July 30, 2007

Emily Dahlman becomes Minnesota state 4-H president

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Even at age three, Emily Dahlman of Cokato was told she would be a state 4-H president someday, and now she is.

Dahlman remembers watching a parade at the Minnesota State Fair with her family when she was 3 years old.

The state ambassador float went by and the state president painted a 4-H clover on her face and said, “You will be in my position someday.”

From then on, being a 4-H president was Dahlman’s goal.

“It really motivated me,” she said. In January, Dahlman claimed that title.

First, Dahlman was selected as a 4-H ambassador. The following year, she was one of five who were chosen to return for a second term to serve on the advisory council for the state 4-H program.

To become a state 4-H president, Dahlman first had to be nominated, before could apply.

After she applied with reference letters and essays, Dahlman had to give a speech for the current advisory council, ambassadors, and the state staff about her leadership style.

Dahlman was selected from among 28 who applied last fall.

Her duties include serving on the citizen’s advisory council, a board that directs work for the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

She is also in charge of the state ambassador program, which consists of 26 ambassadors, and making sure all the jobs are accomplished, Dahlman said.

She will also be in charge of the blue and yellow 4-H retreats, planning the events, programming, budget, and more.

Dahlman is scheduled for several speaking engagements throughout the year and attending state conferences in South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Being 4-H president means she is a delegate for the 4-H congress, which makes all the decisions regarding national 4-H programs.

No doubt this requires a lot of time. She will be attending the State Fair all 12 days from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., working in the 4-H building as needed.

Dahlman is a third generation 4-H-er in her family, and her parents have encouraged her participation throughout the years.

“I’ve grown a lot because of 4-H,” she said.

From it, she’s received scholarships and networking opportunities.

After her long summer of fairs, Dahlman will return to college as a sophomore at North Dakota State University. She is planning to double major in social work and secondary education, and minor in communications.

“I want to be a guidance counselor eventually,” Dahlman said.

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