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, 86 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 Glacier county 4-Her’s have had a year full of learning opportunities, leadership development, and community service.
The shooting sports members had another active year of air rifle, archery, and shotgun. The program was especially blessed with news of being selected from a competitive pool for two ‘Friends of the NRA’ grants. The grants provided new Air Rifle equipment and shotgun shells, a total value of over $4,500.
Members honed their project knowledge and communications skills through project days, workshops, and contests. Seventeen members competed in the county communications contest, presenting prepared demonstrations and illustrated talks, commercials, and impromptu speeches. Members also practiced mock interviews prior to fair and then at the Marias Fair each member competing completed an individual project interview with a subject matter expert in their project. Nearly thirty members competed in the Roundtable awards interviews where they interviewed with fellow members before a judge, explaining their goals, project work, and learning experiences.
Community service is an integral part of the 4-H experience, and members were busy with numerous activities this past year. 4-Hers made homemade rolls and helped serve at the Community Thanksgiving dinner, where centerpieces were provided by the Cloverbud group. The annual Soup and Bread luncheon in January, organized and served by 4-Hers, raised nearly $600 for the Parkview Senior Center.
Thanks to Montana 4-H Foundation People Partner and Montana Department of Agriculture grants, $1,000 was received to help continue the beautification process at the Senior Center with flowers and herbs planted by the 4-Hers this summer.
The Clever Clovers 4-H club also organized a dance during the Marias Fair which raised nearly $275 for the Marias Fair Food Booth. 4-Hers also supported the Glacier Care Center through doing Christmas shopping for residents, ‘adopting’ residents and visiting them throughout the year.
Members took advantage of 4-H travel opportunities throughout the years as well. Sixteen members attended the Multi-County 4-H Camp in the Bear Paw mountains in June, participating in various outdoor activities and making 4-H friends from across the Hiline.
Four junior leaders, Coalter Littrell, Dayne Barbie, Coley Cundall, and Sienna Cundall, honed their leadership skills by serving as camp counselors for the event. Three senior members, Grace Rooney, Coley Cundall, and Sienna Cundall, also took the opportunity to attend Montana 4-H Congress in Bozeman in July for workshops, competitions, and networking.
Six beef members participated in the ‘Follow the Beef North’ tour which included learning about the cattle feeding industry and culminated in a day tour to the Brooks, Alberta area for a feedlot tour and meeting with a processing facility.
This past year also brought new benefits for Glacier County 4-H supporters. The Glacier County 4-H Council established an endowment through the Montana 4-H Foundation. The great news for 4-H supporters is that any donations to the endowment will be eligible for a tax credit. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the actual income tax you owe to the state of Montana, versus a tax deduction that simply reduces your taxable income. The endowment will provide ongoing support for leader training and materials, member awards, and support of Glacier county 4-H activities.
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 more than doubled.
The Cloverbud program is a non-competitive, educational program for youth ages five to eight that meets monthly during the school year. Youth ages eight 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.
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 email@example.com, visit the website at http://msuextension.org/glacier/, or stop by the office at 1210 E. Main, Cut Bank, MT.