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Minnesota 4-H news

Brokenhearted, farmer donates $4 million farm to 4-H

Andrea Ruesch(June 2014, KARE-11) To a farmer there is no love, like the love for his land. True for Curt Chergosky, until love landed him. It was the talk of Lakefield, when pushing 50, one of Jackson County's most entrenched bachelor farmers fell for the newly-hired county 4-H coordinator.

Andrea Ruesch was a bubbly bundle of energy, still in her mid-30's, when she started her job in Jackson County. She was a tireless advocate for her 4-H kids. Chergosky loved that about her. When he popped the question after seven months, the venue was no surprise. "I asked her in the parking lot of the extension office," he laughs. "And she said 'yes.' Three months before their wedding, Chergosky and Ruesch were together weaning calves. Not feeling well, Ruesch went into the house. When Chergosky joined her a short time later, she told him to call for an ambulance. By the time Chergosky made it the hospital, the doctor was standing by the door. Ruesch had died. The autopsy showed a pulmonary embolism, a blot clot in Ruesch's lungs. Now Chergosky was back to sowing his seeds alone. No soul mate, no promise of children, no 4th generation to whom he could pass on his farm.

When he finally figured it out, Chergosky moved forward in a very big way. Greeted by a standing ovation, this spring Chergosky announced at a gathering in St. Paul, the donation of his entire farm to 4-H. Four hundred acres of prime Jackson County farm land is no small gift. At current prices, it could easily fetch $4 million.

The money will be split three ways, between 4-H programs at the state and Jackson County levels - and a scholarship in Ruesch's name that's already issued $1000 checks to 35 4-H members, finishing high school and starting college.

Read the full story

It's a llama-o-rama for 4-H kids in Sauk Rapids

llama-o-rama(May 2014, St. Cloud Times) With warm weather, sunshine and blue skies, Saturday seemed perfect for a stroll. At the Benton County Fairgrounds, more than 100 people did just that with an added caveat — they made sure their llamas had some outdoor fun, too.

A llama training clinic was a welcome opportunity for 4-H members from near and far to shake off any remaining rust from winter and prepare themselves and their animals for the summer event circuit.

Aitkin County Rippleside Helping Hands 4-H Club receives 2014 AMC Community Leadership Award

Rippleside Helping Hands members (April 2014) The Rippleside Helping Hands 4-H Club of Aitkin County recently received the 2014 Association of Minnesota Counties 4-H Community Leadership Award.

Each year the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) recognizes outstanding 4H Community Youth Leadership projects in Minnesota. The AMC is a voluntary statewide organization of Minnesota's 87 counties that helps provide effective county governance to the people of Minnesota. The AMC Extension Committee awards the youth-led projects that respond to real community needs.

The Rippleside Helping Hands 4-H Club was selected for their "Students Using Their Time, Talents and Kindness to Make Their Community Better!" The 12-member after school club of 4-6th graders is dedicated to service learning "using their time, talents and kindness to make their community better". In 2013, the club's projects included performing skits at the nursing home, serving a free community meal, a "Rippleside Pride" teacher appreciation effort, community planting with a master gardener, a garbage/recycling walk, and raising awareness and money for the Red Cross.

Several members of the club and its leaders attended an awards banquet in St. Paul on Feb. 26 to receive the award, and gave a presentation about their club's work, and what it means to club members and their community to an audience of the nearly 300 county officials and staff from across Minnesota during the AMC's annual Legislative Conference.

Glenwood's Abigail Luetmer receives  President's Volunteer Service  Award 

Abigail Luetmer (March 2014, Pope County Tribune) Abigail Luetmer, age 13, has been honored for her exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.  The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama. Pope County 4-H nominated Abigail for the national honor this fall in recognition of her volunteer service. She was also named the local Prudential Spirit of Community Award winner and advanced to the state competition.

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