Extension in Wilkin County
Welcome to Wilkin County
Wilkin County partners with Extension to deliver practical education and research you can use at home, at work, and in your communities within the county. The University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University system, a land grant institution with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. The Wilkin County Extension Office is located on the Headwaters of the Red River in Breckenridge, MN. Currently, Wilkin County has a local Extension Educator and 4-H Youth Development agent.
4-H by the numbers
- Wilkin County 4-H served 207 youth and 46 adult volunteers in 2021-2022.
- Those youth attended more than 23 different programs, and are from 5 local clubs.
- Many of our clubs and programs meet multiple times throughout the year.
- This year we reached 20% of the local youth population. This is the highest reach we have achieved in over 25 years!
- Wilkin County welcomed 72 brand new enrolled youth members through a program agreement with Breckenridge Public Schools summer school program. These new members participated in a 5-week summer paper and printmaking project workshop led by Extension staff.
County Ambassadors are learning, leading, and recruiting
We revived the county Ambassador program in 2022, with four youths who successfully applied, interviewed, and completed the selection process!
They chose the recruitment of new 4-H members as a priority. Together our four-county ambassadors planned, prepared and executed 4-H recruitment booths at student showcase nights with Breckenridge Public School and back-to-school night at St Mary’s School. Their passion for 4-H is overflowing. Together they inspired new families to join local clubs.
SPARKS are an essential ingredient of thriving
A spark is a passion for a self-identified interest or skill or a capacity that metaphorically lights a fire in a young person’s life, providing energy, joy, purpose, and direction. Sparks give a young person a sense of direction, encourage goal setting, and build connections between young people and knowledgeable adults.
Sparks enhance a young person's relationship with others
Tyler L.’s first year in the beef project has been a learning experience he won’t soon forget!
As a Wahpeton resident, Tyler’s animal science project wouldn’t be possible without the help of his project mentors--the Lent family. Because of his project mentors, Tyler was able to raise three heifers, exhibit at the Wilkin County Fair, and he earned his first trip to the Minnesota State Fair.
Here is what Tyler’s family has to say about his participation in 4-H.
“I can't even come up with the words to express how proud of this kid I am. He has come a long way in a very short time. It wasn't always easy and lots of work and dedication on both his part as well as ours. Thank you [to his project mentors] for helping him, and always encouraging him to always try his best and never give up.”-- Lynda Wahl, 4-H parent and volunteer
Sparks create actions that benefit young people and communities
That community could be as small as their family or circle of friends, or broader as their school, town, or county. In 4-H, we want to support youth in becoming increasingly connected. To feel a deepening sense of commitment, pride, and willingness to contribute. Community service and volunteerism are one of the top five sparks among young people nationwide, and Wilkin County 4-H youth are no different! Local clubs took on more than 10 service projects in 2022. These projects ranged in skills and expertise--whether cleaning ditches, planting and watering flowerpots, bringing meals to local residents unable to leave their homes, or setting up the buildings before the county fair, our 4-H youth are putting their hands to larger service in many ways countywide.
Online and virtual programs sustain interest among young people
13 local youth participated in 9 virtual programs in 2022. The virtual events covered topics like animal science, horses, gardening, parks and outdoor recreation, photography, science and aerospace, youth leadership, and foods.
Afterschool 4-H clubs encourage youth to grow and explore their sparks
4-H afterschool programs meet youth needs by providing high-quality learning environments and connecting young people with caring adults. Our afterschool programs are for youth in grades K-2 (Cloverbuds). Wilkin County 4-H’s afterschool programs came roaring back to life after COVID-19! We had 36 youths participate in the spring semester, and 45 are participating this fall. But, the Cloverbud experience doesn’t stay within the school year. In 2022, Cloverbuds brought more than 100 exhibits to the Wilkin County Fair!
Give to Wilkin County 4-H
Gifts support 4-H youth development in Wilkin County and local programming coordinated by the Wilkin County 4-H Council.
There are several ways to join or re-enroll in 4-H.
- Join 4-H for the first time or re-enroll
- Enroll as an independent member
- Get in touch with us at the Wilkin County Extension Office by calling 218-643-5481 or emailing email@example.com
- Download the Minnesota 4-H app on your mobile device
Make a Difference
As a 4-H volunteer, you are a valued partner of the University of Minnesota Extension! You complete the important role of helping our youth "learn-by-doing." You create life-changing experiences, share your expertise and skills, and work alongside 4-H youth members to grow together and build a strong Minnesota! We are excited to have you join us as we empower our young people to reach their full potential and "make the best better!"
Why volunteer with 4-H?
