet in Person… Go VIRTUAL – (See County News)


County News

NE Regional 4-H Dog Photo Contest – We were so happy to see that several Hancock County 4-H members participated in the state-wide dog photo contest! This dog photo contest was one of a kind — participants could submit in categories such as “Trick Dog, My Dog and Me, Costume, Classic Art and Breed Trails”. CEA Zabet NeuCollins was one of the judges, and she said, “I was blown away by everyone’s submission. I don’t know if it’s because I like dogs or what, but every photo was incredible!”

Photo Contest
Emma S. – 1st Place – “My dog Merlin doing some retriever training on land”
Photo Contest
Hannah D. – 7th Place –
“My Little Baby Girl Penny Mae”


Photo Contest
Ella S.A. – 5th Place – “High and Dry, Hunt in Style”







Happy New Year – The 4-H staff wants to send a big thank you to all 4-H members, volunteers, parents, and families! I think we can all agree that 2020 has been quite the year — thank you for sticking with 4-H through the thick and thin. We are all looking forward to the healing 2021 will bring.

Here are some fun things to get excited about in 2021:

  • The state-wide 4-H Public Speaking Tournament, which will take place virtually over the weekend of April 16 – 18th. In lieu of a county-wide tournament, we will be hosting 4-H public speaking workshops for 4-H youth to prepare and practice. These will be held throughout January and February. See page 8 or visit the website extension.umaine.edu/4h/public-speaking/ for more details.
  • The Hancock County 4-H Photo Contest! You can enter photos from the entire year, so start snapping away! Scholarships – Being a member of Hancock County 4-H makes you eligible for lots of financial support (for college, 4-H Summer Camp, Leadership programs, and more)… learn about all of the opportunities this year and take advantage of them!
  • Special Interest Programs, such as the Egg Business Project, Aquaculture, and Kids Can Grow on MDI and (new!) in Milbridge.
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!!!! Stay updated by reading the newsletter, visiting our website and Facebook page.

Leaders’ Meeting – The next Leaders’ Association meeting will be by Zoom on January  12,  at 4:30 pm. Email  carla.scocchi@maine.edu for the private link.

New Volunteers – Thanks to Melissa Malmstedt and Scarlett Tudor for being awesome new 4-H volunteers this year! Melissa and Scarlett have volunteered extensively by leading workshops and programs during the 4-H Summer Learning Series, 4-H Aquaponics Project, and the 4-H Aquarium Club.  Both of these incredible women have shared their passion for marine science and aquaculture with 4-H youth for several years now (you may remember seeing Melissa as the “touch tank lady” at June Jamboree and the Blue Hill Fair!), but made it official in 2020 by becoming enrolled volunteers in Hancock County. Thanks to both of them for inspiring youth to pursue their passion for aquatic sciences!

4-H Volunteer Cabin Fever Series –  Need a little change of pace this winter?

Looking for an opportunity to connect with other 4-H volunteers?

Maine 4-H is excited to offer some short, fun virtual learning opportunities for 4-H volunteers!

Whether you are a club volunteer who has worked with a group of youth for a number of years, or a newly enrolled volunteer trying to decide how you can get involved, the Maine 4-H program has something for you. Register to join us for one, two or all three virtual sessions in our January Cabin Fever Series on Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm-8:00pm. The best part is you can cozy up with a blanket and your slippers, a cup of hot cocoa and a snack and join us from the comfort of your own home!


  • Virtual 4-H Special Interest Clubs – What’s All the Hype?Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 7:00 – 8:00 pm.
  • Taking 4-H Outdoors
    Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
  • When Your 4-H Club Can’t Meet in Person…GO VIRTUAL!
    Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Go here for more information and to register,   You will receive the ZOOM connection information upon registration. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Jen Lobley at 207.255.3345, jennifer.lobley@maine.edu.

Hands On Homesteading
Is your youth interested in homesteading?  Then we’ve got a treat for you!  Lone Spruce Farm and Hancock County 4-H have partnered to create a take home learning series all about homesteading.  “Hands On Homesteading” are monthly packets that will give local youth the opportunity to develop some of the most critical skills that are a part of daily life in agriculture and homesteading.  You can currently pick up packets at the Cooperative Extension Office in Hancock County or the farm stand at Lone Spruce Farm.  Topics covered will be weather spotting and climate study, beneficial insects, weaving, baking, gardening, tree identification, animal husbandry and more.  Visit the web to reserve your kit today!

A New Year, a new Project Record!

4-H Project Records are used by 4-H members of all ages to demonstrate the goals they have set, what they have learned, and what they have achieved during their 4-H year. 4-H youth all over the world are working on Project Records throughout the year – you are not alone! In Hancock County, we have a special program for Project Records where youth can receive cash prizes and ribbons for submitting them for judging in September.  As you are planning your 4-H projects this year, we encourage you to keep a record of your experience by using the 4-H Project Records. Visit the website to download the records and learn more.

UMaine Extension’s Commitment to Civil Rights 

This message is being sent as a reminder of UMaine Cooperative4-H Safe Space Logo Extension’s commitment to ensuring the civil rights of its clients. Every member of the 4-H community must be treated fairly, equitably, with dignity and respect in employment and education. This policy applies to all – regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, including transgender status or gender expression, citizenship status, and marital or family status.

