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Goodhue County 4-H'ers revive a project and explore the dairy industry

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 wonderful ways Minnesota 4-H'ers are living out the 4-H Pledge. Our August featured grantee used their funds to start up local project bowl teams. We hope you enjoy their story.
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Goodhue County 4-H’ers were looking to add a new project to their county, and recognized that there had been no Project Bowl teams is many years. Project Bowl is a 4-H contest that challenges teams of 3-6 youth on their knowledge of 4-H project areas in a quiz show format.

Goodhue County 4-H focused on the dairy project and with support from a Helping Hands grant was able to put together three teams. The Project Bowl participants came from multiple clubs within Goodhue County. They wanted to expand their knowledge while having fun learning. The team was able to learn skills “like hard work, time management, and dedication,” says Emily Benrud, youth leader. “My life has been positively affected by all the great memories I have made.”

The youth began meeting weekly in the winter, preparing for early spring regional contests. Together they collaborated on finding resources to learn more about dairy cattle and the industry. It was a learning process not only in dairy, but also in how Project Bowls work, as none of the 4-H’ers had participated in one before.

Along with reading materials, the 4-H’ers were able to get hands-on in their learning. Local dairy farms led them on tours, showing them the ropes of a working dairy operation. Emily says her favorite part was getting to gain new abilities and ideas that are applicable in many aspects of her life. “I learned skills that I can apply to cattle that I show, and also to my family’s farm,” she says. “I gained knowledge that will help me in dairy judging and also in school classes like biology.”

The dairy teams competed in both 2015 and 2016. Moving forward, Goodhue County 4-H plans to add more project area teams. The equipment purchased with the grant will be able to be used for years, for all the teams! The Project Bowlers are excited to continue meeting new people in the Bowl categories and being able to explore their passions in new ways.

From Project Bowl to Arts-in, Helping Hands Grants from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation support new projects in 4-H clubs statewide. To learn more about these grants, visit http://z.umn.edu/helping.

By Madeleine Miller
Minnesota 4-H Foundation

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