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.
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:
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.
Find the latest gardening tips and news you can use in your own backyard from local experts.
- Yard and Garden News - Gardening tips and emerging issues affecting Minnesota.
- My Minnesota Woods - Find out how to take care of your trees and enjoy Minnesota's beautiful woodlands.
- Natural Resources News - From preserving our wetlands to combating invasive species, tips for protecting and enjoying nature.
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday through Friday
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 - 4 p.m.
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
email@example.com or 320-484-4303
Darcy Cole, Extension educator, 4-H Youth Development
firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-484-4305
Francisca Mendoza, Financial Capability Educator
email@example.com or 320-484-4308
Cindy Ludewig, Office Support Staff
firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-484-4334
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.