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Celebrate spring with a gift of grain!

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It finally seems like spring is coming! In a few weeks we will see the familiar sites of tractors in the fields prepping soil, planting seeds and preparing for the eventual harvest in the fall.

Giving a gift of grain to your favorite charity is a wonderful way to support the good work of Minnesota non-profits and to get a small tax break for yourself. The Minnesota 4-H Foundation is prepared to accept gifts of grain now, in the fall or anytime throughout the year.

For more information about how to make a donation of grain contact Brad Starbuck, 4-H Foundation development officer, at 320-441-9499 / Or if you live in the Willmar area, stop by his office at 1802 18th Street NE. Brad raises support for 4-H agricultural sciences programs across the state. He would be happy to help you plan your gift of grain in support of 4-H.

Happy spring!

Cara Miller
Executive Director
Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Gift of Grain Brochure_4.2014.pdf

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The Minnesota 4-H Foundation does not provide legal or tax advice. Donors should always consult with a professional advisor to determine tax implications prior to making any gift.

Featured Alum: Artist Terry Williams

Terry Williams 1.jpgTerry Williams was an early club member of the Urban 4-H program in North Minneapolis. In 1976, when Terry was a skinny and sparkly-eyed nine years old with a beautiful smile and living in North Minneapolis, and I was an Extension Educator for 4-H, our paths crossed and neither of our stories would ever be the same.

One day, as I was hitting the streets seeking ways to start 4-H clubs through community centers, I met a tall raspy-voiced man named Art Love who worked at the Glenwood-Lyndale Community Center. He said, "there's kids running all over this area looking for something to do. Start with these two kids, Terry and Gomp, and their buddies. You'll have plenty to start a club."

Well, it happened and all tradition went out the door. Meet once a month? They wanted to meet every day! They gathered at the Lorraine Black Child Care Resource Center, called themselves "The Brothers and Sisters 4-H Club" and had lots of project meetings.

Terry & Bill_2.2014.JPGTerry loved to draw. In no time, he drew and painted a big mural on the cement wall in the basement where we met - it was his take on Fat Albert and others. I remember it well and from then on there was no stopping him. Within a couple of years, he was selling his oil paintings at the annual Hennepin County 4-H Share the Fun Festival. I kept one, hid it for all these years and just presented it to him at his last birthday. He was awarded many blues and purple ribbons at the Hennepin County Fair and won trips to the Minnesota State Fair. Both Terry and his brother, Greg, excelled in 4-H. Greg enjoyed performance, ended up performing for two years in the State 4-H Arts-In at the State Fair and for many community programs.

Terry Williams 2.JPGOne of the H's in 4-H stands for "pledging my hands to larger service." 4-H was the perfect match for Terry who is just as passionate about serving people as he is about his art. Terry thrives on meeting people, and even more so when he has something of himself to share with them. What a recipe for success. For Terry, art has been the ticket. For Terry, integrating his artistic skills into helping others, like being a teacher with the 4-H Metro Art Force program or mentoring youth, has been an essential way of building community at the grassroots level. No wonder he was selected by the Minnesota State Arts board as a 2013 recipient of a Cultural Community Partnership.

2.22.2014 Terry Williams Reception 051.JPGArtist Terry Williams, we are all proud of you. Your inner beauty is as beautiful as your radiant and community-reflective art.

By Bill Svendsgaard
Retired Extension Educator, 4-H youth development, Hennepin County

A collection of Terry's artwork can be found at

Show your 4-H alumni pride!

Cara Miller.JPGI recently learned that Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea is a 4-H alumna from Red Lake County. It is always exciting to learn of leaders in our state, counties and communities who received some of their early leadership training in Minnesota 4-H. I am especially happy to hear people speak proudly of their 4-H experiences and how they influenced who they are today. Sharing your 4-H alumni pride is one of the best things you can do to support the 4-H program. Let your friends, peers and colleagues know that you owe some of your success to 4-H! The more of us out there talking about how 4-H helped us be prepared for our futures and careers, the more all people will know the impact 4-H has made and is continuing to make in our state and the nation. Be 4-H proud. Share your 4-H experiences with the world! You can start by going to our Minnesota 4-H Alumni and Friends facebook page to share your story.

By Cara Miller, Executive Director of the Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Featured Alum: Tyler Evink

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Tyler Evink credits 4-H for setting him on a path of studying dairy production at the University of Minnesota and pursuing a career in agriculture.

Growing up in Stevens County, Tyler's cousin was involved in 4-H and got him to join. Tyler kept his sheep at his cousin's farm when he first joined the program. He has fond memories of their morning routine during the summer, hopping into in his cousin's car and heading off to take care of their sheep. He was hooked.

