Hi! My name is Sam Stokes and I am an AmeriCorps member serving at MSU Tollgate Farm as an Oakland County 4H SPecial INterest Programs Coordinator. I am a 4H alumnus who spent 10 years caring for my family’s dairy goat herd, the Charmed Alpines, and showcasing our alpines and toggenburgs at county, state and national shows. I also participated in a number of still-life, chicken, horse and hog projects with the Paint Creek 4H club of Washtenaw County. After graduating from Milan High School leaving the family farm, I spent four years in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where I completed a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology & Management and Environmental Studies. Since graduating, I have returned home to pursue graduate school opportunities and start a career in sustainable community conservation. Luckily for me, Tollgate Farm is the first stop in my post-college journey. I am thrilled to once again be a part of 4H and could not be happier to contribute to the great work being done within AmeriCorps and MSU Extension.
After several weeks of planning, curriculum writing and outreach, my first SPIN clubs are finally ready to start! Over the several months, myself and Oakland County volunteers will work to provide students with the opportunity to explore topics in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math through short-term “SPIN” clubs. By partnering with Oakland County schools, camps, cultural centers and farms to offer these clubs, I aim to provide hands-on programing that inspires students to engage in “real world” issues and develop passions for STEAM topics such as agricultural science, environmental issues, wildlife management and livestock husbandry.
Do 4H SPIN Clubs seem like an activity you or your child would like to be involved in? Opportunities are on their way! Keep an eye out for updates in the Tollgate & 4H Newsletters as well as on social media. Are you interested in volunteering or starting a SPIN Club at a location near you? Great! Feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at (248)347-3860 so that we can discuss what topics your students are interested in pursuing!