SOAR Challenge discovery meeting a great success!

Seventeen 4-H youth along with 3 community agriculture/water/forestry mentors attended the SOAR (Science of Agriculture Response) Challenge discovery meeting last night, held at the Brainerd Public Utilities building in Brainerd. After a brief introduction to the challenge, presented by CWC 4-H program coordinator Courtney Johnson, youth explored topic areas and brainstormed questions for potential investigation by teams.

Teams will be comprised of 3 to 4 youth members who will determine the agricultural problem they wish to explore and will develop a response or solution to that question. Teams will be aided by volunteer mentors who bring agricultural and scientific expertise to guide the team process.

Courtney Johnson with SOAR youth particpants.


SOAR team brainstorming session.

For more information on the SOAR Challenge visit the website:

To participate, contact the CWC Extension office at 218-824-1065. This challenge is open to all youth grades 6 and above.

SOAR Challenge kickoff meeting, 6:30 p.m., Nov. 6

Nov 6, SOAR Challenge kickoff meeting, 6:30 p.m., Brainerd Public Utilities

Minnesota 4-H Science of Agriculture Response Challenge

A team challenge event for youth: Find solutions to real ag-related issues in your community and present your results on the U of M campus

The new 4-H Science of Agriculture Response Challenge (SOAR) provides a hands-on learning experience to inspire the next generation of agriculture leaders in Minnesota. Youth teams will partner with local expert mentors to develop science-based responses to agriculture-related issues they have identified in their communities.

Youth can explore issues in the areas of agronomy, animal husbandry, soil science, ag business, rural finance, food science, engineering and more. Youth are encouraged to be creative in exploring and developing solutions.

Teams can be cross-county. Teams will work together starting in autumn 2014, and make formal presentations on the St. Paul campus in June, 2015. Each member of the top three teams will receive a university scholarship of $500 – $1,000.

Interested? Not a 4-H member? Join at no cost:

For more information on SOAR, visit:

Or call Courtney Johnson, Crow Wing County 4-H Program Coordinator at 218-824-1069.

Nat’l 4-H Week: #iam4h social media campaign

Nat’l 4-H Week: #iam4h social media campaign

Crow Wing County 4-H Program Coordinator

Crow Wing County 4-H Program Coordinator, Courtney Johnson

If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, please join us in supporting the National 4-H Week social media campaign, #iam4h.Here’s how: On Sunday night or Monday, Oct. 5-6, tweet or post on social media using the hashtags #iam4h and #mn4h. If you can, include a picture of yourself holding the sign shown here and tag it #iam4h.

You can download the sign here:

Anyone who supports 4-H can do this – you don’t have to be a member or alumnus. We want to get this trending on Twitter, so we need lots of people to take part.

Research has proven that participation in 4-H has a significant positive impact on young people. Recent findings from the Tufts University 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that, when compared to their peers, young people in 4-H are:
• Nearly four times more likely to contribute to their communities,
• Two times more likely to pursue healthy behaviors like, and
• Two times more likely to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in the out-of-school time.

In Crow Wing County more than 325 4-H youth and 100 volunteers from the community are involved in 4 H. On September 23 the Crow Wing County Commissioners signed a proclamation that states October 5-11, 2014, as National 4 H Week in Crow Wing County.

About 4-H:
4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 109 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Learn more about 4-H at, find us on Facebook at and on Twitter at

New 4-H Year – enrollment opens September 16!

If you are wishing to become a NEW member of Crow Wing County 4-H, you can enroll online at If you are re-entolling, just update your existing account.

Things to remember:

New members – make sure to select a club and at least one project area to complete your enrollment. Members may not be Independent until after two years of participation in a 4-H club. Enrollment is free of charge and is open to youth grades K-13.

Here is a list of clubs in Crow Wing County: 4-H_Clubs-in-the-Area.

Online Enrollment – Enrollment for the new 4-H year opens September 16. The process is quick and easy; even families with multiple youth can be done in 10 minutes or less. Re-enrolling early ensures that critical communications will be received, especially as it relates to deadlines and project-specific information.

