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April 2014 Archives

Featured 4-H'er: Abby K.

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Abby is a 4-H'er from Stearns County who currently serves as a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador. She lives on a hobby farm and has always had an interest in animals. Her participation in 4-H has enhanced her involvement and interest in agriculture, specifically livestock. Ten years ago, when she first started 4-H at the age of 6, her only livestock project was showing rabbits that she leased from an aunt. Since then, she has continuously increased the number of livestock she's shown at the county fair, including swine and dairy heifers, and has participated in dairy knowledge bowl and dairy judging. Abby currently works on a dairy farm that is owned by one of the 4-H families in her county and plans to add a breeding pen of Call Ducks to her livestock entries in the coming year.

Through her 4-H experiences, Abby has discovered and is pursuing a career path toward becoming a large animal veterinarian. While preparing her Veterinary Science projects, she has included other species of animals that large animal veterinarians would often tend to and treat. These projects have provided her opportunities to job shadow local veterinarians and gain further knowledge to prepare for her future.

Another area that 4-H has provided Abby opportunities to explore is robotics. Through her involvement in a local robotics club, she is able to learn about technological advances as they occur and relates them to the effects that they have on the agricultural industry.

Serving as a local 4-H ambassador through the Stearns County Junior Leaders program led Abby to apply for and be accepted as a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador. Through this program, she has had the opportunity to learn about many different parts of 4-H including STEM, performing arts, and clowning, and how 4-H can look different in different parts of the state, but still be the same program. She has built up her leadership skills through officer positions in the Stearns County Dog Club, Robotics Club, and her general 4-H Club, Spunk Creek Critters. Through these leadership experiences, she has improved in public speaking, working with adults and youth, conflict management, and teamwork. She has also gained appreciation for the value of community service as a participant in activities such as cleaning ditches and preparing a meal for the residents at the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis.

4-H has given Abby, and many other youth in Minnesota, life changing experiences by allowing them the chance to not only explore areas they are passionate about, but to also challenge themselves and experience new opportunities they might not have otherwise experienced. By supporting Minnesota 4-H, you can invest in the youth of Minnesota, youth like Abby, who take a small opportunity and make it into a whole new enlightening experience.

Celebrate spring with a gift of grain!

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Blog post by Cara Miller

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

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