Friday Forecast 5/19/2023

Dakota County 4-H Weekly Newsletter

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.

Annual 4-H county membership annual dues are $25/member and should be paid before participating in 4-H events. Family Member Dues Payment Form 2022-2023

Payments can be mailed to or placed in the drop box between the front doors of the Extension Office. Cost should never be a barrier to 4-H participation, and scholarships can be requested on the dues payment form.

Minnesota Zoo logo.

Dakota County 4-H Day at the Minnesota Zoo - June 3; REGISTRATION DUE TODAY

Dakota County 4-H families are invited to join us for a day at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.

* This is a family activity and not intended for youth to be dropped off without supervision. After meeting at the entrance, families are free to spend the day, on their own, as they choose.

Youth enrolled in the Shooting Sports and Wildlife (SSW) project will have a special mission to complete in order for this to count towards required wildlife hours.

Saturday, June 3

11 a.m. entry; Zoo closes at 4 p.m.

Minnesota Zoo, 13000 Zoo Blvd, Apple Valley

Register by NOON on May 19. This is an opportunity for families to purchase discounted tickets at the group rate. Complete this form by May 19 at NOON to order discounted zoo admission tickets and for more details on payment.

Families will park and meet staff and volunteers at 11 a.m. at the Bison statue, on the South entrance of the grounds.

Youth must be currently enrolled in 4HOnline order to participate.

WHEP: Outdoor learning - May 19

Upcoming WHEP activities:

May 19, 6-7 p.m. at Jensen Lake Trailhead of Lebanon Hills Park. The group will focus on the lake ecosystem including waterfowl and fish.

At these meetings there will be a little something to take home to remember your time learning about wildlife!

Dakota County Master Gardener Plant Sale - May 20

The Dakota County Master Gardeners invite you to their spring plant sale on Saturday, May 20 from 8 a.m. to Noon at the Whitetail Woods Regional Park, Empire Shelter, 17100 Station Trail, Farmington. The sale will take place rain or shine!

Gather your gardening friends, bring a box or wagon and bring home healthy, Minnesota-grown plants at reasonable prices. The Master Gardeners have been busy growing a wide variety of sun and shade perennials, natives and woodland plants, grasses, groundcovers, and other landscape plants, along with herb and veggie plants too. Review the list of plants for sale and make your shopping list.

​Plant Sale buyers are encouraged to bring boxes and wagons and to arrive early for the best selection. Cash, checks, and credit cards will be accepted.

Proceeds will be used to support University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener programs within Dakota County, including offering education for all ages, growing produce for local food shelves, increasing habitat for pollinators, and more.

Dakota County Master Gardeners will also accept any one-gallon plastic pots to recycle.

Shooting Sports project; trap practice - May 20

The SS&W program is open to all 4-H youth in grades 3 and up. We offer wildlife activities year round, and shooting and archery training during the summer months. The disciplines offered are archery, bb gun, air rifle & pistol, .22 rifle, shotgun and muzzle loader. The disciplines open to each youth depends on their grade level. Youth must be currently enrolled in 4-H AND signed up for the Shooting Sports & Wildlife project area in 4-H Online before they can participate on the range. If signed up for the SS&W–non-firearm project area, you must also sign up for the regular SS&W project area, before participating in range activities and complete the consent waiver.

Practice schedule:

Saturday, May 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Hampton Sportsman Club. First practice for shotgun (trap). Those who couldn’t make it to the kickoff meeting on May 18 can attend to complete the safety briefing and paperwork. SHOTGUN ONLY, GRADES 7 AND HIGHER.

Thursday, May 25, 6-8 p.m., Dakota County Gun Club. Practice and safety briefing for those who didn’t attend an earlier meeting. No archery this evening. Rifle (air rifle, air pistol, and .22 rifle) practice only.

Saturday, May 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Hampton Sportsman Club. Trap practice. Safety briefing for those who didn’t attend an earlier meeting. In mid-June we will switch practices from Saturdays to Wednesday evenings, still at the Hampton range.

