4-H Newsletter December 2020 Edition

Alternatively, you may
download a printable copy of the December 2020 Cascade County 4-H Clover Connection

Newsletter Scavenger Hunt

Be one of the first 5 people to email Allyssa (allyssa.zoern@montana.edu) with the page number containing this symbol  candy caneto win a special prize. Please include the page number you found the symbol, something you learned from the newsletter, and your name.

As of December 2 there's still one more prize available!

Cloverbud Meetings

Attention all Cloverbuds! The first Cloverbud project meeting will take place on Saturday, December 5 from 9:00 am – 10:30 am at the Extension Office. Join Cloverbud Leaders Jill and Stephanie to create hot cocoa bombs and learn more about Cloverbud Project Books. Sign up for this event at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0b4ea8a82ca5fb6-december1 by Thursday, December 3. Class size is limited to 10 youth, masks must be worn in the building, and we will be practicing social distancing during the project meeting. 

Re-enrollment Deadline

The deadline for re-enrolling members to sign up for    4-H is fast approaching. Youth must be re-enrolled on ZSuite by December 15. After this date, we will no longer use last year’s contact lists. Enroll on 4h.zsuite.org before December 15 to stay up to date on current Cascade County 4-H events. New members may enroll in 4-H up to May 1.

Office Closures
The MSU Cascade County Extension Office will be closed
Friday, December 25 and Friday, January 1.

COVID-19 Guidelines

Keeping everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic is 4-H’s number one priority. In order to keep everyone safe, we will be following the guidelines announced by Governor Bullock. If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 guidelines or procedures, please reach out to Allyssa at allyssa.zoern@montana.edu or call the Extension Office at 406-454-6980.

  • Masks are required at all Cascade County 4-H events. This includes project meetings, club meetings, project days, and committee meetings.
  • Groups over 25 people are not permitted. If your club has grown to over 25 people including members, parents, leaders, siblings, and guests, meetings will need to move to a virtual platform.
  • Social distance when ever possible.

Project Books

Many of you have received your new Project Books for the 2020-2021 4-H year! As you are signing up for new projects in ZSuite, there are a few things to remember.

  • You must indicate if you need a Project Book or not. If you do not indicate that you need a Project Book in ZSuite, we have no way of knowing the book is needed.
  • You must indicate how many years youth have been in the project. This will help us when we are working on Achievement Night pins for next year.
  • If you add a project after initial enrollment, you must contact the Extension Office to let us know. We do not get a notification from ZSuite telling us you added another project. It is your responsibility to ensure the Extension Office knows of this added project.

Montana 4-H Leadership Academy

The Montana 4-H Leadership Academy is a statewide program with the goal of building a network of 4-H teen leaders across Montana. The Leadership Academy consists of monthly virtual workshops focusing on goal setting, citizenship, recruitment, facilitation, service, promotion, and reflection. Workshops will take place Sunday afternoons from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Cascade County 4-H will be holding in person meetings during the virtual workshops to participate in the workshops together. Keep an eye on your email and social media for more information on signing up for in person meetings.

Future Leadership Academy Workshop Dates

  • December 13
  • January 17
  • February 21
  • March 14
  • April 11
  • May 16
  • June 13

Robotics Meetings

The first Robotics Project meeting will be held December 5 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Extension Office. The first Robotics Project meeting will be a “fun day” to introduce youth to the Robotics Project. Sign up for the first Robotics meeting at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0B4EA8A82CA5FB6-december2 by December 3. Class size is limited to 5 youth, masks are required in the building, and we will be practicing social distancing. Please bring your Robotics Project Book with you to Robotics meetings.

Independent Study and Self-Determined Projects

Independent Study and Self-Determined projects are projects the require youth to set their own goals to complete. An Independent Study project is for any youth who are looking for opportunities and new challenges within a specific project in which the member is currently enrolled. Self-Determined projects are projects that offer an opportunity for youth to develop and design a project. Youth select the topic, decide upon goals, obtain resources, and design records. This project can be any topic and can also build upon a current 4-H project. Cascade County 4-H has pre-selected Self-Determined projects that you can take that are accompanied with project ideas. These projects include American Sign Language, Tractor Maintenance, Jewelry Making, and many more. Independent Study and Self-Determined projects do not come with a Project Book.

Project Requirements

  • Set at least 3 specific goals to accomplish
  • Identify at least one Project Mentor to help with the project
  • Complete the “You Decide” project book
  • Turn in records to club leader to include “You Decide” project book, My 4-H Year form, and Project Financial Journal form
  • Present on the project at least once during the 4-H year
  • Enter an exhibit at the MT State Fair related to the project

Project Deadlines

If you are currently signed up for a Self-Determined or Independent Study project, you will be receiving a detailed email from Allyssa about what is expected of you for this project, project deadlines, and all the necessary forms.

