4-H Happenings, April 2023


Important Dates: 

County News

Congratulations to Lindsay Hamilton

Lindsay will be receiving the following scholarships from the Somerset County Club Leaders’ Association: the Shawn L. Dean Scholarship, the Somerset County 4-H Dairy Foundation Scholarship, and the Norridgewock Northern Lights Scholarship. She is planning to study Animal and Veterinary Sciences at University of Maine at Orono or Augusta. Conratulations, Lindsay!

Maine Legislative Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Maine Legislature annually recognizes students who are heading to a college or technical school in Maine or who have already started their higher education.

One student from each county will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship for the Maine school of their choice. All of the details are online including the application.

Don’t wait! Deadline for applications is May 1, 2023. Visit the scholarship page form more information and to apply.

Somerset Extension OPEN HOUSE

"Dig in & grow!" logo with shovel and leavesOur big event is less than two weeks away! Please plan to join us on Saturday, May 6 (with a rain date of May 13).

This is a FREE event and all community members are invited. Here are just a few things you can look forward to at the event:

  • Make a native seed ball! (FREE activity for ALL ages. Take it home and grow native plants near your house.)Photo Collage with youth interacting with 4-H staff, flowers, teens showing off fruit and vegetable tattoos, and tomato seedlings
  • 4-H Expo (If you haven’t already, please let us know if you’d like to participate!)
  • Homemaker Expo and bake sale
  • Crafts, games, and activities
  • FREE smoked chicken (limited supply, first-come, first-served!)
  • Plenty of resources and information
  • Interact with your local Extension staff
  • Presentations:
    • 10:15 a.m.: Maple Sugaring Past and Present — UMaine Extension Assistant Professor Jason Lilley
    • 11:00 a.m.: Legumes as Cover Crops — UMaine Extension Assistant Professor Jaime Garzon
    • 11:45 a.m.: Gardening in Western Maine: Extension Professionals Panel Discussion — UMaine Extension Horticulture Professionals Brett Johnson, Rebecca Long, and Nick Rowley
    • 1:00 p.m.: Why Native Plants Matter: Planting to Rebuild Healthy Ecosystems — Wild Seed Project Manager of Educational Programs Nell Houde

For more information and to let us know if you plan to attend, check out the Open House webpage.

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 are HERE!

Co-designed with Maine 4-H volunteers, youth and staff, these project records have been designed to best serve the needs of Maine youth. Please visit our newly designed project record website. Project records are required for all Maine 4-H Youth. Stay tuned for upcoming training and videos. Please contact karen.giles@maine.edu with questions.

Club News

Solon Pine Tree 

Solon Pine Tree Club had their monthly meeting on April 8. Nine members, two leaders, and one visitor attended. They discussed if the members wanted to give flowers out on Mothers’ Day at Solon Congregational Church. In May, the club is planning an educational tour of a farm in Lexington. They also discussed the need for volunteers at the upcoming Somerset County Extension Office’s Open House on May 6th. 

They made Easter canvas frames for the educational portion of the meeting. Lindsay H. presented a demonstration on “How to Make Signs for Fairs.”

Boots & Spurs

Boots & Spurs Club had their monthly meeting on April 15. They are working on their new educational displays for the upcoming fair season. They are also looking forward to having a guest speaker in May who will be talking to them about the care and showing of rabbits. 

Please send your club news- we’d love to hear from you! Let us know what is happening with your club members. Reach out to karen.giles@maine.edu to share activities, highlights, awards, or events.

State News

Events and Opportunities

Maine 4-H Youth Council Annual Conference – May 13 – 14, 2023

SAVE THE DATE! May 13-14, Maine 4-H Youth Council Annual Conference. An annual conference for youth ages 15-22. This year’s event will be held at the Windsor Fairgrounds. More information to come.

Workshops Needed!

The Maine 4-H Youth Council is holding a conference for youth ages 15-22. The conference will be an overnight event and held at the Windsor Fairgrounds May 13 and 14. We would like to invite you to submit a proposal to present a workshop.

The Council is specifically looking for 45-minute-long workshops focused on mental health, stress management, communication, creativity, time management, leadership and conflict management. To submit a workshop please complete the online form.

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:

  • May 19, 2023 – Wool Spinning Workshop

National 4-H Trips

National 4-H Trips are excellent opportunities to meet 4-H members from across the nation. Participants learn about many career options, and learn through educational workshops at Congress or become a part of a team making recommendations to National 4-H Council at Conference. To learn more about these trips, visit the National Trip page.

New for 2023: Complete and submit your application and supplemental materials online!

Any Maine 4-H Youth, ages 14 to 18, is eligible to apply. Applicants must be current Maine 4-H members both at the time of application and the time of the actual trip. Application packets must be submitted online, or sent to your county office and postmarked by April 25, 2023. Interview dates will be the second week of May, 2023.  If you have any questions, please contact Heidi Palmer at 207.310.4235 or heidi.thuotte@maine.edu.

2023 National 4-H Congress is November 24 – 30, 2023 in Atlanta GA with an orientation for the trip on October 21, 2023.  2024  National 4-H Conference has not yet been announced, but will likely take place in April of 2024 in Washington, DC., orientation for that trip will be announced to those selected.  Leaders and office staff, if you have senior members in your clubs, please encourage them to participate.  They are amazing trips!

Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF)

Start making plans now to visit our Nation’s Capitol during the week of June 24 – 30, 2023. CWF is a leadership program conducted by the National 4-H Council for high school youth ages 14 to 18. Delegations of 4-Hers from across the country spend six days touring the city and attending leadership skill-building workshops. This summer, the Maine delegation will travel down on June 24 and travel home June 30. Youth will be staying in a hotel just outside of the DC limits. Visiting the most popular sites in Washington, DC will be a part of the trip. There is a mandatory orientation for Maine delegates on April 29, 2023.  For more information visit the program page. Contact your county 4-H office for details about how to be a part of this. All county offices have different criteria/dates to apply.

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!

Help Project ITCH to Better Understand Tick Control

The New England Center of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (NEWVEC) is seeking your help in better understanding residential tick control.  NEWVEC began as a partnership of university research teams from each of the six New England states joining with state and local health departments and agricultural extension programs to discover, evaluate, and promote practices that reduce the burden of tick- and mosquito-borne disease.

NEWVEC’s inaugural undertaking is Project ITCH, our acronym for “Is Tick Control Helping.”  Project ITCH will be carried out in two phases starting Spring 2023. In Phase 1 – NEWVEC is asking for your participation to tell us about what you are doing at your home to reduce the incidence of ticks and tick bites. In Phase 2 – NEWVEC will gather the information you share and through a lottery process select residential properties to participate in a research study to test what’s working.

It all starts with you taking a few moments to answer a few survey questions.  To complete the survey, please visit the web page.  Participants in this survey will be eligible for consideration for Phase 2 enrollment in the future.  To learn more about NEWVEC and Project ITCH, bookmark the web page and/or sign-up to receive updates on NEWVEC projects.


Fairs and Shows

2023 ESE Horse Intent Form

The 2023 ESE Horse Intent form is now live. The form is due by May 1, 2023.

The form indicates your intent to participate in the 2023 4-H Eastern States Horse tryout process. By completing this form, you are verifying that you are currently enrolled in a Maine 4-H Horse project and are a 4-H member of good standing in your county. 4-H enrollment requirements will be verified by 4-H staff.

We hope to send out more information about the upcoming season and an updated packet as soon as possible. We will have a new layout this year with multiple opportunities for youth to participate and qualify.

This form is a requirement for trying out for the Maine 4-H ESE Equestrian Team. You will not be eligible to join the ESE Horse Team if this form is not completed by May 1, 2023.

If you have questions or need a hard copy of the form please email tara.marble@maine.edu.

Save the Date for 4-H Dairy Judging and State Show

The Maine 4-H Dairy Judging Contest will take place on May 6, 2023 at Hardy Farm in Farmington, ME and Silver Valley Farm in New Sharon, ME. The contest is open to all enrolled dairy members and will serve as the official tryouts for the Maine 4-H Dairy Judging Team.

The Maine State 4-H Dairy Show will take place on July 22 and 23 at the Windsor Fairgrounds in Windsor, ME. The contest is open to all 4-H members who want to participate and will include educational workshops, a fitting contest, a grilled cheese contest, and more!

For more information on upcoming 4-H dairy events visit the 4-H Dairy page or contact sadee.mehuren@maine.edu; 207.342.5971.

Leaders Meeting Minutes

March 22, 2023

Attendees: Cheryl Perkins, Eleanor Pooler, Lori Swenson, Wanda Kranz, Karen Giles, Jen Day, Hailey Dellarma

Scholarship:  We received one application. There was not a cover sheet specifically for the Somerset County scholarship. It was for the Maine 4-H foundation, but we considered it, because it was the only application that came through the office. The candidate was highly qualified. From now on, scholarships will be awarded only to members who have filled out a cover sheet indicating what scholarships they are applying for. Hailey and Eleanor abstained from voting because it was one of their members. Jen motioned that we grant the three scholarships for $500, $250, and $250 to Lindsay Hamilton of Solon Pine Tree Club. Lori seconded. Motion passed. 

Lori motioned to accept Abigail Grunder’s transcript and to pay out  $500.00 for the Dairy Scholarship, $200.00 Shawn L. Dean Scholarship, and $200.00 the Northern Lights Scholarship for a total of $900.00. Wanda seconded.Motion passed.

Budget:  We had a discussion about the  2022-2023 budget. Cheryl motioned that an amendment  be made that states “Dependending on market conditions, the Shawn L. Dean and Northern Lights Scholarships will be up to $250 each per year”. Jen seconded. Motion passed. 

Insurance: Karen stated that the accident insurance through the UMaine Cooperative Extension is $73.00 for the 2022-2023 4-H season. Hailey motioned to accept. Wanda seconded. Motion passed. 

CWF- We do not have the transportation costs. We do have potentially two applicants depending on final costs. Lori motioned that we divide the budgeted CWF funds equally among any members who apply. Hailey seconded. Motion passed. We don’t know the application dates yet. Dates of CWF are June 24-30.

Upcoming opportunities- See the website. 

Somerset County Open House- Helpers for parking are needed. Colt Knight will be doing roast chicken. There will be an activity table and pollinator activities.  We will be making native seed balls. We’d love some displays from 4-H members so that people can see what they have been doing. State coordinator will be there to talk about volunteer opportunities. Flyers are available. Date May 6th 10-2. Rain Date May 13th.  

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

Next Meeting:  April 19th. 6:00 P.M. at the extension office.