We will continue with the Saturday/Wednesday and Thursday practice schedule through the end of August. More information will be sent later, along with any changes to the schedule.

If you can’t attend the kickoff meeting come when you can. At your first practice you can go through the safety briefing and turn in your paperwork.

Range Locations

The Hampton Club (23300 Hampton Blvd, Hampton) is located about ½ mile north & west of Hampton on Hwy 50 (Hampton Blvd).

The Dakota Gun Club is located at 17501 Station Trail, Rosemount, MN Please note that some of the roads around Dakota Gun Club may be closed even if they show up on online maps. The Dakota County Gun Club is located just south of Whitetail Woods Regional Park. From Hwy 3 turn east on 170th, go about 2 miles and turn right (south) on Station Trail, go past the park, and Station Trail will end at the Dakota Gun Club.

Participants must attend safety training before being able to participate in range activities.

4-H members interested in participating in the Shooting Sports project must to be enrolled in the Shooting Sports project before participating in any range activities. If you aren't signed up for the Shooting Sports project, log into your 4-H Online account and add the project to your profile. Being enrolled in the project will also ensure that you receive communication about upcoming opportunities including practice sessions on the range and wildlife events.

At weekly range practice, Shooting Sports members will learn how to use air rifle, .22 rifles, archery and other equipment, as well as learn more about the environment and the wildlife in it. Shooting Sports project is for 4-H youth in grades 3 and up.

For more information, contact Peter Vogel at or Kris Vatter at

It’s a demonstration of demonstrations workshop - May 23

Tuesday, May 23, 6 - 8 p.m.

Dakota County Extension and Conservation Office, 4100 220th St. W. in Farmington.

Current youth Federation officers Maggie, Megan, Peter and Tori will be showing 4-H’ers how to do an effective demonstration to be able to enter the demonstration contest on July 26.

What to expect:

  • Individual growth of public speaking and communication skills

  • Group activities and skits

  • Instructions on what to expect for Fair judging

  • Impromptu speaking opportunities

  • Snack!

This is a great opportunity to be more confident as a public speaker, this workshop is intended to help make you gain ability as a speaker!

Rabbit Agility practice begins May 23

Rabbit Agility is like dog agility where animals maneuver through a course of equipment: over, under, around and through in a timed event/race. Rabbit Agility is fun and exciting for the animals, handlers and spectators and is a great way for 4-H’ers to spend a little extra time with their rabbits and learn some fun training tools. Rabbit agility is for 4-H members in grade 3 and older.

Rabbit Agility practice dates and time:

May 23, 30, June 6, 20, 27, July 11, 18; 6-7 p.m. at the Rabbit Barn on the Dakota County Fairgrounds. Be sure to complete the Rabbit Agility Form BEFORE attending your first practice.

Contact Jess Beissel if you have questions at

Public Safety Day Camp for Grades K-5 - June 21; register by May 24

Dakota County 4-H Day Camp will feature a public safety theme with special guests from the Farmington Fire Department and Swat Team, K-9 Unit, Dakota County Sheriff and Dakota Electric Association. Camp will also include outdoor games (weather permitting), hands-on activities, and FUN! Reserve your spot now!

Cost is $25 and includes camp t-shirt and snacks. Registration is due May 24.

Who: Youth that have completed grades K-5, June, 2023.

When: June 21, 2023

Time: Check-in: 8-8:30 a.m. Check-out: 4-4:30 p.m.

Where: Dakota County Fairgrounds, 4008 220th St. West in Farmington

Registration: Register in 4-H Online by May 24, under Events. For assistance, refer to the 4-H Online event registration guide.

Cost: $25/camper. Send payment to Dakota County 4-H, Attn: Day Camp, 4100 220th St. West, #101, Farmington, MN 55024. Checks payable to Dakota County 4-H.

Contact Kirsten at if you have questions.

Agriculture Education Reps - applications being accepted now!

