Friday Forecast 2/24/2023

Dakota County 4-H Weekly Newsletter - February 24, 2023

Extension 4-H

Welcome to the Dakota County 4-H Friday Forecast

This weekly newsletter will provide you with the most up-to-date information and happenings in the 4-H program.

Congratulations: Minnesota 4-H 'Snowscapes' Photo Challenge!

Congratulations to Jonathan Z. from the Chub Lake Beavers club, for being one of the drawing winners of the recent state-wide photo challenge! Looking forward to seeing all participants’ entries at the Fair! Other entries from Dakota County include: Addie H., Arabela O-E., Grace S., and Hannah Z.

Better Believe in Beavers-Feb. 25 - Today is deadline!

Beavers are masters of construction, and quite clever creatures! Their vital role in the ecosystem of lakes and rivers makes them superstars of the water, but some might see them differently. Discover what makes these busy buddies so crucial and how we may have almost lost them forever! Interested in learning more? Or in need of wildlife hours for Shooting Sports and Wildlife? If so, then join the fun! Locate 4-H wildlife volunteer Sara Peters to sign-in for 4-H.

When: Saturday, Feb. 25 from 10 to 11 a.m.

Where: Fort Snelling State Park, 101 Snelling Lake Road, St. Paul; Meet at Thomas C. Savage Visitor Center. Expect an additional 10 minute drive once you get to the park.

Who: Youth Kindergarten and up

Cost: $7 for vehicle entry (one-day State Park vehicle pass) payable upon entrance to park.

Questions: Contact Kris Vatter

Registration: Due Feb. 23 in 4-HOnline

4-H Sheep Workshop - Feb. 26 - Today is deadline!

Workshop topics include sheep nutrition, medication, supplies, and care of a ewe before and after lambing.

Where: Sachs Farm, 3185 200th St E, Farmington

When: Sunday, Feb. 26; 2:30-3:30 p.m.; project bowl practice 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Who: 4-H members grade 3+

Bring: Wear boots and a coat that can get dirty. We will be touring the barn as part of the workshop.

Register: Register by emailing by February 24.

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Writing Your Future - Registration due Feb. 24

Zoom sessions: Thursdays, March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; 6:30-7:30 p.m. Register in 4H Online by Feb. 24

Volunteers Needed for Open House on March 1

Do you have old 4-H projects laying around? If so, are you willing to show them to prospective families? Staff need youth and adult volunteers to help with an open house at Wescott Library on Wednesday, March 1 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The event will be held in their large meeting space in the basement and set-up will take place from 6-6:30 p.m.

Sign-up here if you’re able to help out! Any questions, contact Rachel at

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Expand and share your knowledge around wildlife

Wildlife Habitat Education Program or WHEP is the new Wildlife project bowl! Although it is not directly part of the Shooting Sports & Wildlife project (SSW), coming to practice and competitions (National for ages 14-19) will count for Wildlife hours. For those who are interested in the SSW State Shoot in September, eight wildlife hours and a group project are required. WHEP is a great way to get Wildlife hours during the non-shooting practice time of the year (this winter and early spring). Participation in Competition is not required. All youth in grades K-13 are welcome, although material is geared to grades 3+.

Meetings are held 6-7 p.m. at the Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, 4100 220th St. W. in Farmington on the following dates:

  • Friday, Feb. 24: MN invasive species (land animals)

  • Friday, March 3: Match the feeder to the bird

  • Friday, March 10: ID the animal Challenge- ID all the animals on your list by Pelt, track or scat

Feel free to come to any or all of these. No registration required.

WHEP Contact: Jill Heldebrant: or Kris Vatter: .

March 4 Cloverbud and Sprouts K-5 Program Canceled

Due to scheduling conflicts with a guest presenter, the Cloverbud and Sprouts K-5 programming scheduled for Saturday, March 4 has been canceled. Normal programming will resume in April. Watch the Friday Forecast for more information and updates. Any questions, contact Rachel at

Save the dates for Cloverbud and Sprouts K-5 Programming!

Free! (Registration required)

9 - 11am

  • April 22 - Location- Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center in Farmington, Registration Deadline April 14

  • May 20 - Location TBD, Registration Deadline May 12

Join the fun at the Cloverbud and Sprouts workshops! The University of Minnesota Extension 4-H Cloverbud (K-2) and Sprouts (3-5) Programs are designed specifically for youth in grades Kindergarten through fifth grade. Participants must be enrolled in Kindergarten and at least 5 years of age as of September 1 of the current year to enroll as a Cloverbud. Dakota County 4-H members are welcome to bring non-4-H friends to workshops!

All participants must be enrolled in 4-H Online before attending, for liability purposes.

