Local 4-H club has deep and rich historyThe Woodbury 4-H Club has been a part of Woodbury for 87 years. They have represented Woodbury well, but now they need your help.
By: Emily Wolterstorff, Community Viewpoint writer, Woodbury Bulletin
The Woodbury 4-H Club has been a part of Woodbury for 87 years. They have represented Woodbury well, but now they need your help.
Earlier this year Washington County Board of Commissioners voted to cut funding for the County’s 4-H program. Without the funding the 4-H program and the Washington County Fair are in jeopardy.
The Woodbury 4-H Club is the oldest club in Washington County and also one of the oldest in Minnesota. It’s a club that is dear to my heart, as I was an active member when I grew up here in Woodbury.
Almost 87 years ago to the day, Miss Stella Leitzau organized the Woodbury 4-H Club.
In 1930 the Woodbury 4-H’ers won first prize at the Stunt Night program at the County Fair at Crocus Park in Bayport. They depicted club members coming to the fair in an old Ford car.
Club members were active, immediately winning many awards and trips to the Minnesota State Fair, a national dairy show in St. Louis, Mo., a National 4-H Club Congress and an international livestock show in Chicago. By 1933 they received the annual Farm Bureau trophy as the outstanding club in the county, an award they would win many times in the future years, and also placed in the blue ribbon group at the State Fair.
During times of war the club collected aluminum, waste paper, and discarded clothing, bought war bonds and stamps etc., dedicated to the boys in the service from the club.
Achievements and high honors have continued to take place in the club’s history, through the 66 years that I’ve recorded its history. In 1942 the club meeting minutes stated that 90 percent of Woodbury Township families with children belonged to 4-H.
In 1943 I was named the outstanding Junior Leader in the Nation. Genevieve Czikalla was named National Clothing Champion in 1947. In 1966 Gary Garbe took first in the National Tractor Project, and in 1967 Dennis Wolterstorff was on the state champion dairy judging team that placed a close second in the national competition.
The coveted “I Dare You” leadership award was presented to Wayne and Bonnie Schilling and David Wolterstorff.
In 1954 local 4-H’er Sara Jane Brown was chosen first attendant to Princess Kay of the Milky Way, and in 1972 another local 4-H’er Nancy Wolterstorff was a Regional Dairy Princess. Both girls had their likeness carved in butter at the State Fair Dairy Building.
In 1987 the Club received a “Community Pride” award. They put on a party for the Woodbury Health Care Center as one of their goodwill projects and played bingo with the residents. They also won county safety awards. One of their projects was cleaning up the area around the Woodbury Community Hall where they held their meetings.
I am a Woodbury 4-H Club alumnus, as was my husband, and our three children. As a member, mother, junior and adult leader I know first hand it took hours of hard work, studying, record-keeping, experience, demonstrating, and dedication to win and earn these accomplishments. The rewards and trips were just a plus for their hard work. I feel very humble for the award I won and my trip to national Club Congress itself was a learning experience, something I will never forget. I am sure other 4-H’ers would agree.
The Woodbury 4-H Club has in all aspects been a contributing factor to the history of Woodbury. They have been active in local government positions and community organizations. Not only did they add much to the community itself, but all these young people leaving the community speak well of their heritage. We should remember these young people are the future leaders and that what they are learning and achieving is so worthwhile and rewarding to all of us.
The Woodbury 4-H Club is still active in the community. Through all these years they have indeed lived up to their motto – to make the best better.
The 4-H motto:
I pledge -
• my Head to clearer thinking,
• my Heart to greater loyalty,
• my Hands to larger service,
• my Health to better living,
For my home, my club, my community and my country.
Emily Wolterstorff is a Woodbury resident.