Summer Internship with Crow Wing County 4-H

Crow Wing County 4-H is seeking applicants for a summer internship position.  Learn more about University of Minnesota Extension and explore job opportunities in 4-H Youth Development!

Application deadline is February 15.

Candidates must have a high school diploma, and at least two years of undergraduate study is preferred.  Candidates must apply on-line through the University of Minnesota job site. The application materials will include a standard application, résumé, cover letter, list of three references and a college transcript. Learn more and apply online. 

For more information, please contact Michele VanDyke at

Join us for 2016 Project Day!

4-H County Project Day is taking place Saturday, February 20th, at Central Lakes College (501 W College Dr, Brainerd).  This event is open to all 4-H and non-4-H members and features a series of fun sessions for all ages.

Design and build your own ski jump.  Make your own butter.  Paint your own piece of artwork using acrylic paint.  These are just a few of the session topics to choose from!

Cost is $5 per youth ($14 maximum per family) and registration is due by February 12.  Visit the Project Day Event Page to learn more and access the registration form.

Project Day 2016

Mark your calendars! Project Day 2016 is taking place Saturday, February 20.  This year’s Project Day topics are still under construction- however please plan on attending. This is for all youth grades k-13. Join us as we teach you more about your favorite project area or learn about a new one!

Project Day Instructors NEEDED! We are looking for adults and older youth to help lead project sessions. Have a good idea and want to share? Know a community expert? Or interested in helping during the day? Please contact the 4-H office if you answered yes to any of these questions! We can’t have Project Day without your help.

Register Today! Northeast BLU Leadership Retreat

Registration is now open for the 2016 4-H Building Leadership and Understanding (BLU) workshops! Each BLU brings together youth from across the region to engage in activities and leadership lessons. All activities are planned by the Minnesota 4-H State Ambassadors, and will focus this year on exploring your passions to “Find your Element,” and envision how you can live out your passion in your life.

WHAT:  NE BLU Leadership Retreat

WHO: Youth in grades 6-13

WHEN:  Saturday, Feb 27 – Sunday, Feb 28

WHERE:  Long Lakes Conservation Center, Palisade

COST:  $100 for all youth participants (scholarships available)

REGISTRATION DUE:  Friday, January 15, 2016

Visit the NE BLU Event page for further information and registration details.

Crow Wing County 4-H Arts-In (performing arts) Registration is Now Open

If you like singing, dancing, acting, making props and just plain having fun, then consider being part of the Crow Wing County 4-H Arts-In. Arts-In is a great opportunity for youth to work together to design, draft, conduct and participate in plays at the county fair.

Registration and payment are due to Extension office no later than June 12. With no refunds after June 26. The cost for junior Arts-In (grade K-5) is $10 per youth. This group will be performing a Sea Creatures/Ocean theme skit. The senior Arts-In (grade 6 – 13) cost is $15 per member with a skit theme to be determined.

Youth participating in Arts-In will perform during the Crow Wing County fair August 4, 5 and 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the 4-H building. Practices will be held at the Land Services Building and the 4-H Building at the fairgrounds. Practice will begin the end of June, Monday and Tuesday nights, until the fair. Other practices may be added. Attendance at practices is required.

To download the registration form please visit .

If you would like more information on 4-H in Crow Wing County please contact 4-H Program Coordinator, Courtney Johnson at 218-824-1065, or visit our website at

Remember, it’s free to join 4-H. Enroll today at and visit the Minnesota 4-H website for more information on the 4-H youth development program.


4-H enrollment and animal IDs are due May 15

If you haven’t enrolled in 4-H yet this year, now is the time. You can enroll online at If you need to enroll by paper form, stop in at the Extension office, 322 Laurel St., Brainerd, and staff will help you.

There is no fee to join 4-H.

If you are new to 4-H, visit the state and county sites for enrollment and project information and to see what’s going on in Crow Wing county.


18 County 4-H’ers learn to lead at 4-H BLU

More than 500 youth learn leadership skills at the 2015 4-H Building Leadership & Understanding conferences

Brainerd (2/April /2015) – In February and March, more than 500 youth from across Minnesota gathered to participate in the annual 4-H Building Leadership and Understanding (BLU) youth leadership conferences. The five regional two-day BLU leadership events were filled with exciting and fun activities that help youth learn and practice valuable leadership skills that they will be able to take back with them to their counties and communities, and use throughout their lives.


This year’s conference theme was, “Tune into You,” which focused on understanding what makes you unique, self-acceptance, and accepting the uniqueness of others. The topic was selected by the 4-H state ambassadors based on a survey from youth at previous events.  Activities guided participants in exploring self-awareness, resisting peer pressure, and identifying personal values. There was also plenty of time dedicated to meeting new friends and having fun, with skits, singing, dancing and games designed and facilitated by the ambassadors to help youth participants get to know one another and have a good time.

Using a youth-teaching-youth model, the 4-H BLU leadership conferences are developed and led by 4-H State Ambassadors, Minnesota 4-H youth who have been selected to serve as spokespeople for 4-H, and to educate youth and adults about the importance of youth development, leadership, citizenship, service, teamwork, and other invaluable life skills.

