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Showing posts from May, 2016

Clay County 4-H'ers build robots and STEM skills to combat aquatic invasive species

Each spring the Minnesota 4-H Foundation distributes grants to 4-H clubs who want to make a difference in their community. We will be featuring one grantee every month this year to celebrate all the wonderful ways Minnesota 4-H'ers are living out the 4-H Pledge. Our May featured grantee wanted to explore aquatic invasive species in their own backyards. We hope you enjoy their story. ---
Five years ago, Clay County, Minnesota gained an invaluable resource: the Clay County Aquatic Robotics 4-H group, supported by a generous donation from Glyndon Farms Co. This 4-H club began as a STEM-focused group setting out to learn about local environmental issues. In 2015, they were awarded a Helping Hands Grant to research aquatic invasive species in their local bodies of water.
Aquatic invasive species, or AIS, are prevalent statewide. These species include animals and plants, such as the zebra mussel or brittle naiad, and compete with native species for space and resources in Minnesota waters. …

Cindy (Mathison) Terwilliger: I love helping youth be successful in whatever they choose!"

Cindy (Mathison) Terwilliger is a passionate volunteer. She was only in 4-H for a few years during the 1960’s, but there developed a love of learning and saw the positive impact of caring adults on young people.

“I remember one sunny summer day our whole club went to our club leader’s farm and scoured the fields for insects. She then patiently taught us how to properly mount and display each specimen. That year my entomology exhibit went on to the Minnesota State Fair and earned a blue ribbon! I still have the bug box, ribbon and newspaper article with my name in it.”


After graduating from high school, Cindy married John Terwilliger and had two children, Becky and Lee, who were members of Wadena County 4-H. While caring for her growing family, Cindy also raised beef cattle and created artwork she sold at art and craft shows around central Minnesota. Following an early retirement, Cindy and John elected to volunteer with some of their favorite local organizations including the Nisswa A…

Craig Ross: "I give because 4-H helps young people learn they can make a difference in the world."

Craig Ross was a founding member of the Victoria Vikings 4-H Club in Alexandria, Minnesota. His parents started the club in the 1970’s to teach their children conservation, confidence, and creativity among other qualities. In 4-H and on the family’s hobby farm, Lois and Lyle Ross encouraged their four children, Becky, Drew, Craig and Scott Louis, to explore a variety of topics and try new things. Gardening, baking, shop, leadership, demonstrations, Craig and his siblings tried it all! and while they weren’t always purple ribbon winners, the skills they built have stuck with them well into adulthood.

“We did do really well in the Conservation project area. Our family used to joke about the 9-year reign we Ross boys had on that purple ribbon at the Douglas County Fair and the trips to the State Fair too. Dad always loved helping us with those projects.”

Craig attended one year at the University of Minnesota –Twin Cities before finding his place at the smaller University of Minnesota ca…