My Head to clearer thinking
My Heart to greater loyalty
My Hands to larger service
My Health to better living
For my club, my community, my country and my world
These are the four H's of 4-H. We believe in them and we want to share them with your family.
4-H is a unique program sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in our state. We are excited to open enrollment to our club and share what we'll focus on here at Dirigo Ranch!
We are very lucky to have a place to share with the community that includes woodlands, farm life, and aquatic life at our pond. We garden, raise animals for food and for pleasure, and love to make things from scratch! These are some of the many topics we'd like to work with in our program.
We look forward to introducing kids to animals, teaching the value of work, hiking through the woods around us and studying the various trees, plants, and wildlife we can find, growing food together and making something out of it for everyone to enjoy, crafting, and learning about how farms contribute to the things we love from beef to yarn! Campfires, smores, and chatting on the front porch are to be expected. Activities may include planting, yoga, art projects, hatching chicks, identifying bugs, baking in the homestead kitchen, finding wildlife signs, guest speakers, maple sugaring, equine familiarity, and more!
Each season, we will pick a new focus for our club, and activities geared around that. The goal of these experiences for kids in our program are to encourage:
Belonging - to know they are cared for by others.
Independence - to practice responsibility and make decisions.
Generosity - to practice helping others through their own generosity.
Mastery - to feel and believe they are capable and successful.
We believe in learning by doing - that's how this entire ranch came to be, and is the slogan for the 4-H educational philosophy. We wanted our kids to have the opportunity to participate in a club like this, so we decided to make it available to not just us, but to all, and we're excited to see the friendships that bud out of doing so. We completed the UMaine 4H volunteer training, completed a background check, have 4-H handbooks, and have attended meetings and trainings to be able to provide this opportunity.
What to Expect:
Meetings will take place once - twice a month, and will be approximately 1-2 hours in length. This will become more defined as we get to know our club and size. Parents or guardians are required to be present during meetings, and should be ready to participate in club activities. We recommend always coming prepared with sturdy shoes, layers, bug spray, sunscreen, and the idea that we will often be outside, in the woods, or the barn (as our children's daycare says, "we're washable" and there sure is plenty of dirt here).
There are no dues, and no fees to participate - this is a free program. We do appreciate donations however, in order to provide club materials for projects, and refreshments (which are also welcome from club members during meetings).
This is meaningful to us, and we want it to be a safe place for your children to come and learn, open their minds, and equip them with skills, such as problem solving and decision making that can help them succeed in school, careers, and life in general. This is a positive, all inclusive club - out in the country, y'all means ALL! You don't have to have a background in agriculture or outdoors - everyone is welcome. We are offering this because we know how much agriculture, homesteading, and nature have impacted our lives, and we feel passionate about sharing it. Have a younger sibling? Our littlest will be here, too - it's all good.
To that end, experienced or not, we request that everyone come prepared to take it slow around livestock as there is always a level of risk involved.
There will be an end of season celebration, and invitations to visit the local agriculture fairs. The 4-H program year runs from October 1 - September 30, annually. We will not be focusing on any 4-H livestock projects for show at this time, but more with familiarizing our club members with agriculture, and nature.
We hope you'll consider joining in the fun. If you're interested in signing up, please let us know, by clicking the button below and filling in the form at the bottom of our 4-H page, so we can reach out when enrollment begins!