“A core element of 4-H programming is helping young people to realize their own leadership potential in society, “ said Jacquie Lonning, Extension Youth Development Citizenship &  Leadership state program director. “Through these experiences, we give youth the opportunity to learn about themselves, their peers, and realize their potential in making positive changes in their communities at home, locally, and nationally.”

“Youth who attend BLU bring back valuable leadership skills to all of Crow Wing County. They use these skills not only in 4-H, but they also bring them back into their classrooms, other organizations and their communities.” said Courtney Johnson, Crow Wing County 4-H Program Coordinator.

To learn more about 4-H in Crow Wing County, contact 4-H Program Coordinator Courtney Johnson, at 218-824-1069 and visit the website,

About Extension 4-H: 4-H is a youth development program of the University of Minnesota Extension.  Available for youth grades k-1 year after high school, 4-H’ers participate in hands-on learning experiences in STEM, citizenship & leadership, animal science, creative arts and much more. Through this unique learn-by-doing process, youth obtain essential life skills such as problem solving, decision making, coping and communicating that help them succeed in their school, college, community and career. Research shows that youth who participate in 4-H have better grades and are more emotionally engaged with school, are more than twice as likely to be civically active and contribute to their communities, and are 47% less likely to have risky or problem behaviors.


2015 4-H Rube Goldberg Challenge, sign up by May 15

4-H’ers, get your teams together and sign up by May 15 for the 2015 4-H Rube Goldberg Design Challenge: Learn more here:

If you are not a 4-H member you can enroll easily at:

There is no fee to join 4-H. When you enroll you will be asked to select a club. You can find a list of county clubs here:

And you will be asked to enroll in at least one project. Find a list of projects here:

For the Rube Goldberg Design Challenge, you’ll want to be sure to enroll in the Engineering Design project.

If you have any questions about this program or the enrollment process, contact the Extension 4-H office, 218-824-1065 or our 4-H Program Coordinator, Courtney Johnson, at 218-824-1069.

Crow Wing County 4-H Project Bowl Teams Gear Up for Competition

4-H youth from across the county are studying hard and getting their buzzer fingers ready for statewide 4-H Project Bowl competitions to start in March. According to the Minnesota 4-H Website, Project Bowl competitions are the second most attended event during the 4-H year. Patterned after the golden-oldie television show “College Bowl”, it challenges teams of 3-6 youth on their knowledge of 4-H project areas: Dairy, Dog, General Livestock, Horse, Poultry, Rabbit, Wildlife and this year in Lama too.

There are four Regional Project Bowls, followed by the State Project Bowl. Each has two divisions: Junior (grades 3 – 8) and Senior (grades 4 – 4-H graduation). Regional winners advance to the State Project Bowl and state winners in dairy, general livestock, horse, poultry and wildlife go on to national contests.

Crow Wing County will be well represented in March with more than seven teams, having both senior and junior groups represented. The first regional competition will be held March 7th in Foley, and the State competition is scheduled for April 11.

For more information about how to join 4-H or how to become a volunteer, contact Courtney Johnson, 4-H Program Coordinator at 218-824-1069

4-H Poultry Club trip to Iowa

The 4-H Poultry Club is a young and vibrant club within Crow Wing County 4-H. A goal the club set this year was to go on an educational trip. The group planned a fundraiser and through their efforts, were able to accomplish their goal by traveling to the Master Cup Poultry Show in Webster City, Iowa. 4-H Poultry Club member and Secretary Abby Fleming recaps the club’s trip.


The Crow Wing County Poultry Club went to the Master Cup Poultry Show in Webster City, Iowa. We left Friday morning and got down there about 6 hours later. We went down and stayed in a hotel for the weekend.  We went swimming and hot-tubbing!

On our way down our club leader had a surprise for us. We stopped at Dwayne Urch’s hatchery. He is a well-known breeder and has over a hundred breeds! We got to see how he has his barn set up, lots of different breeds of birds, and his incubators! He showed us his different awards that he has gotten over the years too. That was one of everyone’s favorite parts of the trip!

While we were down there we got to do multiple fun things, one of them being  taking a tour of Murray McMurray Hatchery! We got to see all of their different incubators, which were huge! They showed us how they sort the birds, male from female. The tour guide explained how they do their biosecurity there to eliminate the possibilities of diseases getting into their hatchery. He explained how they ship the birds out and they were all very friendly!

Another thing they had for the youth/4H down there were workshops. They had three different workshops for us. The first one that we went to was about bathing birds. They taught us how to properly clean your birds, when to clean them, and what products to use. The second one was about eggs. They taught about the candling and grading of eggs. Lastly, on the third one, they taught us about the digestive system of a chicken. They had a couple birds there that they had actually dissected already for us to see up close.

We got to meet multiple of the top breeders from around the country while we were there. A few of us even bought birds while too! The breeders that were down there were very friendly and were more than willing to talk to us and teach us what they could! It was a great experience and we all would like to go again next year!

Abby Fleming
CWC Poultry Club Secretary

If you are interested in joining 4-H or the Poultry Club, please contact Courtney Johnson, Crow Wing County 4-H Program Coordinator at 218-824-1069.