The Ag Ed Reps are a group of youth interested in learning and sharing about agriculture education. We partner with Rice County and plan events that include things like tours, day camp visits for teaching opportunities, and learning about careers. In the last few months the Ag Ed Reps have toured Cannonbelles Creamery, Braun Turf Farm, and 2nd Harvest Heartland. Upcoming events include teaching out at camps, and tentative plans to visit Canterbury and Syngenta. Join the Ag Ed Reps today! Ag Ed Rep Application

Questions? Contact Kirsten Pederson at

Dog training classes continue on Monday nights

Weekly in-person dog training have started. Practice continues every Monday with set-up beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, 4100 220th St. West in Farmington.

2023 Dakota County 4-H Dog Training Schedule has more details.

Dog Training equipment volunteer sign up

Before attending any dog training:

  • All dog vaccinations must be up-to-date before attending training classes.

  • $40/youth; $60/family max training fee. Please do not let cost be a barrier to participation. Scholarships are available for all 4H’ers. Contact Kris for more information.

  • Complete and bring dog training registration form to training class with payment.

  • Remember to keep all dogs at least six feet away from other dogs and keep them home if they are sick.

Horseless Horse Meetings CHANGE OF LOCATION for ALL future meetings

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. Each session will include an education piece and hands on activities with horses.

What: Horseless Horse Project Meetings

Who: Youth 3rd grade and up; must be enrolled in 4-H Online prior to attending

Where: Behrendt's Barn, 7861 272nd St. West, Farmington

When: June 6 and 20, July 18

Time: 7-8 p.m.

Registration: Register in SignUp Genius to attend each session. Participants should be enrolled in 4-H Online, signed up for the Horseless Horse project in 4-H Online. Refer to the 4-H Online enrollment for families guide for assistance.

Cost: $25 per participant; 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.

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). Dress appropriately for the weather, the barn can be chilly.

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

General Livestock Judging Team Interest Survey and Kick-off meeting - June 12

If you are interested in participating on the general livestock judging team this summer, please fill out the interest survey.

We will kick-off the season with an informational meeting on Monday, June 12 at 6 p.m. at the Dakota County Extension and Conservation Center, 4100 220th St. West in Farmington. Come enjoy pizza and learn more about the topics below. Please fill out the Pizza RSVP Form.

Have you ever wondered what judges are looking for in evaluating your animals during a show? Do you know how to pick out your animals for a show? Have you ever wondered what criteria a judge has to judge the show?

Effectively evaluating breeding and market animals is highly important in the animal industry. Judging is an art developed through patient study and long practice. 4-H'ers interested in dairy, general livestock (beef, meat goat, sheep and swine).

  • Parts of the animal and their locations

  • Which parts are most important for meat and breeding stock production

  • Making keen observations

  • Comparing the animal to the ideal

  • Weighing the good and bad points of each animal

This program is geared toward youth sixth grade and above however youth in grades 3-5 are welcome to participate!

Contact Jessica Beissel at for more information.

Registration open for Arts-In!

Arts-In is a summertime performing arts program for youth grades 3 and above. All participants who audition are cast in the show and will learn a 30 minute original musical during encampment. Arts-In shows are filled with singing, acting, choreography and a whole lot of creative energy and fun! The shows are performed at the Dakota County Fair and, potentially, one day at the Minnesota State Fair.

Auditions: July 11; 6-8:30 p.m.

Arts-In Encampment: July 17, 19, 20; 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.; July 21; 8 a.m. - Noon

(depending on the part in the show, times and dates may vary)

Cost: $50

Register: Register in 4-H Online under Events by June 28

If you have any questions please contact Kris Vatter, or call 651-480-7758.

Livestock Quality Assurance & Ethics Training - June 23; register by June 20

Who: Youth 6th grade and above that would take a state fair livestock trip

When: Friday, June 23 from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Krueger Farm, 9819 Neal Ave. So., Hastings

Cost: $5 per 4-H'er; money collected at the event

Register: Deadline to register is Tuesday, June 20.

