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Lauren Hendel: "4-H allows you to build relationships and discover passions"

Lauren Hendel, a proud Houston County 4-H alum, is currently a sophomore at the University of Minnesota. She is majoring in Animal Science with a dairy production emphasis. Lauren was a longtime member of the Caledonia Rockets 4-H Club. Growing up on a dairy farm had a major impact on Lauren’s 4-H career. It provided her with important firsthand knowledge she applied to the many different 4-H dairy projects she pursued over years in the program. Lauren participated in dairy judging, quizbowl, and showing. She attended the National 4-H Dairy Conference in Madison, WI. This annual conference brings future dairy professionals together to build on their knowledge of the dairy industry and make connections with current professionals.

Lauren has had plenty of success in dairy showing, qualifying for the Minnesota State Fair many times. A few of her favorite memories of 4-H are at the Minnesota State Fair. During the fair, Lauren loved catching up with old and new friends met through the various 4-H activities she was involved in. Additionally, she enjoyed participating and learning in the short seminars that were offered for 4-H’ers and the public. Recalling her 4-H career Lauren mentioned, “I was honored to be selected as one of the Minnesota 4-H Dairy Showcase award winners in 2013-2016. This was a huge deal for me as it allowed me to meet other 4-H’ers from across Minnesota who were as heavily involved in the dairy project and industry as I was.”

Today, as a 4-H alumni, Lauren is still actively involved with the 4-H program. She is a mentor to younger members who have an interest in the dairy project. As a mentor, Lauren has hosted workshops to teach youth about fitting and showing dairy cattle. Eventually, Lauren wants to become more involved with 4-H’ers who want to lease dairy animals for the show season. Leasing is beneficial for youth because it allows them to show and learn more about an animal they might not have had access to without this program.

Outside of 4-H, Lauren is an active member of Lambda Delta Phi sorority and the Gopher Dairy Club at the University of Minnesota –Twin Cities. She is also a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Caledonia, MN.

Lauren will always be thankful for how 4-H helped her prepare for her future career in the agriculture industry. 4-H taught her that working hard to accomplish goals has wonderful rewards. Additionally, 4-H helped Lauren become a better leader as well as an active team player. Each of these characteristics will aid Lauren in accomplishing personal and professional goals.

“My advice to young 4-H’ers would be to get involved as early as you can and push yourself to meet new friends through 4-H.” The more youth explore during their 4-H years, the more opportunities they’ll have to build relationships with others and discover their passion."

By Kirstin Lawstuen
Minnesota 4-H Foundation

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