Tricounty News

Kimball student wins DNR's 4-H award

Kimball Area High School student Shelby Schiefelbein received the annual 4-H award from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr presented Shelby with the award during a ceremony Friday, Aug. 31, at the Minnesota State Fair.

Shelby Schiefelbein's project, titled "40 Ways that a Farmer can be Environmentally Friendly" focused on sustainable agriculture and steps their family has taken on the farm to improve the environment. She lives and works on her family's large farm where they raise prize Angus cattle utilizing rotational grazing. For her project, Shelby decided to address the problem "of beef farmers being portrayed as the bad guys". She started out by researching ways that farmers can help the environment. When she found a list of 40 ways beef farmers can help the environment, she decided to apply these steps to the family farm. This commitment to sustainability goes beyond just lip service on Shelby's family farm; she documented 31 ways that they are helping the environment.

"Rotational grazing and sustainable agriculture are beneficial to wildlife and our environment," said Commissioner Landwehr. "It is great to see a young person working toward solutions."

Shelby is a member and club officer for the Kimball Kruisers 4-H club. In addition to her 4-H project, Shelby is on the A Honor Roll at Kimball Area High School where she is active in the school speech team. For the past two years, Shelby has been a prize winner in the national Cattle Industry Convention's Youth Public Speaking competition in Denver Colo., and Nashville, Tenn. "Somehow she also manages to play volleyball, softball, and participates in band and choir" observed Landwehr.

Shelby is the daughter of Don and Jennifer Schiefelbein. Also recognizing Schiefelbein at the Award Ceremony was Extension Program Leader of 4-H Youth Development, Nancy Hegland.

The DNR Commissioner's Youth Award is given annually to a 4-H club or youth who has demonstrated initiative, leadership, creativity and achievement in the conservation and wise use of natural and agricultural resources. This year is the 21st year of the award program.