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Dr. Maryanne Sandberg joins 4-H Hall of Fame

Dr. Maryanne Sandberg has been inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame.

Dr. Maryanne Sandberg, to nobody’s surprise but her own, has been inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame.
Sandberg will be officially honoured during an induction ceremony at the annual 4-H Leaders’ Conference in Red Deer on Jan. 15.
“I was very surprised . . . humbled, and yet tremendously honoured, that anyone would consider me worthy of being inducted into such an elite group that already exists in the 4-H Hall of Fame,” Sandberg said.
Sandberg has been involved in 4-H since 1987 when she first got involved as a parent with the Midnight Riders 4-H Light Horse Club in Fort Macleod.
Sandberg became an assistant leader the next year, then a leader, and was with the club for almost 10 years before becoming involved with the Willow Creek Wranglers and then the Fort Macleod 4-H Beef Club.
From there she held executive positions with the Willow Creek 4-H District Council, the Southern Regional 4-H Council, and the Alberta 4-H Council, receiving numerous awards along the way.
Sandberg is presently chair of the 4-H Foundation of Alberta board of directors, which is responsible for the financial well being of 4-H programs in Alberta as well as the operation of the Alberta 4-H Centre at Battle Lake west of Wetaskiwin.
“You name it, I probably have done it . . . or at least tried it,” Sandberg said of her involvement in 4-H over the course of 23 years.
The thing that has endeared 4-H to Sandberg is the way it helps young people at a very practical level. She spoke of one incident in particular from years back. 
“It was during my first years as leader of the Midnight Riders Light Horse Club,” Sandberg reflected. “We had a first-year member who had a lisping problem. When he got excited it was terrible. When it came to public speaking he was terrified to speak in front of a crowd.”
“So we got him to talk to just us leaders about his topic — it was about an orphaned foal, and when he was talking to us about it, we noticed he was not lisping.”
“So we decided that he could give his speech to just his club members — he was okay with that — and see what happened.”
“Well, according to his Mom, he practised and practised every night. He did give his speech, and only once or twice did he lisp.”
“But,” Sandberg went on, “his mom came a few months later to a meeting and presented myself and the other leader with a letter from this young lad’s school teacher — she did not know what or how we did it — but that young man overcame his fear of talking in front of his classmates at school and hardly lisped at all!”
“The next year that same young man came back and did compete at the Club level. Again he did not win . . . but in my heart, he did.”
“That’s what the 4-H program is about,” Sandberg said. “It’s not the projects — it’s about helping the kids and their personal development, the leadership skills, business skills, camps, friendships, teamwork, and so much more.”
Sandberg is also a veterinarian, having worked in various southern Alberta clinics over the course of 27 years before retiring in 2002.
When she isn’t out there somewhere looking after 4-H in Alberta, is also president of the Fort Macleod and District Agricultural Society.
She also helps out on the farm. “When my son and husband need me,” Sandberg said.
“And I love taking time with my grandkids . . . who will be in 4-H some day soon.”

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