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Minnesota 4-H news

Get the new 4-H at the Minnesota State Fair app

State fair app.

(July 2015) Our NEW 4-H at the Minnesota State Fair app offers everything for the state fair goer and for those at home, too. Get this free app for yourself and please recommend it to your 4-H families, volunteers and anyone who cares about 4-H activities at the state fair! It’s particularly useful for people who can’t be there to keep up with what’s going on:

Download the app!

Ag wins with science challenge

Danielson Hustlers

(July 2015, Agri News) Months of work culminated June 17-19 for a dozen teams of young scientists who participated in Minnesota 4-H's first-ever Science of Agriculture Challenge. The challenge was put forth to interest young people in the more technical aspects of agriculture by having them address real-world ag problems.

Winners received scholarship money to use at the higher education institution of their choice.

At the end of the three-day event, 4-H hosted an awards ceremony to name the top team projects. Freeman thanked participants for putting a face to an idea and celebrated finding a way to emphasize "blue ribbon kids" in addition to blue ribbon animals.

The first place team, the Danielson Hustlers, hailed from Meeker County and was comprised of Kayla Kutzke, Ryan Peterson and Daniel Williamson. They took on the difficult topic of hay waste. Through their observations and research, they concluded if animals can remove their heads from the eating area, they are likely to drop and waste hay.

Read the full story.

4-H and the Science of Agriculture Challenge

Bee keeper

(May 2015, Source) Sixteen-year-old Justin Weeldreyer always thought bees were the coolest miracles of nature, living off the honey they make and building intricate hives. He put his interest to work by conducting research with four other Washington County 4-H youth as part of the new 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge.

The new 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge provides a hands-on learning experience to inspire the next generation of agriculture leaders in Minnesota. Teams will present their results at a two-day event June 17-19 on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus. An awards celebration and challenge fair will showcase their work and connect them with agribusiness community representatives who are eager to meet the next generation of ag leaders. The event will also include judging presentations, career workshops and campus tours.

Read the full story.

Challenge preps 4-H'ers for ag science careers

Science of Ag youth

(May 2015, agrinews.com) Four Dakota County teenagers spent the evening of April 20 digging around in a field. These high school students weren't just fooling around. They were studying the affects of different tillage methods on soil, looking at temperature, compaction, corn roots and soil's water-absorbing capacity.

These kids aren't experimenting just for the fun of it, or even for school, but for their project that is part of a new Minnesota 4-H initiative called Science of Agriculture Challenge. This year, 72 youth are working in 18 teams around the state to answer real-world agricultural questions with serious research.

Read the full story.

4-H Youth Teaching Youth puts teens in the classroom

Julie Deshler

(April 2015, Star Tribune) For the past few weeks, Julie Deshler and Alex Pendar, 16, juniors at Park High School in Cottage Grove, have taught teacher Amber Harre's fourth-graders at Pine Hill about negative peer pressure, Internet safety and the dangers of alcohol and tobacco. Lessons included strategies on how to survive peer pressure and how to stand up for your beliefs without fearing rejection from others. A few of the tips: Listen to your inner voice; talk to someone outside the group; and ask, "Is it worth the risk?"

Julia said she remembers an anti-drug and anti-tobacco presentation in the auditorium of Hillside Elementary in Cottage Grove when she was a grade-schooler. The 4-H program is better, she said. The 4-H Youth Teaching Youth program, which includes three hourlong sessions, was begun five years ago. The 60 teenage teachers who signed up this year will work with more than 2,000 elementary students in Washington County, said Emily Fulton-Fischer, 4-H program coordinator.

"It is a service-learning project in its very truest form," Fulton-Fischer said. "The teens are not only recognizing their own potential, but they are also being given the opportunity to remind themselves of the healthy lifestyle choices that they are making and how they can influence other youth. "What it comes down to is, they can make a change in their community, and it starts with making a change in themselves, and that is so huge for them."

Read the full story.

Soaring Eagles 4-H Club receives outstanding Blue Ribbon Club Award

Barbara Frederick and kids

(March 2015, Forest Lake Times) Members of the Soaring Eagles 4-H Club received the Outstanding Blue Ribbon Club Award at the Minnesota 4-H Adult Volunteer Association’s annual conference held Feb. 19-21 in Willmar, Minnesota. The award was presented to the Soaring Eagles’ club leader, Ann Rinkenberger, at the awards ceremony at the Saturday luncheon. Of the eight clubs throughout Minnesota that received the Blue Ribbon Club Award for excellence in quality, youth-focused programming, the Soaring Eagles 4-H Club was chosen as the most outstanding club. This was an honor considering that the Soaring Eagles 4-H Club began in Oct. 2014, and hadn’t even had a full year of programming.

Read the full story.

Youth teaching youth: High-schoolers teach Internet safety at elementary schools

(February 2015, Stillwater Gazette) Amy Peterson, 4-H program coordinator with in Washington County, organizes a program to protect Stillwater Area elementary students from some of the dangers of Internet use. The school district is teaming up with Washington County 4-H program, Youth Teaching Youth, to provide training to fourth and fifth graders about staying safe online. Peterson said the teachers have found the Internet safety program helpful for their students.

Read the full story.

Backus woman makes a big difference for Cass County 4-Hers

Barbara Frederick and kids

(January 2015, Pine and Lakes Echo Journal) Barbara Frederick isn't your ordinary 4-H volunteer. She has made it her mission to make sure kids are able to participate in the Minnesota State Fair even if they can't afford it by creating the "Friends of 4-H" scholarship fund. For the past 2 years, money was raised by writing letters, fundraising and campaigning. Because of this scholarship, 50 4-Hers were able to go to the fair last year. Barbara has been a 4-H volunteer for 60 years and is hoping this scholarship will continue for years to come.

Read the full story.

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