Livestock Quality Assurance & Ethics (LQA&E) training is required of any youth 6th grade and above that would take a state fair livestock trip. It is required for youth exhibiting dairy, beef, sheep, swine, goats, llama, rabbit and poultry. Livestock Quality Assurance training helps youth provide excellent care for their food animals and ensure a high level of food safety to consumers. It is designed to enhance the educational experience of 4-H animals science projects. Training must be completed before your county fair.

Questions should be directed to Rachel Rezac, or Ann Church

See the MN 4-H LQAE training page for additional training dates.

Cloverbud Pet & Cat Show at Trinity Care Center - July 24

Who: Enrolled youth in grades K-2

What: Pets, cats, and dogs

When: Monday, July 24 at 6 p.m. with check-in at 5:45 p.m.

Where: Trinity Care Center in Farmington

Registration: Register in FairEntry by July 10 county fair registration deadline.

4-H members that sign up in FairEntry to exhibit at the Cloverbud Pet Show will be sent an email with more information closer to the date of the show.


1. Cloverbud may enter a maximum of ONE pet in this show.

2. An adult or older 4-H youth must handle the pet at all times.

3. Cloverbud members may exhibit rabbits, chickens and other small

pets. No large animals are allowed.

4. Live pet/cat must remain in cage/carrier at all times. Cloverbuds are

not allowed to handle live animal science exhibits.

5. Dogs shown must be at least three months old.

Questions? Contact Kirsten Pederson at

Pet Show at Trinity Care Center - July 24

Who: Enrolled youth in grades 3 and up

What: Pets, cats, and dogs

When: Monday, July 24 at 6 p.m. with check-in at 5:45 p.m.

Where: Trinity Care Center in Farmington

Registration: Register in FairEntry by July 10 county fair registration deadline.

4-H members that sign up in FairEntry to exhibit at the Cloverbud Pet

Show will be sent an email with more information closer to the date of the show.


1. Pet must be domesticated.

2. All animals must be confined or caged and still be in view to the


3. Open to grades 3 and older.

4. Exhibitors must remain with their pets during the entire time.

5. All pets go home after judging.

6. Dogs brought as a pet must be three to six months of age at fair

time. Dogs over six months must be shown in the Dog Show on

Sunday, July 31.

7. For the health and safety of your pet, all vaccinations are current.

Cats, puppies, and ferrets must have rabies and distemper vaccina-

tions. Bring proof of rabies vaccination. All pets should be free of

external parasites.

8. Puppies and kittens under three months of age cannot come to the

fair. They are too young to have their rabies vaccination.

9. Exhibitors showing wildlife must present a state ownership permit

at the show.

10. State fair trips for Pets are poster or educational display only. Do

not bring live animals to the State Fair.

Questions? Contact Kirsten Pederson at


MN 4-H Photography Challenge; photos due by June 5

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

Select your best close-up 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! Learn more.

Submit one (1) jpg or jpeg image and up to two (2) sentences that explain the photo to by 11:59 p.m. (CST) on June 5, 2023. Volunteer 4-H photography judges will provide feedback via a slideshow. Top photos will be recognized with a prize and random prize drawing winners will also receive a gift.

Questions? Email

The Great 4-H Tomato Challenge - June 10

Calling all youth grades 3-8! Head to Hutchinson, MN on June 10 for The Great 4-H Tomato Challenge. We will learn about and plant a tomato that you will care for throughout the growing season. Track your produce grown for a chance to win a prize! Learn more.

4-H video production workshop

Join the Minnesota 4-H video project team for an awesome summer workshop! Youth members who have experience in video creation will come together to learn from experts in the field about story development, lighting, sound, video angles and so much more.

This workshop will include four one-hour virtual sessions, a three-day in-person immersion event and a one-day film festival. Learn more and register.

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!

MN State Fair Encampment Dates

Livestock Encampment - August 23-27

Static Exhibits (general) and Public Presentations Encampment - August 27-29

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. 4-H New Member Resource Guide

Questions? Email Kirsten at

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 Kris.

Big picture

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