  • December 15: Returning 4-H member enrollment due online at 4h.zsuite.org
  • January 15: Project Plan Agreement due to the Extension Office
  • Mid-June: Livestock-related project records up to date in order to show
  • Late-June: Montana State Fair entries due
  • August 20: Completed records due to club leader

Greytak Calendars **SOLD OUT**

2021 Greytak Calendars are now available at the Extension Office. Calendars are available for $15 each. All proceeds go to benefit the Cascade 4-H Foundation. The Foundation provides all Cascade County 4-H Project Books and helps fund state, national, and international events and activities for Cascade County 4-H youth.

Record Book and Award Spotlight

Over the next couple months, the Newsletter will feature one aspect of Record Books and one award available to Cascade County 4-H youth. This month’s topic is required paperwork. The featured award is the Agriculture Trailblazer Award.

Required Paperwork

A minimum of 3 items are required to be turned in for a Record Book to be considered complete. The first of these is the My 4-H Year Record sheet. One My 4-H Year Record sheet is required per youth. The second item required is a Project Book with the appropriate number of completed activities. The required number of activities per project can be found on the Project Requirement Table. This table is available upon request from the Extension Office or by visiting https://cascade.msuextension.org/4hpages/resource_page/4hresources_projecttable.html. The final required item is a Project Journal. Depending on the project, this will be a Non-Animal or Animal Project Journal. One Project Book and one Project Journal are required per project enrolled. Required Project Journals and My 4-H Year Record Sheets can be found at https://cascade.msuextension.org/4hpages/resource_page/4hresources.html.

Agriculture Trailblazer Award

The Agriculture Trailblazer Award is awarded to youth who have completed projects in a broad range of agricultural areas and have used the information, knowledge, and skills developed in these 4-H projects to successfully integrate agriculture practices into everyday living. Recipients will have also demonstrated notable leadership skills. If you feel that you qualify for this award, communicate this with your club’s Organizational Leader. To be considered for this award you must:

  • Turn in a complete Record Book on time to your Organizational Leader
  • Receive a Seal of Excellence on your Record Book
  • Write a 500-word narrative about why you qualify for this award

Cascade 4-H Foundation NEW Board Members

Congratulations to the new Cascade 4-H Foundation board members!  Joe Bollich, Trouble Shooters 4-H Club, urban leader, Victoria Kirby, Trouble Shooters 4-H Club, youth representative, and Alayna Roth, Ulm Pishkun 4-H Club, youth representative.

Cascade County 4-H Shooting Sports Leaders Meeting

The next meeting of the Cascade County 4-H Shooting Sports Leaders will be on Thursday, December 3 at 6:00 pm at the Extension Office and via Webex.

POSTPONED Shooting Sports Leader Trainings

The Shooting Sports Leader Trainings scheduled for December have been postponed due to the increased rate of COVID-19 cases. Keep an eye on your email after January 1 for updates.

Archery Interest Survey

The Cascade County 4-H Shooting Sports Leaders are currently planning the upcoming 4-H Archery season. In order to ensure we are holding safe practices, we need some information from you. You can help us by taking the short survey found at https://montana.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7UwoR23vmMmc0gl. Please fill out one survey for each child enrolled in archery (2 children, take the survey twice). Email Allyssa at allyssa.zoern@montana.edu with any questions!

ZSuite Tips and Tricks

Do you find yourself looking through too many emails to find the Cascade County 4-H Clover Connection Newsletter? Maybe you want to look back at a previous Newsletter but can’t find it in your email. ZSuite has a newsletter function that shows you all the Newsletters published so far this year. Log in to ZSuite and look at the left-hand navigation bar. Click on “Newsletters” and choose the month you would like to view. Monthly newsletters complete with pictures are available for viewing or download with just a couple clicks.

Cascade County 4-H Livestock Leaders Meeting

The next meeting of the Cascade County 4-H Livestock Leaders will be on Tuesday, January 5 at 7:00 pm at the Extension Office or via WebEx. Agenda items include planning education opportunities, county livestock show and sale, market beef weigh-in, and clinics.

Livestock Brand Education

Brand inspectors Paul, Levi, or Jessica will teach 4-H members about brands during Project Day on December 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the MSU Cascade County Extension Office. Youth will learn how to apply for a brand, regulations, brand inspector duties, brand history, and much more. Register on the December Project Day Sign Up Genius coming soon.

Livestock Show and Sale

Mark your calendars! The 2021 Cascade County 4-H Livestock Show and sale will be July 8-10 in Great Falls.

