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Showing posts from August, 2017

Dr. Dian Lopez: "I give because 4-H helps children become resourceful adults"

Meet Dr. Dian Lopez.

Dr. Lopez is a retired Computer Science professor, a board member for the Douglas County Hospital, and a loyal donor to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation.

Growing up in Beltrami County, Dr. Lopez joined 4-H as a child. Dr. Lopez loved going to the fair as an opportunity to connect with other 4-H members in her community. Every year, she went to the county fair in Bemidji, hoping that luck was on her side and she could win a trip to the state fair. As the fair season approached, Dr. Lopez grew excited to help other community members get ready.

4-H instilled a love of service in Dr. Lopez. In the program, she learned the value of giving, not only with your head, but with your heart. "The 4-H pledge is something to live by," she said. "My experiences in 4-H have made me a more caring person and community person." This is evident throughout Dr. Lopez’s career.

 She currently serves on a variety of organizations, including: the Douglas County Hospital B…

"I volunteer because in 4-H, no matter what you're interested in, you can find a place to belong, work hard, and experience success."

Jeff Eibler is in his 15th year as a 4-H volunteer.

He first signed up to volunteer at the request of his wife, Jan. She wanted to be sure that their three young daughters could experience 4-H near their home in International Falls, Minnesota.

"I didn't know much about it at first, but came along for the ride. Once I became a volunteer, I started looking for ways to contribute. Since I was interested in dogs, the dog project seemed like a good option."

After Jeff and his girls explored the 4-H Dog Project for a few years, they discovered Minnesota 4-H's Project Bowl program. This series of regional and state competitions challenges teams of youth on their knowledge of 4-H project areas. Teams are asked questions and buzz in to give their best response.

"Our first year we had two junior teams in the dog project area. Both experienced success at the regional competition, but got hammered at state. We all came back with our tails dragging. But let me tell you, get…

Joshua Kukowski: "4-H lets you be yourself."

Meet Joshua Kukowski.

Joshua grew up in the Oakmound 4-H Club of Clay County. Not only is he an alum, but he's also an Extension Educator in northwestern Minnesota, a member of the Minnesota 4-H State Citizenship and Leadership Team, and a 4-H State Ambassador Adviser.

One of Joshua’s favorite memories of his 4-H days is participating in Share the Fun, an event where clubs perform plays and skits for each other. "I remember how the kids wrote the script and we all won a trip to the State Fair in 1989- it was my first year in 4-H and I got to go and perform there. It really brought our club together."

Another fond memory for Joshua is a 4-H leadership trip to Manitoba, Canada when he was a State Ambassador. "I remember getting stopped at the border, running out of gas, and arriving around 2 a.m. in the middle of Manitoba- but what I remember most about that was the constant laughing with lifelong friends and working and believing that what we were doing was important.&q…

New York Mills youth wins 4-H leadership scholarship

Heather Weller is a recent graduate of New York Mills High School and the 2017 recipient of the David and Valerie Pace Leadership Scholarship from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation.

From East Otter Tail County, Heather has been an active 4-H member on the local, state, and national level. In her thirteen years in the program, she raised and showed rabbits, developed over 40 general exhibits for display and judging at her local fair, and engaged in countless leadership opportunities.

Heather’s first leadership role in 4-H was teaching an after-school program for Cloverbuds, a program for youth in K-3rd grade. This is where she first learned the importance of working together as a team.Since that important first step into leading, Heather has continued to build her public speaking and communication skills over time. As an older 4-H’er, Heather served as president of the East Otter Tail 4-H Federation and a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador, developing leadership training for younger youth and adv…

Volunteering is a gift. Who will you share it with?

11,000 caring adults volunteered with Minnesota 4-H last year. If you are one of those generous community members, thank you. Your time, enthusiasm and commitment empowered 69,000 young people with the skills they need to lead for a lifetime.

But there are so many more young people who need 4-H. In fact, census data indicate that up to 350,000 Minnesota youth don't yet have access to meaningful, hands-on, enrichment activities. They are waiting for us!

Encouraging parents to learn with their kids
Brad and Teresa Schmidt are long-time 4-H Shooting Sports & Wildlife volunteers in Douglas County. Their strategy for encouraging and engaging parents has grown the program from 2 to 13 screened and enthusiastic volunteers.

"After I mingle with parents for a while, I'll sneak in a homework assignment that gets them involved with their kids," explained Brad. "As parents learn, they want to participate more. Building confidence in parents is important to moving them to…