Mike Wolff of Gothenburg brings a mix of experience to the Dawson County Extension Office as the newest staff member. Wolff began his duties on April 10.
His aim is to increase the number of 4-H participants and promote the science and technology curriculum area.
“One of my biggest goals for this job is to recruit new 4-H leaders and members,” he said. “And, I would like to see more of the tech areas expand at fair with more youth exhibiting electrical, electronic, robotics and computer projects.”
Wolff is no stranger to the 4-H program. As a youngster, he was a 4-H'er in livestock and home economics projects. His association with Dawson County 4-H began in 1994 with a foster child and he became more involved when his daughter, Jessica, started 4-H in 2002.
He and his wife, Christina, are 4-H certified shooting sports instructors for the Antelope 4-H Club in Gothenburg. The couple also volunteers annually at the Dawson County Fair as superintendents in the 4-H Exhibit Building. In addition, Wolff has volunteered as a 4-H instructor for photography, woodworking and electricity summer workshops for several years.
“I think 4-H is a very valuable organization that provides guidance and structure for youth. Society today does not provide enough safe things for youth to participate in. In 4-H, you know where your kids are and you know that they will be exposed to learning opportunities that will help them become better and more responsible citizens,” Wolff said. “They will learn responsibility and civics. I have been involved in several youth programs and although others are great, 4-H is at the top of the heap.”
Wolff brings a lifetime of experience to the job. He worked in the agriculture and irrigation industries since graduating high school in 1974 at Valentine. He taught welding at Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture for six years and has worked with computers and electronics since 1983. One of his favorite pastimes is building computers for under-privileged youth.
Wolff was also a leader in a class 1 county school district near Gothenburg until the small schools were eliminated in 2006.
More recently, Wolff was an adjunct instructor at Central Community College. He has two degrees from CCC including Electronics and Industrial Technology/Mechatronics with endorsements in six areas. Currently, he is working on a bachelor’s degree in business/project management with Bellevue University and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa national honor society.
In his spare time, Wolff enjoys hunting, fishing and model railroads.
Since moving to Gothenburg in 1981, he has been an active member of the community serving on the Gothenburg Community Playhouse and Gothenburg Pony Express Historical Museum boards and being a member of the Lions Club. When their daughter Jessica returns from her first year at Washington University in St. Louis this month, the Wolff family begins a summer of 4-H activities, Relay For Life, deejay engagements, barbecue catering and community service.