Each 4-H Volunteer has an important role in ensuring that our programs are open and accessible to all youth in accordance with the goals of the program, and for maintaining a positive and equitable environment. The challenge, for each of us, is to make special efforts to seek out diversity. We must be able to show we have made all responsible efforts to reach community members who are traditionally underrepresented in our programs and groups.

We each become more effective in teaching and learning when we are open to a diversity of ideas, cultures, experiences and backgrounds. Not only are our lives enriched, but we also build healthier communities for learning and living.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Extension Office with questions.

Happy New Year

Club News

4-H Bird Chats – The statewide birding club, 4-H Bird Chats, is underway! Club members met for the first time on December 16th and learned basic birding techniques and all about Project FeederWatch, a citizen science initiative of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. CEA Zabet NeuCollins, who is leading the group, said that she was blown away by the enthusiasm by the kids and fellow staff members. There are twenty-one participants! She hopes this will be an annual club. In the meantime, she is prepping for January’s lesson which will be about different types of bird feeders. If you’d like to sign up to receive activity sheets at home, fill out the form on our website. 

State News

Maine 4-H Foundation Scholarships
Graduating seniors can apply for a 4-H scholarship from the Maine 4-H Foundation. Applications are due on March 1, 2021 to the local county office and on March 8, 2021 to the Maine 4-H Foundation. For more information please go here.

4-H Passport Around the World SPIN Club
Join Maine 4-H and Greenheart Exchange as we travel around the world virtually and meet other teens from across the globe! Meetings will include a brief presentation from a Greenheart Exchange Student, an activity, and Q & A. This SPIN Club is best for ages 12-18 and open to all youth. A minimal supply list will be provided for each activity. Dates are Tuesdays, January 19th, February 2nd & 16th, 4:00-5:00PM and Saturdays, January 30th, February, 13th & 27th, 9:30 – 10:30AM. Register here.

Important Information for 4-H Market Steer Project Members
Any youth who have submitted an Intent to Sell a Market Steer at the Fryeburg Fair need to follow the updated guidelines sent out:
Email a photo and the following information to jessica.brainerd@maine.edu (if you don’t have access to email, you can print the photo and put the required information on the back – regular paper is fine – mail to: State 4-H Office, 491 College Ave, Orono, ME 04473).  Show any distinct marks (i.e. white feet, white spots on head/body). Include a picture of the RFID tag in the animal’s ear.
1. Your name on the page
2. The USDA approved RFID ear tag # (it starts with the first three digits of “840”) and it is 15 digits long.  Confirm that you have written down the number correctly!  No changes will be made.
3. The name of your steer.
4. The birth date (month/year or exact date if known)
5. Beginning weight – use a weight tape if necessary (either the date you first tape it or the weight you purchased/obtained your steer) – we can figure the ADG (Average Daily Gain) at the final weigh-in
6. The breed of your steer
7. Who you purchased/obtained your steer from and the price paid.  If Bred and Owned, please state this.
8. Address where is the steer being housed – a complete address.
9. Any other farm tags or tattoo that your animal has.NEW THIS YEAR – Your approval form will be handled at the county level. Your steer should be entered on your regular animal approval form. In the column titled “Show Class” enter Fryeburg Sale. If you do not complete this correctly the animal will not be eligible for Fryeburg’s Sale as there are other sales throughout the state.

Save the Date for the 2021 4-H Public Speaking Tournament!
The 2021 4-H Public Speaking Tournament will take place virtually over the weekend of April 16 – 18, 2021. In the absence of local club and county tournaments this year, there will be ample support for youth preceding the tournament in the form of workshops and focused practice opportunities. These workshops are open to all youth who wish to practice their public speaking skills and those who wish to qualify for the state tournament. If you are interested in participating in the Maine 4-H Public Speaking Program and need assistance in any way, please contact us to discuss your needs. We are committed to making 4-H programs accessible to all youth, regardless of internet or technology access.Details for the workshops and tournaments are still being organized – regularly updated information can be found on the Maine 4-H Public Speaking Website. Stay tuned for more announcements!Save the dates for the 4-H Public Speaking Workshops:
– January 26, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Online Presentations
– February 9, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Career & College Readiness
– February 16, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m | Introduction to 4-H Public Speaking for Cloverbuds
– February 23, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | All About Judging & Scoring
– Practice Sessions by appointment in February and March

* Youth are expected to attend two workshops and one practice session to qualify for the State Public Speaking Tournament.

Save the date for the 2021 4-H Public Speaking Tournament:
– April 16-18, 2021

Questions about the Maine 4-H Public Speaking Program? Contact Sheila Norman, 207.942.7396 or sheila.norman@maine.edu.

Livestock GPS
Do you have an animal, an acre of pasture, and an interest in GPS? Learn real world uses for GPS in modern livestock operations.
Youth 14 – 18 year will learn:

  • How GPS works
  • History of GPS livestock tracking
  • Current GPS uses in livestock research
  • Developing your own GPS Research Project with your livestock
  • How to download and analyze data
  • How to present your GPS research results—Best presentation receives a Custom Silver Buckle

Want to know more? Contact either Debra Kantor – debra.kantor@maine.edu or 207.474.9622, or Colt Knight – colt.knight@maine.edu or 207.581.2593.