4-H'ers in Montgomery County are leading a movement for positive change in every community in America, including right here in Montgomery County, MD!

4-H is a nation-wide hands-on youth development program, the largest in the United States with over 6.5 million members. Our purpose is to provide a supportive setting for all girls and boys to mature into competent, caring, and responsible people through volunteerism and the learning of valuable life skills. 4-H also provides many opportunities for young people to take on leadership roles.

Youth may participate in community and school-based clubs exploring areas such as Robotics, Animal Science, Outdoor Education, Healthy Living, Camping, Civic Engagement, and Community Service. The program also provides educational outreach programs in a variety of settings. These opportunities are offered through research-based, hands-on activities. Together 4-H members and volunteers participate in fun, hands-on, research-based activities supported by a national Extension system.

4-H opens up new and exciting opportunities for both youth and volunteers to:

  • Enhance Leadership Skills
  • Improve Communication Skills
  • Meet & Make New Friends
  • Become Involved in Their Communities
  • Improve Personal Growth & Development
  • Most Importantly, HAVE FUN!!!!

Who Can Join?

Youth ages 5-18; ages 5-7 are our Cloverbuds - who participate in non-competitive programs to learn about the many different aspects of 4-H. At age 8, a youth can enroll in other projects and participate in competitive county and state events.

For more information about the program, you may contact Jeannine Shriver at 301-590-3210 or email jshriver@umd.edu.

4-H Lessons at Homes

Downloadable lessons that kids can do at home!

Milk in Motion: Great for any age, for older children have them fill out more of the packet to challenge them. You can use just one kind of milk if that is all you have! Check out the accompanying YouTube video: https://youtu.be/47jFcC27AuM

Kindergarten Activities: Great for those who are learning how to write and learn about chickens!

DIY Water Marbling: A fun craft for anyone and betcha already have the supplies!  Want others to see your creation? Send photos to smays1@umd.edu to be shared on Facebook.

Livestock Countdown: Want to brush up on your livestock breeds, animal parts or structure? Or maybe you want to start learning. This packet includes everything from livestock breeds, parts to quality assurance. Answers are included.

Counting Games with Agriculture: Kids can count while coloring!

Sprout House: Create a small "sprout house" using supplies from around the house. Later enjoy eating the sprouts!

Raised Watercolor Painting: Create a raised painting with glue and watercolors!

4-H News & Notes

Find out about 4-H events and programs, and read articles written by 4-H'ers.



News & Notes - December 2021 (pdf)

News & Notes - September 2021 (pdf)

News & Notes - March 2021 (pdf)

News & Notes - December 2020 (pdf)

News & Notes - December 2020 Addendum (pdf)


If you are a 4-H'er and would like to submit a report of an event or activity to include in the next News & Notes, here are some guidelines:


- Give it a title.
- It should contain no more than 300 words.
- You can send us photos to use, but we will have to choose only one. Action shots are great!
- Remember the five W's and H--who, what, where, when, why, and how.
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Send it to us before the deadline for News & Notes articles, which is usually listed at the end of the last issue of News & Notes.

Email your article to the 4-H office at ahamann@umd.edu.

Montgomery County Ag Fair

The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair provides a great opportunity for our 4-H'ers to share their knowledge, skills, and products with the community through exhibitions and demonstrations. It also provides them with an opportunity to be recognized for all of the hard work they've put into 4-H throughout the past year.

See the June issue of News & Notes for more info on the Ag Fair.

Visit the Montgomery County Agricultural Fairgrounds website here.


August 13 - 21, 2021

Fair Theme

"Family Fun for Everyone"

Parade Theme

"4-H is Where Friends Become Family"

Fair Catalogue

The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair provides a great opportunity for our 4-H'ers to share their knowledge, skills, and products with the community through exhibitions and demonstrations. It also provides them with an opportunity to be recognized for all of the hard work they've put into 4-H throughout the past year.

Enter Your Fair Exhibits Online

All entries can be made online here. There are also entry forms in the back of the catalog. Entering your work gets you a free fair pass!



The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair will be offering reduced price admission tickets to Montgomery County 4-H’ers and their families—these prices are only available to 4-H’ers and their parents and siblings. These special tickets are available to be purchased online when you enter your exhibits using the Fair’s online entry system, and they are available for purchase at the Fair on the Fair workdays—the Saturdays of July starting at 9 a.m. and ending at noon. After August 7, the season pass will be $75.00.

