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4-H helps youth discover just what it takes to be a leader

Meet Dan.

He's wrapping up his second year as a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador.

In 4-H, Dan has learned just what it takes to be a leader.

Dan helping a younger 4-H'er
shear his sheep at county fair
Dan joined 4-H back when he was just five years old. He was a member of the Eagle Lake Club in Otter Tail County. Dan learned about sheep, pigs, forestry and built shop projects to exhibit at his local county fair. Now in his last year of 4-H membership, he's discovered that the most rewarding part of all his experiences are the skills he's grown along the way.

In 4-H, Dan grew a sense of responsibility, compassion, communication, technical and problem-solving skills, and a commitment to working hard. He uses these skills in his school work, friendships, and other student-led activities he participates in. They are powerful lifelong skills Dan knows he'll use every day for the rest of his life.

When Dan was a senior in high school, he applied to be a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador. His hope was to share his learning and leadership skills with others.

"4-H helped me grow into a real leader, someone who can make a difference," Dan reflected. "I think more people should have that experience and being an Ambassador gave me the chance to share 4-H with others."

As a State Ambassador, Dan is a positive role model and representative of all youth involved in 4-H. He promotes inclusion and respect for diversity within 4-H programs. Dan, along with the rest of the State Ambassador team, plans and facilitates leadership retreats and conferences across Minnesota for youth who want to build their own learning and leadership skills.

Dan surrounded by fellow State Ambassadors
at the 4-H Building on the state fairgrounds
Dan frequently thinks about the many times he's spent at the 4-H Building where statewide 4-H events are often held. He has a lot of happy memories there. In fact, Dan's favorite 4-H experiences have been during our annual statewide leadership conference, held in that special building on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

"Meeting new friends from across Minnesota who have similar interests to me is what kept me coming back to the conference year after year. And now being on the planning team for that event, one that was such a positive experience for me, is so rewarding."

Dan is currently a student at NDSU. He studies Agricultural Education in hopes of one day being Extension educator.  He wants to ensure the next generation of Minnesota youth have the same opportunities in 4-H that he's had. This summer, Dan's 4-H career begins, as a program intern with Crow Wing County 4-H!

By Madison Muir
University of Minnesota Student
Kittson County 4-H Alum

Watch a video of Dan reflecting on his 4-H experiences.

Meet other Minnesota 4-H youth.
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