Friday Forecast 1/13/2023

Dakota County 4-H Weekly Newsletter - January 13, 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.
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Hurry! Registration for BLU and TEEL leadership workshops closes today!

Registration closes today for youth leadership workshops BLU and TEEL. Workshops will take place in February and this year's theme is "Seasons of Growth." BLU and TEEL will be held in five different locations throughout the state with one-day and two-day overnight options. BLU and TEEL workshops are a great way to meet other youth from around the state while building your leadership skills and having fun!

Building Leadership & Understanding (BLU) is a regional leadership workshop focused on building leadership skills and developing an understanding of others. The experience is planned and facilitated by the Minnesota 4-H State Ambassadors for emerging and developing youth leaders in grades 6 - 9.

Teens Engaged in Emerging Leadership (TEEL), is a companion experience to BLU. TEEL is a leadership workshop focused on developing and advancing skills for youth leaders in grades 10+, and is facilitated by recent alumni and advanced 4-H youth leaders.

Learn more and register.

Registration closes today for 2023 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) trip

Registration closes today for the 2023 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) trip to Washington D.C. Trip dates; June 25-30, not including travel.

CWF involves youth from across the country in gaining skills to make a positive change in their communities, country, and world. Participants will engage in virtual educational meetings, attend an educational conference in Washington, DC, visit important landmarks, meet with decision-makers, plan and implement a post-trip application project, and build relationships with youth and adults from across Minnesota and throughout the US! Learn more.

  • Who: Youth currently in grades 9+ can register to attend; space is limited to 45 youth; chaperones will be needed, but will not be recruited until January.
  • How: Register in 4-H Online no later than Jan. 13. First come, first serve basis. If the first 45 spaces are claimed, there is a waitlist option.We'll do our best to accommodate as many on the waitlist as possible. Deposits must be received to hold each space by Jan. 25. If you have a group to register, please contact me to discuss options.
  • Fee: Estimated at $2500 - $2800. The final fee will be based on how many youth register, and airfare/transportation costs.

Minnesota 4-H will participate in week four, June 25 - 30 (not including travel dates). If there is significant interest, we may send a second delegation June 18 - 23. Those interested in this option can indicate so here.

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.

Final gift card drawing - re-enroll in 4-H by Jan. 15 to be included

4-H Online is open for the 2022-23 4-H year! All 4-H members and volunteers must re-enroll each 4-H year. Re-enrollment should be completed before participating in any 4-H event including club meetings, workshops and county and state events.

When re-enrolling you will:

  • Select your 4-H club

  • Sign-up for projects; you will only receive email communication for projects you have signed up for so review your project list to be sure you didn't miss a project

Review and update:

  • Family's contact and demographic information

  • Each family member's health and emergency contact information

Log in to 4-H Online here to complete the re-enrollment process. See the 4-H Online enrollment guide for step-by-step instructions.

If you have questions or would like to opt-out of 4-H, please email

Winter weather cancellation guide for 4-H events

In the event of inclement weather, an email will be sent to registered participants informing them of the status of a 4-H event. It is important to pre-registered by the set deadline so you can be informed of any cancellations. 4-H staff will post cancellations on our Facebook page and on the Dakota County 4-H webpage.

If the weather event is in the morning, please check your email messages before heading out to be sure the event hasn’t been canceled. If schools are canceled due to the weather or Outdoor wind chill of 20 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit or lower, 4-H events, including club meetings need to be canceled.

When there is threatening weather, please use your best judgment when determining if it is safe to travel.

Annual membership dues are due when enrolling

4-H county membership dues of $25/member are paid every year. Dues should be paid before participating in 4-H events including club meeting, workshops, county fair and state event. Family Member Dues Payment Form 2022-2023

Dues payments can be mailed to the Extension Office or placed in the drop box between the front doors of the Extension Office. Scholarships are available to cover dues if needed and can be requested by completing the dues payment form.

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

How to register in 4-H Online for 4-H events/workshops

Registration for 4-H workshops and events will take place in 4-H Online. The 4-H Online event registration guide has step-by-step instructions to walk you through how to register. To register for an event in 4-H Online, the participant must be an active member in 4-H Online. If you are new to 4-H, please select the “Virtual 4-H” or “In Person Camp/Event” club for your county. In the projects field, choose the project your primary focus is on and any other project areas you have an interest in. Please contact Cherie if you have questions.

Careers Down on the Farm series continues Jan. 14 featuring implement dealer and mechanic

Youth in grades K-3: Explore the wonderful world of agricultural careers through hands-on activities and guest speakers webinar series. We’ll learn about being an auctioneer, implement mechanic, and much more from real Minnesota ag professionals! Sessions will be offered on Saturday mornings Jan. 7-28 from 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Session topics:

  • Jan. 21: Auctioneer
  • Jan. 28: Florist

Learn more and register.

