March 1, 2012
By: Tom Coon
Michigan State University Extension 4-H educators and 4-H volunteer club leaders often see the results of their efforts immediately as they work with kids. They see club members growing into responsible and caring youth, often putting their skills to work to lead others. Although their numbers abound, we may not be aware that successful adults around us are drawing on the values and skills they learned as youth in 4-H. Dave Kugler is one of those adults.
Dave Kugler, owner and founder of Critter Catchers, Inc. in Ortonville, Mich., provides a much-needed service that we would rather not have the misfortune to need. His company specializes in ridding homes of unwanted creatures – the kind that you may hear scratching in the attic at night. The company’s team will trap groundhogs, squirrels, chipmunks, moles, skunks, raccoons, bats and opossums. And they strive to practice in a humane way.
Dave credits Michigan 4-H Youth Development with his success as a business owner. He uses the skills in project management and leadership that he learned in the Bits-N-Spurs 4-H Club in Lapeer County. More importantly, he relies on the values that he incorporated into his lifestyle by being an active 4-H’er.
Dave believes that the description of 4-H Revolution of Responsibility closely fits the mission of his company. The 4-H Revolution of Responsibility is a movement for positive change in every community in America. It’s about 4-H’ers seeing a need in the community and then stepping up to take action. Dave continued using what he’d learned and experienced in 4-H to assist the community with humane animal control solutions.
Dave plans to help current 4-H members be part of that revolution as well. Critter Catchers recently established the Critter Catchers Agricultural and Social Entrepreneurship Grant for Lapeer County 4-H members. This program will help several 4-H’ers raise livestock this summer. Normally, members auction the livestock at the county fair and keep the proceeds. Members using the grant funds must distribute the proceeds to the Michigan-based nonprofit organization of their choice. Through this grant opportunity, youth learn about raising livestock, have an impact in the local community and help a cause in which they have a passion.