"I loved it from the start," said Tyler, who began showing sheep in 4-H as a 3rd grader and participated in livestock projects through his freshman year in college. "I was the first in my immediate family to get involved in 4-H. After that first summer keeping my sheep at my cousin's, I created a hobby farm at home for my 4-H animals."

In addition to sheep, Tyler worked with beef cattle and swine, and participated in 4-H project bowls and livestock judging. Through 4-H, he learned about the livestock industry, including the health, breeding and management of livestock. His 4-H project bowl team won awards, including winning a national competition in his junior year in high school. Through 4-H livestock judging, Tyler learned how to evaluate breeding and market animals and had hands-on learning opportunities to tour farming operations to evaluate cattle, sheep and swine.

Tyler is now in the 2nd year of a master's program in dairy production systems in the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Science at the University of Minnesota, where his dissertation focuses on large dairy production systems in the Midwest. Tyler also works as a research assistant for Extension Dairy Scientist Marcia Endres. All of his experiences in 4-H led to his decision to study dairy production at the U, and pursue it as a career. He credits 4-H as playing a critical role in life.

"I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today without 4-H," said Tyler. "4-H sparked my interest in the agriculture industry and my future career. It opened a lot of doors for me."

Thanks to Wendy Huckaby for serving as a guest contributor for this story

Celebrating Minnesota Agriculture


While Minnesota may be the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," it is also home to over 80,000 farms. Agriculture makes up an enormously valuable part of our state's culture and history. Throughout the years, Minnesota 4-H has remained firmly tied to its roots in agriculture even as it has incorporated other areas of learning. 4-H programs have been a part of the state's agricultural education for over 100 years and we are excited for the opportunity to recognize this invaluable connection.

The special and longstanding relationship between 4-H and the agriculture industry will be the focal point of a new event, the Minnesota 4-H Foundation's Celebration of Agriculture, set for Thursday, March 20 at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.

The formal event will gather farm and agricultural leaders, legislators, educators and public media, joined by 4-H families, volunteers, donors and enthusiasts. There will be live music performed by local bluegrass artists Dick Kimmel and Adam Granger, dinner, and a program that celebrates the importance of agriculture to 4-H and to the state of Minnesota. The evening's menu will feature all Minnesota-grown products.

Compart Family Farms and the Minnesota Pork Producers Association will be providing a fine pork dish for the main course. Compart Family Farms started as a 4-H project in Nicollet, Minnesota and has grown to be one of the largest family-owned swine genetics businesses in the Midwest.

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation's Celebration of Agriculture will help set the stage for National Agriculture Day, celebrated in Washington, DC and across the country on March 25th. Additionally, the event is intended to provide support for the new Minnesota 4-H Agricultural Sciences Endowment Fund.

To RSVP for the event, or for more information, please contact the Minnesota 4-H Foundation at 612-624-7971. You may also visit our event webpage at

Featured Scholar: Libby Mills

Libby Mills, one of the 2014 recipients of the Minnesota 4-H Foundation Kern Scholarship, has a true passion for agriculture. She began 4-H when she was five years old and she has been actively involved ever since, especially in showing livestock and dairy judging. Libby is currently a freshman at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. "This scholarship is one of the biggest reasons that I am now at the U of M because it gave me the last missing piece of the puzzle, the financial support that I needed," Libby said. "The sense of support that comes from this is simply amazing." Libby is studying Animal Science with an emphasis in Dairy Production. On campus, she is involved with the Dairy Club, International Agriculture Club, and Gardens for Humanity among other groups.

As a freshman, Libby is still exploring career options, though she knows that her passion lies in agriculture and feeding the world. She would love to do research in developing modernized farming practices in parts of the world where agriculture is difficult to maintain. "I am so fortunate to have already found something that I am so passionate about this early in life," Libby explained. "The thing about living on a farm is that it's a lot of's more of a lifestyle than a job, and I can't imagine doing anything else."

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation's Kern Scholarship provides support to outstanding 4-H'ers for all four years of their undergraduate education. It is awarded to two 4-H'ers each year who plan to attend one of the University of Minnesota campuses or a college within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Kern scholarship recipients are excellent examples of what 4-H is all about. Libby said, "4-H gave me the platform I needed to be a leader, take on responsibility, and inspire creativity in areas that interest me."

