Friday Forecast 2/17/2023

Dakota County 4-H Weekly Newsletter - February 17, 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.

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.
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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!

Camp is scheduled for Monday, June 12 through Wednesday, June 14 and is located at Baker Outdoor Learning Center in Maple Plain (4001 County Rd 24, Maple Plain, MN 55359).

Participants will be engaged in campfires, wilderness challenges, outdoor adventures, crafts, making new friends, and much more!

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

Bus transportation from the Dakota County Northern Service Center will be provided. Cost will be $150 per camper.

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

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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.

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

Re-enroll in 4-H before participating in 4-H meetings, workshops or activities

4-H members and volunteers must re-enroll in 4-H Online each 4-H year before participating in any 4-H event including club meetings, workshops and county and state events. Log in to 4-H Online here to complete the re-enrollment process. See the enrollment tip sheet 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. For more details see the Dakota County 4-H website.

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

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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. 17: Identifying animals by their tracks

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

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

WHEP Contact: Jill Heldebrant: or Kris Vatter: .

Horseless Horse bi-weekly session includes 4-H Horse Boot Camp on Feb. 21

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.

February 21 - NOTE DATE and LOCATION - Horseless Horse members are invited to 4-H Horse Boot Camp at the Dakota County Extension & Conservation Center in Farmington from 6 to 7:30 pm. Sign-up to attend!

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: Complete waiver prior to attending.

What: Horseless Horse Project Meetings

Who: Youth 3rd grade and up

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

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

Time: 7-8 p.m.

Registration: Horseless Horse program registration is open and 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, Farmington, MN 55024 with 'HLH' noted in the memo line of your check.

Waiver: Complete prior to attending.

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

Pajama pants sewing workshop - Feb. 25; register by Feb. 20

4-H’ers 3rd grade and up are welcome to learn how to use a pattern, cut out fabric, use a sewing machine, and sew a pair of pajama pants! First time sewers should plan to bring a sewing helper and will be given instruction on how to use a sewing machine. A limited number of sewing machines are available to use at class. Reserve a sewing machine when you register. If you are bringing your own working sewing machine, bring bobbins loaded with thread, ready to use. Space is limited; register in 4-H Online under Events by Feb. 20.

Who: 4-H’ers 3rd grade and up; young and inexperienced sewers should bring a sewing helper

When: Saturday, Feb. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Where: Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, 4100 220th Street West in Farmington

Cost: Free for instruction; youth will provide their own fabric and thread.

Bring: fabric, thread to match fabric, bobbin loaded with matching thread, sewing machine*

*A limited number of sewing machines are available to use at class. Reserve a sewing machine when registering.

Fabric quantity: Review the pajama pants size chart to determine the amount of fabric that you need to purchase prior to the workshop.

Fabric suggestions: Flannel, fleece, or cotton fabrics work best. Avoid plaid, stripes, one-way designs or knits.

Sewing machine: Be sure your sewing machine is in working order before the workshop, with bobbin loaded with coordinating thread and ready to go.

Contact Kris Vatter,, with any questions.

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

Join us for our get frosted cake event on Saturday, Feb. 25, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center in Farmington.

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.

4-H Horse Boot Camp - Feb. 21 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.

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.

Both 4-H'ers and friends are invited to learn about the Horse, Horseless Horse, and Horse Training projects. 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.

What: 4-H Horse Project Boot Camp

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

When: Tuesday, Feb 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.

Better Believe in Beavers-Feb. 25; register by Feb. 23

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; register by Feb. 24

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.

Minnesota 4-H Horseless Horse Round-up virtual series starts Feb. 28

Interested in learning more about horses? Minnesota 4-H is excited to offer an online series for all horse enthusiasts to learn more about horses. We will meet once a month in a virtual setting. There will be additional supplemental material that youth can work on with others or by themselves to explore each topic further. 4-H Horseless Horse Round up

2023 Get Outdoors 4-H Challenge

Sign up for the Get Outdoors 4-H Challenge! Each month, starting in February, you will receive a monthly challenge as well as other activities and information to Get Outdoors.

Register here! Please register each youth/adult separately.

Look for an email about a week after you've registered for access to your individual tracking sheet. You will use this sheet to log your activities and challenges. Everyone will receive a Get Outdoor 4-H Challenge sticker in the mail when they register. There will be prizes along the journey for those that complete challenges and benchmarks. Make a commitment to start or increase your time outside!

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

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. 14, 28, March 14, 28, April 4, 11

Audience: Youth in grades K-13.

Cost: Free

Registration: Register through 4-H Online.

Virtual plant science trivia night - March 9; registration required

Join the Minnesota 4-H Agriculture Ambassadors for their final virtual trivia night on March 9. 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. Trivia night will be from 7-7:30 p.m. on March 9. Learn more and register.

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.

Amazing Amphibians and Roaming Reptiles series

What do frogs, snakes and turtles have in common? Join us and learn more about Herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles. We will go undercover to discover the mysteries of our cold-blooded friends as we learn how they can become one of your new 4-H projects! Hop and slither to our virtual sessions held Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. March 2, 16 30, April 6, 20. Learn more and register.

Quilt Quest 2023 series starts Feb. 26; register by Feb. 22

Youth in grades 4 and up are invited to join us for a fun-filled quilting adventure. Participants will meet virtually to make a quilt top using the fat quarter fizz pattern. Together we will explore tips and techniques for quilt-making. In addition to the virtual sessions, how-to videos will be available for assistance. Learn more and register.

Grade 8+: 4-H video production and editing; register by Feb. 22

Do you have basic knowledge of filmmaking or video creation and editing, but want to bring your videos to the next level? Then you need to join this winter video program! This online video program will be a deep dive into creating the videos that you always dreamed you could make. For youth grades 8 and older who have a baseline knowledge of video creation and editing

When: Feb. 27, March 6, 13 & 20 - from 5-6 p.m. Learn more and register.

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.

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:

  • 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!

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