I'm Jessica and I am in my second year as a Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador. As the fall season has begun and with harvest getting started, we are excited to begin the new 4-H year. After a very successful state showcase season, 4-H'ers all across the nation are preparing for National 4-H Week.
State fair successes
I couldn’t be more proud of our 4-H youth across the state and all of their accomplishments in the 2021-2022 program year. At the Minnesota State Fair, 4,027 exhibitors showed off their projects. I was able to see firsthand the accomplishments of our youth and all of the hard work they put into it. Throughout the fair, I saw 4-H'ers looking out for each other or offering someone a helping hand.
Down at the livestock barns, you will always find a 4-H'er eager to answer all of the your burning questions. There were 139 4-H'ers who took this to the next level by teaching the public through demonstrations and illustrated presentations in livestock and non-livestock areas. As a livestock exhibitor myself, I see the impact our exhibitors have on agriculture and the industry they are representing.
We also have state showcases that don't happen during the state fair. The state horse and state dog shows take place at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, but are held later in September. These showcases also give youth the opportunity to exhibit their talents and animals. There was also state shoot, held the first weekend of September, where youth could compete in their shooting skills and knowledge of the outdoors.
National 4-H Week is upon us
National 4-H Week this year is Oct. 2-8. This is an exciting time for youth, parents, alumni, volunteers and supporters to celebrate all the amazing opportunities in 4-H. Look out for challenges and activities that our state ambassador team will offer during the week, and get involved in your local programs as well.
What are some of your favorite National 4-H Week traditions? For me, it is the window display contest. In my county, every club can do a 4-H themed window display in a business in their community. The displays are then judged and the winners are announced at our awards night. My club also purchases flowers to put in each member’s church.
Take it upon yourself to get the word out about 4-H. It can be putting a note in the school newsletter, writing a letter to the editor in your local newspaper or asking for an interview on the radio station. Use your creativity to promote 4-H, and show off your 4-H swag. You can always find me wearing a 4-H shirt every day during National 4-H Week. Follow our challenges on the 4-H social media channels and have a fun, amazing National 4-H Week!
For many farmers around the state, it is harvest season and that can be a busy time of year. I enjoy harvesting corn in my family’s John Deere 9500 combine and also chopping stalks in the John Deere 4440 tractor.
Farming is truly at the heart of my community, so I know how stressful this time of year can be. Don’t forget to make time for yourself and relax. Also, most importantly, be mindful and safe this harvest season. Health and safety is a big priority for all of us and we can’t function at our best if one of those are off.
Be patient on the roads around farm equipment. Remember, the farmer wants to get home just as much as you do. Whether it is corn, beans, beets or peas, I want you all to have a safe and happy harvest season!
Thank you everyone for a great 4-H year, and here’s to getting another amazing year started!
Jessica W., Sibley County
Minnesota 4-H State Ambassador