- YOU can support youth in 4-H
- YOU can help others
- YOU can make a difference
4-H is a unique organization where youth can learn how to solve problems, make decisions and communicate ideas. All learning is hands-on and backed by university research. You can make a BIG impact in the lives of young people all while passing on your knowledge to the next generation!
Ways to help
There are many ways to volunteer and serve with the members of Wilkin County 4-H. Whether you have a busy schedule or a ton of spare time, there is a volunteer role for you!
Lead a Club: Work alongside youth to provide support to your 4-H Club.
Teach a Skill: Share your strengths with youth at a one-time workshop or clinic series.
Join a Committee: Help shape youth in Wilkin County 4-H by serving on a local committee.
Judge Projects: Provide personal and detailed feedback to youth on the projects they bring to the Wilkin County Fair.
Help with Events: Support 4-H'ers as they plan and execute activities and events.
Guide our Leaders: Serve as a mentor to our 4-H youth members who take part in our leadership programs.
Types of Volunteers
A screened Minnesota 4-H Volunteer is an adult who will be one of two required adults to provide supervision to youth at the 4-H program; making decisions on behalf of the 4-H program, handle funds as part of 4-H events, and will have access to private data of 4-H members or other volunteers. Screened volunteers have completed the volunteer screening process, been accepted, and enrolled as Minnesota 4-H volunteers.
An adult helper is someone who gives their time and/or expertise to 4-H education programs, activities, or outings in a manner that does not require status as a screened Minnesota 4-H Volunteer. Adult helpers must be under the direct supervision of two or more screened Minnesota 4-H Volunteers or Extension Department of Youth Development employees.
Examples of Roles
- Guest speaker/presenter
- Event Worker (e.g horse show helpers, livestock show announcer, club activity helper)
- Snack servers at 4-H Club meetings or events
- Adults are asked to contribute on a one-time basis or asked occasionally to supervise or assist with a program/activity while working under the direction of two or more screened Minnesota 4-H Volunteers and/or staff.
Volunteering with Minnesota 4-H can be a very rewarding experience. To learn more about becoming a Minnesota 4-H Volunteer, visit the volunteer website.
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!
Wilkin County 4-H Clubs
- Campbell/Tintah Cloverbuds Afterschool, in Campbell, MN (Grades K-2)
- Rothsay Cloverbuds Afterschool, in Rothsay, MN (Grades K-2)
- St. Mary's Cloverbuds Afterschool, in Breckenridge, MN (Grades K-2)
- Twin Towns Cloverbuds Afterschool, in Breckenridge, MN (Grades K-2)
- Breck Bolts in Breckenridge, MN (Grades K-13)
- Campbell Busy Bees in Campbell, MN (Grades K-13)
- Deep Valley in Breckenridge, MN (Grades K-13)
- Kent Quad-H in Kent, MN (Grades K-13)
- North Stars in Breckenridge, MN (Grades K-13)
- Rothsay Club (New in 2023) in Rothsay, MN. (Grades K-13)
Wilkin County 4-H Club Information
To find out about the 4-H clubs in Wilkin County, please contact the Wilkin County Extension Office at 218-643-5481 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Already enrolled in Wilkin County 4-H--great we are happy to have you!
We know that being a 4-H'er is important to young people, and it comes with TONS of information. Keep yourself organized and on track for a successful fun-filled year of activities, gatherings & friendships by downloading the Minnesota 4-H app. Wilkin County 4-H is happy to provide information at your fingertips! The Minnesota 4-H app is active year-round for your convenience and contains many resources that are vital to participating in 4-H. From various program information to the 4-H year schedule & community club resources, this app will keep you up to date with our local county program!
Download the Minnesota 4-H App
Downloading the app is easy, go into your app store and search for Minnesota 4-H and download the app. Once you have the app downloaded, choose Wilkin County and you will be connected with all the current information, guides, programs, events, schedules, social media, and more!
- Apple users: App Store
- Droid users: Google Play
Here are some other helpful ways to keep up to date with Wilkin County 4-H.
Follow us on Social Media
Add our Google Member Calendar to your personal calendar
Wilkin County 4-H Member Calendar
Our favorite season is fair season
We are so excited that you are a part of Wilkin County 4-H
Wilkin County 4-H Achievement Days are scheduled for August 17-20, 2023 during the Wilkin County Fair.
The Wilkin County Fair is coming! Now is the time to start thinking about what projects your child plans to explore. This 2023 County Fair Book outlines all the rules & regulations for any exhibits your child will bring to the fair, how to register for the fair, and some FAQs.
Share your talents with us!
