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Showing posts from November, 2018

From Jennifer: Together, we can ensure Minnesota youth thrive.

Dear 4-H youth, families and volunteers,

It is my honor to accept the role of Minnesota 4-H State Director, which I have been filling on an interim capacity since August. It has been since 1993 that I have served young people through Extension and seen just how impactful 4-H can be in the growth of our youth.

The 4-H youth development program is a wonderful place for youth to pursue a life of thriving.

What does it mean to thrive? Thriving is characterized as the ability to pursue happiness and success, while feeling connected to others and our surrounding world. It is what we all want for our children, their friends and in fact every youth in our community.

But many young people are not on a pathway toward thriving. Research shows that by the beginning of high school, only about a quarter of young people in the US are on that critical path to happiness, success and connection. So many youth are being left behind. What can be done?

Flavia and Carrie: a 4-H harp duo

From harp lessons to trap shoot practice, software engineering to the archery range, Flavia and Carrie have found each of their own unique places in 4-H.
Meet Flavia. She's a determined 14 year old aspiring software designer, who grew up on her family's crop farm in Martin County. She follows her father’s footsteps as a 4-H'er but in her own unique way. Differing from his experience focused on livestock projects, Flavia spends her time in 4-H performing and fine arts.

Flavia plays five different instruments - harp, violin, guitar, piano, and the drums. "Do I have time for myself? Good question!" Flavia laughs. She doesn't have much spare time after hours of daily practice, but still enjoys being involved in her high school’s speech and debate team.

Performing is one of Falvia's favorite and most natural activities. "I like that 4-H gives me the opportunity to get my art out there and have more experiences playing and competing in front of people,&quo…

What is it like to show livestock?

It’s a question many spectators at a show wonder. For Roseau County 4-H member, Alexa Kihle, showing livestock is a family affair. Going all the way back to the 1940s, when her great-grandmother showed cattle with 4-H in Nebraska.

Though Alexa has exhibited a variety of 4-H projects, including gardening, performing arts, food and nutrition, it’s her experience showing swine that has truly made a difference in her life. It was these experiences that inspired her to answer the question, “What is it like to show livestock?” in the following essay.

Minnesota Corn Growers Association: A critical partner for agronomy education

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association has been a faithful supporter of Extension education for more than 25 years.

In 2018, they helped us re-envision 4-H Agronomy, Crops, & Soils with the goal of building Minnesota's next generation of agri-scientists. Empowering youth with tools to learn and grow We piloted our re-envisioned  4-H Agronomy, Crops, & Soils program in five southwest Minnesota counties (Cottonwood, Lyon, Renville, Stevens, Swift). 4-H staff surveyed families and youth for feedback and ideas, and then got to work.
PROJECT START-UP KITS: We created project kits that youth could take home for hands-on learning in crop sciences, plant & soil sciences and vegetable gardening. Extension's crop and horticulture experts helped create learning guides included in each kit to guide youth discovery.FAIRS: We created better pathways for youth to exhibit their projects at county fairs. This required improvements to exhibit spaces, signage, hands-on displays, and ha…