4-H Happenings, June 2023


Important Dates: 

County News

Thank you to those who helped at the Open House!

"Dig in & grow!" logo with shovel and leaves

Thank you to all those that volunteered their time, displays, materials and energy for the Somerset County Extension Office Open House on May 13. We had a great time connecting with community members, meeting new people, and sharing our programs and ideas!

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.

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!

Skowhegan Fair Exhibition Hall Needs 

4-H Exhibit at Skowhegan FairIt is time to think about Fair season! The Exhibition Hall forms and judging cards should be live on the Skowhegan State Fair site very soon.   

The 4-H Exhibition Hall will need Hall Monitors who will be representatives of 4-H for Somerset County. A partial job description includes:

  • Ensure that the Hall is clean and presentable
  • Ensure that display items are not handled or damaged
  • Be available to answer questions politely and courteously
  • Keep a tally of the number of people who visit the hall
  • Help the Extension Staff and judges by gathering requested information from the exhibited items

If you are looking for some part time employment during the fair, please reach out to Karen at the Somerset County office karen.giles@maine.edu for an employment application. 4-H youth ages 14+ are encouraged to apply. You must have a work permit if you are under age 16.

Judges for the exhibits and displays will also be needed. Please reach out if you or someone you know would be willing to help out! It is a wonderful way to see all the incredible work the 4-H’ers produce.

A reminder: many/most of the classes at the Skowhegan Fair are youth classes, rather than 4-H. Make sure you understand the rules, entry dates, and what you need for required paperwork.

Club News

Solon Pine Tree 

For their meeting on May 13th, Solon Pine Tree Club went to Lexington to tour Cold Spring Ranch, where they raise pigs and grass fed beef. Their next meeting will be at a dairy farm. Members are going to compare farms that specialize in different commodities. 

Members attended a free fly tying and casting class hosted by Evergreens Campground in Solon on May 20th.

Club members also passed out flowers at church for Mothers’ Day.

Boots & Spurs

Boots & Spurs had a very successful “10 mile yard sale” fundraiser recently in Cornville. The club received some very generous donations.  

One of their club members recently participated in her first Fancy & Fun Mini Horse and Pony Show, competing in halter, jumping and obstacles as well as others. She did very well with her mini horse named Later. Congratulations Amiya T.! 

The club is planning to help with the mounted shooting shows and hopes to take some members to watch an upcoming competition.

Somerset 4-H Beef Club 

Somerset 4-H Beef Club has been focusing on getting their animals tip-top and ready to show this summer at the fairs.

Please share 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

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 16 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.

UMaine 4-H Invites You to be a Part of Pride 2023

Portland Pride 4-H Banner4-H will be participating in Pride festivities in Portland on June 17, 2023.  A pride event is a celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community, the rights won, and recognition of these individuals as existing and loved members of our communities. 4-H will participate in the parade portion by walking with a banner. Participants should plan on being at the event from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

This event is open to any 4-H member or 4-H volunteer. Friends, family, and 4-H alumni are welcome but must have a 4-H member/volunteer hosting them.

To register or for more information, go to this webpage. If you have questions you can email 4-hpride@maine.edu.

Experience the wonder of aquaculture on the beautiful Hurricane Island campus August 20 -24, 2023!

Learn about this exciting way to make a living on the water as you immerse yourself in an experience that empowers you to take ownership of your own learning as you explore aquaculture on Hurricane Island. Gain first-hand experience in aquaculture and ecology while earning Levels 1 and 2 Youth Aquaculture MicroCredentials from UMaine 4 H Cooperative Extension.

With the guidance of our expert educators and research team on Hurricane Island, you’ll engage inactivities designed to serve different learning styles as you learn about scallop and kelp aquaculture. Build confidence in Water Chemistry, Biology and Husbandry, Systems and Operations as you are challenged to put your knowledge and skills into action on our 3.2 acre aquaculture farm. Our powerful island environment gives you permission to focus on being present in the place and with the people around you, whether you are scrambling along the coast, hiking through the forest, or sorting scallop spat on the pier. This sense of community forms the base from which everyone considers their own impacts through a variety of lenses, including sustainability, climate change, and the future of Maine’s fisheries.

