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Minnesota 4-H news

Challenge preps 4-H'ers for ag science careers Science of Ag youth

(May 2015, 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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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