Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

It was National 4-H Week again. I have 60 years of involvement in Scott County 4-H. If you add my mother’s career we have 80 years of the nearly 100 years of 4-H covered. I am a parent of successful 4-H members. I believe 4-H is a tool in raising successful children.

The folklore is that Elsie Leibhardt and her neighbor Alice walked barefoot down the gravel roads of St. Lawrence Township signing up families for a new 4-H club, the We Do It 4-H Club, my club. The current Belle Plaine 4-H Club is a direct descendant of that club formed in 1922.

If you ask about 4-H today people will think of the 4-H building at the State Fair and how to get an exhibit there. Or others will think of the youth livestock shows with fluffed up coats and polished hooves and the beauty parlor trunks the 4-Hers work out of. But 4-H is and always has been more.

Fifty percent of a 4-H educator’s salary is paid by the University of Minnesota Extension Department. 4-H is a delivery system for the research done by the University. In the 20’s it was enriched flour to improve the families nutrition. It was the Mason Jar and improved canning techniques to protect food safety. It was hybrid corn and purebred hogs and certified seed to improve the economics of farming.

The next time someone near you talks about 4-H as just another youth activity, disagree. 4-H uses ‘learning by doing’ to ‘make the best better’ in the areas of environmental studies, citizenship, community development, entrepreneurship, community health, family health and safety, and gardening. 4-H is not keeping children busy. It is about improving life within our communities.

Larry Kiewel

St. Peter, MN

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.