- 9/14 Rick is giving back to 4-H by building a local youth lama program!
Rick Carlson had no big goal in mind when he started his farm, except for one - to build 4-H club in Carver County to help youth explore llamas. Over more than a decade, Rick has put endless hours into working with 4-H youth to ensure they have a positive, hands-on experience with llamas.
Rick Carlson watching
a 4-H State Llama competition
Fourteen years ago, Carver County 4-H's Lama project was nonexistent. Thanks to Rick and his love for animals and young people, the project is now flourishing with more than 100 4-H youth along with their families.
Using a leasing program, Carlson's Llovable Llamas gives city kids long-term opportunities to work with lamas and show them at a county or state fair. At Carlson's farm, Rick has an open-door policy so the kids can come and go, working with their animals on schedules that works best each for them. "Some of those kids could live here, they are here so often," Rick said. It puts a smile on Rick's face to see how far these kids have grown. He's excited to see where this project will go next.
- 9/7 Who in your community needs 4-H?In 4-H, youth build the skills they need to lead for a lifetime. You know this because you're living it out each day. You are connecting with caring adults who encourage you to learn and grow. You are developing friendships with youth across towns, counties and all over the state that will last for many years to come. 4-H is an amazing place to grow up.But there is a problemThousands of Minnesota youth don't yet know that 4-H is the perfect place for them. In fact, research shows that up to 350,000 young people right here in Minnesota aren't involved in out-of-school enrichment activities. These young people don't live hours away from you. They are your classmates, your neighbors, and even members of your faith community.
- 9/7 Minnesota 4-H'er turns hobby into careerFeedback
Mikayla showing her dairy cow at the 2017 Minnesota State FairMikayla E. grew up on a dairy farm in Washington County. Across her 13 years of showing dairy cattle in 4-H, what started as a simple hobby during the summer has become Mikayla’s passion. Her experiences in 4-H led her to college and career goals focused on the dairy industry.
Mikayla recently reminisced about her time at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair. This year she was honored in the Minnesota 4-H Dairy Showcase, a program that recognizes 4-H youth for their dedication to their cows, clubs and communities. This year she was awarded a $3,500 scholarship through the program, one of the highest prizes available. This award came after many years of perseverance and dedication. “The harder the work you put in, the better results you’ll see,” she said during a recent interview.
- 8/10 "I volunteer because in 4-H, no matter what you're interested in, you can find a place to belong, work hard, and experience success."
Jeff Eibler is in his 15th year as a 4-H volunteer.
Jeff with his wife and daughters
He first signed up to volunteer at the request of his wife, Jan. She wanted to be sure that their three young daughters could experience 4-H near their home in International Falls, Minnesota.
"I didn't know much about it at first, but came along for the ride. Once I became a volunteer, I started looking for ways to contribute. Since I was interested in dogs, the dog project seemed like a good option."
After Jeff and his girls explored the 4-H Dog Project for a few years, they discovered Minnesota 4-H's Project Bowl program. This series of regional and state competitions challenges teams of youth on their knowledge of 4-H project areas. Teams are asked questions and buzz in to give their best response.
"Our first year we had two junior teams in the dog project area. Both experienced success at the regional competition, but got hammered at state. We all came back with our tails dragging. But let me tell you, getting beat is a great motivator."
- 8/1 Volunteering is a gift. Who will you share it with?11,000 caring adults volunteered with Minnesota 4-H last year. If you are one of those generous community members, thank you. Your time, enthusiasm and commitment empowered 69,000 young people with the skills they need to lead for a lifetime.
But there are so many more young people who need 4-H. In fact, census data indicate that up to 350,000 Minnesota youth don't yet have access to meaningful, hands-on, enrichment activities. They are waiting for us!
Brad and Teresa Schmidt are long-time 4-H Shooting Sports & Wildlife volunteers in Douglas County. Their strategy for encouraging and engaging parents has grown the program from 2 to 13 screened and enthusiastic volunteers.
"After I mingle with parents for a while, I'll sneak in a homework assignment that gets them involved with their kids," explained Brad. "As parents learn, they want to participate more. Building confidence in parents is important to moving them toward volunteering."
Minnesota 4-H in the media
- Mower County senior team first in 4-H Shooting Sports event | Austin Daily Herald
- Familiar story: County shines at State Fair | The Observer Advocate of Mountain Lake and Butterfield
- Minnesota 4-H Club Responds to State's Changing Demographics | KSTP.com
- Minnesota 4-H Club responds to state's changing demographics | Times Union
- 4-H youth exhibit their best at 2017 Minnesota State Fair | southernminn.com
Center for Youth Development in the media
- Minnesota 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge: Infusing Agricultural Science and Engineering Concepts into 4-H Youth Development | Rice, J, Rugg, B, Davis, S | Journal of Extension
- Focus on Methodology: Beyond paper and pencil: Conducting computer-assisted data collection with adolescents in group settings
- Dilemmas in Youth Work and Youth Development Practice - Laurie Ross, Shane Capra, Lindsay Carpenter, Julia Hubbell, Kathrin Walker - Google Books
- Citizen Science as a REAL Environment for Authentic Scientific Inquiry | Nathan Meyer, Siri Scott, Pamela Nippolt, et al |
- A Call to Embrace Program Innovation | Nathan Meyer, Sherry Boyce, Rebecca Meyer | Journal of Extension
- 9/7 Minnesota 4-H'er turns hobby into career