4-H Happenings, February 2023


Important Dates: 

County News

Scholarships Available for Graduating Seniors 

2023 4-H Scholarships are available for graduating seniors who are going on to higher education next year. Check with your guidance counselor for details or reach out to karen.giles@maine.edu for more information and guidelines. Applications for County Leader Association scholarships are due March 1.

Maine 4-H Foundation Scholarships

Scholarships are available to participants in the 4-H Program pursuing higher education. Applications must be submitted (by email) to your local UMaine Extension county office by March 1, 2023 to be signed, then submitted (by email) to the Maine 4-H Foundation by March 8, 2023. Your County staff contact will need to sign the application before submitting to the Foundation. More information is available on the Maine 4-H Foundation website.

Registration Open for Maple Sugaring 101: From Sap to Syrup to Sales

grading maple syrupYouth ages 12-18 are invited to register for a 3-week pilot Maple Sugaring program with a mix of virtual and on-site sessions Wednesdays and Saturdays starting February 22, 5:00 – 6:00 pm. During this 3-week program, participants will learn about the entire process, from forest management, tapping trees, transporting sap, using an evaporator, grading and storing syrup, to operating a maple sugaring business. University of Maine Cooperative Extension will host the weekday meetings via Zoom. Onsite sessions will be located at sugarhouses and extension offices in Somerset and Piscatiquis counties and the University of Maine Sugarhouse in Orono. This club is limited to 10 participants in each county. Registration ends February 17, 2023. Visit the program page for more information.

Rabbits and Cavies Interest

Our office was contacted by someone in Somerset County who breeds and shows rabbits. She would like to raise interest and knowledge about them, and has offered to speak to interested 4-H clubs. Please let karen.giles@maine.edu know if you would like more information. 

New Project Records Available Now

The new project records are available now as paper forms for use, review, and feedback. They will be available as fillable forms soon. There is a flowchart that shows the bare minimum requirement for all projects. Each additional item is optional, but individual counties or Leaders Associations can determine requirements for scholarships, trips, or additional awards/recognitions. These are very similar categories to the old records, just reformatted and simplified. There are options to write, draw, use photographs, make a video or otherwise be creative with how they are presented.

Plan to Participate in the Somerset Extension OPEN HOUSE!!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 6, 2023 (with a rain date of May 13). Our Somerset County Extension staff, board members, and volunteers will be hosting an Open House. There will be presentations, demonstrations, activities for kids, garden help, seedlings, giveaways, and more. We want 4-H to be well-represented and we need your help and input!

Please start discussing ideas for this event with your clubs. We would love to have as many 4-Hers as possible attend.

Some initial ideas we’ve had so far to showcase 4-H include: a silent auction; a hot dog stand; youth activities such as “seed bomb” making and other crafty items around a theme of “pollinators;” display tables for club educational displays; and animal demonstrations. What do you think? What other ideas do you have? What will your club contribute?

We would like to have an idea of how many plan to participate in this event. Please reach out to Karen karen.giles@maine.edu or Emily emily.collins3@maine.edu, or call the Somerset County office 207.474.9622.

Club News

Solon Pine Tree 

The Solon Pine Tree Club met on February 11, 2023, with 7 members, one leader, and one visitor present. They discussed visiting the Bingham Grange and having 2-3 members talk about 4-H and do their presentations. They are planning to attend the Solon town meeting and will have a donation jar to benefit the Solon Food Cupboard, as one of their community service projects. Jenny Rollins from the Solon Volunteer Firefighters attended and demonstrated safety with talks about escape plans, the dangers of gas and matches. Club members were able to explore the trucks. Sarah C. presented her demonstration to the club on gluten free peanut butter cookies.

State News

Events and Opportunities

Maine 4-H Days: Save the Date! July 21 – 22, 2023

4H CloverWe’re back for fun times, workshops, overnight camping, animal tracks and more at the Windsor Fairgrounds in Kennebec County! More information to come, so save the dates!

Maine 4-H Ag Ambassador and Ag Symposium- Teens sign up now!

For teens that are 13-18 years old, we invite you to join us for our Ag Ambassador program this spring! Connect with other teens from around the state to explore and share your interests in the Maine food system, agriculture, climate change, environmental justice, and where all these interests collide. The spring 2023 cohort will meet 3:30-5:00pm on Tuesday afternoons from March 7 to April 18 on zoom with an in-person luncheon in Orono for families on April 20, kicking off our overnight Teen Ag Symposium at the UMaine Orono campus on April 20 and April 21. This will be a hands-on exploration of many aspects of the Maine food system and the research and education happening at the University.

For more information and to register, visit the event website. For questions or to request reasonable accommodation, contact Sadee Mehuren; 207.342.5971; extension.4hagleadership@maine.edu.

4-H Page Day in Augusta – March 23, 2023 – Sign Up Now!

Date: March 23, 2023

Where: Augusta, Maine State Legislature & First Amendment Museum

Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Deadline: First come, first serve, March 3, 2023

UMaine Day at the Legislature, Thursday, March 23, is approaching.  It’s a day where Cooperative Extension gets to highlight our awesome programs, and 4-H is one of the best! It’s also a time for youth to get actively involved in their democracy, to see how and who makes decisions that impact our state, and to be involved in that process themselves. 4-Hers age 13 or older are encouraged to serve as Honorary Pages. The Maine 4-H program has up to 22 slots for Honorary Pages and registration is first come, first serve with a deadline of March 3.

