Smidt dives deeper into 4-H with summer internship

When the Pipestone County Fair begins Aug. 3, Lauryn Smidt will be both a 4-H member showing two dairy steers and a 4-H employee running the poultry, pet, dairy and rabbit shows.

Smidt, 19, has been involved in 4-H since she was in kindergarten, the first year she was eligible, and is now in her last year of eligibility in the program. She’s also the Pipestone County 4-H summer intern. She pursued the intern position to be more involved in 4-H.

“When I grew up I just kind of went through the motions, went to the fair, and my mom did a lot of the registering for us, and I kind of wanted to get behind the scenes and get everybody else registered and help get all the plaques and stuff ready like we were doing today,” Smidt said.

She started her internship May 23 and it will continue for 12 weeks until Aug. 18. She works 40 hours a week.

“It’s been fun,” she said. “I’ve put a lot of day camps on for younger kids.”

Those have included an outdoor craft workshop, a canvas painting workshop, a fairy tale day camp and a silly science day camp. Smidt said she’d enjoyed working with the youth the most so far.

Smidt is the daughter of Jeremy and Maritta Smidt and grew up on the family farm north of Pipestone with five siblings, including two sisters (one of whom is her twin) and three brothers. She said three of her siblings will also be showing animals at the fair.

Smidt has Red Angus cattle of her own, including two cow/calf pairs and a heifer. Her parents have a Black Angus cow/calf operation, raise dairy steers and grow corn and soybeans.

Smidt graduated from Pipestone Area High School in 2021 and has completed her freshman year at North Dakota State University. She is majoring in animal science and minoring in agriculture business.

After earning her degree, Smidt plans to either enter the work force or go on to graduate school to become an animal nutritionist. Either way, she plans to do something involving animal nutrition.

She said she thinks the summer 4-H internship will help prepare her for her future career because it involves communicating with people, organization and patience.