4-H Happenings, May 2023


Important Dates: 

County News

Animal Intent Forms

All other animal intent forms are due in the Somerset County Office by June 30. Please make sure you read the instructions. A few important points: a club leader or parent (for independent members) must sign on the line under the last animal listed; both front and back of the form should be included. If you need a printed copy, please reach out to the Extension office. Forms can be mailed to 7 County Drive, Skowhegan, ME 04976, or emailed to karen.giles@maine.edu

Forms and instructions can be found on the UMaine Extension 4-H site.

Somerset Extension OPEN HOUSE

"Dig in & grow!" logo with shovel and leavesOur big event is THIS Saturday! We had to postpone for a week, but hope you will join us on Saturday, 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

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

Summer of Learning Series Opening for Registration Soon

Keep an eye open for registration news about the Summer of Learning series. There will be a great assortment of different topics that will be offered in multi-week workshops, from science subjects to a variety of art-based projects and a lot in between. More details coming soon! 4-H members will have a short window of advanced registration before it is opened to a wider audience. Space is limited.

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.

Did you know you can complete your project record through ZSuite? There are simple instructions for getting started on the ZSuite User Help page.  You can work on your project record through the year – and even upload photos directly from your phone!

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

Register Now! 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. Register Online by May 10. To register, see the workshops. schedule, or packing list – visit the web page. Individuals with questions should reach out to Kristy Ouellette at kristy.ouellette@maine.edu.

4-H Adulting 101 SPIN Club

The “4-H Adulting 101 Series” will introduce basic adult life skills by exploring a different topic each week including personal values; building healthy relationships; buying and caring for a car; youth entrepreneurship; mindfulness and stress management; and a topic chosen by the participants. UMaine Extension 4-H staff and guest speakers will lead the discussions.

The club is free; limited to 20 participants. Register by June 10 on the event webpage to receive the Zoom link and introductory email. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact 207.324.2814; erin.mcdonald1@maine.edu. Additional information also is available on the Extension 4-H Virtual Learning webpage.

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!

4-H Tick Project

Registration is now open for the 4-H Tick Project, a community science project where youth collect, identify, and learn about ticks – while also contributing to real research about ticks in Maine! Sign up to receive tick collection materials, access to youth activities, educational resources, and UMaine Extension Tick Lab testing services. 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.

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

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.

For Volunteers

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

April 19, 2023

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

Update CWF:  We only have one applicant, Samantha Bissell. The cost for the bus is very expensive so they’re decided to fly the kids down. Sam will be at the extension Open House. We will invite her to have a donation jar to offset the cost of her trip since it will probably be about $1,200. Hailey motioned that we donate the $400 budgeted for CWF to Samantha. Wanda seconded. Motion approved.

Exhibit Hall Improvements- The lattice was power washed last year so shouldn’t need to be done again. The fair premium book needs to be updated. Some of the guidelines for the animal showing were not being followed. Most of the livestock shows are categorized as Youth except for working steer. Will there be a poultry show with the avian flu?

Has the fairground figured out where the water leakage is coming from? One day there were puddles in the middle of the aisles. The fairgrounds thinks it might be a drainage problem.

July meeting will be at the 4-H building as a work day

4-H Day- It will be at Windsor Fairgrounds on July 21-22. It will probably only be a day and a half instead of the whole weekend. There will be an animal track (tryouts, animal related activities) and an enrichment track.  Friday- sign-in, possibly a dance, Eastern States horse tryouts, Saturday- They are planning to have four workshop sessions. The details are still being worked out but it looks like the search and rescue dogs are coming, someone painting small barn quilts, an escape room, an archeology thing- Digging the Past, etc. See the registration form for the final details.

Tractor Supply Paper Clover- The campaign on April 26th- May 7th. Clubs may want to contact their local Tractor Supply about setting up a table to talk about 4-H. They are also doing a Round-Up campaign where people can round up their orders to the next dollar to donate to 4-H. There will be another campaign in October.

Upcoming Opportunities, Events- See the upcoming newsletter and state updates. Printed copies available.

Somerset County Open House- May 6th. Emily is still looking for people to participate. We are actually calling the 4-H part a 4-H Expo so we would like as many people as possible to participate. We can have any curriculum books we have on the tables. Homemakers are doing a side dish table to go with the chicken being offered.

Wanda motioned to adjourn. Lori seconded. Meeting adjourned

Date of Next Meeting- May 24th at 6 P.M.