Award winner reads about her honor in an Extension Service article
By Jennifer Gallus
Great 4-H clubs always have great leaders, and the Wright County Sunrise club, based in Howard Lake, has one of those leaders.
She is Cindy Heuer of Howard Lake, who earned the Wright County 4-H Volunteer of the Year award recently.
Heuer was scheduled to attend an awards banquet, but had no idea she was to receive an award. However, her husband, Roger, ended up in the hospital so she didn’t attend the event.
It wasn’t until Heuer was reading the Extension news in the Herald Journal that she realized she had earned the award.
“I actually read it in the newspaper! I was very surprised!” Heuer laughed.
Heuer explained that she was involved in 4-H when she was younger, and is currently very involved with the 4-H exchange program. In fact, she is the exchange program’s coordinator at the county level.
“It’s a great program for our youth. They have a home-stay in another state, and they not only see that part of the country, but also how the 4-H program there works,” Heuer said.
Last year, Wright County 4-H’ers had an exchange with Douglas County, Colorado. About 15 to 20 Wright County kids will travel for the program in any given year.
“In 1979, I traveled to Northern Saskatchewan, Canada in the 4-H exchange program and still correspond to this day with that family,” Heuer said.
“I’ve visited them and they’ve visited me. So sometimes the program results in lifelong friends,” Heuer explained.
The whole Heuer family, who raises dairy, beef, and crops, is deeply involved in 4-H. Roger plays an active role with beef projects, and helps organize both the county and state fair beef project show.
Their daughter, Courtney, 18, is active in the fashion and clothing review, as well as beef and dairy projects. Courtney was also Fairest of the Wright County Fair last year.
Their son, Carl, 14, is active in the exchange program, beef projects, dairy foods, photography, and dog projects.
“It (4-H) is a great program for families. It really involves the whole family, and it’s much more than cows, horses, and pigs,” Heuer said.
“Kids develop strong leadership. There are opportunities at the state and national level. There’s public speaking, camps, new programs like GPS orienteering, fishing, electronics, and every type of project for every interest a youth has,” Heuer explained.
The Sunrise 4-H club meets the first Monday of the month at St. John’s Church in Howard Lake at 7:30 p.m. Kids in first through third grades are considered Clover Buds, and kids ages 9 through one year post high school graduation are welcome to join.
“As any 4-H club, we’re always looking for new members,” Heuer said.