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Note from Virginia ....

HAPPY NEW YEAR, gang!  I cannot believe that it is 2018 already, but I am SO excited for this coming year.  You guys, we’re officially started working on County Fair stuff—show prizes are being selected and ordered, our theme has been picked and we’re working on the t-shirt design which will be officially unveiled at our January Leader’s Council meeting (January 29) and in the February Clover Update…while it’s a secret for now, I will give you this hint: it is related to the fact that 2018 will be the 125th Wadena County Fair….

Now that the new year is upon us, there are some programming opportunities that I’d like to make you aware of; all programming opportunities are featured in the Upcoming Opportunities article, but we’ve had a ton of growth in our program this year so I want to call out some here…

BLU (Building Leadership and Understanding) is a leadership workshop that engages youth in hands-on activities to build leadership skills and meet other youth from around the area.  Activities are planned and facilitated by youth leaders, the Minnesota 4-H State Ambassadors.  It’s close, again this year being held at the Castaway Club near Detroit Lakes.  You do need to register BEFORE January 10, though!  Check out the Upcoming Opportunities article or the Register for BLU article and/or download for more information and to get registered!

Black Hills Stock Show takes place January 27 in Rapids City, SD.  This event is put on my South Dakota State University and South Dakota 4-H.  Their Youth Day is open to all youth between that ages of 8 and 19 (as of January 1, 2018), regardless of 4-H affiliation.   Available activities include: livestock judging, beef cook-off, horse quiz bowl, horse hippology, livestockology, dog show, dog skill-a-thon, YQCA training.  Registration is due by January 12, full information can be found under the Downloads section of our website. 

Citizenship Washington Focus—High school aged students (ages 14-18), you have the opportunity to join a legacy of 4-H citizenship by attending Citizenship Washington Focus.  This program has been running for over 50 years and given thousands of 4-H’esr the chance to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in a life-changing week that empowers them to take their leadership skills to the next level.  Not only does this trip get you the chance to see the sights of DC, but you also get to spend some time experiencing the legislative process.  Registration for this opens February 1, so take some time to think about your interest and let me know if you have any questions!
This is just a sample of the kinds of things featured in our Upcoming Opportunities article each month so be sure that check that one out!  It offers local, regional, state, and national opportunities for different interests.

The Detroit Mountain Teen Mixer that was scheduled for December 20 had to be postponed due to weather.   While it was a bummer at the time, it may have been beneficial as DM has lifted the Wednesday only restriction and we can now choose from Monday-Thursday evenings.  It is now scheduled for Tuesday, January 30 from 6-9pm.  If you didn’t sign up before but are interested now, with the reschedule, registration is open again!  
We are now seeking Camp Counselors for our annual residential summer camp!  If you are in grades 9+ and looking for a fun way to grow your leadership portfolio, consider this opportunity.  Applications are available NOW!  Camp Counselor Training will feature an online component that can be done from home this year as well as a planning day April 21.  Camp will be June 3-5 with counselors reporting on June 2 to finish preparing before campers arrive.  Applications are due back to me by January 26, and you have to apply whether you are new or returning.  Camp is a TON of fun and this year’s will feature a mix of music, science, and nature (all the good stuff about Woodstock, none of the bad!).  Our group of counselors has been notoriously close and AMAZING these past few years and we look to continue that tradition.  We need a mix of males and females so if you have any desire to be a part of this awesome team, please turn in an application!  I know a lot of you that would be EXCELLENT counselors!

Animal Identification
The market beef and dairy steer identification deadline is February 15!  You may choose to complete the process on your own through 4-H Online or by submitting the ID worksheets to the Extension Office.  Tags are in the office if you need to pick them up.  The ID deadline for breeding beef, cow calf pairs, prospect calves, and all other animals remains May 15 OR before you take the animal to any training sessions (most applicable for dog and horse).  In order to ID your animal(s), you must be currently enrolled in 4-H.  Only members whose 4-H Online enrollment status shows as ‘active’, ‘pending’, or ‘incomplete’ will receive correspondence regarding deadlines, new information, or opportunities in that project areas that you have checked.


Clubs, project areas, or other 4-H groups seeking grant opportunities for funding a project, equipment, or 4-H opportunity this year; I encourage you to apply for grants!  A couple of really great ones have deadlines approaching:
Helping Hands Grants—this grant is offered through the Minnesota 4-H Foundation, all programs and projects led by youth are eligible to apply, it may also grant money to projects that help adults to serve youth more effectively.  Average grants range between $200-$2000.  Multiple proposals from the same county are welcome.  Applications for this grant are accepted between December 1 and February 1, with awards being announced (and funds available) on April 1. Further information and the application for this grant can be found at

Operation Round Up Grants—this grant is offered through the Todd Wadena Election Cooperative.  Application deadlines are January 15, May 15, and September 15.  Eligibility is given to non-profit groups and organizations that serve communities located within the Todd-Wadena service area.  Projects should fit in one or more of the following categories: community service, economic development, education and youth, environment, or disaster relief.  The application can be found at:

In other news, we’re working on some big things in the horse project, so if you have interest in it, please check out the article and give us your input. This is the best way to ensure that we plan an event that fits you. 
Lastly, as I mentioned earlier; there is a Leader’s Council meeting on Monday, January 29 at 7pm at the Extension Office.  It’s already shaping up to be a busy agenda including some pre-fair/building planning, share the fun talk and of course, the kick off to our fruit sales fundraiser.

On a personal note, I have decided to set goals instead of resolutions this year because as they say:
‘A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other!’


Virginia Hendrickx
County 4-H Program Coordinator
(218) 631-7623
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