Explore the many project areas (i.e. departments) & find the exhibit division that resonates with you! The county fair offers youth an opportunity to showcase what they have learned and worked hard on throughout the year! This evaluation of your exhibits is unique to 4-H and also creates a pathway for youth to bring their best exhibits to the Minnesota State Fair; later this summer! We can’t wait to see what you will choose to bring to the fair! Now is the time to start planning your showcase experience!
The 19th annual Parade of Champions
Our closing ceremony of the 2023 4-H Achievement Days! This grandstand event serves as our recognition and celebration of all the project work and accomplishments of our youth members! Please invite your family and friends to join us, the more visitors we have in the stands the more pride they will feel in their accomplishments. Wilkin County 4-H receives sponsorships from area businesses to help provide youth with cash awards for EACH exhibit entry they make at the county fair! Join us on Sunday, August 20 starting at 3 p.m. on Earthen Stage at the Wilkin County Fairgrounds--ALL are welcome & encouraged to attend.
Feeling overwhelmed or not sure where to start?
Learn about exhibiting at the Wilkin County Fair
Done registering for the fair, now what?
The County Fair Exhibitor Guide covers all the information you will need to know for the upcoming fair! The 2023 County Fair Exhibitor Guide will be published in July of 2023.
Wilkin County Fair Information
4-H Achievement Days Schedule of Events
Wilkin County Fair Premium Schedule
Wilkin County 4-H 2023 County Fair Book
Questions? The Wilkin County Extension staff are here for YOU! Please, reach out with any and all questions that you have at 218-643-5481 or email@example.com. The more you ask, the more you know! We are committed to helping your family have a fun & successful 4-H experience.
See you at the Fair!
Monique & Jen
4-H events in Wilkin County
Attend a 4-H event near you.
Statewide 4-H events
Find a 4-H event in Minnesota.
4-H news in Wilkin County
Stay informed about all that is happening in Wilkin County 4-H.
Statewide 4-H news
Learn more about what is happening in Minnesota 4-H.
Agriculture events in Wilkin County
Attend an agriculture-related event near you.
Agriculture news in Wilkin County
Find the latest on Extension agricultural research and news you can use on your farm from local experts.
Statewide agriculture events
Agriculture conferences, in-person events and online courses are offered all year around the state.
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.
Wilkin County Extension does not have an Agriculture Program locally. Have questions? We have the answers, the resources, and the referrals.
Visit our online resources:
Contact the Farm Information Line for all your agriculture needs:
Farm Information Line: 1-800-232-9077
Gardening events in Wilkin County
Find gardening learning opportunities online and near you.
Gardening news in Wilkin County
Find the latest gardening tips and news you can use in your own back yard from local experts.
Statewide gardening events
Find out about the Master Gardener Volunteer core course or attend other events offered throughout the year.
- 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, read about protecting and enjoying nature.
Wilkin County Extension does not have a Master Gardener Program locally. Find plants, ask an expert, and diagnose a problem through our online gardening resources.
Contact a Master Gardener for all your gardening questions:
Yard & Garden Line: 612-301-7590
Health and nutrition
Extension offers a variety of educational programs about nutrition and health in Wilkin 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.
Health and nutrition events in Wilkin County
Learn more about staying healthy and eating well.
Health and nutrition news in Wilkin County
Stay up to date with our health and nutrition news.
Statewide health and nutrition events
Join Extension educators and community partners in events that encourage health, wellbeing and good nutrition.
Find information that helps families make informed decisions leading to better health and wellbeing.
Use the Real Life, Good Food website to find recipes, cooking tips and physical activity ideas for a healthier life.
Contact the Wilkin County Extension Office
mnext-wilkin.umn.edu or 218-643-5481 or
Jackie Larson, SNAP-Ed educator
firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-998-8763
Extension 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)
- Red River Valley Emerging Leadership Program (ELP)
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.
Volunteer. Natural resources volunteers track invasive species, detect forest pests and count native bees, among many other activities. You also can study to become a Minnesota Master Naturalist.
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.
Statewide community development events
Join us at an event in your community.
Statewide natural resources events
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.
Community development news
Find information on community-focused news.
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, read about protecting and enjoying nature.
Learn more about community-driven sustainability projects happening across Minnesota.
Wilkin County Extension
U of M Extension, Wilkin County
505 S 8th St
Breckenridge, MN 56520
Monday - Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Monique Stelzer, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
email@example.com or 218-643-5481
Jennifer Erdahl, Principal Office & Administrative Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-643-5481
Wilkin County events
View all events hosted in and near Wilkin County.
Extension courses and events
Extension provides in-person and online educational events all over Minnesota. Find one to attend.
Wilkin County news
Read the latest news from Wilkin County.
Extension wide news
Read the latest news from all of Extension's programs.
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.