Tricounty News

Three Meeker County 4-H'ers receive prestigious horse awards

Since 1966, one member of the 4-H horse project has been awarded the Dan Patch Award. The award is based on the individual's overall achievement, leadership, and service. In 1970, the family of the late Harold Savage of International Sugar Feed Company of Minneapolis, provided the funds for the traveling plaque, known as the Dan Patch Award. The Plaque bears a picture of his father's famous pacer, Dan Patch, who set the world pacing record for the mile of 1:55 on Sept. 8, 1906, at the Minnesota State Fair.

During the winter months, 4-H'ers that apply for this prestigious award start polishing up their résumés and portfolios, which describe what they have learned through 4-H, especially the horse project, how they have served others, and how they have displayed leadership. Youth in grades 6-9 only complete this portion of the application process. For youth in grades 10-college freshman, there is additional work for select individuals that make it to the second round of competition. As part of this second round, 4-H'ers participate in a personal interview that goes over the member's horse knowledge, how they resolve conflicts, and how they lead. There is also a group problem, which is a team effort where the 4-H'er collaborates with other finalists to come up with solutions to horse related issues. The last judged event is a presentation. The 4-H'er can pick any horse-related topic to give a short speech on. This year, Jade chose horse judging, and Tori chose chiropractic work with horses. Jade says that she "Really enjoys the program, and it has helped me practice interview skills and group problem solving. It's also fun to meet other horse leaders from around the state at judging day. It's a great program that I would encourage every horse member to participate in!"

Minnesota 4-H is pleased to announce the youth leaders who will be stalled in the center aisle for the State Horse Show this year. Minnesota 4-H had a great group of applicants and all of you who work for this program should be proud of our youth leaders. Meeker County's 2012 Dan Patch Trip Winners include:

Grades 10-College Freshman:

Jade Kutzke-Dan Patch first runner up

Tori Barka-Dan Patch finalist

Grades 6-9:

Kayla Kutzke-State Leadership Trip Winners

These young people all receive trips to the State Horse Show. Please join us in congratulating them.

Participation in the 4-H horse project helps members learn a wide variety of life skills, including communication, cooperation, record keeping, goal setting, responsibility, teamwork, and leadership. For more information on how to become involved in Horse Project, or 4-H, please call the Meeker County Extension Office at (320) 693-5275, toll-free (877) 993-5275, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit our websites at or