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September 2013 Archives

Featured Alum: Jan (Miller) Haeg

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 4h-alum-jan-miller-haeg.jpgJan (Miller) Haeg comes from a proud Minnesota 4-H family. Even before she was old enough to be a Cloverbud, Jan tagged along to 4-H meetings and community projects with her mom and three older sisters. Her early years in Murray County 4-H, participating in demonstrations and sewing projects, taught her public speaking, creativity and problem solving; skills she still uses today as Director of Field Talent Development at Lifetouch National School Studios Inc.

Jan has had multiple opportunities to represent 4-H in her community, around the country and even abroad. While a 4-H'er she served as a State Officer and Ambassador and during college she proudly participated in the International 4-H Youth Exchange program in Australia. Even now, though her children are past their 4-H years, Jan continues to remain engaged as a volunteer and advocate for her favorite youth development program. She has judged 4-H citizenship and leadership projects at the State Fair and currently serves on the Minnesota 4-H Foundation's Board of Trustees.

"My challenge to alumni is this: consider giving back even if it's in a small way; volunteer on a local level, golf in a 4-H Foundation golf tournament or help one of your neighbor kids get involved in 4-H. Someone was there to help you learn by doing. Give back to Minnesota 4-H and help make a difference."

Featured Scholar: Alex Oldenburg

Alex Oldenburg.jpg

Meet Alexandria, a 4-H'er from Blue Earth County. Alex is one of two 2013 recipients of the Kern Scholarship from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation.

Since joining 4-H in 2008, Alex has focused most of her 4-H experiences around her dog, Mya, a 6 year old Lab-Springer mix. In their most recent county fair showing, Alex and Mya won a Grand Championship in Advanced Rally. Normally Alex and Mya would have competed in 5 other events but Mya had a major health crisis that limited their ability to show in all their typical events. In general project areas and demonstrations Alex earned 8 Grand Championships this year, and took a veterinary science project on Mya's disease (Atypical Addison's) as well as a demo on choosing a dog to the State Fair this year. For the past several years, Alex has served as Blue Earth County's youth dog project leader. She has also served as a club leader, photographer for her county.

Alex will be attending Minnesota State University in Mankato, with the hopes of earning her degree in zoology and then attending the U of MN and becoming a doctor of veterinary medicine. She looks forward to remaining engaged with 4-H by serving as an alumni volunteer in her county teaching dog training classes.

We're excited to congratulate Alex and wish her well in her academic pursuits!

4-H alumni at the Minnesota State Fair

I had the honor of spending 12 days at the Minnesota State Fair this past month, listening to and celebrating the many ways 4-H has positively impacted people across our great state and country.

Each day alumni poured into the 4-H Building, ready to see the Arts-In show (directed by Kirstin Delp, 4-H alum from Anoka County), view exhibits ranging from photography to food preservation, from community pride to quilting, from entomology to electronics (all managed by several 4-H alumni under the direction of Sandy Ducharme) and to introduce their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends to the personal growth and development opportunities that 4-H proudly offers youth of all ages. The 4-H Building was busting with joy, enthusiasm and pride.

Few alumni passed our table in the entryway without sharing a story or two about winning a trip to the State Fair, staying in the 4-H "Hilton" (third floor dorms of the building) and becoming who they are today thanks to their experiences with 4-H. One woman, pushed in a wheelchair by her adult daughter, announced that she had visited the 4-H Building every year since she was a small child. This was her 82nd consecutive year of showing 4-H enthusiasm and gratitude during her visit to the State Fair's 4-H Building. When 4-H alumni come to the State Fair, joy-filled memories are recalled and smiles are always present.

It was such an honor to hear your stories as you visited the 4-H Building this year at the State Fair. Thank you for sharing your memories and helping me to see even more clearly what a strong and vital role 4-H plays in the lives of Minnesotans.

I'm so glad to share membership of the Minnesota 4-H Alumni & Friends Community with you. Let's volunteer, advocate and give in support of 4-H so that this wonderful youth development program can remain strong and vital for many years to come!

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