Name: Maria Feldhaus
Title: SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Miner County
Years in Extension: 18 years. I began as support staff for SDSU Extension’s Miner County Office in January of 2000 and transitioned into the role of SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor in 2011.
What is your favorite part about working for SDSU Extension 4-H?
My favorite part is continuing the long-standing tradition and opportunities 4-H offers to the state. 4-H was a big part of my life as a youth thus, I have great memories and life experiences learned through 4-H.
If you could give one piece of advice to a 4-H member what would it be?
I would tell a 4-H member to try different project areas—if you’re interested in livestock but your family isn’t involved, find someone to mentor you. If you’ve never given a speech in public or participated in Special Foods, you should—there are available learning experiences within 4-H that can play a vital role in your childhood as well as follow you into adulthood. Learning about different project areas may even lead you down a different career path than what you thought you wanted.
What does true leadership mean to you?
I read once that a true leader is someone whose actions inspire others to dream more, do more and become more—I think this statement encompasses the qualities of someone who leads.
What are some hobbies and interests you have?
I enjoy flower gardening, reading, golfing and attending my 3 children’s sporting events.
What has been your proudest moment as an advisor?
The most proud moment I’ve had in this position was seeing the 2017 senior livestock judging team earn 1st place at the state contest – I didn’t do a lot to get them there, but I was one of their biggest cheerleaders.
What is a unique or outstanding program you offer in the counties you serve?
I’m very proud of the Cloverbud program in Miner County. We meet once per month during the school year in cooperation with the Howard School District and the time spent there really brings excitement for youth to join a 4-H club when they reach the age of 8.
What is your personal motto?
Be kind to everyone – a smile is sometimes all that’s needed to turn another’s day around.
If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
My superpower would be weather manipulation – wouldn’t it be awesome to change the weather to suit the activities of the day or bring on a snowstorm if your family was all safe at home?