PDF of December Newsletter


A Letter from the Extension Agent

Did you know the use of evergreens at Christmas predates the birth of Christ?  The use of evergreens to celebrate winter festivals goes back thousands of years from the Pagans to the Romans to early Christians.  The first decorated Christmas tree was in Latvia in 1510.  Early Christmas trees were illuminated with small candles.  Christmas tree lights can be traced back to Thomas Edison.  His assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric Christmas lights in 1882.  In 1890, the Edison Company published a brochure offering lighting services for Christmas.  

While the Christmas tree is still a symbol of Christianity for many, the tradition has spread to millions of people worldwide of different faiths and cultures.  It’s definitely become a symbol of the holiday season and the celebrations that happen in December.

In some ways, it reminds me of the symbol of the 4-H program, the clover.  The clover is a symbol of life and the learning that happens in 4-H through our head, hearts, hands and health.  


Happy Holidays!

Sincerely, Allison Kosto - Extension Agent, MSU Extension Broadwater County


Christmas Tree FUNDRAISER!

The trees are cut and ready to buy at Rocky Mountain Supply (7487 US Hwy 287, Townsend). Clubs are responsible for cleaning up and stocking the tree lot. Below is the schedule.

·         Rocky Mountain Rough Hands: November 27 - December 3

·         Toston: December 4 – 10

·         Winston and Elkhorn: December 11 – 17

·         Old Baldy: December 18 – 24

·         Radersburg and Crow Creek: Clean up (Tree Lot and Fairgrounds)


Greytak Calendars

Greytak calendars are available to purchase from the Extension Office. Calendars are $15 each, and they make great Christmas gifts! Exact cash or checks made out to 4-H Council is appreciated.


Multi-County 4-H Camp - Camp Counselors Needed!

Applications for Camp Counselors are due Friday, December 16th to the Extension Office. Camp is June 6-9 at Camp Rotary near Monarch. Applicants must be in grades 9-12 at time of application. Counselors are required to come a day prior to camp on June 5th and attend the entire camp in addition to a training in the spring. Please include your resume with the application that details your skills, training, and accomplishments. The application process can be highly competitive, so complete and timely applications make the best impression! Application and more details are available from the Extension Office. 


Beef Tagging and Weigh-in

The event is on Saturday, December 31st at Noon at GaLor Genetics (8393 US Hwy 287, Townsend).  To respect our host, please try to be on time and not too early.  All market beef animals are required to attend.  If you can’t be there, you must make arrangements for your animal(s) to be there.  Breeding animals are welcomed to get weighed but are not required to attend.  It is recommended to bring your brand inspection paperwork for the inspector to look over and help provide guidance on what needs to be done prior to Fair.  Also please be prepared to share information about your animal including breed, breeder and birthdate.  If you have any questions about the beef project, contact John Ferrat at 406.949.7911 or Samantha Ferrat at 406.949.0869.


4-H Directory

Attached along with the newsletter email is the 2022-2023 4-H Directory.  This is your resource list of 4-H leaders in our county.  It includes contact information for club leaders, committee members and project leaders.  We are continuing to recruit leaders and will send out updated lists as needed.  We suggest printing the directory, so you have it handy.  The individuals on this list are great resources for many of your 4-H questions so don’t hesitate to contact them in addition to the office.  


County Contest Extravaganza – SAVE THE DATE

Plans are underway for County Contest Day which has tentatively been schedule for Sunday, March 12.  County contests are a fun way for you to share your knowledge, learn new skills and be recognized for your hard work.  Contests are related to communications, cooking and sewing or quilting.  You don’t have to be enrolled in a certain project to participate.  Senior members (13-18 years old) can earn a trip to compete at Montana 4-H Congress.  Watch for more information soon!


4-H Leaders Training

Starting this year, all 4-H volunteer leaders will be required to complete an annual training through ZSuites.  Leaders have one year to complete the training.  The purpose of the training is to help provide leaders with basic information about 4-H.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the office.  We can also setup a computer for you to do the training at the office.


4-H Leader’s Council- recruiting for a Treasurer!

The 4-H leader’s council will need a new treasurer for the 2023/2024 4-H year, as our current treasurer Samantha Ferrat will be stepping down. This is a great opportunity to help volunteer with our 4-H program. We are looking early, so that Samantha can help mentor the new treasurer through the transition! If you are interested, please reach out to the office for more information.


Countywide 4-H Activities

Committee & Council Meetings 

4-H COUNCIL: The next meeting will be Tuesday, January 24th at 7:00 pm.  The meeting will take place at the Extension Office (Flynn Building, 416 Broadway, Townsend). Contact Karen Noyes at 406.949.4852 if you have any questions or agenda items. Agenda items must be submitted by noon the Friday prior to the meeting.