Questions can be directed to Rachel at

Scholarships available to high school seniors, due March 15

Dakota County 4-H members who are high school seniors that will be graduating in 2023 and will be attending an accredited college, university, community college, or technical college during the fall 2023 quarter/semester are eligible to apply for the following scholarships. Review each scholarship application for specific application requirements. Please note these scholarships are open to all enrolled Dakota County 4-H members. Contact Abby if you have questions at

Dakota Count 4-H Auction scholarship

Jacque Devney Memorial scholarship

Apply now to be a 4-H summer intern!

Are you looking for work experience in the youth development field? Apply now for county and regional-based 4-H summer intern positions throughout the state of Minnesota. Each internship will provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about University of Minnesota Extension and explore job opportunities in 4-H Youth Development.

Learn more and apply.

Lucky U Stables Hosting Upcoming Horseless Horse Meetings

We will be holding twice a month sessions throughout the winter and spring months. This program, led by youth leaders involved with the Horseless Horse and Horse projects, will allow youth to work with horses in a variety of ways while on the ground. Youth will be required to wear horse riding helmets when in proximity to the horses for in-person events (4-H does supply the helmets for youth to use during the practices if needed). Dress appropriately for the weather, the barn can be chilly. Each session will include an education piece and hands on activities with horses.

Youth need to enroll in 4-H Online prior to participating in HLH activities. Once enrolled in 4-H Online, sign-up to attend the bi-weekly sessions. Horseless Horse: Horseless Horse Meeting SignUp (

Waiver: Lucky U Stables waiver; please complete prior to attending.

What: Horseless Horse Project Meetings

Who: Youth 3rd grade and up

Where: Lucky U Stables, 11050 Manning Ave. South, Hastings

When: Mar. 7, 21, April 4, 18, May 2, 16, June 6, 20, July 18

Time: 7-8 p.m.

Registration: Horseless Horse program registration closes May 15. For assistance with registration, please refer to the 4-H Online event registration guide . If you are new to 4-H please select the ‘Virtual 4-H’ or ‘In Person Camp/Event’ club. In the projects field choose ‘horse and and horseless horse’ and any other project areas you have an interest in.

Cost: $25 per participant; checks payable to Dakota County 4-H, please mail or drop off to: Dakota County 4-H, 4100 220th Street West, Suite 101, Farmington, MN 55024 with 'HLH' noted in the memo line of your check.

Contact Kirsten at if you have questions or for more information.

Horse Boot Camp - March 21 (rescheduled due to weather) for Horse and Horseless Horse project members

Interested in horses? Want to learn more about the 4-H Horse, Horseless Horse and Horse Training projects? If so, then you don't want to miss Horse Boot Camp workshop that incudes a special appearance by Ladybug, the mini horse. Both 4-H'ers and friends are invited to this fun interactive event.

Youth and adult members of the Horse Project Development Committee (PDC) are hosting an evening with information, food, prizes, making horse treats, and miniature horses. There will be tables to learn about the various classes (Pleasure, Games, Western Heritage, etc.), tack/equipment, and care along with 4-H specific info on Animal ID, county fair information, animal leasing, and enrollment.

Who: 4-H'ers and friends - grade 3+, volunteers, parents

When: Tuesday, March 21; 6-7:30 p.m.

Where: Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, 4100 220th St. W. in Farmington

Ladybug, the mini horse, will be available from 6 to7 p.m. for petting and photo-ops. Prize drawings for all youth in attendance!

*Horseless Horse members please note that this event is in place of the HLH session at Lucky U Stables.

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Looking for camp counselors for overnight 4-H camp!

Do you enjoy working with youth? Do you love getting out in nature? Do you consider yourself a leader or want the chance to expand your leadership skills? If yes, we hope you apply to become a 4-H camp counselor! Camp counselors must be in grades 9+. 4-H camp is scheduled for June 12-14 and is an overnight camp for youth in grades 3-8. Applications are due March 30. Camp Counselor Application.

Minnesota 4-H Key Award applications due April 1

Every year, we recognize a group of exceptional youth leaders that have contributed many hours of service to our program. The Key Award recognizes your contributions to your club and the community and encourages you to grow as an outstanding citizen. For young women, the award is a gold key mounted on an attractive necklace. For young men, the gold key is on a tie tack.

In order to apply for this award, you must meet the requirements that are detailed in the application. Applications are due to Dakota County Extension Office by April 1 to the Dakota County Extension Office in Farmington.

MN 4-H Key Award Application
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4-H camp registration is open!

Any youth who have completed 3-8th grade (as of June 2023) is welcome to join the fun in a camp immersion experience with Dakota and Washington Counties! Participants will be engaged in campfires, wilderness challenges, outdoor adventures, crafts, making new friends, and much more!

