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Showing posts from March, 2010

VEISHEA Co-chair Uses 4-H Tradition for Tomorrow’s Vision

Nicki Cortum is no stranger to preparation and hard work. Achieving high goals are nothing new for 4-H members, and Cortum is no exception. Cortum, an Iowa State University senior and native of Norwalk, is a past Warren County 4-H member with a very important new role: VEISHEA general co-chair. She served on the VEISHEA committee her first and second years at Iowa State and worked as the office manager in 2009. This year she went straight to the top -- general co-chair. “The more I got involved and learned about VEISHEA, the more passionate I became about seeing it continue to be a valued tradition at Iowa State,” said Cortum. Cortum credits many of her leadership skills today back to her 4-H involvement. 4-H is the youth development program of Iowa State University Extension dedicated to advancing the leadership, citizenship, communication and life skills of Iowa’s youth. She is not alone; research from ISU Extension shows that 72 percent of 4-H members improved their leadershi

Volunteering with 4-H: It’s About Giving

Each year nearly 10,000 volunteers contribute their time , energy and expertise to help Iowa youth build life skills through 4-H learning experiences. And Barb Determan knows why they volunteer. It’s about giving. “I wanted to give back to 4-H. Our family has gotten a lot of good out of it. I want to share that with other kids,” Determan said. That’s why the Sac County woman serves as a trustee on the Iowa 4-H Foundation board, judges 4-H communication projects at the Iowa State Fair and is midway through her 29th year as an Iowa 4-H club leader. “I really enjoy working with the kids,” she said, but that’s only part of the appeal. Far beyond the enjoyment, 4-H has given Determan a lifetime of value, the long-time volunteer said. “I have had great opportunities,” she said. Growing up in Illinois, Determan participated in 4-H for nine years, even attending the National 4-H Congress. As a student at the University of Illinois, she lived in the 4-H House, a sorority for former 4-H mem

A Citizen Soldier’s Shooting Sports 4-H Story

Pointing kids in the right direction is not what Thomas Sage of Black Hawk County thought he would be doing when he returned from his National Guard deployment. However, Sage has since dedicated his time, energy and skills to becoming an inspirational 4-H shooting sports instructor. “I really didn’t know when I got back from Afghanistan what I was going to do. I was tired and frustrated with a lot of things,” said Sage. Sage is currently in the National Guard and was previously a United States Marine. He has completed two combat deployments. “When I got back from my tour in Afghanistan, I was asked to help start a new 4-H program in our county, shooting sports,” said Sage. “I saw this as an excellent opportunity to give something back to the community, and it’s something I really enjoy doing.” Sage is not alone in volunteering with 4-H. More than 10,000 Iowa volunteers are members of the proud group who contributed time, energy and expertise to help youth strengthen life skills thro