Bailey Dohlman excited for 4-H role in home county
Bailey Dohlman began her job as coordinator of the 4-H and youth development program in Mitchell County on Dec. 28.
OSAGE, Iowa — The new face at the Mitchell County Extension office isn't new to the area or the program she's running.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach welcomed Bailey Dohlman to its Mitchell County office in Osage. She started her new job as coordinator of the 4-H and youth development program in Mitchell County on Dec. 28.
Dohlman is a Riceville native and was a 4-H and FFA member during her years in school.
"It's a great feeling to be back in my home county, and working with the youth here," said Dohlman. "It's exciting."
She will work with 4-H members, club leaders, parents and volunteers along with partnering with school and community organizations. Dohlman said there are around 200 kids participating in 4-H in the county.
She said that 4-H was part of the reason she decided that agriculture was an industry she wanted to work in.
"All the opportunities in 4-H really made me want to pursue a career in this," Dohlman said of ag.
She didn't grow up on a farm but helped her uncle with cattle, and enjoyed working with animals outside. Dohlman also enjoyed that through 4-H, she got to learn about her classmates who were actually farmers.
"They taught us how they raised their goats, or how they were making cheese — just different facts about life on their farm," she said of 4-H monthly meetings. "That was always pretty interesting to me."
Dohlman graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in animal ecology interpretation and a minor in forestry. She worked internships with county conservation boards in Mitchell, Buchanan and Cerro Gordo during her college years.
The pandemic changed how some things in 4-H were conducted, but Dohlman said it's just another learning opportunity.
"Hopefully we're getting back to the way it used to be, but things can also happen over Zoom calls or social distancing in the park," said Dohlman. "It was a great way to teach kids that in life, things happen that we weren't planning for, but we can still do this. We can still learn."
Dohlman said what she is most excited about in her role as youth coordinator is the opportunity to get more kids get involved in 4-H and find their niche in life.
"(4-H) is not only about farm life, but learning those life skills that are going better you for your future," she said. "4-H incorporates everyone — you don't have to be a farmer or have cattle or pigs, and you don't even have to have a farm background."