Skip to main content

The faces of Iowa 4-H: Lisa Berkland


Name: Lisa Berkland

Current Position: Regional 4-H Youth Development Specialist

Hometown: Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin

Education: B.S. Home Economics Education and M.S. Education both from UW-Stout

Past Work experiences: 4-H Agent, Dunn County Extension

Hobbies/Interests: reading, biking

Your Ultimate Goal in working with 4-H: Her ultimate goal is to be able to provide opportunities for youth where they can positively meet their needs for belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. More simply put, when she was young, she noticed that 4-H was a program that offered success to youth that wasn’t dependent on academic or athletic ability. Her goal is to be able to continue providing those opportunities and help our system be flexible enough to be relevant within our current culture.


Lisa was a nine year 4-H member in Wisconsin. Her projects included Food & Nutrition, Clothing, Photography and Knitting. She was a member of the Hebron 4-H club and she absolutely loved it! Lisa enjoys her job because she never has a regular day. She says, "I am in the unique position that I really do have a virtual office. When I’m not in one of the counties I serve or at a meeting somewhere else, I work from my home. My day includes responding to e-mails, meeting with staff, working with leaders and youth, and thinking strategically about how we can meet our goals."


Some things Lisa gets really excited about is trying new things and tweaking them to make them work. She also loves to see young people who are passionate and engaged in 4-H. After interviewing with Lisa I could tell that she really loves the challenge of taking abstract concepts and figuring out how to communicate them in a way that can be easily understood and applied by the general public. She told me, "When you see that people “get” what you’re trying to teach, it’s incredibly rewarding!"


What does 4-H mean to Lisa? 4-H means so many things to me. It’s hard to wrap it all up in one nice, neat sentence without it sounding like a company line. I once did a series of articles where I described 4-H as a mansion with at least 4 floors and tons of rooms. The cool thing is, all youth and their families have an opportunity to come and explore that mansion. They might go in one room and decide they don’t want to stay there very long, but they are bound to find lots of rooms they don’t want to leave.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Alumni Spotlight: Julie (Wolterman) Burroughs

From State Fair Queen to baby food producer, our December Alum of the Month has used the skills gained from her 4-H experience to propel herself to success. Julie (Wolterman) Burroughs was a member of the Garfield All-Stars 4-H Club for nine years in Ida County. Some of her projects included; showing cattle, quilting, knitting, woodworking, child development and much more. She also participated in Clothing Selection, Fashion Revue and 4-H Council. 
Julie’s favorite 4-H memory was when she was crowned the 1993 Iowa State Fair Queen.  “The competition was such a valuable experience and my year as Queen, representing Iowa, was phenomenal,” said Burroughs. “The opportunity was such an honor and defined my 4-H experience.” Burroughs went on to coordinate the Iowa State Fair Queen Competition of 14 years.
Another fond 4-H memory Burroughs has is showing livestock. “I loved the energy and sense of community on livestock show day. The entire Club worked together to get the cattle washed and g…

Alumni Spotlight: Eric Hanson

Award winning KCCI 8 News morning anchor, Eric Hanson is our November Alum of the Month. Hanson graduated from Roland-Story High School. He grew up on a farm with his parents and his three siblings, who were all involved in 4-H in Story County. “4-H is important to me because it strengthen my communications skills,” said Hanson. Hanson also says the 4-H taught him confidence, leadership and communication.

He was an eight year member of the Howard Rockets and participated in swine, dog, rabbit, woodworking, rocketry, photography, communication, leadership and much more. Hanson’s favorite 4-H memory was during dog obedience class. “Dog obedience class was every Tuesday night in Ames,” said Hanson. “My 4-H leader picked me and my dog up, drove us to class with 100-ish others and we’d always go to Burger King afterwards, bonding as a group.” Hanson also met First Lady Barbara Bush in 1991 at Living History Farms and gave her a one on one presentation about tractor safety. After high school…

Alumni Spotlight: Mary (Kaiser) Veatch

Livestock. Friends. Family. Memories. These are just a few things that come to mind when Mary (Kaiser) Veatch thinks back to when she was a 4-H’er. Mary was a 10-year 4-H member of the Monroe Happy Hustler 4-H Club and a four year Benton County Council Member.  After graduating from Union High School, Mary did not run away from 4-H, she was the Benton County Summer Intern for three years (2000-2002) and the State 4-H Summer Intern- Livestock (2003-2004). In December, Mary will celebrate her tenth year as the Iowa County Youth Coordinator.
Along with her siblings; older sister Katie, twin sister Carrie and younger brother Mark, Mary participated mainly in the Swine project area.  The whole Kaiser Family could be seen showing hogs at the local, state and national levels.  “Every show we attended, my parents had a standard that we were encouraged to speak to industry leaders and meet new friends. On our trip back home, we had to share who we met and what we learned after the show; the ju…