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 work...it'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