Britta (Monson) Fisher was raised on a family farm in Sibley County. Her parents, Mark Monson and Denise (Harjes) Monson Alms, met during a 4-H Radio Speaking Contest in 1972. Britta is the eldest of their 4 children, all of whom grew up as second-generation members of the Be Square 4-H Club near Gaylord, Minnesota.
"4-H gave me so many fantastic opportunities to see older kids modeling behaviors that I wanted to emulate," reflected Britta recently. "Their modeling made me aspire to early leadership roles in my club and community."
And Britta's 4-H leadership roles were many. She was her club's recreation leader when she was nine years old, followed by historian, treasurer and president in subsequent years. Following in her mother's footsteps, she served as a 4-H State Ambassador ('95-'96), traveling throughout the state representing and advocating for 4-H.
"I was one of the youngest Ambassadors, but the older youth totally embraced and encouraged me. I developed a lot of confidence from all the training and public speaking opportunities the program gave me that year."
After her time as a 4-H State Ambassador, Britta wanted to engage further in citizenship and leadership activities. On the recommendation of her former county extension agent, Deb Noll, Britta was appointed as national youth consultant on a project team with the National 4-H Council in Washington D.C. She served for four years in this position, focusing mainly in the areas of fund development and youth and adult partnerships.
Britta's varied leadership and community service experiences in 4-H, including interning with both the Minnesota 4-H Foundation and her county 4-H program, prepared her well to serve as a visionary leader for multiple non-profit organizations. "I embrace the motto of making the best better every day of my life. I believe that living out the 4-H pledge will lead to good things."
And good things have come from Britta's commitment. She is currently the Executive Director of Wheat Ridge 2020, a community development organization with the vision of empowering citizens to actively engage in shaping and sustaining their community. She has also worked as the Statewide Advocacy Manager for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and as the first Executive Director for Housing Justice!, a faith-based housing advocacy organization based in Denver, Colorado.
Britta encourages her fellow 4-H alumni to be advocates for 4-H and other youth development programs. "Youth development is an essential aspect of a healthy community. There are so many youth doing good and great things all around us, so be a spokesperson...shine the spotlight on those good things."
Britta and her husband met at a youth leadership conference in 1997 as part of her 4-H activities. They live in Colorado with their two young children.
By Erin Kelly-Collins
Minnesota 4-H Foundation