Market Beef Weigh-In and Beef Nutrition Workshop

The beef weigh-in and nutrition workshop will be on Sunday, January 17 at Western Livestock Auction (406 Vaughn South Frontage Rd, Great Falls). The minimum weight for market steers is now 1100 pounds. Weigh-in will be from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and the workshop will be from 2:30-3:30 p.m. The beef nutrition workshop will be led by Mari Morris. Mari will teach 4-H members and their parents how to feed their steers correctly to gain optimal weight for the County Livestock Show in July. Mari is a Show-Rite product specialist for Show-Rite Show Feeds. She grew up in Oregon and attended Redlands Community College in El Reno, OK, where she was a member of a national-champion livestock judging team. She then continued her judging career at Oklahoma State University, where she was on the 2014 Reserve National Champion Livestock Judging Team. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 2015. She resides in Augusta, MT, on her husband’s family ranch, where they raise commercial, seedstock, and competitive show cattle. Mari loves to work with youth and help them unleash their potential through livestock and the show ring. The market beef weigh-in is not mandatory nor does the 4-H member need to be present, however, to be eligible for cash prizes at the Cascade County 4-H Livestock show, the market steer must be weighed in January and July. The steers with the three highest average daily gain ratios are paid $100 for first place, $60 for second place, and $40 for third place. Register at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A054CA4AD22A0FE3-market by January 14.

Beef Intent to Enter Form and Ear Tags

Beef Intent to Enter Forms and ear tags are available at the Extension Office. Steers must be in possession by January 1 and have the assigned ear tag from the Extension Office in the animal’s left ear. There is a $10 entry fee for each market animal. 4-H members may intent to enter multiple animals per species. 4-H members may enter and sell a maximum of two species at the sale. Species options include market beef, market goat, market sheep, market swine, poultry meat pen of three, and rabbit meat pen of three. 4-H members cannot sell two hogs or two steers. 4-H members must declare specie(s), be enrolled in 4-H, and paid enrollment dues by October 31. 

The Beef Intent to Enter Form must include a full body photo of the animal showing the ear tag so that it can be read and is due Wednesday, January 6 to the Cascade County Extension Office. Late entries will be issued a $25 late fee per animal. No entries accepted after January 13.

Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders Meeting

The next meeting of the Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders will be on Tuesday, January 5 at 5:30 pm at the Extension Office. Leaders also can participate via WebEx. Agenda items include planning education opportunities, county horse show, State Fair horse show, and clinics.

Helmet Safety and Ornaments

The Cascade County 4-H Horse Leaders are planning a fun evening of education and creativity on December 8 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Extension office. 4-H members will create characters with eggs and discover how helmets protect from falls and accidents. Please remember participants in the 4-H horse project are required to attend a helmet education workshop and/or view the video “Every Time, Every Ride” once as a junior 4-H member (age 9-13) and once as a senior 4-H member (14 & over). The helmet safety workshop will cover 4-H members for the 2020-2021 4-H year. The workshop will follow with ornament decorating where 4-H members can hang their creations for all to see! Leather, beads, ribbon, and other items will be provided but please feel free to bring your own decorations and glue gun! Please register for the FREE workshop at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a054ca4ad22a0fe3-helmet.

Horse and Livestock Rule Books

The 2020-2021 Cascade County 4-H Horse and Livestock Rule Books are available at the MSU Cascade County Extension Office. You will find (2020) after each new or revised rule or policy in the rulebook. Contact Rose if you have questions on the rulebooks at 406-454-6980.



Day Meeting Activity/Event Due Date

Shooting Sports Leaders

Crochet Project Meeting


Robotics Project

Cloverbud Project

8   Horse Helmet Safety and Ornaments  
13   Leadership Academy  
15     Re-enrolling Membership Due
19   Project Day  
25   Extension Office Closed  


Day Meeting Activity/Event Due Date
1   Extension Office Close  

Horse Leaders

Livestock Leaders

6     Market Beef Intent to Enter (no late fee)
7 Shooting Sports Leaders    
12 Leaders Council    
13     Market Beef Intent to Enter (late fee)
16   Project Day  

Leadership Academy

Market Beef Weigh-In and Beef Nutrition Workshop



Day Meeting Activity/Event Due Date

Horse Leaders

Livestock Leaders

4 Shooting Sports Leaders    

Robotics Project

Cloverbud Project

15   Extension Office Closed  
16 Cascade 4-H Foundation    
20   Project Day  
21   Leadership Academy  


Day Meeting Activity/Event Due Date

Horse Leaders

Livestock Leaders

4 Shooting Sports Leaders    

Robotics Project

Cloverbud Project

9 Leaders Council    
14   Leadership Academy  
20   Project Day  


Day Meeting Activity/Event Due Date
1 Shooting Sports Leaders    

Robotics Project

Cloverbud Project


Horse Leaders

Livestock Leaders

11   Leadership Academy  
17   Project Day  


Day Meeting Activity/Event Due Date

Robotics Project

Cloverbud Project


Horse Leaders

Livestock Leaders

6 Shooting Sports Leaders    
11 Leaders Council    
15   Project Day  
16   Leadership Launch  
31   Extension Office Closed  


Day Meeting Activity/Event Due Date

Horse Leaders

Livestock Leaders

3 Shooting Sports Leaders    
13   Leadership Launch  


Day Meeting Activity/Event Due Date
8-10   Cascade County 4-H Livestock Show  
12-17   Montana 4-H Congress  
12 Leaders Council    
30-Aug 7   Montana State Fair  


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Montana State University and Montana State University Extension prohibit discrimination in all of their programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status.