Part of enrolling for youth, parents, and adult volunteers will be agreeing to the Minnesota 4-H code of conduct, which is available for review in its entirety, along with other policy and authorization statements at

For more information on the 4-H youth development program and to visit the project selection guide please visit the state 4-H page:

New this fall: all re-enrolling adult volunteers will be required to complete “Safety of Minors” training in order to comply with policy adopted by the University of Minnesota in June 2013. This training will be available online via 4HOnline when you re- enroll. In some cases, it may be offered in a face-to- face setting.

If you are not yet an adult volunteer but are willing to share your time and talents to make a difference, 4-H needs you! The first step to becoming an adult 4-H volunteer is to complete the volunteer application process, plus the “Safety of Minors” training. Learn more at

Volunteer applicants are not approved until all aspects of the application process, including the “Safety of Minors” training, are completed. See next article for more details on the training.

For more local information, read our Clover Update.


4-H and MN State Fair in the NY Times Home section today

Your Grandma’s Maker Faire


“But then Minnesota is also a place where rural teenagers sew matching costumes for themselves and their llamas — the herder might be the Statue of Liberty, the llama, a Fourth of July fireworks display — and then promenade on the catwalk. Correction: the llama-walk.” Read on at the link below:

Minnesota 4-H Clover Update, Sept-Oct 2014

Learn more about the 4-H program in our bi-monthly newsletter. Please contact the Crow Wing County 4-H office with questions: 218-824-1065. To enroll in 4-H, visit:


Celebrate Ag & Food Day
4-H families & alumni are invited to join a celebration of Minnesota agriculture and food at a special UMN Gopher football game on September 20. Discounted tickets can be purchased at Join us before the game from 9:00–11:00 a.m. for activities outside the stadium including a tailgate party featuring Minnesota brats and cheese. To RSVP or ask questions, contact Erin Kelly-Collins at

National Youth Science Day  Rockets to the rescue!
On October 8, 4-H’ers across the country will become scientists for a day for the 7th annual 4-H National Youth Science Day!In light of the recent natural disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan, this year’s event will have one mission: design and build an aerodynamic food transportation device that can deliver a payload of nutritious food to disaster victims.

Youth Science Day is an exciting, interactive learning experience that engages thousands of youth in conducting the National Science Experiment. The goal is to spark an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This year’s Rockets to the Rescue experiment will help youth learn engineering concepts, develop math skills, learn about nutrition and help solve a relevant, global issue.

STEM is the wave of the future. Experts credit technological innovation with almost half of U.S. economic growth over the past 50 years, and nearly all of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the next decade will require at least some background in STEM. But America is falling behind. Today, the United States ranks 27th among developed nations with college students receiving science or engineering degrees. Only 1% of 4th graders, 2% of 8th graders and 1% of 12th graders are deemed “advanced” in science. Only 45% of high school graduates in 2011 were ready for college work in math and 30% were ready in science.
Learn more information and order kits today at If you are interested in participating or have questions, contact your county 4-H Program Coordinator.

Military Extension Internship
A partnership between the Cooperative Extension System and the Department of Defense has provided the funding for a national, military childcare/youth development internship program. Through this initiative, students and recent graduates have the opportunity to develop professional skills in childcare and youth development through practical work experience with military children, youth and families.

Interns are placed on military installations across the United States with limited opportunities for international placement. They will receive an hourly wage or stipend and assistance with travel expenses.

The program is accepting applications for the Spring 2015 class until September 30. More information and application materials can be found at Questions may be referred to: Jessica Wandless

4-H at the Minnesota State Fair

4-H at the Minnesota State Fair, August 21 to September 1, 2014

What happens at the fair?  4-H at the Minnesota State Fair is not just a fun annual event. Every summer, thousands of 4-H youth participate in the state fair to showcase the knowledge and skills they’ve gained throughout the year, and to continue their learning experiences.

