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Showing posts from July, 2017

Brad Carlson: "I give to provide experiences for youth that last a lifetime"

Meet Brad Carlson.

Brad is a long-time donor to Minnesota 4-H. When the Minnesota 4-H Foundation first started, Brad was a member of the board of trustees, providing vision and oversight to fund development across the state. His connection to 4-H runs deep. He grew up in Itasca County, a proud 10-year member of the White Oak 4-H Club near Cohasset, Minnesota.

Potatoes was Brad’s favorite 4-H project area. Cultivating potatoes was a family tradition in fact. Brad’s dad was a 4-H member and earned a state championship in that project during the 1937 Minnesota State Fair. Brad and his brothers tried their best to match their father’s achievement. In 1965, Brad was named the 4-H potato project state champion. And in the early 1990’s, the family added a third generation of potato growing champions when Brad’s son earned the same honor.

On the other end of the 4-H spectrum, Brad has fond memories of the skills he grew through state leadership experiences. He attended Junior Leadership Conf…

"My hope for our kids is that they will become connected and committed to their community. Our youth are our future."

Meet Jim Schneider.

Jim is a science teacher at Northome High School in Koochiching County. His first 4-H experience as an adult was judging science and engineering projects at his local county fair.

"I grew up in 4-H, but in a different area, and I didn't initially think about 4-H for our family. But once I got reconnected, I remembered how great the program is and wanted my sons to be involved."

When his older son Caleb was young, he and Jim joined a 4-H club near their home, started attending monthly meetings, and began exploring different project areas. About 15 years ago, when their club needed a new leader, Jim stepped up and agreed to fill that volunteer role. The club continues to this day, and Jim's younger son Peter is an active member.

Jim especially enjoys helping 4-H youth explore engineering and design through the 4-H robotics program. He coaches teams that work collaboratively on robotics challenges and compete with other teams across the region and st…

Abby Schreier: "In 4-H you will gain confidence and become a great leader"

Meet Abby Schreier.

Abby is a recent 4-H alumni from the Black Bear 4-H Club in Crow Wing County. Her 4-H experience started in 3rd grade and continued through the year after her high school graduation.

4-H was an avenue of discovery and learning for Abby. Every year, Abby looked forward to bringing a project to the Minnesota State Fair to showcase what she had learned in a specific project area. Some years, she brought general exhibit projects like entomology. Other years, she came for livestock encampment with a rabbit. Her love of the state fair and learning new things was fostered in her year as a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador, in which she was able to help out at the 4-H building for the entire 12 days of the fair and grow her leadership skills even more.



Abby just finished her Associate of Arts Degree at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. She is excited for a new adventure studying agricultural education at South Dakota State University in Brookings. Her long-term goal is to beco…

"4-H is teaching me how to be a responsible leader. I can take that to college to make a difference, influence others."

Ermias is a 17 year-old member of 4-H who lives in South St. Paul. As a teen teacher in the Dakota County 4-H Youth Teaching Youth (YTY) program, Ermias is building leadership and communication skills while helping young people make healthy living choices.

"I heard about YTY through an afterschool community service group I'm in. Kirsten [4-H staff] helped me learn more about the program, get enrolled, and find opportunities to be trained and teach."

Teams of 4-H Youth Teaching Youth teen teachers learn a healthy living curriculum and then deliver lessons to classes of third, fourth, and fifth graders. Topics include healthy eating, cooking, disease prevention and awareness, and choosing to be active.

Ryan Donkers: Ada and Helmuth Schroeder Scholarship recipient

Ryan Donkers is a recent recipient of the Ada and Helmuth Schroeder Scholarship from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation. He was an active member of Rice County 4-H.
Ryan grew up on a hog farm, which is where his passion lies. Ever since joining 4-H, he has been involved in various aspects of the swine project. He has shown and taken part in swine interviews, as well as general livestock judging. Additionally, Ryan has been a swine interview and showmanship judge at various fairs around his home county.
In 6th grade, Ryan became involved in Rice County 4-H Swine Project Development Committee.  This committee helped Ryan develop leadership skills as they put on various swine workshops, planned for the county fair, and devised way to strengthen youth learning in the project area.  The skills and knowledge Ryan has gained from his 4-H experiences equipped Ryan start his own show hog business. He started out by helping different 4-H families prepare their hogs for the fair. Over time, the business…

Volunteers help youth learn and discover

In 4-H, youth collaborate with caring adults to explore hands-on learning in topics like science, health, agriculture, citizenship, and the arts. Volunteers provide a positive environment where youth learn by doing.

Last year, 11,000 volunteers from every Minnesota county and tribal community generously gave their time and enthusiasm to foster learning and discovery in 69,000 4-H'ers. Volunteers are essential to the 4-H experience.

Sharing passion, growing understanding
Julie Holst has been a 4-H volunteer in Mower County for nearly 20 years. She's a nurse practitioner who loves helping young people expand their knowledge of nutrition, health, and wellness through animal science experiences. Julie coaches 4-H Project Bowl teams, a program focused on youth learning and teamwork.

"Once a child is exposed to Project Bowl, learning gets in their system," Julie commented. "They learn so much. It's an honor and privilege to work with youth in this program."