When: Monday, June 12 through Wednesday, June 14

Where: Baker Outdoor Learning Center, 4001 County Rd 24, Maple Plain, MN

Who: Youth who have completed grades 3-8

Cost: $150/camper; includes bus transportation from Dakota County Northern Service Center in West St. Paul

Camp registration is through 4-H Online Event registration system and is due May 12 or when camp is full. For registration assistance, refer to the event registration guide or contact or

Resident camp refund policy: If canceled before May 15, $25 cancellation fee. No refunds after May 15.

Middle and high school students encouraged to join the local ambassadors

The Dakota County 4-H ambassador program is open to youth in grades 6-13, who enjoy volunteering and working with younger members. A 4-H ambassador is an enthusiastic leader who promotes the organization using the skills, knowledge, and leadership abilities acquired in 4-H. Some past activities include: participating in community service projects, planning and leading Cloverbud and Sprouts activities, and promoting 4-H at various events throughout Dakota County.

Meetings are right before Federation meetings, at 6 p.m. Additional activities will be held on the off months. Here is a tentative schedule.

Sign-up here to participate in the 2022-23 Ambassador program.

Contact Rachel at for more information.

First year in the 4-H program? Check out this resource to learn more!

If you are brand new to the 4-H program this resource that will help walk you through some of the questions you may have about the program.

Questions? Email Abby at

4-H New Member Resource Guide

Passport to 4-H Tasty Tuesdays: Food from around the world series

Get your food passports ready as we travel to a different country, learn about their culture and create some of their favorite meals or desserts! Our destination will be a mystery until you get your ingredient list. More details will be emailed upon registration. Tasty Tuesdays is held virtually on Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Feb. 28, March 14, 28, April 4, 11

Audience: Youth in grades K-13.

Cost: Free

Registration: Register through 4-H Online.

Choose Your 4-H Outdoor Adventure Speaker series - March 13

The next Choose Your 4-H Outdoor Adventure Speaker event is March 13 at 7 p.m. Sign up to receive link to join. Registration required. Additional speaker dates include: Apr. 10, May 8.

Farm Service Agency loans available for youth

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers loans for individual young people to start and operate income-producing projects of modest size in connection to their participation in 4-H clubs, FFA, a Tribal youth group, or similar agricultural youth organization. Projects financed with an FSA youth loan need to provide an opportunity for the young person to acquire experience and education in agriculture-related skills. For more information on loan purposes and project requirements, visit the FSA website or contact your local FSA office.

4-H choose your outdoor adventure self guided series

Learn more about 4-H outdoor adventures by exploring project areas on your own time. Each of the topics will guide you through fun activities you can do outside. Open to all, but geared towards youth in grades 5 - 9. Access the series to start your adventures in hiking, birding, and ATV safety. More modules in camping, forestry, and nature connection will be available soon!

YELLO 2023: June 13-16

The Minnesota 4-H State Ambassadors are excited to announce that the 2023 YELLO leadership conference will beheld June 13-16 at Bemidji State University.

Youth Exploring Leadership and Learning Opportunities (YELLO) is a 4-H leadership conference for youth in grades 7+ that prepares youth to learn and lead in their communities. YELLO is planned and facilitated by the Minnesota 4-H State Ambassadors. Registration for YELLO opens in April. More details to come!

Adult Volunteer Opportunities!

Consent and Choice in Youth Development: Creating Empowering Youth Spaces - March 14

Join Minnesota 4-H Youth Development Program (YDP) Extension Educators Bri Hall (Ramsey Co.) and Sarah Odendahl (Pine Co.) on Tues. Mar. 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m. to learn more about how volunteers can create learning environments that promote youth physical and emotional safety, encourage youth to exercise choice, and support young people in establishing personal limits and boundaries. This 60-minute training is open to Minnesota 4-H YDP volunteers, potential volunteers, and youth leaders as part of our 2022-23 Statewide Volunteer Development Webinar program. Attendance is optional. Registration is required.

New year brings new project workshops! Seeking instructors and ideas

Do you have a special interest or skill to share? Have an idea for a workshop or a connection for a workshop that you feel the 4-H’ers would enjoy? Let us know!!! 4-H staff are looking for volunteers to help lead new workshops this upcoming 4-H year. If you are interested in leading a workshop or have a suggestion for a great new idea please contact Abby.

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Leading a 4-H club web page has launched

Resources for club leaders and volunteers leading a 4-H club have been reorganized. Explore these categories: Beginning the 4-H year, leading a 4-H club meeting (organized around a sample agenda), managing 4-H club operations, and ways to support club members. Suggest improvements to the site by using the gray “feedback” button on the right side of the screen.

Explore the new site.

Volunteer & Club Leader Helpful Resources

Apply to be a 4-H screened volunteer

We are on Instagram, give us a follow!

We have a new Instagram account! Please follow us at Dakota.County4H or connect via Facebook at DakotaCounty4H.


Dakota County 4-H Contacts