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"4-H is all about giving. And that giving goes both ways."

Patty with the 2016 4-H Project Bowl team she coached
from McLeod County
Meet Patty Dahlke.

Patty can’t remember a time without 4-H in her life and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Her mom, a 4-H alum herself, signed Patty up for 4-H when she was just five, barely old enough to be the youngest of Cloverbuds. Over the years growing up in Aitkin County, Patty’s whole family became proud 4-H’ers, learning and growing together.

When Patty and her husband Doug decided to raise their family in McLeod County, keeping the family connection to 4-H alive was never in question. Well, at least not for Patty.

“I’ll admit, I was more excited than my husband at first. He didn’t grow up in 4-H, so he had to learn how wonderful the program is for families. He’s a 4-H Shooting Sports coach now. He’s definitely come around!”

Patty has been a 4-H volunteer for 18 years. She especially enjoys watching youth excel in their project learning, seeing their knowledge expand as they practice over time and with other youth. Volunteering in the 4-H Project Bowl program gives Patty many opportunities to see this learning progress.

“My favorite is when a really shy member of our Project Bowl team has the courage to buzz in and give a right answer. It might be the one and only time they buzz in during an entire competition, but the look on their face when they get it right, when they can show what they’ve learned, I just love it.”

Patty thinks that 4-H is an essential part of her community. Youth and adults in 4-H are passionate about service and work hard to foster inter-generational relationships, care for the land, and contribute to local businesses.

Patty with her husband and two children
“4-H is all about giving. And that giving goes both ways. Youth in 4-H give a lot of their time and energy to learning, serving, and accomplishing hard things. And the program gives youth adult roles models, resources to learn, and opportunities to make a difference in the community.”

We’re grateful for all that Patty has contributed to McLeod County youth through her 4-H volunteering. Patty is helping girls and boys of all ages discover their capacity to learn, grow and contribute.

You are making a difference, Patty. Thank you!

Discover how you can be a Minnesota 4-H volunteer.

Erin Kelly-Collins
University of Minnesota Extension
Center for Youth Development

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