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Showing posts from October, 2016

Chisago County 4-H'ers grow produce, knowledge, and service in their backyards

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 October featured grantee provided 4-H'ers with education in gardening through the Junior Master Gardner program in Chisago County, Minnesota. We hope you enjoy their story.

The Soaring Eagles 4-H Club of Chisago County applied for a Helping Hands Grant to fund their Junior Master Gardener program for their recent growing season. This program introduced youth to new gardening skills, types of produce, and even connected them with their community through service projects such as donating produce to the local food shelf and planting flower beds at the county Historical Society. This year was just the beginning for the group, as the project is set to continue for several years—and many 4-H’ers l…

Dave Lawstuen: "4-H allowed me to build communication skills and learn to answer questions effectively."

Experiencing agriculture first hand stimulated an ever growing passion for 4-H alum Dave Lawstuen
Dave Lawstuen grew up on a registered Holstein farm outside of Lanesboro in Fillmore County. During his 10 year membership with the Progressive Planners 4-H Club, Dave mainly showed Holsteins but did show pigs and a crossbred steer during his younger years.

Dave graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s in dairy genetics and statistics. Soon after he began working for Eastern Artificial Insemination Cooperative in Ithaca, New York. His role was to purchase high level genetic young bulls for Eastern's progeny test program from herds throughout the Northeastern United States.

Following 9 years at Eastern, Dave, his wife Debbie, and daughter Kirstin returned to the family farm and continued the dairy operation. In 1997 the registered Holstein herd was dispersed and in 2000 the family started a registered Black Angus operation, which…