4-H youth spend months working on projects designed to equip them with essential life skills such as problem solving, decision making, project management, communications and public speaking. 4-H’ers then share their accomplishments and educate the public about their subject at their local county fair. Those who demonstrate the highest achievements are then selected to participate in 4-H at the Minnesota State Fair!

At both county and state fairs, 4-H’ers meet one-on-one with experts to have their projects evaluated, discuss what they’ve learned, and identify future learning opportunities. 4-H’ers also lead visitors on tours of the 4-H Building and barns, and conduct workshops and hands-on demonstrations for the public.

4-H at the Minnesota State Fair not only makes great memories, it helps 4-H youth grow into successful adults.

Enrollment for the 4-H year 2014-15 opens in mid-September. Join our 4-H youth development program in Crow Wing County by enrolling at Call 218-824-1065 for information.

Remember, it’s free to join 4-H. 4-H is more than animals – see the project selection guide:

Great Green Gardeners being honored on Ag Day!

Every year the Crow Wing County Fair recognizes individuals, families, organizations, and businesses that have positively promoted agriculture in Crow Wing County. The 4-H Great Green Gardeners club has been selected to be honored by the Crow Wing County Fair Association.

Please join us on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 11:00 am at the Birney Wilkins Gardens for our annual Ag Day Recognition Celebration. Please invite family and friends to celebrate! Refreshments will be served.

Crow Wing County Fair, Coming Soon!

Our county 4-H youth are busy putting together their fair exhibits. If you have children grades K-13, and aren’t familiar with the 4-H youth development program, make sure to visit the 4-H building and animal barns to see what youth can do in 4-H!
4-H is more than animals.

4-H Activities Schedule – 2014 Crow Wing County Fair

Tuesday –July 29, 2014
10:00 AM – 4-H Horse Achievement Judging followed by 4-H Horse Show Performance – Horse Arena
10:30 AM – 4-H Novice Rabbit Showmanship – Rabbit Barn
11:00 AM – 4-H Rabbit Show – Poultry/Rabbit tent
12:30 PM – 4-H Novice Showmanship Dairy, Goat, Beef, Sheep, and Swine – Livestock Arena
2:30 PM – 4-H Novice Poultry Showmanship – Poultry Barn
3:00 PM – 4-H Poultry Judging – Poultry/Rabbit tent
5:30 PM – 4-H Goat show – Livestock Arena
7:00 PM – 4-H Arts In Performances – 4-H Building Stage
7:30 PM – 4-H Horse Drill Team Performances

Wednesday –July 30, 2014
10:00 AM – 4-H Beef Show – Livestock Arena
10:00 AM – 4-H Horse Training Evaluation followed by 4-H Horse Show (Games) – Horse
3:00 PM – 4-H Sheep & Swine Show (Lamb Lead will follow Swine Show) Livestock Arena
5:00 PM – 4-H Dairy Cattle Show – Livestock Arena
7:00 PM – 4-H Arts In Performances – 4-H Building Stage
7:30 PM – 4-H Horse Drill Team Performances

Thursday – July 31, 2014
10:00 AM – 4-H Lama Show, Horse Arena
11:00 AM – 4-H Cloverbud Pet Show, Pet & Cat Show – Poultry/Rabbit tent area
NOON – 4-H Food Review – 4-H Building
2:00 PM – 4-H Fashion Revue judging

Friday –August 1, 2014
11:00 AM – Horse Demonstration and Horse Speaking– 4-H Building Stage
1:00 PM – 4-H Demonstrations, Youth in Action – 4-H Building
3:00 PM – Livestock Demonstrations at Poultry/Rabbit Tent
5:00 PM – 4-H Livestock Awards Program – Livestock Arena
7:00 PM – 4-H Arts In Performance – 4-H Building Stage

Saturday –August 2, 2014
11:00 AM – 4-H Premier Showmanship Competition – Livestock Arena
1:00 PM – Livestock Interviews– 4-H Building
2:30 PM – Cloverbud Exploring Farm Animals – meet at Livestock Arena
3:00 PM – Dog Exhibition – Mills Fleet Farm Stage