4-H Program Aide to Lead Extension Youth Effort

Sheila Norman holding a 4H teddy bear
Photo by Walter Boomsma

Dover Foxcroft—The Piscataquis County UMaine Extension Office recently welcomed Sheila Norman as a full-time program aide who will focus on the 4-H and youth programs in the county. Sheila was a ten year 4-Her in her youth and later served as a volunteer leader of the “Happy Hoppers” club whose members were interested in learning about and raising rabbits.

Norman attended the University of Maine receiving an associate degree in Animal Medical Technology and later a degree in elementary education. She previously taught in the Dover-Foxcroft and Guilford School Districts.

This is the second new position Extension has recently announced. Ana Bonstedt also recently joined the local office as a Gardening and Home Horticultural Aide. Both positions reflect a renewed commitment to Piscataquis County according to Walter Boomsma, president of the local executive committee. The executive committee is a volunteer group of local citizens who act as an advisory board.

“We spent considerable time with Extension Staff over the past year, working together to determine what sort of structure would make the best use of the resources we have. Clearly, the current economic climate suggests there are many opportunities for an organization like ours to have a positive impact on our communities. We are noting a growing interest in farming and gardening by families and as an industry. In addition, our children and youth deserve as much support as we can manage,” Boomsma said.

Norman notes that she plans to expand the role of 4-H in Piscataquis County using both the traditional club format and “by finding new ways to support youth. We are very open to collaboration with other community organizations who work with youth in any way.”

Norman can be contacted at the local office at 165 East Main Street. The office is open weekdays except Tuesday from 8:00 until 4:30 where walk-ins are welcome. For information about Extension 4-H/Youth Program and any of the resources and programs available, contact the local office at 564-3301 or visit https://extension.umaine.edu/piscataquis/.