Welcome to Olmsted County
Olmsted County partners with Extension to deliver practical education and research you can use at home, at work and in your community.
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!
Find a 4-H club
- Each club is a little different and it's important to find the right fit for your family. You don't have to choose the club nearest to your house. Some families choose to drive a little farther to join a club with people they already know, a club with other youth the same age, or just by what fits best in your schedule. Visit a few and see how you feel!
- View a list of Olmsted County 4-H clubs.
Spotlight: Finding You in 4-H
- This bi-monthly newsletter sent to first-year 4-H'ers will guide you through the 4-H year. If you're new to 4-H and not receiving Spotlight, please let us know!
Deadlines and events
- See our county calendar for office hours, activities, deadlines, and more!
Minnesota 4-H Family Handbook
- This handbook is an introduction to 4-H for families. Contact the office if you'd like a print copy.
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.
Who are Master Gardener volunteers?
- Master Gardeners come from all walks of life.
- They share gardening best practices that promote healthy landscapes, healthy foods and healthy lives.
- They complete a core course taught by University faculty and Extension educators.
- Upon completing the core course, they contribute their time teaching research-based horticulture practices in their communities.
- You can learn more about the program by watching our 2021 Virtual Tour with the Masters!
- Become a Master Gardener by filling out the application here.
- Become a Master Gardener volunteer - Find out how to join the program.
- Master Naturalist volunteers work in your community
- U of M Yard and Garden Resources - Use this site to find information on a variety of horticultural topics from the University of Minnesota.
- U of M Yard and Garden News - Receive up-to-date information from horticulture Extension educators through Yard and Garden News articles.
- U of M Diagnostic Tools - Diagnose plant and garden problems.
This scholarship fund, created in memory of Albert Dashow, supports interns on their way to becoming Master Gardeners.
Donate to the fund and help promote the Master Gardener Volunteer Program in Olmsted County.
Health and nutrition
Extension offers a variety of educational programs about nutrition and health that 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.
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: Minnesota Agricultural and Rural Leadership (MARL)
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 your 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.
Olmsted County Extension
UMN Extension, Olmstead County
1421 3rd Ave SE
Rochester, MN 55904
We are open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Since we will occasionally be closed due to holidays, programming, and time off, make sure to check our calendar for the most up-to-date information.
Kristina Abbas, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-328-6217
Milena Nunez Garcia, SNAP-Ed Educator
email@example.com or 507-328-6201
Jee Hyun Lee, SNAP-Ed educator
firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-328-6180
Olmsted County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers
email@example.com or 507-328-6214
Christine Schwartz, Administrative Support Staff
firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-328-6214
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.