Archive for 4-H

CASSY KRULL – Success without a Stopwatch.

2013ectHave you ever suddenly realized that your name is being called over a public address system?  Isn’t that the most amazing heart pounding…adrenalin rushing experience? Well, that is exactly what happened to Cassy Krull of Lake Mills Wisconsin at World Dairy Expo when she heard these words.


“The 2013 winner of the Merle Howard Award is Cassy Krull”

Like others in the large crowd, Cassy was trying to figure out whose biography was being read as the 10th winner of the Merle Howard Award. (Read more: Wisconsin’s Cassy Krull Wins 2013 Merle Howard Award)  “I had NO idea I was going to receive this award. My boyfriend Bradley and I went to sit in the top part of the coliseum to be able to view the show ring. Not knowing why he wanted to sit in the lower sections, I insisted on sitting higher. He had gotten a phone call the night before to make sure I would be there for the Four-Year Old class at the International Holstein Show. As they began reading the background, my eyes welled up with tears after realizing it was me that they had selected. I ran down the stairs of the coliseum crying and trying to breathe and get there before they finished the biography. I remember looking into the crowd and hearing the applause and getting goose bumps all over. It was the most amazing feeling ever!”


“I still cannot even believe I was chosen”

Everyone asks Cassy what it feels like and she answers with endearing honesty. ”Winning the Merle Howard Award is by far the most humbling achievement I have received. To receive such an honorable award helps put all the hard work into perspective. I like to watch the presentation every year to see who they recognize. Little did I know I would ever be able to stand next to the other amazing recipients of the Merle Howard Award. I am truly honored and blessed to have been selected for this milestone achievement in my life.”

Special Thanks. Appreciation to Cassy’s Crew.

Cassy feels quite strongly that she has been blessed by the encouragement she is surrounded by.  “I would like to thank my family first for all the support they have given me, and constructive criticism to help push me further.” Breed associations have earned her thanks as well. “The Wisconsin Holstein Association, American Jersey Cattle Association and the Red and White Dairy Cattle Association are important to me for giving me all the opportunities I have had in my time of being a junior member.” There is another group who also rates special Cassy consideration.  “I want to thank my boyfriend Bradley Griswold and his family for supporting me and being there for me through many of my life changing events.” Cassy generously recognizes the importance of others in her life.  “A big thank you to all my friends, supporters, believers, and the people who have told me I couldn’t.  They all helped me push through and succeed. I am truly thankful for everyone who has been there for me and gotten me to where I am today. THANK YOU!”

The Krull Family Circle of Influence

More than most of us realize we are influenced by those around us.  For Cassy Krull those positive experiences in her life started right at home.  “My parents have been the ones who I have looked up to my whole life. My dad, being active in the state and national Holstein Associations, showed me that being involved and good leadership is something that helps you build your time management skills, public speaking, responsibility, and leadership.  Also he showed me how to work hard, as he had an amazing work ethic. We would work hard to make sure we got everything done and would end our days racing back to the house, playing basketball or softball, racing four wheelers, or throwing someone in the pool. My dad showed me the way with a lot of things in life but my mom has been along side helping me as well.”  Cassy explains what her Mom means to her.  “She was the one helping me be on time to events, getting me more involved in 4-H and FFA, and teaching me to never give up on what I want. She has stood by me with my decisions and pushed me to be successful.”

Many Awards. Full Calendar.

cassy krull - jersey queenWe sometimes ask ourselves what is most special about receiving an award.  Is it the award itself… or the recognition for the hard work that earned it? Cassy is no stranger to receiving awards and declares, “This award is definitely a highlight of my career!” for recognizing her abilities in fitting and showing.  Her dairy passion has also led her to success as the 2011-2012 National Jersey Queen, as well as a being a member of the Wisconsin Junior Activities Committee, and being the Junior Chair for the National Red and White Convention in 2014. For Cassy the process is part of what makes the accomplishments so special.  “The National Jersey Queen title was one of my biggest life goals. I ran for the National Jersey Queen title the year before I received it and was not selected, but I wanted it and hoped I could get it if I tried again. I was determined that I was going to represent the breed I fell in love with at age two. The American Jersey Cattle Association has given me numerous opportunities that I have been fortunate to take advantage of.”

