4-H Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Joel Brendemuhl

Joel Brendemuhl, PhDDr. Joel H. Brendemuhl

Occupation: Professor and Associate Dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS CALS)

County of 4-H Participation: Clay County, Minnesota

Years Spent in 4-H: 9


“4-H taught me life skills I still use today, such as teamwork, patience, collaboration, attention to detail, a servant-hearted demeanor, organization, time management, and many others,” shared Dr. Brendemuhl reflecting on the impact of 4-H in his life.

Dr. Joel H. Brendemuhl is a professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, and currently serves as associate dean for the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. His responsibilities include curriculum development, advising and enrollment for the college. He held leadership positions in the UF/IFAS Department of Animal Sciences as assistant chair, undergraduate, and graduate coordinator. 

4-H Experiences

Dr. Brendemuhl was a 4-H member in Clay County, Minnesota. His projects included livestock and gardening projects. 4-H provided unique opportunities for leadership and advancing projects to the Minnesota State Fair.

He credits his mother as the one of the strongest influences in his 4-H career, and recounts her support and service as a 4-H volunteer for more than 30 years. He encourages parents/guardian to get youth involved, “4-H is a wonderful opportunity to experience activities and meet new people that doesn’t happen in a traditional school setting.”

Educational and Career Accomplishments

Brendemuhl earned his B.S. in animal sciences (1980) and M.S. degree in non-ruminant nutrition (1982) from North Dakota State University. In 1985 he completed his doctorate in swine nutrition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Upon graduation, he began his career as an assistant professor in the department of animal sciences at the University of Florida, teaching nutrition and swine-related courses and conducting research in swine nutrition. Dr. Brendemuhl obtained status as full professor in 1999, and has continued to grow his career in various leadership roles.

University of Florida Awards:

  • Teaching Improvement Program Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (1993, 1998)
  • Anderson/CLAS Scholar Faculty Honoree  (1998, 2001, 2012, 2014)
  • Teacher of the Year by the Honor Society of Alpha Zeta (2000)
  • Superior Accomplishment Award for Faculty (2010)
  • Twice nominated for Undergraduate Teacher of the Year in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (2011)
  • Outstanding Advisor of the Year by the Block and Bridle Club (2009, 2012)

Dr. Brendemuhl encourages members and alumni to, “always remember the 4-H pledge, and implement it in everything you do.”

Are you a 4-H alumnus or friend of the program as a volunteer, advocate, or a supportive parent or guardian?
 Subscribe to the Florida 4-H Alumni + Friends Community for news and updates. You can connect with 4-H locally through your Extension County Office. Contact Caylin Hilton at grow4H@ifas.ufl.edu or 352.392.5432 for more information on supporting and getting plugged in with 4-H.

4-H is the youth development program of the land-grant university and Cooperative Extension system. The program provides hands-on educational programs and experiences for youth ages 5-18 with the objective of developing young people as individuals and responsible citizens. 4-H empowers youth to be leaders in their communities today, and for the future. In Florida, 4-H is administered by UF/IFAS Extension and Florida A&M University.


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Posted: December 14, 2022

Category: 4-H & Youth, Blog Community, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: 4-H Alumni Spotlights, CALS, University Of Florida

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