The DeForest Handy Helpers wanted to celebrate local farmers and all they do for us and our community. Bringing their motto to life – the 4-H pledge – “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world.”
In an effort to show their appreciation, the club launched a “Bucket of Thanks” project, creating care packages for farmers in the DeForest community and surrounding areas. Each bucket was unique just like the ag operations we have in our community. The club was awarded a Dane County 4-H Leaders Association Endowment Grant that supports community projects which provide service learning.
Members focused on ways to learn more about the farming community while sharing the wonderful things 4-H provides to youth and the community. Morgan Cooper the club’s vice president said, “This is a perfect way to recognize farmers and show them how valuable they are to our community. With our endowment grant and the wonderful support of local businesses, we were able to say THANK YOU to farmers for what they provide to my community, my country, and my world.”
“Bucket of Thanks” Donors:
Culvers The Little Potato Company Kwik Trip Weyauwega Cheese Partners in Production Seeds Dominoes Fleet Farm Compeer Financial Dairy Management Inc. ABS Global The Kohout Family Kemps Mid-West Farm Report Dane County 4-H Leaders Association DeForest Handy Helpers 4-H Club Furst McNess The Janisch Family The Knapp Family
The DeForest Handy Helpers 4-H Club includes 25 families and about 40 kids, ages 5-19. The project was helped along and grew ever larger with donations from local businesses and several of the families who all wanted to share their appreciation of the farming community.
Rhonda Knapp, the mother of two 4-H members whose family came to help fill the “Buckets of Thanks”, said “her kids normally take vegetables as a project to the Dane County Fair and this year was a great year for vegetable gardening. But without a fair to enter, the kids grew and sold their vegetables through an on-line marketplace. The kids then used their veggie sale proceeds to purchase 50 packages of beef snack sticks from a local meat market so they could include them in all of the “Buckets of Thanks.”. Mason Knapp said, “It was worth it to spend our 4-H project money on the buckets because farmers usually don’t get stuff like that.” “It felt good to deliver the buckets, I was giving back and it was fun and I met some new people”, noted Claire Knapp.
“Our hope is this project also served as an opportunity to bridge the generational gap and make connections with farmers to our 4-H members who might not have ties to the agricultural community as well as expanding their perspective to the endless possibilities available in agriculture. We not only want this is be an appreciation project, but educational and building long term relationships with our farming community” indicated Lisa Schleicher, the Organizational Leader for the club.
In today’s world, its our hope that we continue to harvest resilience in times of uncertainty and know we are in this together, reaching out a helping hand and showing our support today and every day!