Minnesota 4-H news
Testing the waters
(January 2012) A new 4-H project offers youth a chance to be hands-on citizen scientists by monitoring water quality in their local areas. In the Aquatic Robotics Project, 4-H’ers build and program a remote-operated underwater vehicle to collect water samples, then test the samples. Aquatic robotics, a joint project between Extension and the US Navy, is being rolled out across Minnesota and will contribute to knowledge of watershed quality in 67 counties.
Educator receives national award for volunteer development
(October 2013) Extension educator, Heidi Haugen, has received the “Excellence in Volunteerism (individual)” award from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA) for discovering and responding to volunteer needs and strengthening Minnesota’s volunteer systems.
A comprehensive needs assessment in 2008-2009 revealed that Minnesota 4-H needed better volunteer screening process renewal, standardized volunteer orientation and comprehensive volunteer management staff development. Since 2009, Heidi has made significant contributions to these areas of need and strengthened Minnesota’s state and county volunteer systems in part by leading a team to renew the state volunteer screening process; co-developing a state volunteer orientation; and preparing, coaching and supporting county-based staff in their volunteer management roles.
Minnesota 4-H now has a shorter volunteer application process; a stronger, web-based background check; and a new, standard, online orientation. 4-H staff in Heidi’s service regions report they are much better equipped volunteer managers than before because of Heidi’s contributions. Other impacts of her work include annual increases in volunteer enrollment, significant increases in numbers of clubs and project development committees, increased participation in training events, and fewer volunteer issues with other 4-H volunteers and staff.
Haugen won this award at the state level, at the north central states regional level, and then at the national level. There were 24 applicants at the state level and 4 applicants at the national level. Haugen provides leadership to volunteer systems development for Extension’s Center for Youth Development and the Minnesota 4-H program in the northeast region of Minnesota. She works in the Brainerd office.
Minnesota 4-H staff recognized for outstanding contributions
(October 2013) The following north-central states regional winners (includes 12 states) were recognized for outstanding effort by NAE4-HA members in youth development.
- Anna Gilbertson, program coordinator - Excellence in Natural Resources/Environmental Education (individual)
- Brian McNeill, Extension educator; and Shelley Vergin, program coordinator - Excellence in Camping (team)
Ann Church, program coordinator in Washington County and Jill Grams, program coordinator in McLeod County received the Distinguished Service Award (DSA), which is given to a NAE4-HA member nominee who has served seven years or more in Extension 4-H youth programs.
Amanda Sommers, program coordinator in Blue Earth County received the Achievement in Service Award (ASA), which is given to a NAE4-HA member nominee who has served more than three years but less than seven years in Extension 4-H youth programs.
4-H in the media
- Grand Rapids Herald-Review | NE Minnesota 4-H Livestock Show
- BrainerdDispatch.com | CWC 4-H Building Youth Leaders - attend BLU
- Grand Rapids Herald-Review | Nine Itasca 4-H members compete in state 4-H Dog Show
- BrainerdDispatch.com | CWC 4-H, Got Dogs?
- Grand Rapids Herald-Review | Five 4-Hers attend Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show
- AgriNews.com | Redwood County team wins knowledge bowl
- Zumbro Shopper | Goodhue graduate recognized with 4-H Achievement in Service Award
- Waseca News | Waseca resident honored at the National Extension Galaxy IV Conference
- Le Sueur News | Local students to represent Minnesota at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-up
- Impact of Operation: Military Kids residential camping programs on military youth's self-efficacy toward military related resiliency skills | Clary (dissertation) | Purdue University