  • Daily Pass – Perry Parkway Entrance only, free parking - $10.00
  • Daily Pass – Perry Parkway Entrance only, no parking included - $5.00
  • Season Pass – Perry Parkway Entrance only, free parking - $50.00
  • Season Pass (12 – 18 yrs. Old) – Perry Parkway Entrance only, no parking included - $18.00
  • All children 11 yrs. and younger – free every day, no pass required

Enter Your Work at the Fair

4-H animal, indoor, & demonstration entry registrations are DUE BY JULY 20, 2021.

No late entries will be accepted!

If you enter, you will be mailed a free season pass. Exhibitors are encouraged to use the online entry system provided by the Montgomery County Agricultural Center.

GO HERE to use the online system. Using this system cuts down on paperwork and errors in the entry process. When entering online, please make sure you are entering in the desired department (4-H or Open). If you are not able to enter your exhibits using the online system, paper entry forms are available in the back of the fair catalog. Please mail all paper entry forms to the Fair Office (not the 4-H Office): Montgomery Co. Agricultural Fair, 16 Chestnut St., Gaithersburg, MD 20877.

Once the fairgrounds has received all 4-H entry registrations, they will send the county 4-H office the display tags for each indoor entry. 

Display tags must accompany each indoor entry at the fair and they will be available for you to pick up at the 4-H office starting on August TBD. However, some club leaders collect indoor tags for their clubs and hand them out at meetings. 

Dates that indoor entries must be brought to the 4-H Building at the fairgrounds:

  • Mon, August 9 – only day to enter club booths, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Wed, August 11 – 4-H non-perishable drop-off, 3:30 - 7:30 p.m. 
  • Sat, August 14 - Perishable entries drop-off, 3 - 6 p.m. 
  • You can either drop off your entry and leave or stay for an interview judging with the judges—they will ask you questions about your entry. There will be no interview judging for the Baked Goods Division.
  • Date to pick up entries after the fair—Sun, August 22, 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Information for Animal Exhibitors

In order to exhibit animals at the county fair, you must attend one of the Animal Exhibitor Orientation meetings held on the fair work days AND make sure you are up-to-date with everything on our Animal Science Info & Forms page—completed animal registration forms, completion of the Animal Husbandry and Quality Assurance Program, and completion of the Dairy Verification Card if you plan to show dairy cattle. 

Rabbit Exhibitor Self Certification

Livestock Exhibitor Self Certification

Equine Exhibitor Self Certification

Poultry Exhibitor Self Certification

2021 Fair and Show Requirements

Animal Exhibitor Orientation

  • All 4-H animal exhibitors (this is all animals, even animals entered into the pet show) at this year’s Montgomery County Agricultural Fair will once again be required to attend an exhibitor orientation meeting. Topics will update you on new rule and procedure changes for animal and public health, 4-H rules, and fair policies, as well as helpful tips for having a positive fair experience.
  • The sessions will again be offered at 8:30 AM sharp on all four fair workdays (August 7), in the Heritage Building at the fairgrounds.
  • If you have any questions please contact Jeannine Shriver at 301-590-3210.

Pet Show

  • All Pet Show participants must attend an Animal Exhibitor Orientation at one of the fair work days. 
  • Please review ALL Maryland Fair and Show Requirements needed for fair entry for all species—these rules will also apply to the Pet Show. 
  • Please note that some poultry testing is required within 21 days of fair for 2021.
  • In addition, Canines and Felines must provide a current rabies certificate and be in good health. As noted in current pet show rules, all dogs MUST be kept on a six foot leash at all times and all felines MUST be kept in a PET CARRIER unless their class is being judged. All equines must have a current negative Equine Infectious Anemia (Coggins) Test.

4-H Camp Tawasentha


July 10 through July 15, 2022

Every year, Montgomery County 4-H takes campers out to western Maryland for five days of fun at Camp Tawasentha. Our camp is located amidst the Appalachian Mountains in Garrett County and is open to all youth (not just 4-H'ers) who are 8 to 13 years old as of January 1st, 2022.

You will find all the forms necessary for camp registration below.

Forms are due in the 4-H office by June 10th.  Send in camp registration form ASAP via mail or email to Santana Mays at smays1@umd.edu. The rest of the forms need to be in by June 10th by either email or mail.   Check back often for updates!