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4-H Horse Winter Round Up; register by Jan. 16

Join other MN 4-H horse enthusiasts for an exciting three-day, two-night conference of adult and youth leadership and 4-H horse project learning. It's for youth in grades 6 and up who are interested in horses and adult horse project leaders. Winter Round Up includes speakers, educational workshops and many hands-on activities in a beautiful outdoor setting.

In addition to gaining useful information and participating in activities, there are opportunities to share information, network with other horse project leaders and youth, make new friends and have fun!

Date: Feb. 3-5

Location: Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, Lanesboro

Audience: Youth in grades 6 and up and adult horse project leaders

Cost: $110 registration fee (paid Jan. 2-16)

Registration: Final registration deadline is Monday, Jan. 16

Register in 4-H Online. For 4-H Online assistance, refer to the event registration guide.

4-H Gross Science - Jan. 17-Feb. 21

Join us as we explore our natural world's slimy, stinky, stomach-turning underbelly! We'll be presenting new activities during the winter series with more hands-on projects that make science disgustingly tangible.

Sessions will be held virtually on Tuesdays from Jan. 17 through Feb. 21. The Zoom meeting information and supply lists will be provided upon registration.

Audience - Youth in grades K - 6

Cost - Free

Registration - Register in 4-H Online; registration closes on Jan. 17.

For assistance with registration, please refer to the event registration guide.

Shooting Sports and Wildlife coaches meeting - Jan. 24

Planning session for the 2023 season on Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, 4100 220th Street West in Farmington.

Coaches, or adults that are interested in coaching, will be planning the 2023 season.

Pizza will be provided! Please email Coordinator Peter Vogel,, if you plan to attend so there is a count for pizza.

Grade K-2: "Windy Winter" Cloverbud Workshop-Jan. 28; register by Jan. 20

Join the fun in a hands-on workshop on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center in Farmington (4100 220th St. W., Farmington). Youth will be engaged in a wind-themed STEM activity, crafts, games and more! Workshops feature age-appropriate programs focusing on fun, safe, non-competitive activities meant to engage youth and create new friendships.

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

Participants register for the cloverbud workshop in 4-H Online. Registration is due Friday, Jan. 20. The 4-H Online event registration guide will walk you through how to register. Contact Cherie if you have questions. If you are new to 4-H, please select the “Virtual 4-H” or “In Person Camp/Event” club for your county. In the projects field, choose the project your primary focus is on and any other project areas you have an interest in.

Additional Cloverbud workshop: Feb. 11, March 4, April 22, May 20

Grade 3-5: "Windy Winter" Sprouts Workshop-Jan. 28; must register by Jan. 20

Join the fun in a hands-on workshop on Saturday, Saturday, Jan. 28 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center in Farmington (4100 220th St. W., Farmington). Youth will be engaged in a wind-themed STEM activity, crafts, games and more! Sprouts is a group designed as a continuation of the cloverbud program, and is geared toward 4-H youth currently in grades 3-5. New and returning members are welcome to join in on the fun! At the Sprouts workshops, youth will meet new friends, participate in activities, and create exciting projects! Participants register for the sprouts workshop in 4-H Online.

Registration is due Friday, Jan. 20. The 4-H Online event registration guide will walk you through how to register. Contact Cherie if you have questions. If you are new to 4-H, please select the “Virtual 4-H” or “In Person Camp/Event” club for your county. In the projects field, choose the project your primary focus is on and any other project areas you have an interest in. Contact Rachel at if you have any questions about the workshop.

Additional Sprouts workshops: Feb. 11, March 4, April 22, May 20

Exploring Farm Life series starts Jan. 19

Come along and see what it's like to live on a farm. Each week we will explore a different aspect of living on a farm and create something crafty to add to our very own barns. Series geared towards youth grade K-6.

Sessions are held virtually every Thursday afternoon from Jan. 19 to Feb. 23, 3:30-4:15 p.m.

The Zoom meeting information and supply list will be provided upon registration Register in 4-H Online; registration closes Jan. 19

Creative Writing: Genres - Jan. 23; register by Jan. 19

Hone in on your literary genre skills and explore different writing styles and techniques. This event is open to youth, grades 6-10, and is free to all participants who are registered in 4-H.

We'll explore different styles, genres, tropes and techniques in this 4-H creative writing series. Each week, a different genre will be highlighted as you practice various writing techniques. A journal will be mailed to your house upon registration, so watch your mail.