What does a page do? Legislators are constantly communicating and making decisions while in session and pages make that communication possible. Pages hand out information packets or place the paper information on their desks. Pages will also run communication and documents directly from legislator to legislator. It’s fast paced and pages will be moving around the chambers quite a bit, taking direction from the Clerks. We will meet at 8:30 for pictures and an orientation. Then at 9:00am we will divide our group with one going to the House and the other to the Senate where each group will receive their instructions. Session will begin by 10:00am and will likely conclude around 12:30pm, but the timing is never certain. Lunch will be on your own.

NEW: First Amendment Museum- Supreme Court in Action! The Museum will host our group from 1:30-3:30pm with a free interactive learning series that places each of us into different roles within the U.S. Supreme Court. You will get real life court cases to argue for or against, to make a ruling, and to report on, to get an in depth look at what happens when free speech, the courts, and citizens come together. Democracy can be messy, so let’s dig in!

If you are interested in serving as a page, please register via the online form. If you have questions or would like to request an accommodation please do so by March 3 to Alisha Targonski at alisha.r.targonski@maine.edu. Thank you!

Androscoggin/Sagadahoc 4-H Monthly Workshops – Open to All Maine 4-Hers!

Come join the Androscoggin and Sagadahoc counties 4-H program at their monthly workshops on the third Friday of every month (unless otherwise noted) from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at the Lisbon Extension Office at 24 Main Street. Anyone interested can contact Melissa Freeman or Cathy Gray to find out more information.

Currently Scheduled Topics:

  • February 17, 2023 – Short Film Making
  • March 10, 2023 – Spa & Relaxation Science
  • April 21, 2023 – Movie Premier Night
  • May 19, 2023 – Wool Spinning Workshop

Contests and Competitions

2023 Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl Contest

The Maine 4-H Dairy Quizbowl contest will be held on February 25 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. The contest is open to all 4-H dairy project members ages 9-18, regardless of whether or not they wish to try out for the quizbowl team. Contestants will be divided into two age divisions, Jr.’s ages 9-11 and Sr.’s ages 12-18. For a complete set of rules for the contest, study materials, and directions to the venue please visit the program webpage. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation please contact Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu.

Maine 4-H Equity Challenge for all Maine Youth

Four teen 4-H membersAre you a photographer? A performer? A writer? Then consider the 4-H Equity ChallengeThe challenge is for youth ages 5-19 to create a digital photograph, a performance, a presentation, or a writing piece that tells why every Maine youth belongs in a welcoming and inclusive environment. There are prizes based on age. This challenge is open to any 4-H’er or partner organization in Maine.

There are helpful guides and a rubric to help you understand what judges will look for in an entry. To submit an entry or to find out more information go to the Maine 4-H Equity Challenge webpage.

To participate, submit your creation by February 24, 2023.

State Public Speaking Tournament – Save the Date!

Our state public speaking tournament will be held on April 8, 2023 at DP Corbett Hall on the University of Maine campus. Youth must qualify for this event by achieving a score of 78 or higher at their county or regional tournament. Check with your county 4-H staff to find out when your county tournament will be held.

Fairs and Shows

ESE Dairy Intent Forms

The 2023 Maine 4-H Dairy Eastern States intent to participate form is now 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 25, 2023. Please contact Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu or 207.342.5971 with any questions.

ESE Sheep Team Intent Form

The 2023 Maine 4-H ESE Sheep Team intent to participate form is now available online. If you are interested in participating in the team, the form must be submitted to Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu or mailed to the Waldo County Cooperative Extension office by April 1, 2023. To be eligible you must have participated in a 4-H sheep project for at least one year and be at least 12 years old as of December 31, 2022. Please contact Sadee Mehuren at sadee.mehuren@maine.edu  or 207.342.5971 for more information.

For Volunteers

2022/2023 4-H Volunteer Training Opportunities

As we get ready for the new 4-H year, we are looking forward to offering a variety of learning experiences (both in person and virtual) for our 4-H volunteers. Sessions are free of charge, but require registration. Some sessions have limited space. Visit the 4-H Volunteer Calendar of Training Opportunities to learn more and register!

Leaders Meeting Minutes

December 7, 2022

Attendees:  Hailey Dellarma, Cheryl Perkins, Eleanor Pooler, Lori Swenson, Karen Giles

New Project Records:  We reviewed the new project records sheets. We suggested color coding what is just for general projects and which forms are just for animal forms. Otherwise, we are hopeful that these will work well.

Upcoming Opportunities:  Will be included in the next county newsletter which should be coming out within the next week. In the works is a slightly scaled down version of Maine 4-H Days at Windsor. The tentative date is July 21-22, 2023.

Deadlines: Reenrollment forms MUST be in the office by December 31st. They can be filled out either online through Zsuite at  4h.zsuite.org , go online and and use doc or pdf version and email them to karen.giles@maine.edu , print a copy or get a copy at the extension office and mail or drop them off at 7 County Drive, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

Scholarship applications are due March 1st. We will discuss amounts at the next meeting.

EIN Numbers:  Karen will be sending out new reminders for EIN numbers through the IRS.  You have to fill out the 990 N form. If you need help, contact Karen Giles karen.giles@maine.edu at the extension. Lori asked Karen to clarify if all clubs needed an EIN or only clubs that have a separate bank account.

Per the UMaine webpage: 

https://extension.umaine.edu/plugged-in/program-volunteer-resources/4h/4-h-volunteer-handbook/table-of-contents/starting-a-new-4-h-club/ (a great resource!):

“If a club plans on raising funds and/or having a club treasury account, club leaders will get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Complete details and instructions are in Section B.1.9 of our 4-H policy and procedures manual.”

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 6:00pm at the extension office.

Lori motioned to adjourn the meeting. Cheryl seconded. Meeting adjourned.