INDOOR COMMITTEE: The next meeting will be Tuesday, January 24th at 6:00 pm at the Extension Office (Flynn Building, 416 Broadway, Townsend). Contact Karen Noyes at 406.949.4852 if you have any questions or agenda items. Agenda items must be submitted by noon the Friday prior to the meeting.

LIVESTOCK COMMITTEE:  The next meeting will be Tuesday, January 3rd at 7:00 pm at the Extension Office (Flynn Building, 416 Broadway, Townsend). If you have any questions or agenda items, please contact Jason Noyes at 406.949.4851. Agenda items must be submitted by noon the Friday prior to the meeting.

HORSE COMMITTEE:  The next meeting will be Wednesday, November 30th at 5:00 pm at the Extension Office (Flynn Building, 416 Broadway, Townsend). If you have any questions or agenda items, please contact Jan Finn at 406.266.4992 or [email protected]. Agenda items must be submitted by the Monday prior to the meeting.

TEEN CLUB: The Teen Club will be meeting on Wednesday, December 14th at 4:00 pm at the Extension Office. We will be completing our service project. Teen Club is open to all Middle or High School aged members. If you are not currently in Teen Club, but want to find out what it is about, please come to this meeting! Please RSVP to Karen Noyes at 406.949.4852.

 County Contest Committee Meeting
There will be a planning meeting for county 4-H contests on Tuesday, January 3rd at 6:00 pm at the Extension Office (Flynn Building, 416 Broadway, Townsend). If you volunteered to be a part of this committee, please attend this meeting. If you have any questions, please contact the office. 


4-H Animal Project Activities

Beef Project

There is a Beef project (market and breeding) meeting scheduled for Saturday, December 31st following the mandatory weigh in and tagging event at GaLor Genetics. The tagging event starts at noon, and we will meet as soon as all animals are weighed and tagged. Please bring your 4-H record books, notebook/paper and pencil. RSVP is encouraged, so we can have enough materials for everyone. If you have any questions, contact Samantha Ferrat at 406.949.0869 or John Ferrat at 406.949.7911.


Dairy Goat Workshops

There will be a meeting on Saturday, December 3rd at 5:30 pm at the Extension Office (416 Broadway, Townsend). The monthly meetings will be on the first Saturday of each month at 5:30 pm. Meeting places will vary and will be announced before each meeting. Meat Goat members are also welcome! There are many subjects planned to be covered this year including: barn setup, shots, worming, eating habits, milking, disbudding, imprinting, milk products, testing, diseases, and showmanship. If any member would like to give a demonstration at a meeting, this can be scheduled. If you have any questions, please contact Danyel Henke at 406.980.0995.


Poultry Workshop

There will be a poultry workshop on Saturday, December 10th from 10:00-11:00 am (rescheduled from November 5th) at the Extension Office (416 Broadway, Townsend). This workshop will be all about market poultry selection and raising. We will cover how to select market turkeys, chickens and ducks. There will also be discussion about raising and feeding to maximize growth and good health. If any member wants to do a demonstration for a project point, please let Alice know. If you have any questions, please contact Alice Kroeger at 406.547.4343.


FAIR Thank You’s Reminder

There have been several of our Fair buyers that have asked about the livestock thank you pictures. The Livestock Committee pays to have these taken, printed and given to you. They are then meant to be given to your animal buyers. Some of the business’s take pride in the support they give to our 4-H program and like to have them hanging up in their store! Please make sure you are giving these pictures to your buyers as a way to thank them for their support.


4-H Non-Animal Project Activities

Cloverbuds Meetings

Cloverbuds will be meeting on the second Tuesday of December, January and February from 6:00-7:00pm at the Extension Office (416 Broadway, Townsend). If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Crusch at 406.949.0057


Archery Workshop

The archery project will host workshops in December, January and February. They will be meeting on Tuesdays from 6:00-8:00pm at the Fairgrounds.  There will not be Archery on Tuesday December 13th. If you have any questions, please contact Jason Noyes at 406.949.4851.

Sewing Workshops

The next workshop will be held Saturday, January 14th at 9:30 am. There is no sewing workshop in December! Sewing workshops are generally held the second Saturday of the month at the Extension Office. If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Holland at 406.266.3473


.22 Rifle Workshops

The .22 rifle project will meet at the Broadwater County Rod and Gun Club Canton Range (96 Canton Lane, Townsend) on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m., starting on Thursday, December 8. Participants must be age 9 or older to enroll in the project.  Participants will learn firearm safety (first and foremost), firearm nomenclature, shooting skills, shooting positions, and much more.  Participants will shoot almost every meeting starting after the third meeting.  Parents are encouraged, but not required, to remain on-site during the meeting. The gun club provides .22 rifles for participants that do not have a rifle, or participants can bring their own. Scopes and semi-auto rifles are prohibited. Contact John Pavao at 406.422.9590 if you have any questions, if you would like to help, or if you know of kids that may be interested in joining this project. 


