I am writing this article as I prepare to meet with the Redwood County 4-H food stand committee, and I think about how lucky we in Redwood County 4-H are to have a group of dedicated volunteers. They help lead our county program through our county fair fundraiser always smiling and full of energy and always keeping the needs of our 4-Hers a top priority.

The food stand committee is just one of many groups who ensure the vision and mission of Redwood County 4-H continue to benefit our 4-H youth now and for years to come. Thank you seems too simple to express my appreciation adequately for the work our 4-H volunteers accomplish.

Our 4-H volunteers, both adults and youth, are some really amazing people who get to work with some amazing young people and provide leadership and guidance to maintain our 4-H program(s).

In Redwood County 4-H we have 140-plus screened volunteers and at least twice that amount of people who volunteer throughout the year. Volunteers may share a talent for an education event, provide leadership to a committee that maintains 4-H finances and accounting systems, work with youth leadership programs, auction committee, livestock committee, ambassador leadership program, community clubs, project events and educational programs, help during a show at county fair, chaperone for a 4-H sponsored event and so much more.

Helen Keller is quoted to say “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” The 4-H program exemplifies this statement, and we see success because together we do so much.

Because of the work our 4-H volunteers do we are able to have nine community clubs which open their doors to all youth and families interested in 4-H programs. Community clubs are located throughout the county and work with youth on leadership, community service, building community connections and project and event planning to name a few of the experiences youth can expect from taking part in a 4-H community club.

We have several project based learning opportunities where youth and adults play a vital role in the program function and success of the youth involved. Programs including our aquatic invasive species robotics team, dog training program, shooting sports and wildlife programs, horse program, and new this year our fishing sports program and equine leadership program.

Our outside of school enrichment programs that are reliant on partnerships and public donations allow us to keep our programs open to all young people. Enrichment programs can be found in Wabasso, Walnut Grove, Lamberton, Milroy, Morgan and Redwood Falls. Together we provide opportunities to more than 500 youth in Redwood County throughout the school year.

I sincerely wish to thank all of our volunteers, program donors, program partners, youth and adult 4-H members, committee leadership and advisors. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, your valuable time and the leadership provided to our 4-H programs.

Because of every one of our volunteers we do accomplish so much. We create connections with young people and our communities, we gain experience and provide new experiences to our 4-H membership, we help our youth identify strengths and interests and we provide a community of support to those we work with.

Volunteers in 4-H are so important, so needed, so wanted and so appreciated.

Thank you for all you do.

Are you interested in taking part in Redwood County 4-H as a volunteer or as a member or as a family? Give us a call and talk to Stacy or Becky at (507) 637-4025.

– Stacy Johnson serves as the 4-H program coordinator for Redwood County