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Nobles, Rock county teens chosen as Minnesota 4-H Ambassadors

WORTHINGTON -- Two area teens have been chosen to serve as Minnesota 4-H Ambassadors during the coming year. Approximately 25 4-H youth leaders from across the state were recently selected for the honor.

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WORTHINGTON -- Two area teens have been chosen to serve as Minnesota 4-H Ambassadors during the coming year. Approximately 25 4-H youth leaders from across the state were recently selected for the honor.

Nobles County 4-H’er Kendrick Bickett, of rural Worthington, and Rock County 4-H’er Moriah Flanagan, of rural Garretson, S.D., will help plan statewide leadership workshops and be the face of 4-H during the Minnesota State Fair Aug. 25-Sept. 5. Both teens have been involved in the 4-H program for more than a decade, getting started as 5-year-olds in the 4-H Cloverbud program. Today, they are role models for younger 4-H’ers as officers in their club, county ambassadors and youth leaders.

Becoming a state 4-H ambassador involved both an application process and in-person interview. Later this month, Bickett and Flanagan will travel to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for state 4-H ambassador orientation in advance of the state fair.

Being a Minnesota 4-H Ambassador is something Bickett has wanted to do since he attended the regional 4-H leadership program, BLU (Building Leadership and Understanding), and statewide YELLO (Youth Exploring Learning and Leadership Outloud).

“I’ve been to BLU three times now and YELLO twice,” Bickett said. “I’ve met more people, and that just kept me wanting to do more in 4-H. It really poked my side in wanting to be a state ambassador.”

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Bickett, a soon-to-be junior at Worthington High School, has in recent years also served as a 4-H camp counselor.

“I figured a state ambassador is going to be pretty much the same thing,” he said of the leadership roles. “I had some great experiences at camp.”

Flanagan, meanwhile, said she became interested in the state 4-H ambassador role after seeing the 4-H leaders in action during the Minnesota State Fair.

“I really wanted to help be the face of 4-H and help promote it,” she said. “I feel that will be our main job.”

Flanagan, who will be a senior this fall at Garretson High School, plans to spend a full 12 days at the Minnesota State Fair. In addition to working as a state ambassador, she will also serve on Minnesota 4-H’s executive youth goat committee. Bickett, on the other hand, will have two stints at the state fair -- during the livestock encampment weekend and again during Nobles County’s general encampment weekend. The split shift will allow him to participate in football practice.

Bickett, a fourth-generation 4-H’er, said he was pretty excited to learn he was chosen to be a state ambassador, and he’s looking forward to being at the state fair sampling fair foods and meeting new people.

“Most of the duties (of a state ambassador) during the state fair are introducing people from the Twin Cities who have never heard of 4-H -- telling them what we’re all about,” he said. “We’ll just give them the whole lowdown of what 4-H is.”

Flanagan credits 4-H with increasing her confidence and providing her with interview and leadership skills.

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“4-H has really helped me build my speaking skills, my project skills and my skills with working with animals,” she said. “I want to encourage other people to join the program.”

Flanagan, the daughter of John and Kari Flanagan, exhibits goats, horse, veterinary science, crafts and crop and soil sciences in 4-H as a member of the Springdell 4-H Club. She is currently president of the club and secretary of the Rock County 4-H Federation.

Bickett, the son of Tim and Stacy Bickett, is vice-president of the Elk Tip Toppers 4-H Club. He exhibits beef, sheep, swine and photography at the county fair.

After the state fair, the ambassadors will begin planning for BLU in February and YELLO in June.

“We’ll help with the planning aspects of these things so we can make it great and have other kids want to be state ambassadors,” Bickett said.

The last time Nobles County had a 4-H’er selected to serve as a Minnesota 4-H Ambassador was in 2003-2004, while Rock County has had one individual on the state 4-H ambassador team in each of the last three years.

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Related Topics: 4-H
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