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4-Hers to compete in national shooting sports meet, county to decide future of plat books

LAKE SHORE – Two Cass County 4-H high school students have won first place in Minnesota competitions to qualify them to participate in the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational later this month in Grand Island, Neb.

Brandon Mertens showed Cass County commissioners the bow and arrow combination he used to earn his first place in 4-H state archery.

Jace Hoemberg showed the board his $168 .22 caliber rifle he used to top others in the rifle division, some of whom used $4,000 rifles. Their instructor and coach is Jace's dad, Dave Hoemberg.

Mardi Harder, University of Minnesota regional director, informed the county board Tuesday there are 110 4-H members in the county, with 32 adult volunteers and 18 independent members.

She reported Cass and Crow Wing County programs have encouraged cross-county line participation to add 4-H members in both counties who can join their closest club or a club with their interests. That cross-border participation has increased club numbers for Pequot Lakes and Pillager areas, she said.

Clubs throughout Cass County long have had a fund-raising program to sell plat books to the public through contracts with distributing businesses.

Harder reported Tuesday the availability of electronic maps has drastically reduced public interest in buying paper maps, making plat book sales no longer profitable. The board approved canceling its agreement with 4-H to sell maps in the future.

Central Services Director Tim Richardson will research whether the county should continue printing paper plat books or move the book to strictly electronic form in the future. He will report back to the board.

Harder reported Jana Sampers has been hired as the new 4-H coordinator for Cass County. Her office will be in the county's Pine River government center. Samantha Stewart has been hired as the new SNAP education educator to serve this area.