The De Smet News

Growing YOUth program successful in its first year

Growing YOUth program successful in its first year

As the new school year begins, the first local Growing YOUth program comes to a close with the last YOUth garden sale from 5-7 p.m. Thursday near the Kingsbury County 4-H grounds.

The program was founded by Britney Kaufman of Oldham and Beth Poppen of De Smet, both of whom grew up on small farms in Kingsbury County.

The main mission of Growing YOUth is to provide quality programs where youth can develop a passion for the rural way of life while making new friends and new experiences.

Market swine and garden produce were the two project areas offered to youth in both Hamlin and Kingsbury Counties.

Kaufman and Poppen said that they love working with kids and wanted to share some of the opportunities they were exposed to on the farm helping with gardening and livestock.

Both are South Dakota State University graduates and Kaufman said that they are excited to be back in Kingsbury County where their love of agriculture began.

Kaufman added that she and Poppen had people they looked up to in their growing up years, and they feel it is time to give back to the next generation of youth.

They admit that when they made the decision over brunch to start the program, they had no idea how the first year would go.

Kaufman said that the backing they received from the community has been more than they could have ever imagined. “It makes us even more motivated to know we have the community’s support,” she said.

“We were very pleased with how things went for the first year and I think we would both like to see it continue,” Poppen said.

She and Kaufman plan to meet and discuss the details of what worked and didn’t work in the program this year and decide how they can better manage it as it grows.

Posted on 08-23-2017

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