Dan Landherr is a typical dad. He is goofy, charming, loves his kids and tells a mean ‘dad joke’. Dan takes an active role in his children’s interests including gymnastics, swimming and softball. He also joins them in their 4-H learning experiences, happily serving as a key volunteer with 4-H in Chisago County. But there is something that makes this dad stand out from the crowd. His longstanding efforts to increase access to high-quality 4-H STEM programming has earned him the Minnesota 4-H Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award.
Dan has been a 4-H volunteer for 14 years. He has led workshops and 4-H clubs, mentored youth and adults in their STEM projects and volunteerism, and serves as a showcase judge. Dan was nominated by a team of 4-H parents and youth who appreciate his dedication and hard work. Through Dan's work in partnership with 4-H staff, the Chisago 4-H Robotics program grew from 8 youth (2 teams) participating to over 40 youth (10 teams) in just a few years. All of the teams were led and supported by 4-H volunteers that Dan mentored and trained alongside 4-H staff.
“I met Mr. Landherr in 5th grade and was not sure if 4-H or robotics was for me,” said Natalie, a 4-H teen. “Six years later, I’ve been on my high school’s robotics team, worked as an after-school STEM instructor, and am pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in engineering. Mr. Landherr has been a great mentor to me.”
Dan grew up as a 4-H’er in Olmsted County, participating in various project areas with his brother and sister. Dan noticed early that helping others was something that came naturally to him. Being a 4-H volunteer means he can engage at the intersection of his skills and passions.
“Dan has a kind heart, which makes our program strong and his relationship with the 4-H community indispensable,” said Angela Tveit, a fellow 4-H volunteer. “He rallied youth and mentors to send care packages to a 4-H alum who was deployed and missing home.”
Most recently, Dan helped launch aerospace and robotics programming across Minnesota 4-H. And along with two 4-H teens, he facilitated a 5-week virtual learning community called Mars Base Camp, which reached 40 youth across the state.
Dan may be our most recent outstanding lifetime volunteer, but he’s not done yet. His current goal is to get more girls involved in science. Being an encouraging and relatable dad will continue to be his approach.
Learn how to be a 4-H volunteer in your community.