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Showing posts from September, 2017

Jane Leonard and Karin (Leonard) Sonneman- "We are active members of the community because of 4-H."

Jane Leonard and Karin (Leonard) Sonneman are twin sisters with family roots in Mille Lacs County.

Even though they didn’t have a "traditional" 4-H experience, the two of them still credit 4-H for helping them grow as leaders and members of their community.

Their first 4-H experience was in the collegiate 4-H program at the University of Maryland. Karin studied economics and Jane studied journalism and agriculture. As 4-H members, both of them had the opportunity to travel all over Maryland to help clubs learn about citizenship and leadership. They were college mentors to youth all over the state. "It was really a great opportunity for us to grow as leaders while in college," Karin said.

"The pledge helped affirm our upbringing of the importance of public service. It’s important to lead with your heart and work hard with your hands in order to contribute to your community with your head," Karin said. "The training I got in 4-H prepared me for life and f…

Rick is giving back to 4-H by building a local youth lama program!

Rick Carlson had no big goal in mind when he started his farm, except for one - to build 4-H club in Carver County to help youth explore llamas. Over more than a decade, Rick has put endless hours into working with 4-H youth to ensure they have a positive, hands-on experience with llamas.

Fourteen years ago, Carver County 4-H's Lama project was nonexistent. Thanks to Rick and his love for animals and young people, the project is now flourishing with more than 100 4-H youth along with their families.

Using a leasing program, Carlson's Llovable Llamas gives city kids long-term opportunities to work with lamas and show them at a county or state fair. At Carlson's farm, Rick has an open-door policy so the kids can come and go, working with their animals on schedules that works best each for them. "Some of those kids could live here, they are here so often," Rick said. It puts a smile on Rick's face to see how far these kids have grown. He's excited to see w…

Minnesota 4-H'er turns hobby into career

Mikayla E. grew up on a dairy farm in Washington County. Across her 13 years of showing dairy cattle in 4-H, what started as a simple hobby during the summer has become Mikayla's passion. Her experiences in 4-H led her to college and career goals focused on the dairy industry.

Mikayla recently reminisced about her time at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair. This year she was honored in the Minnesota 4-H Dairy Showcase, a program that recognizes 4-H youth for their dedication to their cows, clubs and communities. This year she was awarded a $3,500 scholarship through the program, one of the highest prizes available. This award came after many years of perseverance and dedication. "The harder the work you put in, the better results you'll see," she said during a recent interview.