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Olson’s last Wadena County Fair: Retiring after 35 years of service

Bunni Olson shared her “Extension Bibles” volume one and two, that she created and maintained since she began at the Extension Office 35 years ago. These coveted binders contain every bit of correspondence, 4-H, fair information and more.

by Trinity Gruenberg

The Wadena County Fair was back in full swing after being forced to take a year off due to the pandemic.

Wadena Extension Office Manager Bunni Olson was hoping to get the new Extension Educator Kim Dailey through two fairs before Olson retires in February.

There have been about 200 4-H’ers the past five-plus years with approximately 150 of them participating in shows and exhibits at the fair.

“I think we were down a little bit coming off the pandemic. But I think next year you will see an increase,” explained Olson.

Dailey and Olson were both pleased with the turnout for the fair and the 4-H shows. Dailey explained they had some top-notch exhibits this year.

Olson, a Wadena native, began her career as she was simply looking for a job. She began just after the fair when she was first hired on, stating she has worked there for 35 years in August and through 34 fairs.

“I didn’t know what I was getting into. I wasn’t a 4-H’er myself and I didn’t know a lot about extension,” said Olson. “It turned out to be a pretty fun job.”

She explained the job ended up being a good fit for her as she loved gardening and learning about 4-H. She liked the people she worked with and the schedule was great for her. . .


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