Working hard Works for Cassy!

It seems that when “working” is involved in the goal then it’s almost guaranteed that Cassy will be enthusiastic.  She was part of the Wisconsin Holstein Association Junior Activities Committee and explains what it meant to her. “I love working with young people and this title allows me to do just that. I am responsible for the Southeast region of the state, where I travel to shows and other events bringing all Wisconsin Holstein Juniors together.”  Cassy doesn’t set limits on age or organization and gives her best wherever she gets the opportunity.  “I am proud of being the Junior Chair of the National Red and White Cattle Convention in 2014. I am excited to work with the board members and create an amazing convention right in Wisconsin. I enjoyed my time working with the Red and White Association this last summer as the intern and continue to move forward with helping with the convention this coming summer.”

Cassy’s Keys to Success – Do not stop.  Push on.  Keep Trying.

Although her calendar is full, there is no end date determining when Cassy Krull must reach all her goals.  She advises others. “Stay true to what you believe in. If you have a goal in life, go for it and do not stop until you achieve the goal. Push yourself to be what you want to be. Think of my example in wanting to be National Jersey Queen, I did not get it the first time I tried, but I did not give up and I tried again. I have always been told, “If you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life.” To me that is not far from the truth. I love working with good cattle and good people so it is easy to go and do it.”  For the near future, Cassy hopes to find an internship for the summer of 2014.  “I would like to gain more life skills by working away from the farm. Understanding different aspects of agriculture can only provide benefits to my knowledge when farming in the future.”

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Hard work earned Cassy Krull the opportunity to win the Merle Howard Award.  Hearing her name announced was a thrill but long before her name was inscribed on the trophy, she put her own name on the work lists for dairy fitting, showing and passion. The Bullvine and all your friends urge you to keep going and growing and one day you will be the only one surprised – again — to learn that you have arrived at that special dairy place where  “Everybody knows your name” … Cassy Krull!”  Congratulations!


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Who Will Feed The World? Global 4-H Summit Takes Action Packed Focus on Feeding the World

feedingahungryplanetThe Global 4H Summit which will be held in Calgary, Alberta from August 19th to 25th is shaping up to be an outstanding event targeting the vital issue of “Feeding a Hungry Planet”.  As a natural extension of the 100th anniversary theme of “Food for Thought” the summit will tackle food challenges facing the world today. The global representation includes 60 Canadian delegates from across the country, 20 American delegates, and 40 international delegates from 22 different countries (Australia, Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Taiwan, Uganda, United Kingdom, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), plus 25 mentors and other staff, for a total of 161 representatives will attend and participate in the Summit.

Tammy Oswick-Kearney, Special Projects officer for 4-H Canada, provides some background on why feeding world populations is such an important issue. “In November 2011, the United Nations declared that the planet’s population surpassed 7 billion people. By 2050, experts predict an additional 2 billion people will need healthy food and nutrition. No one person, company or nation holds the answer, but through discussion, collaboration and innovation, these young adults know ground breaking agricultural solutions can be found, acted upon and achieved.”  Fortunately, there were groups who saw the need and stepped up to address the possibilities. The Summit came about because of the 100th anniversary of 4-H in Canada. 4-H and their partner, Bayer Crop Science wanted to host a “unique” event that would address “Feeding a Hungry Planet” and be in line with the 100th anniversary theme of “Food for Thought”.  In the intervening time, much has already taken place. “The summit will use a combination of pre-summit work, guest speakers, group discussions, tours and a facilitated process towards viable actions, to enrich the experience of participants from around the world. There will also be the opportunity for youth from around the world to be engaged in the summit, even if they are unable to participate.”

Click on map for enlargement

Click on map for enlargement

Over 400 Applications Received

It is obvious that 4-H youth today are inspired by the urgency of the issue.  Applicants were given the following question to address in an essay or video presentation.  Over 450 applications were received from around the world.

“In the next 40 years the world’s population will grow from 7 billion to 9 billion, yet already today, 1 billion people do not have enough safe and nutritious food to eat.

