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Showing posts from January, 2016

Olmsted County 4-H'ers support literacy program in City of Rochester

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 January featured grantee wanted to take action around the issue of literacy in Rochester, Minnesota. We hope you enjoy their story.
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The Acorn Acres 4-H Club of Olmsted County know that reading is a crucial skill as well as an enjoyable hobby. Their local Rochester Public Library and the Leadership Greater Rochester program had a pre-existing pilot of mini libraries in the area. Mini libraries serve as small, enclosed structures that house books, free for community members to take and read. Used in communities nationwide, it has been shown that mini libraries increase reading among users, as well as increase local students' reading scores after a summer out of school.


Kristie Johnson: "In 4-H, I work with professionals who have the same passions that I do!"

Meet Kristie Johnson, an Otter Tail County 4-H alum and program coordinator for Polk County 4-H. We recently caught up with her to learn a little about her 4-H story:

Erin Kelly-Collins: What were your main 4-H project areas?
Kristie Johnson: Every year I showed dairy cattle and entered my photographs. My goal was to try one new project area each year in addition to dairy and photography, so I tried a lot of different projects throughout the course of my 4-H career.

EKC: Did you participate in any state or national 4-H experiences?
KJ: The state fair was the highlight of my year every year. It was one of the few opportunities to leave the farm and meet new people and make lifelong friends. Now as a staff, my goal is to attend CWF and other national opportunities 4-H has to offer!

EKC: What is one of your favorite 4-H memories?
KJ: Every year during our final club meeting before the county fair, we had the opportunity to showcase which projects we were planning on bringing to the fair. My…

Dr. Alvin (Aho) Andrews: "I give to 4-H because it's important to be good stewards and replace what we’ve taken."

Dr. Alvin (Aho) Andrews has been a consistent financial supporter of Minnesota 4-H since 2011. I recently had a conversation with him to learn a little about his 4-H story and why he gives to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation. Being a good steward of what's been given is a powerful motivator for this retired educator. Here's a peek into our lovely discussion.

Erin Kelly-Collins: Tell me a little about your experience as a Minnesota 4-H’er.
Al Andrews: I grew up in Cook County 4-H in the 1940’s. My mother was our 4-H leader and always pressed us boys to grow and stretch through our projects. We raised sheep, dairy cows, chickens, ducks and geese. Demonstrations were important as well and I remember working hard to improve in those over the years.

EKC: Did you take on any leadership roles as an older 4-H’er?
AA: Oh yes. I spent a lot of time helping the younger children in our club get ready for the fair each year. I loved encouraging them to stay with it, even when their projects were h…

Anoka County 4-H volunteer Jeanne Verhoef receives the 4-H Adult Scholarship

I had the privilege of interviewing Jeanne Verhoef, a proud mother and faithful supporter of 4-H. She recently returned to school, and is the recipient of the 4-H Adult Scholarship from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation. Here's a snapshot of our conversation.

Eunice Lin: How did you first get involved with 4-H?
Jeanne Verhoef: I grew up with older siblings that were involved in 4-H, so my beginning in 4-H was very young.  I can remember helping my older sister with horses at 4-H horse events, and then later becoming a 4-H member when I was in 3rd grade.  One of the great things about 4-H is that it can include the entire family for many events and meetings.

EL: How have you been able to stay connected to 4-H in your area?
JV: My children have been involved in Anoka County 4-H.  So I have been very active in special projects, attending meetings and events.

EL: What advice do you have for current 4-H'ers?
JV: There are so many opportunities in 4-H.  All of them are for you to try, and i…