Food and Nutrition- Cooking and Baking Workshops

Foods workshops are planned for December 1st and 15th and January 12th, 19th and 26th. Workshops will be split by age groups. Members ages 8-11 will be from 5:30-7 and ages 12+ from 7-8:30. Workshops will be held at the Trailhead Christian Fellowship church (20 Trailhead View Dr, Townsend). If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Beatty at 406.490.1362.


Statewide 4-H Opportunities

Leadership Academy

Join the Montana 4-H Leadership Academy workshops on Sunday afternoons this winter. The Leadership Academy is a network of Montana 4-H members interested in exploring and developing their ow leadership skills while serving their county 4-H program in new ways. Join with groups around the state as well as the Montana 4-H ambassador Officer team virtually and in-person when possible, to work on skill building, planning and mentorship. Registration is online here and is open to 4-H members ages 12+. The dates for the leadership academy workshops are December 11th, January 8th, February 5th and March 5th and they are scheduled from 3:00-4:00 pm.


4-H Volunteer Institute

The Institute will be February 17-19 in Billings. It is open to all 4-H volunteers in Montana. Registration costs $75, and the Broadwater County 4-H Council will cover your registration to attend! The institute will be a great opportunity to learn from other volunteers and Extension agents, network and celebrate the accomplishment of volunteers across Montana. Watch for more information soon.


Montana 4-H Citizenship Seminar

This event is taking place on Sunday, January 15 - Tuesday, January 17 (early afternoon to early afternoon) in Helena. It is open to youth ages 13-19 (13 as of October 1, 2022) and certified volunteer chaperones 21 years of age and older.  Registration is done through Zsuites and closes on January 2nd. The cost for this program is $85. Funding assistance may be available through the county 4-H Council and the Mike Ferrat Memorial Fund.

What is Montana Citizenship Seminar? Montana Citizenship Seminar is designed to inspire 4-H youth as they learn about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Youth delegates gain hands-on experience with the legislative process by participating in a mock legislature, create and debate bills, work with other youth from across the state, meet with elected officials, tour the capitol, and participate in a service-learning project. Citizenship Seminar is held in Helena in the years when the legislature is in session. Youth delegates share their 4-H experience with current legislature representatives during the Legislative Breakfast which is hosted on January 17 by Montanans for 4-H. 


Montana 4-H Legislative Breakfast

Legislative Breakfast will be held the morning of January 17 at 6:30 am with a preparatory dinner on the evening of January 16 at 6:00 pm. Registration is open now in Zsuites and closes on January 4th. The cost for the dinner on the 16th is $25 and the breakfast on the 17th is $30. The county 4-H Council will provide up to $20 per person for 4-H members to attend.  It is open to any age.

What is the Legislative Breakfast? The Legislative Breakfast provides an opportunity to educate Montana legislators about the work and success of 4-H in the state. It brings together youth and adult constituents from across Montana to share stories of achievement drawn from their 4-H experiences.  The breakfast also reinforces the vital role of the MSU Extension budget, which supports 4-H in Montana communities. 


Montana Shooting Sports Leaders Trainings

The schedule for the upcoming Shooting Sports Leaders Trainings has been finalized. Any adult interested in becoming a Shooting Sports Leader must complete training in that particular discipline. The trainings include four online training modules and an in-person training portion. Dates are as follows:

·         December 2-3, Kalispell for Archery, Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, Muzzle-loading, Hunting Skills, and Coordinator.

·         December 9-10, Havre for Archery, Rifle, Pistol, and Coordinator.

·         December 16-17, Belgrade for Archery, Rifle, Pistol, and Coordinator.

·         April 2023 – Billings for Archery, Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, and Coordinator.

·         May 2023 – Manhattan Wildlife Association for Shotgun, Muzzle-loading, Hunting Skills, and Western Heritage.

The 4-H Council can help cover registration fees for a few more adults and junior leaders to attend.  For more information, please contact the Extension Office for details 406.266.9242.


People Partner Grants - Montana 4-H Foundation

These grants, up to $500, provide incentives and financial support to 4-H clubs, groups and individuals for programs that enhance the quality of living for people in their communities. Applications should meet the following criteria:

•    Youth should be involved in determining, planning, conducting, and evaluating the project.

•    The project will make it possible for people to accomplish something educational and worthwhile that helps them reach a higher quality of life.

•    There is community support and acceptance of the project, as evidenced by “partners” listed in the grant application, additional funding sources, and resource persons and agencies involved.

