Wednesday, October 10, 2018

4-H - Inspiring Kids to Do!

Kari Lewis
Outside of school, 4-H is the largest youth development program in Montana that reaches nearly 20,000 youth in all of Montana’s 56 counties.  Within the Glacier county 4-H program, 81 4-H members have been learning to, “Make the Best Better,” this past year under the leadership and guidance of caring adults and the MSU Extension office.  The 2017-2018 4-H year included learning opportunities, leadership development, and community service activities. 
                4-Hers contributed to their community in a variety of ways throughout the 4-H year.  As part of their Teen Leadership project, JR Seewald and Coalter Littrell organized a pork raffle to benefit a fellow 4-H member, Clark Diemert, who had been injured in a motorcycle accident.  Their efforts raised over $1,700 for Diemert’s medical expenses!  4-Hers baked 12 dozen homemade rolls for the Community Thanksgiving dinner, while the Cloverbuds created cards for the table decorations.   All three clubs teamed up to host a Soup and Bread luncheon in January which raised over $700 for the Parkview Senior Center to provide meals to homebound senior citizens.  4-Hers also supported the Glacier Care Center through doing Christmas shopping for residents, ‘adopting’ residents and visiting them monthly, and planting flowers outside the Center. 
Glacier county members took advantage of numerous travel opportunities available through 4-H.  Myla Cundall attended the National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Georgia, as a result of her winning the state Fashion Revue contest.  Grace Rooney, Sienna Cundall, and Coley Cundall were participants at the Montana 4-H Rec Lab in Thompson Falls where they developed leadership skills and networked with over 100 4-Hers from across Montana.  In April, Brandeon Molenda, Jed Winkowitsch, Ken Winkowitsch, Katelyn Suta, and Addisyn Bengtson attended the first GROW (Goals, Recreation, Opportunities, and Will) event that was targeted at middle school 4-H members.  Sienna and Coley Cundall also attended Montana 4-H Congress on the Montana State University campus where they competed In the Fashion Revue contest.
                Throughout the year, members took advantage of numerous learning opportunities available.  Thanks to project leaders, volunteers, and teen leaders, members had opportunities to hone their skills in livestock, sewing, poultry, cake decorating, and small animal showmanship.   The Horse and Livestock camp held in June at the Marias Fairgrounds taught members livestock showmanship, livestock judging, and horse skills.  The shooting sports program grew this past year with Shotgun being added as a discipline available to Glacier county 4-Hers, in addition to the established archery and air rifle programs.  
                Members honed their leadership and communications skills through club involvement and leadership trainings.  Teen leaders, Sienna Cundall, JR Seewald, Coalter Littrell, and Canon Bradley served as camp counselors at the Multi-County 4-H camp in the Bear Paw mountains this summer.  Fourteen members competed in the county communications contest where they presented a demonstration, illustrated talk, or impromptu speech before a panel of judges for evaluation.  Prior to the fair, members practiced mock interviews and then at the Marias Fair each member competing completed an individual project interview with a subject matter expert in their project.  Nearly twenty members competed in the Roundtable awards interviews where they interviewed with fellow members before a judge, explaining their goals, project work, and learning experiences. 
                Glacier county 4-Hers excelled throughout the year.  As a club, the Curry Comb 4-Hers took second place in the Parade of Lights with their float.  Wyatt Berkram was awarded a NILE Merit Heifer and joins the ranks of fellow 4-H members, JR Seewald, Mat Tuma, and Coalter Littrell, as receiving heifers from this prestigious program to jumpstart their herd.  Camille Bradley entered a picture of her fair painting in the national 4-H Youth Artwork contest and was a selected artist who will have her picture featured on a calendar or other 4-H promotional items!
Don and Carolyn Popelka, local 4-H archery leaders, were selected as a 2018 recipient for the Tribute to Volunteer Excellence Award as the District 2 Volunteer of the Year.  The Montana 4-H Foundation recognized their efforts for creating a standard of excellence that helps motivate and encourage others and awarded them with a cash award of $100 for the 4-H event or activity of their choice.   
  The 4-H program in Glacier county continues to grow, thanks to the efforts of leaders and parents willing to contribute.  In the past five years, enrollment has grown from 41 4-H members to 81 members this past year.  Jodi Duncan leads the Cloverbud program which is a non-competitive, educational program for youth ages 5 to 8 that meets monthly during the school year.  Youth ages 8 to 19 may join a regular 4-H club and choose individual projects which can range from cooking, sewing, leathercraft, livestock, shooting sports, welding, cake decorating, quilting, and everything in between.  The Clever Clovers, Curry Comb, and Longview 4-H clubs are led locally by leaders Hapi Seewald, Jo Dean Rooney, and Raylee Johnson Suta, respectively.  In addition, 20 plus leaders help provide project learning activities throughout the year. 
If you are willing to share your time and talents with 4-H youth or are interested in learning more about 4-H, please contact the MSU Extension-Glacier county office at 406-873-2239 or, visit the website at, or stop by the office at 1210 E. Main, Cut Bank, MT. 

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