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Wadena County 4-H present sunny outlook for 2022; county pays $167,000 for 40-acre parcel along road route

Members of the Wadena County Board of Commissioners listened to a presentation about the growth in the county's 4-H club over the past year and purchased a 40-acre piece of land for nearly

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Screenshot of Wadena County 4-H Club presentation to the Wadena County Board of Commissioners on May 17, 2022.
Screenshot / Wadena County Board Meeting
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WADENA — Wadena County 4-H clubs presented their sunny outlook for scheduled activities this summer during the most recent meeting of the Wadena County Board of Commissioners.

During the May 17 meeting, Kimberly Dailey, extension educator for Wadena County 4-H, said the number of kids enrolled in 4-H has increased over the last month from 238 to 259 participants, including 57 first-year members and 53 volunteers.

"Those numbers are the highest they've been in about 10 years," said Dailey, during the presentation. "So, we continue to grow and it's fun to watch the kids thrive."

Dailey said, in Wadena's various 4-H clubs, its important they cultivate a sense of belonging, engagement, form relationships with their kids to try and help them find their "spark."

"In 4-H, we need to make sure the basic needs of the youth are met, so their physiological needs, the same environment, then we move up the pyramid, so to speak, and our goal is to get to the top where we are engaging youth, and we're giving the youth the opportunities to become what they want," she said. "Our volunteers are fantastic. I could never reach 259 youth on my own, so we've got volunteers and club leaders who arranged a 4-H open house last fall and I don't know how many people were there, but we went through 400 hot dogs. And from that open house alone, we got 20 new members."

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She also said Wadena's ability to hold an in-person county fair was a rewarding experience for the kids who participated in various 4-H events and a more meaningful experience than county's that opted for a hybrid fair model.

"Last year, we had 172 youth participate in the county fair," said Dailey. "We had 19 go on to the state fair. We would've had more, but the state fair canceled overnight accommodations."

Dailey also highlighted upcoming programs and events the Wadena 4-H club will be hosting this summer, including:

  • Goat Camp on June 4
  • Dog Training with a dog show on Aug. 7
  • Horse Project meetings
  • Shooting Sports practice
  • Livestock Quality Assurance and Ethics Training
  • 4-H summer camp in Fosston
  • Youth Exploring Leadership and Learning Opportunities (YELLO)

"I think that 4-H fits into every niche of life," she said. "We just have to figure out how."

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Map of 40-acre parcel purchased by Wadena County for $167,000. May 17, 2022
Contributed / Wadena County

Board members also approved signing a purchase agreement for a 40-acre parcel of land on Greenwood Avenue for $167,000. Jon Kangas, chairman for District 5, was the only dissenting vote on the measure, which passed 4-1. The parcel is registered to James and Tracey Stoneman and had a 2022 estimated market value of $44,900, according to county tax records.

Darin Fellbaum, county engineer for Wadena County, said board members have had a couple closed sessions regarding negotiations for the property along a proposed roadway to the new Tri-county hospital.

Commissioners raised objections to higher purchase price, but were reassured after it was reiterated that Minnesota State Aid funds are being used for the property purchase and no county levy money is involved in the process.

According to the Wadena County Board agenda, the existing "S" curve will be realigned through the newly acquired parcel to make a safer and more efficient route for emergency vehicles traveling to and from the new healthcare facility.

Lead Multimedia Reporter for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus.
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