Using your own village, town, city or country as your point of reference, tell us what YOU think the underlying causes of food insecurity are and why, and the effect it can have on a population (both locally and globally). Explain how sustainable agricultural practices could solve these issues and how you would use the Global 4-H Youth Ag Summit to advance your solution(s).”

The Summit Marks Commitment to New Beginnings

Through combined pre-summit work, guest speakers, group discussions, tours and a facilitated process towards viable actions, youth will have the opportunity to create, discuss and further implement their action plans when they return home. Each delegate will leave the event with three personal actions that they will commit to follow through on with the support of their mentor, upon returning home. We encourage that these individual actions are S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely. The entire delegation will develop a collective action plan that all delegates are willing to commit to, using the content of the working group presentations, to build a shared action statement.

Click on image for enlargement

Teamwork brings a great idea from concept to reality

There are many times when a wonderful plan breaks down on the long road through red tape, finances and other logistics of international endeavors.  There can never be too many “Thank you’s” extended to Bayer Crop Science who has been working alongside 4-H Canada to ensure that this Summit comes to fruition, as well as continuing beyond the August 19-25th dates.  It boggles the mind to think of how many dedicated volunteers have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to also ensure that this Summit is successful.  Tammy emphasizes their importance. “Without the volunteers, we may not have been able to deliver such a diverse opportunity to so many deserving young adults around the globe.”  There is an extensive list of sponsors who support this Summit including – Agriculture Canada, Alberta government, Cargill, Agrium, John Deere, Richardson Pioneer, Farm Credit Canada, Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, who have come to the table to ensure the success of this event. As well Agri-Trend, Alta Genetics, the Calgary Stampede, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Copithorne Ranch, McDonald’s Canada and Sunterra who are participating by providing speakers and/or giving tours.

Passion with a Purpose

The purpose of the Summit is to identify, connect and create ideas, all aimed at progressing agriculture around the world with the next generation of agricultural participants.  This collaborative approach aims to leave participants with actionable ideas that they can take back to their home country as well as their personal operations/careers.  The core themes throughout the week are: Goal setting, innovation, Sustainability, Leadership and Celebration.

A Lofty Goal for the Global Summit

It is exciting to even consider such incredibly challenging topics.  To do so with enthusiasm and with the ultimate goal of taking action is astounding.  Speaking on behalf of the committed visionaries and volunteers Tammy Oswick-Kearney says, “I hope the delegates will take away their action items and implement them quickly. I want the delegates to continue to use their mentors for support and advice as they move to implement the united Youth Ag Summit plan. I want the conversation, ideas and solutions to continue long after the Summit has come to a close. With the growing world population set to reach 9 billion by 2050, we cannot let this conversation, these ideas and solutions, die.”

A “Working” Committee with Milestones to Reach

Organizers report that a working committee will be established to carry forward the work that will be completed over the course of the Youth Ag-Summit.  From its inception the Youth Ag Summit milestones have been:

To create awareness and garner interest in the global food crisis by inviting youth ages 18-25 to apply to attend an expense paid trip to Calgary, Alberta, Canada to address the issue of “Feeding a Hungry Planet”. This gathering will provide an avenue for agriculturally focused 4-H youth from around the world to dialogue on how they can address feeding a growing world population in an atmosphere that fosters international networks and friendships and provides the opportunity to produce youth-driven action plans focused on feeding a growing world population, for themselves and policy makers around the world.

The Ultimate Goal of the Global Summit

The three key outcomes of the summit are:

  1. To provide an avenue for agriculturally focused 4-H youth from around the world to dialogue on how they can address feeding a growing world population.
  2. To create an atmosphere that fosters international networks and friendships.
  3. To produce youth-driven action plans focused on feeding a growing world population, for themselves and policy makers around the world.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

The global 4-H Youth Ag Summit [YAS] will bring young people together to share knowledge, while pursuing a vital cause.  They will also share understanding and become a forum for future leadership at the highest levels. We can only applaud and encourage these young minds and hearts that are prepared to put their hands to work to feed their families, their community and the world!  Bravo!

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