Welcome to McLeod County
McLeod County partners with Extension to deliver even more practical education and research right in your county.
Please contact us for all of your 4-H, agriculture, or gardening related questions.
In 4-H, all youth are welcome!
4-H is an out-of-school, hands-on learning program for youth in grades Kindergarten through one year past high school. Youth choose a project that’s interesting to them and explore it with peers and caring adults. 4-H clubs are groups of youth who want to learn together and meet in every part of Minnesota.
What can I do in 4-H?
The sky’s the limit! 4-H offers learning experiences in science, photography, arts, agriculture, healthy living, civic engagement and much more. We have one-day events, year-long projects and everything in between. There are many ways to try 4-H.
Follow us on social media @McLeodCounty4H
Check out what is happening in McLeod County 4-H
4-H Youth Development is a hands-on learning program for Minnesota youth. We offer online, small group and independent learning experiences for youth of all ages. In 4-H, youth choose the topic they find interesting and caring adults support their learning and leadership. From agronomy to space exploration and creative arts to outdoor adventures, 4-H has just the right learning experience for young people.
There are many ways to participate in 4-H!
4-H is the oldest and largest publicly funded youth development organization in the United States and is open to all youth in grades kindergarten through one year past high school. The 4-H program focuses on youth reaching their full potential through education, leadership and life skills. A few benefits of 4-H membership include:
- Learning by doing
- Developing leadership skills
- Making new friends
- Giving back to the community through volunteering
- Building connections with others
- Preparing, doing, sharing and reflecting
Below you will find some information that is intended to give you an idea of the resources that McLeod County 4-H offers, as well as an overview to the opportunities available to help make your experience with 4-H a great one. The 4-H program is so large and when you are new, it can seem overwhelming. Keep in mind that your experience with 4-H can be tailored to fit your goals, needs, wants, schedule and interests! You can get your whole family involved to grow and learn together.
If you have questions about anything along the way, feel free to stop in, call or email the McLeod County Extension Office. We are here to help you!
Who are the office staff? Darcy Cole is the McLeod County 4-H Extension Educator and Cindy Ludewig is the support staff for Extension, Parks and Fairgrounds. The Extension office is located in the Commercial Building on the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am - 4:30 pm. The main phone number is: (320) 484-4334. Darcy's direct number is (320) 484-4305.
The 4-H staff sincerely welcome you to the 4-H program! Please remember that your 4-H experience will be whatever you choose to make it!
Check out the videos below to learn more about 4-H:
This section will contain all important McLeod County 4-H updates for the county fair.
The 2021 McLeod County Fair is switching to a four day fair! The dates are August 19- August 22.
Be sure to check back for updates!
- June 1: Registration opens and 2021 premium book is available
- July 15: Registration deadline
- August 19- August 22: McLeod County Fair
- View the 4-H Fair Schedule
4-H registration is now open! Register your 4-H projects by July 15.
View the 2021 4-H Premium Book
Find the latest on Extension agricultural research and news you can use on your farm from local experts.
Statewide news and blogs
- Agricultural Business Management News -Business and financial resources for farmers.
- Beef News - Beef industry featured events, farm safety and animal health.
- Dairy News - Dairy industry featured events, farm safety and animal health.
- Fruit and Vegetable News - Local production and marketing of fruit and vegetable crops in Minnesota.
- Minnesota Crop News - Emerging issues affecting Minnesota row crops and forages.
The Farm Family Recognition Program has existed for over 30 years and honors farm families from throughout Minnesota for their contributions to the agriculture industry and their local communities.
Each year, a family from McLeod County and another from Meeker County are recognized as the Farm Families of the Year.
We are currently seeking nomination for either McLeod or Meeker County, indicating the individuals, couples, or families whom you feel would be deserving of this honor.
Please nominate an individual or family, using the criteria below. Farm Families should:
- Be Minnesota food producers actively involved in agricultural production with one or more agricultural enterprises. Beyond the usual agricultural endeavors, please also include these production areas for consideration: potato, vegetable, fruits, berries, aquaculture, agroforestry, and renewable energy supplies.
