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Minnesota youth compete in National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference

Five Minnesota youth recently competed at the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. The conference recognizes 4-H teenagers who have excelled in their state 4-H poultry learning experiences.

Four contests occur at the conference: poultry judging, egg preparation demonstration, avian bowl, and poultry barbecue contests. Each contest is designed to teach youth subject matter in poultry science and industry but also important life skills including decision making, communication and teamwork.
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From Jennifer: In 4-H, all youth are welcome to learn and grow

Dear youth, families and volunteers,

One of the things I most value about 4-H is that it is open to all young people.

4-H is a public youth development organization. That means we receive funds from state and local government to ensure all young people can access high-quality youth development experiences. Whether from urban, suburban, rural or tribal communities, youth living in Minnesota can find 4-H learning opportunities that encourage and challenge them to grow.

Would you like to coach a 4-H Project Bowl team?

Scores of caring adults are needed to coach small groups of youth as they prepare for 4-H Project Bowl season. If you'd like to be one of those amazing volunteers, please join us online on Tuesday, Jan. 8 from 7 - 8:15 p.m. for a project bowl coaches training.

The purpose of the training is to prepare willing adults with the information and resources needed to build confidence and knowledge in a team of young people. At this webinar we will: Give an overview of the bowl program including important dates and deadlinesShare ideas for leading effective team practice sessions andProvide lots of time to answer any questions you might have The webinar will be recorded if you are unable to join us live. For webinar details, visit the Help for coachessection of our website.
If you have any questions, please contact Amber Greeley.

Clay County volunteer receives statewide honors

Danielle Holmes from Clay County has received the Minnesota 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the Year Award.

Danielle has empowered youth to conduct meetings more independently, deliver public presentations, and lead community service projects. As a 4-H Engineering Design Challenge coach, she encouraged youth to come up with their own designs and used open-ended questions to guide youth in discovering their own solutions.

Lisa Kasson-Bauer, 4-H Program Coordinator in Clay County, said that "Danielle has a gift for giving youth information and presenting it in a way that makes them curious and willing to explore. She uses her organizational skills, science education and work experience to the benefit of youth in Clay County. Her efforts have helped numerous 4-H'ers gain knowledge and experience in STEM, leadership and civic engagement."
Danielle was chosen by a panel of judges from an outstanding list of nominees. Next she will be considered for a regional award and…

Mower County couple named outstanding lifetime volunteers

Congratulations to Bob and Laurie Balgeman from Mower County. They have been chosen as Minnesota's 4-H Salute to Excellence Outstanding Lifetime Volunteers!
Bob has served as the long-time General Livestock Project Bowl coach. He creates a positive learning environment where young people have fun, are free to ask questions and feel challenged to deepen their learning. His commitment has yielded competitive teams and, more importantly, encouraged young people to reach their potential. Bob has also served as a 4-H club leader and on the county auction committee, 4-H Advisory Board, and Mower County Extension Committee.

Laurie leads the Mower County 4-H Dog Project, and is excellent at recruiting caring adults to support youth in their project learning. One parent said, "Any success that the kids have in training their dogs is due to Laurie's guidance." She has mentored numerous 4-H youth to take on advanced leadership roles including 4-H ambassadors, club leaders, dog t…

From Jennifer: Together, we can ensure Minnesota youth thrive.

Dear 4-H youth, families and volunteers,

It is my honor to accept the role of Minnesota 4-H State Director, which I have been filling on an interim capacity since August. It has been since 1993 that I have served young people through Extension and seen just how impactful 4-H can be in the growth of our youth.

The 4-H youth development program is a wonderful place for youth to pursue a life of thriving.

What does it mean to thrive? Thriving is characterized as the ability to pursue happiness and success, while feeling connected to others and our surrounding world. It is what we all want for our children, their friends and in fact every youth in our community.

But many young people are not on a pathway toward thriving. Research shows that by the beginning of high school, only about a quarter of young people in the US are on that critical path to happiness, success and connection. So many youth are being left behind. What can be done?

Flavia and Carrie: a 4-H harp duo

From harp lessons to trap shoot practice, software engineering to the archery range, Flavia and Carrie have found each of their own unique places in 4-H.
Meet Flavia. She's a determined 14 year old aspiring software designer, who grew up on her family's crop farm in Martin County. She follows her father’s footsteps as a 4-H'er but in her own unique way. Differing from his experience focused on livestock projects, Flavia spends her time in 4-H performing and fine arts.

Flavia plays five different instruments - harp, violin, guitar, piano, and the drums. "Do I have time for myself? Good question!" Flavia laughs. She doesn't have much spare time after hours of daily practice, but still enjoys being involved in her high school’s speech and debate team.

Performing is one of Falvia's favorite and most natural activities. "I like that 4-H gives me the opportunity to get my art out there and have more experiences playing and competing in front of people,&quo…