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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Two generations, one passion for learning, growing, and service.


4-H program coordinators
Jodi Hintzen and Meg Clark
As the mother of three daughters, Jodi Hintzen wanted to model the value and importance of doing meaningful work. To that end, nearly 20 years ago, she accepted a 4-H staff role in Douglas County. Jodi was excited to provide youth in her community with opportunities to learn and lead through 4-H. She herself had experienced the many benefits of growing up in the program.

"I loved Share the Fun.* It was a favorite activity every year. And the sewing skills I developed in 4-H, starting in 3rd grade, I use to this day. I teach sewing to 4-H'ers here in Douglas County as well as for Community Ed. I'm a costumer for our local community theater and even perform on occasion. I love that the things I most enjoyed in 4-H are still part of my life."

Jodi was glad to raise her daughters in 4-H. In the program, they became confident public speakers and developed critical skills they used throughout college and into their professional lives.

“I’m so proud of my girls. They are self-confident, poised, problem solvers. Because they were children of a 4-H staff member, they really understood all that goes on behind the scenes of a program. It gave them greater independence in their projects, which certainly paid off. They are wonderful people who are doing good work.”

One of her three daughters is following closely after Jodi’s example. Meg works as a 4-H staff member right in the very county where her mother was first introduced to 4-H.

Jodi and husband Leonard with daughters
Lindy, Molly and Meg at 2010 Minnesota State Fair
“I grew up in a very positive program. Staff, including my mom, an
d volunteers cared about youth and really invested in us. It’s wonderful to be providing that kind of experience for another generation of youth.”

Meg agrees with Jodi that 4-H taught her invaluable skills she uses every day. Respect for deadlines, the value of hard work, the importance of friendships, integrity, and a deep commitment to self were grown in Meg through years of 4-H involvement.

“4-H experiences shaped who I am today. I was a club officer and county 4-H ambassador. I showed livestock and did projects in vet science, environment, and youth leadership. I even got to do some state and national experiences like attending the National 4-H Conference and being a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador. 4-H gave me so many opportunities to explore and learn.”
Mother and daughter at Meg's wedding

Both mother and daughter are proud to work for an organization that provided them so much. As 4-H grows and expands to reach new youth and families across Minnesota, Meg and Jodi are both committed to their own growth and learning.

“I hope 4-H will grow steadily and that we will continue to impact youth in positive ways,” said Meg. “I love that we can help youth find their passion and do great things in their lives.”

“We need to look at lots of different ways of reaching youth,” said Jodi. “4-H is a community of young people who learn leadership, citizenship and life skills. Making sure that many more youth have this 4-H experience is what motivates me.”

Jodi and her husband Leonard live in Douglas County. Meg, along with her husband Philip and son Patrick, live in Carver County.


* Share the Fun is an annual community-building event where 4-H clubs perform self-created skits and songs. They are hosted by individual county or tribal 4-H programs. There is also a 4-H Share the Fun Showcase annually at the Minnesota State Fair.

Curious about the stories of other Minnesota 4-H staff members? Read more stories here!



Erin Kelly-Collins
University of Minnesota Extension
Center for Youth Development

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