What Libby loves most about 4-H is "being part of an organization that empowers our nation's youth to be future leaders and model citizens." Libby credits her family, her childhood on the farm, and her 4-H membership for influencing her to become the person she is today. As she finishes her last year of 4-H, Libby will proudly carry the endless opportunities, friendships, and leadership skills that 4-H provided into a life of serving her community and the world.

by Maria Brekke

$4,000 given by Tractor Supply Company to MN 4-H

TSC logo.JPGThe Minnesota 4-H Foundation is pleased to announce that ten Minnesota counties have been awarded funds totaling $4,030 from the Fall 2013 Paper Clover Promotion through National 4-H.

This promotion is held twice annually in partnership with Tractor Supply Company stores across the nation. During this promotion, shoppers at participating stores are asked to donate $1 or $5 to their county's 4-H program. Each contribution was honored by the display of the donor's name on a paper clover at their local store. The next TSC Paper Clover Promotion will be April 16-27, 2014.

Please help us congratulate the following county recipients:
Blue Earth • Clay • Dakota • Isanti • Morrison • Nobles • Olmsted • Scott • Sherburne • Wright

For questions about the TSC Paper Clover Promotion, please contact Erin Kelly-Collins, County Development Liaison, at the Minnesota 4-H Foundation ( / 612-624-7667).

From Our Executive Director

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In the cold beginnings of a new year in Minnesota, 4-H youth are halfway through their year of learning and experiences. Learning and experiences that will eventually be highlighted at fairs across the state this summer. Summertime is when many folks think 4-H "happens" but the truth is it is in these cold winter months when youth do their greatest learning.

Right now, youth are participating in workshops in project areas that may be new to them. They are experimenting with woodworking, baking, robotics and more to learn how they can make their chosen projects better. They may be participating in livestock ethics training or public speaking contests. Or maybe they are attending their regional Building Leadership and Understanding (BLU) retreat.

So much happens for 4-H youth from October through April all across our state! They are active, learning and developing their head, hearts, hands and health all year long. If you know a 4-H'er, take a moment to ask "what are you doing in 4-H right now?" Find out what they learned in a recent workshop. Ask what projects they are experimenting with today. It will make next summer's 4-H exhibits at the fair much more meaningful for you and for our 4-H youth.

Cara Miller
Executive DIrector
Minnesota 4-H Foundation

From Our Executive Director

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For over 33 years the Minnesota 4-H Foundation has been raising private support for Extension 4-H Youth Development Programs. Our current board chair, Will Schultz and his wife Sarah recently hosted a gathering in their home for all of our past board members. It was wonderful to see old friends and to hear stories from folks who were board members in our early days. I know that the work of those first "pioneer" board members has helped make the Minnesota 4-H Foundation one of the top five 4-H foundations in the nation today.

Today our board members continue to move the 4-H Foundation forward for the benefit of Minnesota youth. In the past two years the board completed a strategic vision plan which is driving our current work. Under this plan the board established a transformational goal: to significantly increase private philanthropic giving in order to grow support of 4-H youth development to the next level. This is a lofty goal in light of the fact that over the past five years the Minnesota 4-H Foundation has given $1 million a year to support Extension Youth Development. But we want to do more for the youth of Minnesota!

To meet our transformational goal we are incorporating four key strategies:
1. Strengthen our partnership with the Extension Center for Youth Development,
2. Focus our work on identifying and nurturing individual donors,
3. Enhance our engagement with 4-H alumni and friends, and
4. Nurture a spirit of giving for 4-H within all stakeholders.

In all we do moving forward the 4-H Foundation will be keeping our goal and these strategies in our minds and hearts as we work to fulfill our vision to provide all Minnesota young people opportunities to learn, lead and succeed.

I look forward to keeping you up-to-date on the work of the Minnesota 4-H Foundation through my monthly messages on our website. But for now, I want to say thank you to all of those former board members who have helped lead and guide us over the years, and thank you to our current board of directors who will carry us into the future.

Cara M. Miller
Executive Director
Minnesota 4-H Foundation

Give to the Max Day: November 14

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On Give to the Max Day, thousands of Minnesota nonprofits will come together to raise millions of dollars in just 24 hours. Each year generous supporters like you join the Minnesota 4-H Foundation for the exciting one-day event. We ask you to join the effort to empower today's youth in discovering their potential by supporting our work.

Give to the Max Day is taking place on November 14, 2013. Your support of the Minnesota 4-H Foundation makes a meaningful contribution to learning experiences and programs including Animal and Agricultural Science, Citizenship and Leadership, Healthy Living, and 4-H Science. If you wish, you can designate your gift for a specific county or program within 4-H. If you would like to learn more, or if you would like to support Minnesota 4-H during Give to the Max Day, please visit

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