Sophie Kodet, who is 12 and is in the seventh grade, is also a member of the Golden Gophers 4-H Club in Redwood County. She has been able to take part in the 4-H program since she was eligible as a Cloverbud, but she remembers going to meetings at a much earlier age as her sisters have also been part of the program.

Since Kodet was six years old, she has been riding horses, adding being around horses has always been something she enjoys.

In 4-H, Kodet found a way to bring her interest in horses together in an environment where she can learn, be with others who have a similar interest and can compete. 

Finishing her sixth-grade school year, Kodet became eligible to move on to the state level as a 4-Her this year, and in her first year she qualified to compete in several events. At the end of the state show, Kodet had placed first amongst those finishing sixth grade in the Key Race, barrels and Jumping Figure 8.

Kodet, who brought home three trophies, said she did not expect to do as well as she did at the state show.

“I just wanted to place,” Kodet said.

Her mom, Rondi, added for Sophie the best part was taking the victory lap. Kodet agreed that was fun.

Although it was her first time at state, Kodet went in with some competition experience, as she has participated in rodeos with her family for some time. This year she also joined a 4-H program known as Western Heritage that challenges her riding and roping skills in various events, such as cattle herding and goat roping.

Kodet said she started in the horse project as a Cloverbud, adding in the first year she actually showed one of her sister’s horses. Now she has two horses of her own, and this year she took her Quarter Horse, Breeze, to the county fair and state show.

In addition to participating in the horse project, Kodet is also involved in the dog project and took the family’s two dogs, Mack and Mickey, which are Australian Shepherds. Kodet participates in a variety of events in the dog show from agility and showmanship to obedience to rally.

This past year at the fair, Kodet also showed a prospect calf, and she is hoping to do that again next year.

Kodet has demonstrated her commitment to her projects in various ways, as she attends practices regularly and does her own work at home. Her mom added she will be out riding during the winter months donning her winter jacket and a pair of goggles.

The 4-H program has been a very positive one for Kodet, as she has been able to experience various activities as a member of her club. She has also been able to meet new friends and serve her community through 4-H.

This year she is also developing leadership skills, as she was recently elected to serve as the treasurer for her club.

Kodet said she would encourage others to get involved in 4-H, too, adding it is a lot of fun, and she has learned a lot being a part of it.

“It is a good way for you to be able to show your projects and crafts,” Kodet said. “You can make a lot of friends and try new things.”

To learn more about the 4-H program in Redwood County, contact Stacy Johnson, Redwood County 4-H program coordinator, by calling the Extension office at (507) 637-4025. Information can also be found at extension.umn.edu.