Posted on April 10, 2017 at 4:44 PM by Emily Saveraid
Monona County’s first 4-H Club started in 1923 called the Jordan Sunshine 4-H Club with Mrs. Joe Bellis as leader. In 11925, Agnes Larsen and Alice Norby, members of the Jordan Sunshine Club, went to the state fair with a clothing demonstration and won 4th place.
In 1932, the Spring Valley Township Club with Marian Alberty as leader, started. By 1938, three more clubs began with Soldier Township Club – leader Ralph Oldham, Willow Township Club – leader Dwight Gorham, and Jordan Township Club – leader E.C. Lee and Walter Hadden.
There 12 boys clubs and 10 girls clubs in Monona County by the 1940’s. The Franklin Go Getters Club started in the 40’s and has had the same name throughout the years to the present time. Jill Hausman from Onawa has been the leader since 1986 with the club being community service oriented. They have done fund raisers and written grants to provide funds for several sets of playground equipment at parks in Onawa besides many other projects in the community.
In the 1960’s Monona County had the most participation in 4-H with 19 Agriculture Clubs and 25 Home Economics Clubs.
Phyllis Persinger from Onawa, started the Discover 4-H program in 1988 for Monona County. This program introduces third graders to 4-H before they are old enough to become regular community club members in fourth grade and continues to go strong.
In 1996, Monona County started a program called “Clover Kids” for youth kindergarten to second grade. There are three clubs in various locations in the county that meet in the spring with a program that lasts for a month.
Three people in Monona County have been honored for the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame title from their valuable contributions to 4-H. In 202, Larry DuVal, Onawa, was honored. Larry started working with youth through the ISU Extension 4-H Program in 1957 in Fremont County. In 1963, he joined the Monona County ISU Extension Staff. Through his 33 years in Extension, Larry was devoted to teaching youth skills for the future including safety and education in shooting sports, crop and livestock production, camping, record keeping, tractor school, farm safety, gardening and photography.
In 2003, Betty Jane Gorham, Soldier, was honored in the 4-H Hall of Fame. Betty Jane joined the Jordan Sunshine 4-H Club in 1930, being 10 years old. She was a member all through her school years. Betty Jane became a country school teacher and then married. She immediately got involved helping 4-H Club members with their project. As soon as her 2 sons, were old enough to enter the Monona County Fair, she became a 4-H mother and in 1955 a 4-H leader and continued for many years.
In 2004, Mary Jane Brown of Turin was selected as Monona County’s 4-H Hall of Fame honoree. Mary Jane has been a strong supporter and contributor in Monona County for over 30 years. She served on the Monona County Youth and 4-H Committee and was the leader of the Blencoe Bonnie Belles 4-H Club for 11 years. Mary Jane continues to work with clubs and individual members as county communications 4-H project leader and county fair superintendent.
Monona County currently has 8 community 4-H clubs in addition to Discover and Clover Kids.
At the 2005 Monona County Fair celebrated the 100th anniversary of the existence of the county fair.
In 2006 Wendall Lown of Castana was selected as Monona County 4-H Hall of Fame. Wendall joined 4-H in 1936 and when an adult, was swine project leader and fair superintendent, having 4-H in his life 70 years.
In 2007 Lettie Thrift of Onawa was honored in the 4-H Hall of Fame. She was a 4-H member in Mills County in 1922 and active in 4-H becoming a 4-H club leader in 1953 and returned to Monona County in 1956 as a Monona County Home Economist and closely involved with county 4-H Clubs the next 23 years before retirement.
In 2009 Irene Lantz was honored in the 4-H Hall of Fame. Irene was a 9 year 4-H member in Woodbury County and was recognized for 30 years of volunteer service in Monona County in 2009 serving as a 4-H Club leader and 4-H County fair superintendent for clothing and clothing events.
In 2010 Geri Johnson was honored in the 4-H Hall of Fame. Geri has served on Monona County Extension Council since 2003 as well as Extension 4-H and Youth Committee. She helped establish the Ricochet Extension youth leadership program in Monona County through recruitment, donations and teaching.
In 2011 Bob and Fran Haack of Whiting were honored in the 4-H Hall of Fame. Bob and Fran have been dedicated serving youth through the years as parents, teachers and through 4-H. Bob has served on Monona County Extension Council for 17 years and provided leadership as chairman since 1998. Fran has served as 4-H fair clothing event superintendent since 2003 and started the first 4-H Clover Kids program in Whiting.
In 2012 Jill Hausman was honored in the 4-H Hall of Fame. Jill was recognized for 25 years of volunteer service in the Monona County 4-H program. Jill was a 9 year 4-H member in Monona County. She has been a devoted 4-H leader leading her club in improving the community through multiple service projects.
In 2013 Sharyl Bruning was honored in the 4-H Hall of Fame. Sharyl was recognized for 25 years of service in the Monona County 4-H program in 2009 and recognized 4-H leader of the year in 2004. Sharyl was a 9 year 4-Her and her 3 children were all active 4-H members.
In 2014 Dave Hausman was honored in the 4-H Hall of Fame. Dave was recognized for 25 years of volunteer service to the Monona County 4-H program in 2007 and in 1985 was recognized as a Monona County 4-H alumni. He made a valuable contribution to the county youth program by serving as Monona County swine superintendent for all those years. Dave was a 9-year member of the Franklin Go-Getters 4-H Club growing up in Onawa. Dave and Gloria’s children and grandchildren have been active as participants and leaders in 4-H and other Extension programs.
Monona currently in 2014, has 6 community 4-H clubs in addition to Discover, Clover Kids and special interest clubs of 4-H Shooting Sports, 4-H Cooking Club, 4-H Outdoor Club and 4-H Lego Club.
Monona County 4-H Foundation College Scholarships 2014
The Monona County 4-H Foundation was created in 1998 to ensure current support for local youth and for on-going local educational youth programs. County 4-H college scholarships are made possible through the foundation by continuous donations and support from individuals, families and businesses. This is the sixteenth year that we are pleased to present college scholarships to eligible 4-H members from the foundation bringing the total scholarships awarded to 165 for a total of $31,050 paid.