If you have any questions regarding Camp Tawasentha please contact Santana Mays at the Montgomery County 4-H office at 301-590-2813.

4-H Camp Files

2022 Camp Parent Letter

Required documents:

2022 Camp Tawasentha Parent / Camper Contract

2022 Health Form

2022 Camp Registration Form

2022 Youth Code of Conduct

2022 Cell Phone Statement

2022 Liability Release Agreement 

2022 Sunscreen 

2022 Publicity Release Form 

Adventures in Science

What is Adventure in Science?

Adventure in Science (AIS) is a hands-on science education activity for children ages 8-15 running on Saturday mornings from late October to March.

Dr. Ralph R. Nash began the program in his basement in Gaithersburg, Maryland in the early 1970's to provide science adventures for his daughter, and over the years AIS has introduced the fun of science to hundreds of children.

AIS now meets at five sites in Montgomery County and additional programs have been initiated at several other sites around the country based on the same philosophy and a similar format.

Since the early 1990's the Montgomery County 4-H Program has provided an administrative framework for AIS, using 4-H UME volunteers as site managers.

Our goal is to present science as an exciting activity and a way of thinking about the world, rather than as a compendium of facts. The topics we present reflect the interests of the children and of our volunteers, rather than any prescribed curriculum. Examples have included:

  • Dissection of squids and frogs
  • Examination of pond life under a microscope
  • Genes and DNA
  • Sound and hearing
  • Vitamin C
  • Chemistry of gases
  • Atoms and radioactivity
  • Internal combustion engines (taking apart a lawn mower)
  • Jet propulsion (assembly of model rockets and launching them)
  • Crystal radios
  • Polarized light; vision and the eye
  • Immune wars; breathing and the lung
  • Counting infinities
  • Slime and other polymers
  • The fourth dimension

Any person who is a currently appointed University of Maryland Extension (UME) 4-H volunteer providing a service to, or on behalf of UME, engaged in 4-H AIS activities which fall within the categories of actions in the Maryland Tort Claims Act would be covered under the state liability insurance.

For more information or to register please go to http://www.adventureinscience.org

4-H Staff

Alganesh Piechocinski, CFLE
Senior Agent, Extension Educator
4-H Youth Development
Montgomery County 4-H Office
Email: algapie@umd.edu

Phone: 301-590-2804

Alganesh Piechocinski is an Extension Educator in the 4-H program for the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension. She received a BS degree in Human Development and MS degree in Health Care services and in Counseling. She is a certified Family Life Educator with the National Council on Family Relations. She is tenured and a senior faculty member in the UMD college of Agriculture and Natural Resources and has been with Extension for 19 years. Alganesh's primary responsibility is managing and supporting the 4-H community clubs, Adventure in Science program, Kids Taking Charge program, and the 4-H Outreach and After School Programs. Prior to Extension, Alganesh worked for the American Family and Consumer Sciences Association, Bank of Bethesda and for the National 4-H Council in Chevy Chase.


Sheila Ford
Extension Program Assistant
Montgomery County 4-H Office
Email: sheilaf@umd.edu

Phone: 301-590-2824

What I do: I provide assistance to the 4-H educators


Anna Hamann
Administrative Assistant
Montgomery County 4-H Office
Email: ahamann@umd.edu

What I do: I provide general assistance to the 4-H educators


Santana Mays
4-H Agent Associate
Montgomery County 4-H Office
Email: smays1@umd.edu

Phone: 301-590-2813

What I do: 4-H, Animal Sciences, Livestock, Youth Development


Jeannine Shriver
Administrative Assistant, Receptionist
Montgomery County 4-H Office
Email: jshriver@umd.edu

Phone: 301-590-3210

What I do: Volunteer policy support & activities


  • GC 4-H

    Planning & Facilitating a 4-H Public Speaking Workshop

  • 4H leadership

    4-H Officer Training

4-H Programs

  • Teen Corps, AGsploration, Social Justice


  • Animals

    Animal Sciences

  • Frog, lakes, swimming, archery and shooting sports

    Environmental Sciences

  • public speaking, cooking, kid on a bike, fashion review

    Healthy Living

  • Space, robotics, shark heart, engineering

    Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

  • State Council members at Congress

    Youth and Adult Leadership

  • Great Brittan

    International Programs

  • Father and daughter looking through VR goggles

    Military Programs