4-H Youth

Stephen Gustafson Names Northeast 4-H Volunteer of the Year

Steve Gustafson playing soccerCongratulations to Stephen Gustafson, Tolland County 4-H Volunteer, who has been selected by National 4-H Council to receive the Northeast Volunteer of the Year award for 2020. Steve helped create and is the leader of the Paca Pals 4-H club. The Paca Pals are an alpaca club. The club meets at the Round Hill alpaca farm monthly. At the meetings the youth conduct a business meeting, learn about alpaca care and showmanship, and plan their yearly calendar. Their calendar is youth driven and is for activities, competitions and community outreach. Steve empowers the club members to take on meaningful leadership roles in the club and their community. He works equally well with youth members and adult stakeholders. Steve looks for opportunities beyond the farm where the youth can learn and grow.

Off the alpaca farm, Steve found a place for the youth to learn and grow in the Tolland Agriculture Center (TAC) 4-H Children’s Garden. The garden was established in 2002 and has been maintained by the 4-H club program for many years. A neighbor on the TAC property is the Creative Living Community of Connecticut (CLCC) Greenhouse and vocational program. The CLCC greenhouse sits right next to the 4-H Children’s garden. The work of CLCC, to create opportunities for people with and without disabilities to work and learn together, is a wonderful match with the work of 4-H. The garden and greenhouse being neighbors has enabled the CLCC farmers to work outside in the garden in the summer with the 4-H program. Steve has been instrumental in fostering this partnership. He is able to coordinate between the two groups because of his volunteer work with both. The 4-H youth and CLCC farmers are both learning valuable vocation and life skills. The UConn 4-H Program is honored to announce this well-deserved recognition for Steve.

Part-Time Agriculture Program Coordinator In-Training Position Open

making the three sisters recipe with members of the Mashantucket tribe
Extension educators make the Three Sisters recipe with members of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

We are seeking a part-time (20 hours/week) Agriculture Program Coordinator-in-Training to work on our Mashantucket Pequot Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP). The incumbent will work collaboratively with a team of Extension professionals, tribal members, and leaders to empower members of Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (MPTN) and communities through nutrition education and youth engagement. This includes a mix of responsibilities related to youth engagement, nutrition education and agriculture programming. The position is based in the MPTN reservation, which is located in Mashantucket, CT though the individual hired will be an employee of the University of Connecticut.

Read the full position description, including details on how to apply.

Fairfield County 4-H Grows True Leaders: Youth Garden Club Serves the Community

4-h youth at food pantryThroughout the summer, 20 youth in the 4-H Community Garden Club have managed a one-acre garden in New Milford. They were led by leaders Anna Loor and her daughter Amira. Each youth worked eight hours every week at the garden and during 4-H time, learned the principles of seeding, planting, weeding, harvesting and garden pests. Critical thinking skills were used as they solved various gardening problems such as: 

  • Is this a good garden bug or a bad one?
  • How much water do these plants really need?
  • Why isn’t this one growing as well as the others? 
  • How big does this vegetable need to be before I can harvest them?

 As a 4-H club, they had a monthly business meeting lead by youth officers. Youth met with the 4-H Educator weekly to learn how to develop an agenda, lead a meeting, use Robert’s Rules of Order, and meet the criteria for being a club in good standing. After much discussion during the business meeting, it was determined that for their community service project, they would donate one day’s harvest to a local food pantry.

 August 27th was the day they choose to donate the harvest. At 7:30 am, in the misty rain, all 20 youth and their parents started harvesting and cleaning the vegetables. By 11:30, over 300 pounds of produce was cleaned and packed into a truck and the trip to the Danbury food pantry began. At the food pantry, the volunteers were so delighted to receive the fresh vegetables. The pantry opened for the day a few hours after the delivery, with people getting the fresh vegetables that just that morning were still in the ground! 4-H Does Grow True Leaders! The 4-H Community Garden club will continue serving their community in Bethel and Danbury through their civic engagement initiatives.

 

Article by Edith Valiquette

UConn 4-H Announces Winners of Calendar Photography Contest

The winners of the 2020 UConn 4-H Calendar Photography Contest have been selected! Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the participants. We enjoyed viewing your favorite 4-H project pictures and are glad a wide range of 4-H activities will be represented in the calendar. 

eggs in basket
“Teamwork” by Marjorie S. of Litchfield County was selected as the best in show.

The 2020 UConn 4-H Calendar Photo Contest results are as follows:

  • Mia B.                 “Dumpy Tree Frog”                        Windham
  • Derrick B.           “Antique Tractor”                           Hartford
  • Angela B.           “Robin Eggs”                                     New London
  • Alexis B.             “Nose licks”                                       Hartford
  • Sofie C.               “Iris in the Rain”                              Fairfield
  • Abby C.              “Dew in the morning”                     Windham
  • Caroline H.        “Howl”                                               Hartford
  • Emily K.             “Levi with her tongue out”            Litchfield
  • Kaylie M.            “Wander”                                          New London
  • Laura M.            “Listen to your Heart”                    New London
  • Kendall R.          “Snow Storm”                                  Windham
  • Peyton R.           “Princess Leia”                                 Windham
  • Marjorie S.        “Teamwork” – Best of Show          Litchfield
  • Delaney T.         “Sleeping Beauty”                            Hartford
  • Harper T.           “Tenderness”                                   Fairfield
  • Cassie W.           “Bee Hive”                                       New London

 

Congratulations to Marjorie from Litchfield County. Her photo was selected as best of show from among all applicants and will appear on the cover. Calendars will be available from each of the county 4-H programs and distributed in late September. The calendar follows the 4-H year and runs from October 2020 through December 2021. 

UConn 4-H is the youth development program of UConn CAHNR Extension. 4-H is a community of over 6 million young people across America who are learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), leadership, citizenship and life skills through their 4-H project work. 4-H provides youth with the opportunity to develop lifelong skills including civic engagement and healthy living. Learn more and enroll your child in the UConn 4-H program at http://4-H.uconn.edu/.

UConn CAHNR Extension has more than 100 years’ experience strengthening communities in Connecticut and beyond. Extension programs address the full range of issues set forth in CAHNR’s strategic initiatives:

  • Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry and food supply
  • Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
  • Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
  • Advancing adaptation and resilience in a changing climate.

Programs delivered by Extension reach individuals, communities, and businesses in each of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities.