October 2023 4-H Newsletter

4-H Happenings

A monthly newsletter for Hancock County 4-H Members

Table of Contents

Upcoming Dates| County News | Club News | State News | Leaders Meeting Minutes

Upcoming Dates to Remember

October 1 – Re-enrollment Begins
October 1-7 – National 4-H Week
October 2 – Project Records Due
October 4-15 – Fall Paper Clover Campaign at Tractor Supply
October 9 – Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Office Closed)
October 10 – Leaders’ Meeting, 6:30 pm
October 11 Registration due date for Maine Agriculture Ambassadors
October 18 – Photo Contest Due
October 27 – Cloverfest Recognition Celebration at HCTC, 6:30 pm
November 20 – County Re-enrollment Deadline

County News

Cloverfest Recognition Celebration 

Young boy and girl using a syringe to drop paint into a test tube

Come celebrate Hancock County at our annual Cloverfest Recognition Celebration! This year, our leaders and staff have planned a fun-filled night of STEAM workshops for youth to come try out. From engineering minute-to-win-it games and aquaponics demonstrations to abstract art and a volunteer appreciation station, there’s something for everyone!

Cloverfest will be on Friday, October 27, at 6:30 p.m. and will be hosted at Hancock County Technical Center in Ellsworth. If you plan on coming, help us get an accurate head house and fill out our RSVP form on our website.

The Leaders Association will be providing ice cream, so please be sure to eat dinner before arriving!

And don’t forget to keep an eye out for emails from county staff with more information about the night!


Another 4-H year begins on October 1! Re-enrollment instructions will be sent out soon so keep an eye on your inbox! Re-enrollment must be completed by all volunteers and members by November 20. If you are experiencing issues using the online portal, Z Suite, then please contact Andrea at 207-667-8212 or andrea.mahoney@maine.edu so we can help you through the process.

Photo Contest

I know many of our 4-Hers have been participating in the Scavenger Hunt this year, but don’t forget about our annual 4-H Photo Contest too! The due date for photo submission is October 18th, and the portal to submit your photos is open! Check out our webpage to learn more about guidelines and how to submit.

Photo Contest Scavenger Hunt!

Baby boy sitting in a leaf pile laughingSeptember’s scavenger hunt pick is Marina, great job! We love seeing your submissions come in and getting to share the joy you capture in your photos!

Join our monthly newsletter photo scavenger hunt! We encourage all 4-Hers to take inspiration from our monthly themes and snap the perfect pictures. Then, you can submit your photos on the photo contest webpage for a chance to be featured in the following month’s newsletter!

October Scavenger Hunt Themes
  • Changing tree tops
  • Costumes on!
  • Orange is a great color
  • What’s your hobby? Mine is…

National 4-H Week-We need your help! 

Image of a "I Love 4-H" button in front of thought bubblesThis year’s theme is “I love 4-H!” and we want to hear why our community loves 4-H. Everyone who participates will be put into a drawing for 4-H swag! You can complete this Google Form to share your journey.
Thank you for your help as we want to feature our local Hancock County 4-H community during National 4-H week on our facebook page.

Paper Clover Campaign at Tractor Supply

The Fall Paper Clover campaign will be held October 4-15, with the opportunity to donate to 4-H in-store and online. This year, stores are welcoming back in-person activities. We encourage clubs to take part in this opportunity and use it to foster community involvement.

Join us For a Leaders’ Meeting

The 4-H Leaders’ Association would like to invite you to join them for their monthly Leaders’ Meetings. Our 4-H Leaders are a group of volunteers who work behind the scenes with staff to organize fun county events and support 4-H. If you’d like to get more involved then please join us in person or via Zoom on October 10 at 6:30 pm. We will be meeting at the Extension Office which is located at 63 Boggy Brook Road in Ellsworth. The link to our Zoom portal is included in the newsletter email, but you can also contact leah.mccluskey@maine.edu for access.

Steer Ticket Update

It is my pleasure to update our readers on the funds raised through our Steer Ticket Raffle this year. Hancock County 4-Hers were able to sell a whopping 3,795 tickets! Our top ticket seller this year was Olivia D from Jolly Juniors! Huge shout out to all of the volunteers who made this fundraiser possible, our 4-Hers who put in the work, and the Gross family for raising the steer!

USDA Farm Service Industry

The USDA Farm Service Industry has loans available for youths looking to explore agricultural business endeavors. Youth may receive up to $5,000 for qualifying projects. To learn more please visit their website or reach out to their office. Their team is available Monday – Friday 8:00 to 4:30 and our phone number is 207-947-3555 Ex.1.

Club News

Lock Stock & Barrel

Image of a green and duck print quilt being raffled by the Lock Stock and Barrel 4-H ClubThe Lock Stock and Barrel for 4H Club will be doing a raffle for a fundraiser. The club will be raffling off a wildlife wall hanging along with a couple of other items. The raffle tickets will be available mid-September the drawing will be in December. Tickets are $1 each or 6/$5. The club would like to thank Holly Gordon Lutz for donating material and making the wall hanging. Contact Becky Ames at 207.567.3066 for more information.

State News

4-H Weaving SPIN Club

Calling all creative youth ages 9 & up! You are likely familiar with crochet or knitting – but have you ever thought about weaving? In this SPIN club, we will cover the basics – from understanding the mechanics of simple knitting – to investigating different types of fiber to know why you might choose to use wool rather than cotton. This will be a VERY hands-on club – we will provide all the necessary tools and materials to everyone attending – and club members will have the opportunity to work on a traditional tapestry loom and experiment with circular weaving!  

