Raising a horse is no easy thing, just ask any 4-H member who devotes their time to horses.

Raising a horse is no easy thing, just ask any 4-H member who devotes their time to horses. Morgan Johnson of rural Montevideo knows what it takes. She is the daughter of Ed and Kathy Johnson, and she recently received the highest honor that can be awarded to a 4-H member in Minnesota: the Dan Patch award.

The Dan Patch award is based on an individual’s overall achievement, leadership, and service, and is awarded to one individual in grades 10-12 in a group of 10 finalists each year.

The Dan Patch Program was held at the State Horse Show at the state fairgrounds in St. Paul. Morgan’s project for the program consisted of two phases. For the first phase, she had to write a two-page resume, an eight page portfolio and a one page cover letter. For the second phase of her project, there were three parts.

For the first part, she had to do a 45 minute interview with two judges, where they asked 10 questions, two of which were about horses.

The second part was a group problem to see how the contestants worked with others, and the third part was a seven to 10 minute presentation about anything in front of two judges.

Morgan has been in 4-H since she was a sixth grader. Around that time, she noticed that a lot of kids did really well with their horses, but were not being recognized for the time and effort they put in them.

“When I was younger, there was a girl who had a really good horse, but never made it to the horse show. There were a lot of local 4-H kids putting in the effort, but not getting to the next level,” said Morgan.

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