The sessions will be held virtually via Zoom on Monday evenings, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Jan. 23 through Feb. 27. Note: There will be no session on Feb. 20. Registration closes Jan. 19.

Learn more and register.

Statewide 4-H Photography Challenge - submit entries by Jan. 31

Minnesota 4-H Photography is excited to offer another statewide photography challenge open to youth in grades K-13!

Select your best winter wonderland photo (with no or minimal editing) from the 2022-2023 4-H year and submit it with up to two (2) sentences that explain the photo! More information and rules for the challenge can be found at: Minnesota 4-H Snowscapes Photo Challenge | UMN Extension with rules available here. Photos due to by 11:59 p.m. (CST) on January 31, 2023. Top photos will be recognized with a prize and random prize drawing winners will also receive a gift.

Register at:

Questions? Email

Cake/Cookie Decorating series starts Feb. 2; register by Jan. 25

Interested in learning frosting techniques to wow your friends, families, club members, and strangers? If so, then join us to learn from guest educators and volunteers in teaching 4-H’ers the basics of making frosting, making cake pops, decorating cake pops, designing and easy cookie decorating. You can easily practice your frosting skills on a paper plate or topper at home! This fun, hands-on series is for youth in grades K-13; youth in grades K-3 will need a parent/guardian for support.

This series includes four sessions of class instruction via zoom on Thursdays: Feb 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 6 to 7 p.m. with an optional 7 to 7:30 p.m. session that includes interactive decorating, time to share and practice things that we learned with one another.

All participants need to be enrolled in 4-H Online in order to participate. This series is open to all 4-H youth across the state of Minnesota.

Register using this link by Jan. 25.

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Quad-County Lock-In update

Unfortunately, due to both pressing scheduling needs of the Chaska facility and the challenges of coming to a contractual agreement, we’ve canceled the Lock-in scheduled for Friday, Feb. 3. This does NOT mean we are walking away from trying to pull a collaborative event together, just that the Chaska Community Center is not going to be the destination. Staff are searching to find a new adventure!

Geology workshop - Feb. 18; register by Feb. 3

Rocks and minerals are all around us. Learn about the rock cycle, the three categories of rocks and their important everyday uses. Minerals are the building block of rocks. Learn about mineral formation, crystal forms, and how to identify different types of minerals. Search for rocks and minerals, and take home some new treasures.

Who: Youth grades 3+ (space is limited)

When: Saturday, Feb. 18; 9:30-11 a.m.

Where: Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, Farmington

Cost: Free

Registration: Registration required in 4-HOnline by Feb. 3.

Aerospace Workshop - Feb. 18; register by Feb. 3

Join us for an introductory hands-on workshop learning about the aerospace project for youth grades 3+! On this project day, participants will learn how to build a rocket that they will launch later this spring. At this class, you will have an understanding of science, engineering, and technology.

We ask that an adult stays to assist their project member for this project day.

When: Saturday, Feb. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, Farmington.

Who: Youth grades 3+

Cost: $7

Registration: Register for the aerospace workshop in 4-H Online by Feb. 3. Space is limited.

4-H Zooming into Wildlife series begin Feb. 13; register by Feb. 6

Trail cameras are a great way to explore wildlife habits and learn about the outdoor environment. This unique series will give youth the opportunity to use a trail camera while meeting weekly over Zoom to share their captured footage and hear from guest speakers. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase an affordable trail camera if they do not currently have one. Zooming into Wildlife series is geared towards youth 4th grade and older, but younger 4-H members can participate with parental guidance. Register in 4-H Online by Feb. 6 deadline. Sessions will be Feb. 13, 21, 27, March 6, 14, 21 from 6 to 7 p.m.

Contact Amy Nelson, if you have questions.

Monthly virtual plant science trivia nights continue Feb. 9; registration required

The Minnesota 4-H Agriculture Ambassadors will be offering virtual trivia nights Jan. - March. This is a great opportunity for youth grades 3 and up to learn more about plant science, and possibly even put their knowledge to the test in the new plant science project bowl which will be offered on April 15 in Foley. It's also a way to get youth excited about crop scouting opportunities this spring and summer.

Trivia night will be held the second Thursday of each month from 7 - 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9 and March 9. Registration required by noon on Feb. 9. Learn more and register.

Youth may sign up as teams or as individuals. We will help form teams for those signing up as individuals.

4-H Animal Discovery: Dog & Poultry begins Feb. 6

Youth in grades 3+ with an interest in animal science are invited to join 4-H Animal Discovery, an exploratory learning series highlighting two animal species: dog and poultry. This 5-session virtual series kicks off on Feb. 6 and continue every other week on Mondays from 7-8 p.m. through April 3. Youth can expect fun, interactive lessons, at-home challenges and group reflection supported by 4-H members, volunteers and staff. Mark your calendars – registration opens Jan. 3. Learn more and register.

