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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kathy Johnson Receives the “Distinguished Service Award” from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents

Kathy Johnson, Dakota County 4-H Program Coordinator Distinguished Service Award recipient from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents

Kathy Johnson, University of Minnesota Extension, Dakota County 4-H Program Coordinator was honored as one of two Minnesota Distinguished Service Award winners at the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals Conference in Omaha, Nebraska on October 27. The award recognizes her outstanding service and dedication to the 4-H Youth Development Profession. She was selected through a nomination process initiated by her University of Minnesota Extension peers. As the 2011 recipient she received a beautiful plaque that is proudly displayed in her 4-H Office. University of Minnesota Extension, Dakota County Extension staff and many Dakota County 4-H families all congratulate Kathy on this honor of Distinguished Service Award winner.

Johnson was given this honor for her innovation and creativity in leading the Dakota County 4-H program for the past ten years. Kathy has a major role in the success of the more traditional 4-H Community Program as well as a very successful 4-H Out-of-School Program that reaches hundreds of youth each summer throughout Dakota County. These educational programs focus on the areas of science and technology, community service, healthy living and creative expression.

Kathy actively involves participants in their own learning and provides guidance modeling the experiential method in her teaching style. She has mentored numerous shy teens that have blossomed into school and community leaders because of the self confidence and skill building they received in the 4-H leadership experience. Time and again while developing their resumes or applying for scholarships and advanced schooling, teens have cited the skills they developed, their involvement with meaningful community service activities, and the 4-H projects they worked on as they mastered important life skills with Kathy as their guide.

4-H youth across the nation are leading efforts to solve problems in their communities and make a difference for their futures. 4-H is the largest youth development organization in Minnesota and the largest in the nation with six million young people. 4-H in Dakota County has over 1500 youth members. It is ranked the largest county 4-H program in Minnesota.

4-H, as part of the University of Minnesota Extension, is a program where youth learn through opportunities that provide them hands-on experiences in 4-H’s mission mandates of science, engineering and technology; healthy living; and citizenship. The program promotes life skills using your head, heart, hands and health. 4-H has connected youth and their communities with the innovative research and resources from our nation’s 106 land-grant universities and colleges for more than 100 years.

To find out more information about 4-H and to locate a 4-H club in your area contact Dakota County 4-H staff at the Dakota County Extension Office at 651-480-7755 or visit the Dakota County 4-H website at www.umn.extension/county/dakota. - Mary Duncomb, University of Minnesota Extension Educator

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