Our programs offer the opportunity to take charge of your own education in meaningful and lasting ways as a skilled youth aquaculturist. No Cost to Students, and there will be transportation provided from several pick-up points. Space is limited. For specific questions about the program, please email John Van Dis at Hurricane Island jvandis@hurricaneisland.net. For transportation or logistics questions, please contact Beth Clarke elizabeth.clarke@maine.edu and Ryder Scott ryder.scott@maine.edu directly.

Registration Opening June 21st for New 4-H Teen Leadership Program: YOUth Have a Voice!

YOUth have a Voice!: Youth in Governance and Civic Engagement is a nine-month program open to teens and recent high school graduates who are interested in taking a more active role in serving their local communities, the state, or the country. Youth will learn leadership skills and ways to participate in civic action by completing a service project in a topic of their interest. Youth projects will be in one of three categories:

1.)   Youth Board Member: Join a board or advisory council as a youth representative

2.)   Policy Leader: Provide input to a policy or rule being developed

3.)   Public Service Leader: Carry out a community service project

Teens will be mentored by adults to assist their learning of civic processes and ways to meet their project goals. The program will be from late August 2023 to May 2024 and the total time commitment may vary from 30 to 80 hours depending on the type of project.

The program will be open for teens ages 14+ years old or entering high school in the fall of 2023.  Interested teens will need the following items to register for the program:

  • Fill out the application form
  • Two letters of recommendation from adults who are not related to the applicant
  • Briefly describe (100 to 500 words) why you are interested in this program
  • A signed Program Requirement Summary Form

Registration will be open from June 21 through July 31, 2023.  The program will be limited to 16 youth.

For questions, please contact Andrew Hudacs, andrew.hudacs@maine.edu, (207) 581-8204

Register Now for the 2023 4-H Summer Learning Series

Summer Learning Series Logo2023 marks the FOURTH year Maine 4-H is offering a Summer Learning Series!  This year, workshops will run from July 5 – August 10, and there is something for everyone. Registration is now open. Would you like to learn more about the different birds in your backyard and beyond? How about a chance to bake along with a real chef – they will send you the ingredients in the mail!  You can learn to paint different creatures in the ocean, or discover how ANY person can become a real scientist at home! Dive into the different workshop options! To register or learn more, head to our website! Go here for more details and to register! Space is limited, so don’t wait!

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

ESE Horse Showcases open to other Horse participants

The Eastern States Horse Tryouts are based on a series of three showcase clinics this year. There are two remaining clinics:

  • Apple Hill Stables Friday, July 7 at Apple Hill Stables, Levant
  • Maine 4 H Days Friday, July 21 at Windsor Fair Grounds, Windsor

These showcases are open to other 4-H youth in Horse projects, ages 13-18. They are invited to audit or ride in these clinics, within guidelines, to gain experience and practice skills, even if not trying out for ESE this year. You must pre-register for an event. For more information and to register for an event, contact Karen Giles karen.giles@maine.edu or Tara Marble tara.marble@maine.edu.

Union Fair 4-H HORSE SHOW 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023 – 9:00 a.m. Entries are open to all 4-H members, 4-H ages 9-18, in the State of Maine who are enrolled in a 4-H Horse Project. Classes include Fitting and Showmanship, Equitation, Pleasure, Trail, Patterns, and more! Exhibitors must check in with show officials at 8:00 a.m. on the day of the show. See the Union Fair Information Booklet (pdf) for more information and entry forms.

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

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

May 24, 2023

Attendees: Eleanor Pooler, Karen Giles

CWF: One participant from Somerset County. CLT has agreed to pay $400 towards her fees and travel costs.

Exhibit Hall: Karen has been in touch with maintenance, and has requested the floors be reinforced in the back of the exhibition booths, look into flaking paint on ceiling, check into the drainage on the south side that backs up into the aisle, check the 4-H sign on the front of the building for wear- needs repair/replacement. 

Cleaning to be done at the July work day (19th or 20th): sweep cobwebs, wash floors, touch up green letters/numbers on the front of the booths, touch up white paint on booths, straighten flower garden fencing outside door. 

No meeting in June. The July meeting will be a work day, meeting at the Fairgrounds at 10 am. All encouraged to help! Date TBD (19th or 20th).