Critter Catchers establishes ‘Agricultural and Social Entrepreneurship Grant’ for Lapeer County 4-H members aspiring to be successful future business owners
Jan 30, 2012
Ortonville, Mich. — “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a daunting question for most teens, but David Kugler was already thinking “Successful.” As a member of Bits-N-Spurs in Lapeer County, Dave was learning from real-world experience and benefiting from 4-H opportunities.
One of his first projects involved raising Ringneck Pheasants to help replenish the population in Michigan. The challenge involved planning the installation of a suitable pen, raising chicks to maturity, and releasing mature flying birds into a suitable habitat. “The program really helped me understand the importance of project management at a young age,” said Dave Kugler, president of Critter Catchers. “After investing in the pens and putting in all that hard work to raise the pheasants, I developed a deep sense of accomplishment.”
Three decades later, Dave is the owner of Critter Catchers, Inc., a southeast Michigan-based wildlife control firm. Kugler is helping to foster that same sense of accomplishment and positive values to today’s 4-H members with the ‘Critter Catchers Agricultural and Social Entrepreneurship Grant’ for Lapeer County 4-H members. The grant’s objective is to foster an entrepreneurial spirit to benefit the community.
The grant provides funding that enables several 4-H members to purchase and raise livestock for auction at the annual fair. Proceeds from the auction are split between replenishing the grant for future 4-H members, and donating to a worthy charity chosen by the 4-H member. This project empowers 4-H members to make a difference in their community and learn vital business skills in a real world setting.
“My favorite part about operating a business is that it provides a creative outlet. I enjoy teaching others about entrepreneurship and ways that it can be used to benefit others in need. This grant requires the applicants to develop their own business plan where they consider marketing strategies and expenses to bring livestock to market,” said Kugler, president of Critter Catchers. “I believe this grant will help members develop a passion for business and deepen their compassion for others.”
“I am really excited about this project because it involves a former 4-H member who is now a successful businessman in part because of his 4-H experiences, giving back to the community. His grant is creating opportunities for other young people to experience a 4- H project and learn valuable lessons that can help them be successful in life,” says Patricia Waugh, Lapeer County 4-H Educator. “It will be interesting to see what community charities the 4-H member will choose to support and how they will market their project to bring in additional bidders at the 4-H/FFA Livestock Auction on August 9, at the Eastern Michigan Fair in Imlay City. “
The initial grant totaled $1,200, and is currently available to active Lapeer County 4-H members possessing the passion, creativity and aptitude to successfully complete the project. For more information about the “Critter Catchers Agricultural and Social Entrepreneurship Grant, contact Patricia Waugh at Lapeer County Extension Office, 810 667-0343 or waughpat @ anr.msu.edu. In Michigan, 4-H is the youth development outreach of Michigan State University and is available through an MSU Extension office in each county. MSU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.
About Critter Catchers, Inc.: Founded in 2005, the Ortonville, Mich.-based Critter Catchers, Inc. was formed by David Kugler, an Oakland University graduate holding a Bachelors of Science in Biology, and a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering from Wayne State University. Critter Catchers provides animal removal services in SE Michigan and specializes in humane bat removal and other attic pests. Visit the Web site at # bats or call: (248) 432-2712.
About 4-H: 4-H is one of the world’s largest youth development organizations, found in more than 70 countries. In the United States, 4-H is a community of six million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of 4-H National Headquarters. Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org and on Facebook at lapeer 4-H or www.facebook.com/4-H. In Michigan, 4-H is the youth development outreach of Michigan State University and is available through an MSU Extension office in each county. MSU is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.