Britney Kaufman hired as interim SDSU Extension 4-H animal projects coordinator

SDSU Extension
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — Growing up, Britney Kaufman and her sisters spent most of their free time working with their 4-H livestock.

“Showing livestock was our passion,” said Kaufman. “Now that I’m an adult, I can see where showing livestock was not only a fun experience, but it provided real-life lessons. It takes commitment. It’s not something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of hard work. There were times I wanted to quit, but I had to remind myself why I started.”

As the Interim SDSU Extension 4-H animal projects coordinator, Kaufman will help provide similar experiences and life lessons to South Dakota youth. In this role she will provide statewide leadership in delivering project-based learning focused toward youth audiences and volunteers. Kaufman will work to advance learning aspects of youth experiences through animal projects, and she will facilitate discussions and gather input from producer groups, agribusinesses and governmental agencies to identify ongoing and emerging needs of youth, to better develop project coordination related to animals and much more.

“When it comes to 4-H animal projects, a large amount of learning goes on beyond exhibition events. Britney has the experience and background to enhance these learning opportunities and experiences for youth across South Dakota,” said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program director.

Kaufman is eager to help educate youth about career opportunities throughout the livestock industry.

“To me, it’s the real-life aspect of what they learn from 4-H that is more important than the ribbons and plaques. Many 4-H members will remain involved in the livestock industry after college. They may return to their family’s farm or remain involved some other way,” Kaufman explained.

As a student at South Dakota State University, Kaufman was a member of the collegiate livestock judging team. She also served as assistant coach of the team.

After graduating with an animal science degree, Kaufman returned to her family’s diversified crop and livestock farm near Oldham, where she operated a small farrow to finish hog operation.

Prior to joining the SDSU Extension team, Kaufman also balanced off-farm employment, working as an operations manager for her family’s alternative ag crop production business and as a bank teller for First American State Bank.

“I’ve had the unique opportunity to see both sides of the livestock industry. I’ve been heavily involved in the show industry, but I’ve also been actively involved in my family’s farm,” Kaufman said.

As a 4-H alumnus, Kaufman has actively volunteered with Kingsbury County 4-H, helping with local livestock shows and assisting 4-H members with their livestock projects.

“I can definitely say I owe a lot of who I am today to 4-H. And, I realize it is important to give back to today’s youth,” Kaufman said. “It’s so rewarding to see kids have an experience through 4-H that I know they will remember 20 years from now and will want their kids to be a part of someday.”