The Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) honored two Minnesota 4-H projects for their contributions and service to communities. These projects, driven by youth across Minnesota, truly make a big difference and respond to real community needs in the state.
Extension News and Highlights
Sixteen years ago, Wendy Wustenberg’s daughter, Lauren, and her mother, the late Ruth Wiberg, created a University of Minnesota Extension 4-H project using wool from rare Leicester Longwool sheep the family raises at Windswept Hill Farm, in Farmington, Minn. The first round of wool angels were Lauren’s 4-H demonstration project for the Dakota County Fair when she was 10 years old.
University of Minnesota Extension and the Carver County Core Dairy Team drew together 300 members of the dairy community from 20 counties on Feb. 18 at Central High School in Norwood Young America. Now a 27-year tradition, the Carver County Dairy Expo is known as a day of camaraderie in the dairy industry, with a goal of learning and networking.
A food forest combines trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and self-seeding annuals to provide edible fruits and nuts. Rather than individually maintained parcels, the entire food forest is open to the public for harvest. The idea is to create an ecosystem that protects the soil, provides healthy foods, and requires minimal labor to be productive.
Consumer interest in experiencing closer connections to their food is contributing to a growth in agritourism offerings in Minnesota. Events like the Central RSDP-supported Salsa Fest provide opportunities to connect with growers and makers of value-added products such as salsa.
By giving away the easy-care houseplants in pretty containers, along with written instructions for their care, Stevens County Master Gardeners have created awareness and grown interest in gardening with more than 150 college students this year. They also made them feel less lonely being away from home.