Content for April County Newsletters 

4-H Center Newsletter


Message from the Montana 4-H Center Director

Dear Montana 4-H Families and Extension Agents,

These times of uncertainty, distress, and challenge are when the values of kindness, generosity, service, and community rise to the highest level of importance as we and our neighbors count on each other more than ever.  Challenge brings opportunity and, in 4-H, we do not underestimate the power of youth.  Our youth are adaptable, committed to helping others, responsible, compassionate, confident, and positive. 

My dad often told me how he and other children saved gum wrappers for the war effort during the Second World War.  He also spoke of recycling drives for rubber, tin, and steel scraps.  At the same time, he managed to raise a 4-H calf and sold it at the county fair.  He faced uncertainty in his childhood as our youth do today and, like our earlier generations, our youth will adapt and contribute to meet our current challenge.

This newsletter is full of opportunities to answer the call.  Stay safe, stay positive, and, like always, inspire our 4-Hers to do.


Todd Kesner, Montana 4-H Center Director 

In This Issue

Rec Lab

Canceled for 2020

Montana 4-H Congress

Keep it on your calendar! 

Foundation Scholarships

Deadline fast approaching!

State Awards

Youth and Adults

Volunteer Appreciation Week Ideas

Community Service 

Still serve your community while practicing social distancing

Keeping the 4-H Connection page

Resources for Youth, Volunteers, and Agents to keep connected 

Biosecurity Modules 

Your feedback is needed

Kids Baking Championship Show

Non-4-H sponsored event/contest opportunity 

Upcoming Dates

April 1 /Montana 4-H Foundation Scholarships Due

April 6/ Montana 4-H Shooting Sports Hall of Fame nominations due

April 17-19/ Global Youth Service Day 

April 19-25/ Volunteer Appreciation week 

April 25/ National 4-H Day of Service

May 1  / State Award Application Deadline

July 15 /Ambassador Officer Team & Selection Committee Applications due

July 6-8 / Pre-Congress, MSU Bozeman

July 8-12  /Montana 4-H Congress, MSU Bozeman

Aug. 29 / Working Ranch Horse Show, Great Falls, MT

Sept. 18-20 /State Horse Show, Livingston, MT

Sept. 18 /Montana 4-H Foundation Dinner, Bozeman, MT

Oct. 15-17 /Ambassador and Teen Leader Fall Training, Billings MT

Nov. 26-Dec. 1 /National 4-H Congress, Atlanta, GA

Rec Lab

RecLab Cancelled

The 2020 Rec Lab has been canceled due to social gathering limitations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We apologize for any inconvenience and disappointment this has caused. This event will be back on next year! 


We want to send a HUGE THANK YOU to the agents, staff, volunteers and youth in District 3 (Teton, Chouteau, Cascade, Fergus-Petroleum, and Judith Basin) for your efforts and work in planning an amazing event! 

Montana 4-H Congress

Keep it on your calendar!

Program Dates:  July 6-8 (pre-congress)   July 8-12 (congress) 

Program Location: MSU Campus, Bozeman

2020 Montana 4-H Congress is still a "go" at this point. We are continuing our planning efforts despite the uncertainty of possible restrictions of social gatherings stretching into the summer months. Currently, we are planning for registrations to open May 1 and close June 15. 

Click Here for more information about the Montana 4-H Congress event, including workshop topics that have been secured. 

County offices may want to begin thinking about how to lower restrictions for this event as many of the qualifying activities may have been canceled. Consider ways that contest participants may be screened

Montana 4-H Foundation Scholarships

The deadline is fast approaching, get your applications in today! 

Scholarship Applications Due: April 1, 2020 
Please note the new format we are using this year, Kaleidoscope. This platform allows you complete your application, collect letters of recommendation, and ensure you are not missing any information. 

Contact the Montana 4-H Foundation with questions 

(406) 994-5911

Click here for more information about scholarships 

State Awards

Bored at home? Apply for a youth state award or nominate a volunteer for an adult award! 

Youth State Award Applications due: May 1, 2020

Adult Award Nominations due: May 1, 2020

4-H award

Who should apply for a state award?

  • youth who have put a considerable amount of effort into any of their projects
  • youth who have demonstrated leadership in their project area 
  • youth who have demonstrated leadership in their club and community 
  • youth who want the chance to attend National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, GA this November!

Who should be nominated for an adult award?

  • volunteers who have made a positive impact on their community with their 4-H Volunteer efforts 
  • volunteers who deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication on a state level
  • volunteers who inspire other youth and adults to become involved with 4-H
  • volunteers who go above and beyond the basic expectations to better the 4-H program 

If you, or someone you know, fit the above criteria apply or nominate them today! Don't delay!

Volunteer Appreciation Week

It is important we show all our volunteers the appreciation they deserve! 

volunteer appreciation

Volunteer Appreciation week is April 19-25 
Especially during this time of uncertainty, a token of gratitude goes a long way! 