Choose Your 4-H Outdoor Adventure Speaker series - Feb. 13

The next Choose Your 4-H Outdoor Adventure Speaker event is Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. Sign up to receive link to join. Registration required.

Additional speaker dates include: Feb. 13, Mar. 13, Apr. 10, May 8.

Get frosted: Cake celebration event - Feb. 25; register by Feb. 21

On Saturday, Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to noon, plan to join “Get Frosted”- Cake Celebration. This unique and fun event will be both in-person and feature a live-feed from two other locations. Based loosely off the Netflix series “Nailed It”, this event is part learning and part hilarity.

Event is open to youth in grades K-13; youth grades K-3 will need parent/guardian support.

The day will include learning interesting techniques from local bakery professionals, participating in decorating challenges, and a time to learn about how to present your masterpiece at the county fair. Youth will be provided with a cake and the supplies needed to complete the challenge on-site, and will take their creations home at the end of the challenge!

Sponsored by Benton, Carver, and Dakota Counties, youth will be hands-on in their home county, with a live-feed with youth from the other two places! There will be prizes & giveaways.

Cost is $20 Please send payment via check (payable to Benton Co 4-H) or cash to: Benton County 4-H, Attn: Megan Gerads, Courthouse-531 Dewey St., PO Box 650, Foley, MN 56329

Registration required in 4-H Online by Feb. 21.

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.

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 with questions.

Upcoming Cloverbud and Sprouts K-5 Programming!

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.

Participants will engage in hands-on activities, meet new friends, and more!

Workshops are held one Saturday a month, typically from 9-11 a.m. at various locations on the following dates:

  • Feb. 11 - Robert Trail Library, Rosemount; registration deadline - Feb. 3

  • March 4 - location TBD; registration deadline - Feb. 24

  • April 22 - location TBD; registration deadline - April 14

  • May 20 - location TBD; registration deadline May 12

***Please note: dates, times and locations are subject to change.

The workshops are FREE but registration is required one week before the workshop to ensure enough supplies are on-hand for participants and to allow ambassadors and staff time to order and prepare materials. Spots are limited and registration will be through 4-H Online. Directions for how to complete a 4-H Online event registration can be found here.

Any questions regarding the K-5 programming, contact Rachel at

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. The ambassador program is a great way to share your leadership skills while helping your community. The 4-H ambassador program allows youth to take part in activities to help them become leaders and good citizens. A 4-H ambassador is a self-motivated, enthusiastic leader who promotes the organization using the skills, knowledge, and leadership abilities acquired in 4-H. They serve to strengthen the 4-H program through public relations and serve as a positive role model for younger members. Some past activities include: participating in community service projects, planning and leading Cloverbud activities, and promoting 4-H at various events throughout Dakota County.

Meetings are scheduled before Federation at 6 p.m. Additional activities will be held on the off months. Here is a tentative schedule. Please note: dates are subject to change. Parents and guardians are asked to help support the program to ensure compliance with the Safety of Minors policy.

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

Contact Rachel at for more information.

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!
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4-H Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP)

WHEP is a hands-on environmental education program dedicated to teaching wildlife and fisheries habitat management to youth. It provides participants an opportunity to test their wildlife knowledge in a friendly competition in teams of 3 - 4 similarly aged individuals. The winning senior WHEP team (14 - 19 years old) will have the opportunity to attend the annual national WHEP contest, typically held the last full week of July. 4-H WHEP will replace Wildlife Project Bowl.

The state 4-H WHEP contest will be held April 22, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More details to follow!

Learn more about WHEP.

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.

What happens at YELLO?

This annual event aims to engage youth in building leadership skills, developing positive relationships with peers and adults, and planning out how to take future action. Activities include youth-led leadership learning, service and education, deep dives and workshop, exploring Bemidji and fun social events.

Registration for YELLO opens in April. More details to come!

Adult Volunteer Opportunities!

Question Persuade Refer (QPR) volunteer training - Jan. 19

Rural communities and families are disproportionately affected by a range of stressors including population loss, healthcare shortages and isolation. These and other stressors can increase risk of obesity, depression, opioid addiction and suicide. The Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Training is the most widely taught emergency response suicide prevention training. Attendees learn the common causes of suicidal behavior, the warning signs of suicide and how they can help someone in crisis. This 90-minute QPR training is open to Minnesota 4-H volunteers, potential volunteers and youth leaders as part of our 2022-2023 statewide volunteer development webinar program. Due to the subject matter, this event is not open to children under the age of 16.

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