The Philip and Laurel Berg family received the 2022 Pipestone County 4-H Hall of Fame Award on Saturday August 6 at the Pipestone County Fair.
“The family is very honored to receive this award,” said Philip. “It is very humbling to be selected because there are so many outstanding families in Pipestone County who volunteer their time, talents and resources to 4H and the youth of Minnesota.”
The Bergs have been involved in 4-H for most of their lives. Philip was a member of the Sweet Strivers 4-H club here in Pipestone County. He has been involved in many projects, but he especially enjoyed exhibiting sheep and beef at the county and state level. Laurel was a member of the Mannhaven 4-H club in Mercer County, ND Being the youngest of five, she was immersed in 4-H from day one. Her mother was a club leader and her siblings were very active. Laurel has enjoyed exhibiting her dairy and poultry projects as well as a variety of non-livestock related projects each year.
Both Philip and Laurel enjoyed judging on a variety of teams. In 4-H, Philip was a cattle judge, while Laurel competed in dairy cow and cattle judging. This beginning culminated in their participation on several judging teams (meat, livestock, and dairy) throughout high school and college. They met as a direct result of the collegiate meats judging. They believe that judging teams can instill many good learning experiences in young people. This includes making reasoned decisions, standing up for your points of view, working as a team, and admitting your mistakes.
After returning to Pipestone, Philip enjoyed being involved with the various 4-H judging teams as an extension officer, including dairy, meats and livestock. He encouraged children to try something new and challenged them to become better. This extended beyond his time in extension when his children were judging as he felt strongly in the program and wanted to help him succeed. Samantha, Andrew, Hannah and Isaac all followed in their parents’ footsteps and helped assess livestock and meats during their time in 4-H.
Philip firmly believes that the more you know, the better. This mentality is part of the reason he started the quiz bowl teams in the county when he was on extension. Over the years he has coached many teams starting with the Cattle Trivia when his daughter, Samantha, was in fourth grade. He worked hard to develop the program even after leaving the extension. He encouraged kids who weren’t traditional upbringing kids to join in and learn something new. He ended up coaching for about 14 years and enjoyed working with a wide variety of 4-Hers and seeing their knowledge base grow. Laurel has also helped coach some general herding teams and has chaperoned many regional and national trips.
Philip continues to volunteer with the Sheep Committee at the Minnesota State Fair each year. He checks the sheep and is the track man for the livestock sheep show. He also set up the skill-a-thon part of the interview process with the sheep.
Berg’s children were part of the Sweet Strivers 4-H club. During this time, Laurel was very involved in many aspects of the club. She has chaperoned the Ditch Walk, Booth, Banner, Baking, Quiz Bowl competitions and worked at the Food Stand at the County Fair. Laurel was a club leader for several years. She enjoyed helping the management team achieve their goals and ideas for the club. In addition, she judged several categories of non-livestock related projects ahead of the county fair.
Philip and Laurel’s four children were very involved in the Sweet Strivers club. They held several positions with Isaac also serving on the Council of Leaders. During their time in 4-H, they participated in many different club activities. This includes ditch walking, baking, Halloween and Christmas parties, club demonstrations and many more.
With the encouragement of their parents, they exhibited several species of livestock at the county fair, including beef, mutton, pork, and poultry. They also asked some of their friends to try new species, which was great fun. All but the poultry were exhibited at the state fair by at least two of the children. The 12 Days of Fun has always been a highlight of the children’s year. Some of their children’s best friends come from their 4-H relationships. They enjoyed participating in judging or quiz bowl teams and became close friends with many team members. They also enjoyed friendly competition at the county fair. All of the kids participated in top notch showmanship and enjoyed helping other 4-Hers prepare for the event by helping them practice different species.
Philip and Laurel look forward to many years of volunteering with Pipestone County 4-H.