•    The project has lasting benefits.

Applications can be found on the Montana 4-H Foundation website and must be postmarked by February 1.


Other Opportunities


Broadwater County Fair Board is looking for new members

The Broadwater County Fair Board has two openings for board members. If you have been looking for a way to be involved with your community and are passionate about the Fair, please reach out to Jessica at the office for more details.


4-H at the Christmas Stroll!

The Christmas Stroll is this Saturday, December 3rd from 4:00-7:00 pm. The parade is set to start at 4:30. There are a couple 4-H clubs with floats for the parade. The 4-H Interstate Exchange club would love your support at their Walking Taco booth at Massa Park (next to the Bread & Butter Café). The Rocky Mountain Rough Hands are also selling Cotton Candy in front of Townsend Drug. They are also doing a donation only hot chocolate bar.


2023 Outbound International Exchange Programs for Youth through the Montana 4-H Center

Costa Rica · Japan · South Korea

Are you curious about daily life, culture, and youth programs in other countries? Travel abroad with States’ 4-H and enter a world that most tourists rarely get to see.

Program Details: 

States’ 4-H Summer Outbound programs provide American 4-H youth with the opportunity to travel to foreign countries for a  month-long cultural immersion experience. Delegates live with volunteer host families and engage in experiential learning about a new way of life. 

Delegates experience aspects of daily life that allow them to more deeply understand both their host culture and their own culture. Our network of like-minded international partners recruit host families and plan enrichment activities.  

2023 Travel Dates:

Japan 8-week:   June 14—August 10, 2023

Costa Rica:         June 21—July 20, 2023

Japan 4-week:   July 12—August 10, 2023

South Korea:      July 17—August 15, 2023

*Program dates subject to slight change or modification


4-H youth ages 12 - 18 for Japan & South Korea, and ages 15 - 18 for Costa Rica


Program Information:

•            Adult chaperones accompany the group during international travel and remain in-country to provide support.

•            States’ 4-H provides Program Handbooks that cover everything from packing lists to financial matters to cultural information.

•            States’ 4-H conducts group conference calls and a National Departure Orientation prior to international travel.

•            No prior language study is required, but it certainly is helpful! Our international partners have English-speaking staff on hand to assist you in communication.


Program Fees Include:

Welcome packet; overnight national departure orientation; arrival orientation in host country; portion of chaperone fee; Accident & Sickness Medical Insurance; 

in-country transportation, lodging, and meals while on-program; country-specific activities as determined by international partner organizations.  For specific fees on any of the destinations, please contact the office. 

Application Deadline: 

Montana's application deadline: December 31, 2022

Please note that program details are subject to change. 


If interested and to request more information (including the application), contact: 

Christine Sommers-Austin

mailto:[email protected] or  406.994.3504



Paint the State 

Montana Meth Project graciously extends an invitation to all Montana educators and youth organization leaders of 7th-12th graders to participate in this contest.

Registration Period: October 2022-April 2023

Art installation deadline and online photo submission is June 30, 2023. 

Students who participate in Paint the State will: 

•              Learn about the risks of Meth use and the Meth problem, the state's top drug problem.

•              Engage in authentic peer-to-peer conversation about drug use.

•              Create monument-size pieces of art that spark community dialogue and raise awareness.

•              Inspire Montanans to live vibrant drug-free lives.

•              Enter to win cash prizes up to $3,000 for the winning teams

1.            Sign-up at PaintTheState.org to express your interest in leading a student team and reserve your spot to receive a $250 stipend toward art supplies.

2.            Form your student team (or multiple teams) with a class or student group.

3.            Register your student team(s). A registration link will be emailed to you in Fall 2022 when team registration opens. A $250 Amazon gift card will be mailed to the first 250 educators who sign up and register student teams. A separate $250 gift card is available for each team you advise.

4.            Utilize the Montana Meth Prevention Lesson Video to help students understand the risk of Meth use and the Meth problem in our state.

5.            Brainstorm and concept the art piece with students and follow the tips and rules at PaintTheState.org.

6.            Create the artwork and install in a public location that will engage your community!

7.            Submit a photo of the installed artwork by June 30, 2023, for students to enter to win regional and statewide cash prizes.

Livestock Judging Contest

The Montana Simmental Association is hosting a judging contest on Saturday December 3rd, 2022, in Billings at the Billings Livestock Commission. Registration begins at 8:00am and contest begins at 9:00am. Entry fee is $10 per individual which includes lunch. All 4-H and FFA members are welcome. There will be 4-6 cattle classes and 2 sets of reasons. For more information contact Marty Topp at 406.581.7835 or Rocky Forseth at 406.590.7984