Meetings will take place over Zoom October 24, and 26; November 2, 14 & 16; 4:00 – 5:00 pm. Find out more and register online. This club is open to the first 10 participants who register by October 16th.

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.

It’s Time to Enroll for the New 4-H Year!
If you manage your family’s account via ZSuite, re-enrollment is just a few clicks away:

Login at 4h.zsuite.org

    • Click on the PRIMARY profile and enter your 4-character PIN. 
    • Click on the name of the youth member you wish to enroll. 
    • Click on ENROLL MEMBER NOW.
    • Review/update the requested member information. When you are done with that, click NEXT
    • Here you will read and electronically sign the 4-H participation waiver(s), click NEXT
    • Here is where you will select your club or clubs and desired projects. There may be clubs and projects listed that carried over from your enrollment during the last program year.
    • To add clubs, select your county. This defaults to the county submitted when you created your account. You may need to select another county to find your desired club.
    • Select your Club from the drop-down menu. Select ADD CLUB.
    • To add projects for any of the clubs, select ADD PROJECT for the desired clubs. Select the desired project from the drop-down menu. Select ADD PROJECT and the selection will be added to the club. Feel free to add additional clubs or projects. If you make a mistake or wish to remove a project, select the X and confirm you wish to delete the project.
    • When done making your selections, click Submit.

      Enrollment records need to be active/green status before engaging in 4-H activities and to register for events.

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.

Leaders’ Meeting Minutes

Hancock County 4-H Leaders Meeting of September 12, 2023 (Hybrid)

Present- Lisa Carney, Elaine Gokey, Terry Swazey, Brenda Jordan, Lee Sargent, Joannie Jodrey, Lisa Reilich, Carla Scocchi (Staff)

Club reports:
– Horse of Course met to finish a community service scrapbook
– Jolly Juniors did not meet in August

Secretary’s Report: August Report- motion to accept minutes as written in the monthly newsletter; seconded and approved

Treasurer’s Report: August Report- Terry says there are still some small items to balance. Motion to accept the treasurers’ report as stated; seconded and passed.

Old Business:

– Blue Hill Fair

  • Exhibit Hall- looked wonderful this year! We had a large number of entries this year. Leah has a list of ideas for next year, including creating a ramp in front of the new door to make it more accessible. Brenda suggested a plastic removable style.
  • Food Booth
    • Brenda needs to get the sign!! Maybe LED lights for the booth? Need more lights for the steer tickets as well.
    • Kenny, Lisa, and Terry discussed opening earlier in the week to feed the staff 
    • Get another popup for the volunteer table in the back of the booth.
    • Kaylee is going to Eastern States for goats, we agreed to give her $100 even though she is from Penobscot County.
  • Steer
    • The winner took the money, we need to decide what to charge the family that raised it since they want to purchase the steer back. 
    • Motion to sell the steer back to the family raising it for $650, seconded and passed.
    • We need a poster with pictures of the steer and some basic facts for those selling tickets.
    • Maybe get a big banner that says “4-H Steer Raffle”? Banner City in Bucksport makes posterboard signs and vinyl signs, Lee will look into getting one.
    • Paint a plywood steer to take pictures with. Maybe a clover as well? Meg might be able to paint. Take three pictures and win a prize! Third could be a hamburger etc. for the food booth.
    • Need to fix and paint the old steer enclosure.
    • Greg Wilson is willing to raise it this year, Terry will confirm. The Clements kids also expressed interest. 
  • Horse/Goat Shows
    • The horse show went really well. Had 19 kids showing, most in a while, first show for many. Ran a bit late.
    • Parking was very disorganized and muddy, but it worked out in the end.
    • The goat show was lightly attended, but we anticipate more in the near future.
  • Other
    • Thank you notes – Lisa C and Brenda will draft.

– Photo Contest

  • Leah will send an update. The monthly submissions have been popular.

New Business:

  • Cloverfest
    • (from July meeting):  maybe something like open farm days where kids could do different activities (woodworking, horse clubs, disassemble computers or other things, chop challenge making a meal, make a scarecrow, something like the lava lamps…). Maybe not a dinner; make your own ice cream sundae ***Sweet Clover STEAM night*** Ask people to bring their obsolete tech. Can be the “T”. Make a code-breaking activity for math. Start at 6:30, eat before you come, be done at 9. Make paper prints with Jello for art. Some type of collaborative building for Engineering. Maybe the office can do the Science.
    • Make tie blankets for Ronald McDonald House.
    • Set Date & location
      • October 27th at 6:30, Brenda will check on EHS and Eastbrook
      • Order tubs of vanilla and chocolate
    • Recognize Leaders
  • 2023-2024 Theme “I Love 4-H”
    • Ways to promote the theme?
      • Brenda still wants to do stepping stones for the exhibit hall. Maybe a workshop at the Extension Office?
  • 4-H Awareness Days – Tractor Supply – Paper Clovers
    • Leah and Carla will set up the tables, clubs can set up to fundraise if they would like.
    • Last year Elaine raised money at TSC for various charities.
  • Election of Officers
    • President- Brenda
    • VP- Elaine Gokey
    • Secretary- Lisa Carney
    • Treasurer- Terry Swazey
    • Board of Directors- Lee Sargent, Joannie Jodrey, Lisa Reilich
  • Committee Assignments- same as last year. The office will send out a spreadsheet of enrollment and assignments next month.

Office Report:

  • Add a request for more volunteers in the next newsletter, and invite them to the meetings.
  • Have everyone bring a list of possible new volunteers to the next meeting.

Adjourned 7:52

Respectfully submitted by Lisa Carney, Secretary