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August 26, 2016

Gift helps 4-H'ers make their own state fair memories

David and Linda Werner endowment reduces financial barriers

David and Linda Werner are presented with a U of M  Heritage 
Society certificate by Bev Durgan, Extension dean

David Werner has plenty of memories from the Minnesota State Fair. There was the first year he showed livestock as a 4-H’er. His pig, a Duroc gilt, got sick and David was so worried that he spent most of the fair sitting in his pig’s pen. Then there was the time, years later, as an adult chaperone, he was looking forward to sleeping in one Sunday morning after a grueling schedule of early morning and late nights with the livestock encampment. He was awakened by a young 4-H’er who was concerned that David would miss breakfast. He still laughs about that one.

David’s wife, Linda, has plenty of 4-H stories of her own. Like David, she got her start with 4-H as a kid in Pipestone County, and has participated in the state fair as a 4-H exhibitor and judge. So when the couple was considering ways to give back, University of Minnesota Extension 4-H was at the top of their list. “It’s just been a big part of our lives, a part of shaping who we are and who we’ve become,” says David, who later worked as an Extension educator, district director, and finally as chief financial officer.

After discussing different ways of giving back to 4-H, the Werners settled on the state fair. David says that he and Linda see the fair as a culmination of a year’s work and a place for 4-H’ers to demonstrate what they’ve learned. They hope that their giving will enhance the state fair experience, helping a new generation of 4-H’ers create their own state fair memories.

This year, funds from the David and Linda Werner Endowment for 4-H State Fair Experiences will be used for the first time. The endowment provides scholarships to help 4-H’ers who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend and showcase their work. It takes hard work and dedication to qualify to go to the fair as a 4-H’er, and the Werners want to make sure that youth don’t lose that opportunity because of financial hardship. The endowment will also provide help for financial emergencies that arise at the fair for youth, families, volunteers or staff. Sometimes, the unexpected happens, and it’s more difficult to deal with away from home.

The Werners’ goal is to help make sure every 4-H’er has a fabulous state fair experience.
You can learn more about supporting Minnesota 4-H at Extension’s giving website or by contacting Jane Johnson, Extension development director.

August 11, 2016

Extension help for recovering from heavy rains, flooding

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension, office 612-626-4077,

ST. PAUL, Minn. (8/11/2016)—The University of Minnesota Extension has a wide range of resources to help west central Minnesotans hit by heavy rains. 

August 10, 2016

Multi-generational 4-H families heading to fairs

Throughout Minnesota, there are multi-generational 4-H families. A recent Pioneer Press article profiles one of them, Dakota County’s Fox family, as they prepare for another year at the county fair.

For a special project this year, one of the granddaughters conducted videotaped interviews with her grandfather and others family members, who shared memories and the impact 4-H has had on their lives. “It was very fascinating, because I never really took this amount of time to talk with them, even my grandpa or my great-aunt and -uncles, so I definitely learned about them and how 4-H was then,” she said.

August 08, 2016

U of M plans new investment in ag research, education and Extension

Media Contacts: Lacey Nygard, U of M News Service, 612-625-0552,; Becky Beyers, College of Food, Agricultural and Naturals Resource Sciences, 612-626-5754,; Allison Sandve, U of M Extension, 612-626-4077,

ST. PAUL, Minn. (8-2-2016)--A nearly $5 million state investment in agricultural productivity at the University of Minnesota will be used this year to hire scientists and improve infrastructure across seven areas of collaboration spanning three U of M colleges and at research and outreach and Extension sites across the state.

August 01, 2016

See U of M Extension at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair!

If you go to the "Great Minnesota Get-Together," be sure to participate in fun and educational University of Minnesota Extension opportunities. Extension discovers science-based solutions, delivers practical education and engages Minnesotans to build a better future.

Here is where to see Extension at the fair.

Summer math and science collaboration educates, delights White Earth Nation students

Photo: Mike McCarthy, Center for Transportation Studies
Fourth- through eighth-graders participating in the White Earth Indian Reservation Summer Academy of Math and Science explain it best: Asked how the experience differs from school, popular responses were “funner,” “shorter and funner,” and “a lot funner.”

July 22, 2016

Water Wisely: Five steps to conserving water in your garden

Media Contact: Allison Sandve, University of Minnesota Extension media relations, 612-626-4077 or 651-492-0811,

From container plantings to lawns and gardens, the University of Minnesota Extension horticulture team is focusing on ways to help people use water wisely.
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