A study found that volunteers are directly responsible for teaching as much as 50% of the life skills a youth learns through the 4-H program (Fogarty et al).  Volunteers are essential to the delivery of the 4-H program, without their time, dedication, and hard work our programs would not be possible! 


Thank you, to each and every 4-H volunteer in Montana! 

Here are some ideas to celebrate and thank your volunteers even if you can’t hold a big gathering
  • Social Media Shout-Out
  • Volunteer Spotlight
    • Website or Newsletter
    • Short story about Volunteer/ Q & A with them
  • Create an Online Photo Album
    •  Include photos from their time volunteering
  • Create Custom T-shirts for Volunteers
  • Plant a Tree in a Volunteers Honor
  • Send a Thank you Card
  • Send Holiday Cards
  • Facebook Live Volunteer Awards Event
  • Order Take Out to be delivered at their house
  • Send Flowers
  • Nominate volunteer for State Awards
  • Send Volunteers a Birthday Card
  • Create a Volunteer Appreciation Video
    • Create one from the office
    •  Ask families to send in videos thanking volunteers

Community Service While Social D

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. —Aesop

True Leaders in Service

Many 4-H Clubs plan their community service for this month, and those plans could be disrupted because of the COVID-19 crisis.

April is True Leaders in Service Month. 
National 4-H Day of Service is April 25, 2020 

It is more important than ever to connect with your community and share your efforts with others to inspire spirits. Below are some ideas for community service projects that can be done at home and will still make a positive impact on your community. 

The True Leaders in Service Planning Guide still provides relevant and helpful information about planning and promoting your project!

Visit the Montana 4-H True Leaders in Service page for more resources 


At-Home Community Service Ideas 

  • Write thank you notes or bake for people who serve in the community (police officers, elected officials, pastors,  health care workers, etc)
  • Take a walk around your neighborhood, park, or trail carrying a plastic bag and pick up trash as you go.
  • Write encouraging letters to overseas servicemen and their families.  Operation We are Here  is a great resource for getting started with this project. 
  • Clean out your closet and send unused (washed) clothing to a homeless shelter or Goodwill/Salvation Army
  • Start an Adopt-a-Highway program MDT Adopt-a-Highway info
  • Begin or help maintain a community garden. How to begin and things to consider 
  • Donate made blankets through Project Linus, contact a Montana Chapter Coordinator to learn what is needed
  • Need more ideas? Check out  Montana 4-H's 10 more ways to give 

  • Youth Services of America also has 10 ideas for at home community service.


Keeping the 4-H Connection

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many things, and our 4-H programs are no exception.

4h connection

This page is full of resources to help agents, volunteer leaders, and youth navigate staying connected to 4-H while social distancing. 

  • Remote learning platforms 
  • Montana 4-H Activities to do at home
  • A compiled list of other 4-H "at home" activities from around the country  

 Click here for Keeping the 4-H Connection Page

 If you have ideas, communication that is working in your county or additional resources for this plage please feel free to email them t the 4-H center. 


Tips for Online 4-H Meetings

If you are planning on hosting meetings online that are open to the public, make sure you use a system that accommodates both web-based and telephone access, like Webex or Zoom. Visit the Keeping the 4-H Connection page for instructions on setting up remote meetings. 

Treat the meetings the same as you would a face to face meeting. When advertising the meeting include the instructions for joining the meeting and advertise times through multiple channels like social media, email and robo calling. 

Healthy Farms Healthy Agriculture Biosecurity Education Modules

Modules 1 & 2 ready for use, Modules 3 & 4 need your feedback

In partnership with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and MSU Extension, Montana 4-H is pilot-testing biosecurity education modules for youth (grades 6-12) and leaders involved in livestock projects.

Why should you participate?

  • Youth and adults will be able to increase their knowledge in livestock biosecurity.
  • Youth who test this curriculum are encouraged to include this experience in their record books  to document engagement with a national service learning opportunity.
  • Participating in the test helps the developers ensure the modules work as expected before final release. 

The Biosecurity educational series now has the last two units available and the development team is seeking feedback.  It is a very high quality series that fits in well with any 4-H animal project.

If interested, please review modules three and four and provide feedback at the links below:

Kids Baking Championship Show

Kids Baking Challenge flyer

Kids Baking Championship is currently casting the next season and searching nationwide for kids ages 8-13 who love to bake!

Kids Baking Championship is a fun baking competition show where kids compete in a series of baking challenges such as creating a specific type of dessert. We're reaching out in hopes you might be willing to help spread the word about this fantastic opportunity for kids.

More information on the show can be found here:

For a chance to audition, parents can fill out an application for their child here:

We encourage anyone with a passion for baking to apply!

 For more information call:

Jasmine Garcia

Casting Associate , Kids Baking Championship

Office: 424-207-2340

Please note: this is NOT a 4-H sponsored event or contest, just simply an opportunity for youth who have learned their skills through 4-H to showcase them on a national level!