- Have made significant short‐term progress and/or innovative contributions with their agricultural endeavors. For example, consider producers who are relatively new to this country, someone who has developed an innovative method for a particular environmental problem, adopted a rotational grazing system, added alternative or value‐added crops, etc.
All nominees should also:
- Have demonstrated a commitment to enhancing and supporting the fields of agriculture and production.
- Have some involvement in their communities and/or related organizations.
- Not have been previously recognized by the Farm Family Program.
Farm Family of the Year Nomination Forms
Please utilize the following nomination forms to nominate future farm families for the recognition. Send your completed nomination form to the county in which the nominee lives (either McLeod or Meeker County) by Friday, April 2, 2021.
McLeod County yard and garden inquiries
Have a yard or garden related question? Use our inquiries form to contact us now!
Do you have additional questions relating to canning, freezing, and preserving?
Contact the AnswerLine at 1-800-854-1678, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 12 noon and 1 - 4 p.m. or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Health and nutrition
Extension offers a variety of educational programs about nutrition and health in McLeod county. These programs are open to families and individuals of all ages who are eligible for benefits through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or who meet Extension’s program income guidelines.
Programs are offered in community settings such as food shelves, schools, community centers and public housing sites. The programs are free to all individuals and families who meet income guidelines, and may be offered in multiple languages, depending on the audience needs and availability of educators.
Use the Real Life, Good Food website to find recipes, cooking tips and physical activity ideas for a healthier life.
Do you still have additional questions?
Contact the AnswerLine for questions relating to:
- Safely cooking, canning, and freezing foods.
- Cleaning stains and mildew from homes and clothes.
- Dealing with floods and other household issues.
1-800-854-1678 or email them at email@example.com
Monday through Friday
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 - 4 p.m.
Extension's Center for Community Vitality engages Minnesotans to strengthen the social, civic, economic and technological capacity of their communities. We help create vibrant communities and enhance skills and knowledge in economics, leadership and civic engagement, and tourism.
Check our community research page for reports on county and community-focused topics relating to local economics, retaining businesses, growing retail markets, developing tourism, and more.
Local programs can be offered in collaboration with local community organizations and government agencies. Current programs include:
Contact an educator in your area for consultation, guidance and conversation about your community.
Minnesota is a great place to explore, understand and conserve the natural landscape. Extension education, volunteer and community science programs encourage people to become stewards of Minnesota’s public and private lands.
Extension's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) connect Greater Minnesota communities and University of Minnesota knowledge and resources to support local sustainability projects. Working in partnership, RSDP supports community-driven projects in four focus areas: agriculture and food systems, clean energy, natural resources and resilient communities. Projects are supported by boards made up of local community members and University faculty and staff. Learn more about RSDP’s recent work in McLeod county and neighboring communities, and how to submit a project idea.
Join us at an event in your community.
Find opportunities to learn about the natural environment, how to care for your forest lands, and how you and your family can get out and explore nature around the state and in your own backyard.
Find information on community-focused news.
Find out how to take care of your trees and enjoy Minnesota's beautiful woodlands.
From preserving our wetlands to combating invasive species, read about protecting and enjoying nature.
Learn more about community-driven sustainability projects happening across Minnesota.
McLeod County Extension
U of M Extension, McLeod County
McLeod County Fairgrounds
840 Century Ave SW
Hutchinson, MN 55350
Monday - Friday
8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Karen Johnson, Extension educator, AFNR Agricultural
firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-484-4303
Darcy Cole, Extension educator, 4-H Youth Development
email@example.com or 320-484-4305
Francisca Mendoza, Financial Capability Educator
firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-484-4308
Cindy Ludewig, Office Support Staff
email@example.com or 320-484-4334
Lauran Johnson, Extension Support Staff
Extension brings Minnesotans together to build a better future through University science-based knowledge, expertise and training. Learn more about Extension by visiting our about page and by browsing this website.