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Carter E. has gained the confidence to try new things thanks to 4-H

Carter with 4-H camper
Carter is from the town of Kasson in Dodge County, MN. For the past 12 years, he has been an active 4-H'er. He's held leadership roles in a community club called the Zumbro Rockets 4-H Club, participated in local 4-H summer camps and just finished serving as president of the Dodge County 4-H Federation. But is favorite part of 4-H, and what he loves most, is raising dairy cows to show at the fair.

 It was just a few years ago when Carter first expressed interest in showing cattle. With the help and support of his parents, Mary and Ramon, Carter has slowly built important knowledge and skills in all aspects of dairy production. His consistent effort has paid off, earning top honors at his local fair and even earning trips to compete at the Minnesota State Fair.

"It's so much fun to show at the State Fair. I get to see what youth in other counties are learning in their dairy programs and use it to improve my own project."

Competition is tough at the state level, but Carter isn't afraid. His aim is to earn blue ribbons and show the best that he can. He spends lots of time preparing his cow each year.

Carter with prize-winning dairy cow in 2009
Carter is still working on his ultimate goal: placing high enough to qualify for the State 4-H Dairy Showcase. He hasn't made it but he is determined. "I'm getting better, and I'm going to keep trying."

Carter especially appreciates how much his dad has taught him. A proud immigrant from Sinaloa, Mexico, Ramon has spent years working on dairy farms and is glad to share his experience with his son. "So much of what I've learned about dairy cows, I learned from my dad. He's a good teacher and role model for me."

High school graduation is coming soon for Carter. He has toured both University of Wisconsin - River Falls and South Dakota State University and hopes to study Dairy Science. "I didn't know what I wanted to do for a career, but 4-H helped me discover that I really like dairy." He wants to pursue a career as a Sire Analyst or a Breeding Specialist.
Carter with his family

Carter believes it is up to him and other older 4-H'ers to set good examples for youth in his community. "4-H has made a positive impact on my life. It can do the same thing for other kids too. I want to get others involved so they can learn like I have." Being a good example, showing leadership, and encouraging younger youth, are all ways Carter is showing that he is a Minnesota 4-H True Leader.

Written by 
Madison Muir
University of Minnesota student
Kittson County 4-H alum

2018 update: Carter was a top finisher at the State Fair, earning a college scholarship for his excellence. Read the story here!

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