Big Stone County Information
University of Minnesota Extension Service in Big Stone CountyThe University of MN Extension Service has been at work in Big Stone County since 1912 - working closely with individuals, organizations and agencies bringing the University of Minnesota's research and resources to work. In the early 1900s the University and the Experiment stations began to see the need for staff to share their research with rural citizens. Between mid 1912 and early 1913, twelve "ag agents" were hired. Big Stone County was one of the first counties in the State that hired an Agricultural Agent. A.B. Lathrop was hired October 15, 1912.
The county extension act, passed by the state legislature in 1913, helped extension work in Minnesota expand by appropriating state funds, authorizing counties to provide funds, and giving administrative responsibility to the University. In 1914, the federal government passed the Smith-Lever Act, providing continued support for the development of etension work in agriculture and home economics through the land grant colleges in cooperation with WSDA. The county-stste-federal partnership was established and extension work in Minnesota was on it's way. Two purposes were outlined: extending knowledge and research from the nation to rural people, and providing leadership to farmers and rural people to tackle local issues. Programming included: training, demonstration farms, short courses, farmers institutes, publications, neighborhood clubs, industrial contests and club work for boys and firls, county fair judging, agriculture and home economics work in rural schools, summer schools for Minnesota teachers, special correspondence courses, and advisory work.
Other historical notes of interest in Big Stone County include:
* The first 4-H club was organized in Akron township in the 1920's. By 1934 there were 422 4-Hers in 13 4-H clubs.
* The first County 4-H Council was organized in 1935. Officers were R.H. Hoberg, President; Charles Hundeby, Vice President; and Eiven Robertson, Secretary-Treasurer.
* Lillian Engen, 4-H Club Agent, organized the Rural Youth Program in 1950.
How Do I Join 4-H?If you would like to join 4-H or learn more about the program, you are welcome to attend a 4-H community club meeting. Six community clubs meet throughout the county on a monthly basis.Big Stone county also offers two after school program and five projectclubs Please feel free to contact the club leader listed below for more information on their club. To complete 4-H membership youth in the Kindergarten through one year past high school must complete an enrollment form and select at least one project to be enrolled in.
Almond Highlanders 4-H Club
Club Leader: Dale & Karen Fitzner, 320-325-5531
Regular Meeting: 2nd Monday, Clinton Memorial Building, 7:30 p.m.
Beardsley Go-Getters 4-H Club
Club Leader: Vicki Athey,320-748-7141 and Nancy Fischer,320-265-0114
Regular Meeting: 1st Monday, Beardsley Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
Clever Clovers 4-H Club
Club Leaders: Kim Danielson,320-273-2318
Regular Meeting: 4th Monday, Eidskog Church, 7:00 p.m.
Odessa Jolly Workers 4-H Club
Club Leaders: Sandy Goergen, 320-839-7186 and Judy Sprung, 320-839-7129
Regular Meeting: 3rd Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Eager Beavers 4-H Club
Club Leaders: Tammy Schumacher,320-839-2254 and Penny Hormann,320-839-2005
Regular Meeting:2nd Tuesday of the month, First English Lutheran Church, Ortonville
Toqua Troopers 4-H Club
Club Leader: Deb Farwell, 320-748-7667
Regular Meeting: Last Monday, Graceville Community Bldg. 7 p.m.
If you have additional questions, please contact the Big Stone County Extension Service Office at 320-839-6380or 800-279-2518.