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Showing posts from March, 2017

Sherburne County 4-H'er works to save the bee population

Learning. Growing. Collecting. Saving a species.

We have a problem in Minnesota. Bees and other pollinators are disappearing. The cause is puzzling for researchers, but it is clear that something has to be done. We must save the bees. The Sherburne County 4-H Federation took matters into their own hands by applying for a Helping Hands Grant from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation. For their project, they provided education about honeybees and pollination to the youth and community members of Sherburne County by setting up beehives and harvesting honey.



There were several major goals of the project, the first being to promote beekeeping and increase the awareness of the honeybee’s role in the food supply and agriculture. Education was to be done through classes and summer camps in partnership with Sherburne County Master Gardeners. A personal goal for Sherburne County 4-H’er Emmalee, the 4-H’er who led this project, was to learn new information about keeping the bee population up.

Emmalee and h…

Tim Petersen: "I feel that my contribution is money well spent on the youth of Minnesota."

Tim Petersen, a 4-H alum from Blackhawk County, Iowa, gives to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation for many reasons. His children and grandchildren have participated in the program and he feels it is a very important part of Minnesota.

During his 4-H years, Tim showed beef steers, spending plenty of time training them to lead and be comfortable around him. "My 4-H experience taught me to be observant, work diligently and keep good records, which translates to any professional endeavor."




Tim attended Iowa State University majoring in Civil Engineering. In 2004, he retired from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources after 33 years as a Regional Engineer and Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Engineering. In his work with the DNR, he found that many park managers throughout the state believed 4-H to be the best organization to build and sustain a partnership with.

As a 4-H alumni himself, he has advice for other alumni. "My advice to 4-H alumni is to give back to the n…

"My hope for the future is that youth will make things better, grow, and be willing to explore."

In 4-H, Brian developed skills he uses every day to make an impact on his community.

Brian Mc Neill and his three siblings were raised on a dairy farm in western Minnesota. Resources were limited growing up, but 4-H gave Brian an avenue to explore opportunities outside his community and expand skills he would need throughout life.

"Our parents worked hard, so hard to ensure we had the essentials. There wasn't much more available to us beyond that. But they gave us 4-H. And in 4-H, mentors helped me discover a whole world of opportunity."

Hard work and determination were of high value in Brian's family. He was able to apply and grow those skills in many 4-H experiences, especially during a 4-H entrepreneurship project he participated in as a senior in high school.

Sheila Capistran and Hoang Capistran Murphy: "Never doubt your ability to make a difference."

Sheila Capistran and Hoang (Capistran) Murphy, mother and son, are 4-H alumni from Norman County. When Sheila and her husband adopted Hoang and his brother brothers Phuc they immediately enrolled the boys in the Hegne Hustlers 4-H Club. "It played an important part in my own growing up," said Sheila. "I internalized the motto and wanted to raise my family with those values in mind."

Hoang’s greatest highlight from his years in 4-H was serving as a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador from 2008 to 2010. He was able to grow and develop his leadership skills even though it was sometimes challenging. Another highlight was going to the Minnesota State Fair. "I loved showing my projects and meeting other members from across the state. Plus I have a special place in my heart (or maybe just a blocked artery) for fair food." Sheila’s favorite parts of watching Hoang grow up in the program were watching him try and succeed, or fail, and gaining a deep understanding of re…

"4-H is all about giving. And that giving goes both ways."

Meet Patty Dahlke.

Patty can’t remember a time without 4-H in her life and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Her mom, a 4-H alum herself, signed Patty up for 4-H when she was just five, barely old enough to be the youngest of Cloverbuds. Over the years growing up in Aitkin County, Patty’s whole family became proud 4-H’ers, learning and growing together.

When Patty and her husband Doug decided to raise their family in McLeod County, keeping the family connection to 4-H alive was never in question. Well, at least not for Patty.

Ada and Helmuth Schroeder Scholarship Winner: Jakob Hicks

Jakob Hicks is a student at Southwest Minnesota State University and recipient of the Ada and Helmuth Schroeder Scholarship.
Jakob grew up in Lyon County 4-H. He has been actively involved in various aspects of the rabbit project. Jakob first became involved in the rabbit project as a cloverbud and eventually started breeding his own rabbits. His love and knowledge of the rabbit project and industry developed into an active role on a Rabbit Quiz Bowl team representing Lyon County. Quiz Bowl is a competition where teams are asked a series of questions to test their knowledge on a particular topic.
Gaining deep knowledge about rabbits over many years provided Jakob with many opportunities to lead and succeed. His team won the Minnesota 4-H Rabbit Quiz Bowl competition in 2006-2012. He has co-led Quiz Bowl workshops for other youth interested in rabbits, and hosted showmanship workshops where he advises youth on showing rabbits, diagnosing diseases rabbits might have, and teaching youth ho…

"Being a 4-H teen teacher is like nothing I've ever experienced!"

Meet Kendra.

Kendra is a student at Shakopee High School. Along with her best friend, Layla, Kendra volunteers as a healthy living teacher with 4-H’s Youth Teaching Youth program.

“I take time out of my own school day to visit local elementary schools and teach health and safety lessons to fourth and fifth graders. I had no idea how much of an impact I could make and how much I’d learn about myself. Being a teen teacher is amazing.”

Youth Teaching Youth teen teachers are trained by 4-H staff to deliver short series of lessons on important topics such as internet safety and alcohol and tobacco decisions. Pairs of youth work together to learn the curriculum, develop effective teaching skills, and build trust in each other as co-teachers.

I pledge my head to clearer thinking

I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living for my family, my club, my community, my country, and my world  –The 4-H Pledge

It was well over 100 years ago when the founders of 4-H conceived of our pledge. I believe it is just as foundational for youth development today as it was those many years ago.

Head. Heart. Hands. Health.

In 4-H, youth build skills they need to lead for a lifetime. And as we support and encourage their development, it’s critical that we consider all aspects of their selves. Because true leaders lead with every part of who they are.

Over the coming months, I’d like to share with you some of my own reflections on the pledge as well as reflections from youth, volunteers, and alumni in our community.

I pledge my head to clearer thinking.

This part of our pledge is about cognitive development, building strong processing skills that empower youth to grow knowledge and apply it. Youth have m…