Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on October 6, 2017 at 10:54 AM by Emily Saveraid

In 1914 girls’ club work began with a few scattered clubs that had canning. It was not until 1920 that garment clubs were organized. Prizes were awarded for the best garments. The first plan of club work was to teach better practices. It was not until later that the broader idea of service through training the girl for leadership and the giving of demonstrations was developed.

A boy’s acre corn contest with over one hundred members was also carried out in 1914. Boys’ club work in Greene County was started about 1920. This was in the form of livestock work for the boys. No baby beef club work was carried on in Greene County until 1923.

In 1920 the boys and girls had clubs for corn, beef, pig, sheep, poultry, garden, bee, canning, and orchard spraying and pruning. Students from the horticulture department pruned 23 orchards. The Greene County judging team won at the Four-County-Fair at Coon Rapids.

1923 was the first year for girls garment clubs. There were five clubs with 70 members. Two members won a trip to the Ames Short Course by winning a demonstration contest at the county fair, and two won trips to Chicago.

The county club committee had charge of the club work as early as 1923. Miss Josephine Arnquist, State 4-H Girl’s Leader, met with local club leaders who then organized clubs in their communities. Four training schools were held for club leaders during the summer.

In August, a club Rally Day was held in Grand Junction at which Miss Arnquist and Miss Beulay Rogers, one of the members of the Iowa Canning Demonstration team who toured France in 1924, spoke.

From 1922 to 1925 4-H girls in the county took clothing work because of the wide-spread interest in the home project clothing course. Home furnishing was first taken in 1925 and the Home Furnishing clubs were known as “Own Your Own Room” clubs. This was continued in 1926, followed in 1927 with a canning club, and with a bread club in 1928.

In 1925 244 boys and girls were enrolled in the various clubs. This was a ten percent increase over the previous year. Seven different clubs were conducted during 1924-1925. There were: Baby Beef, Dairy Calf, Sow and Litter, Market Pig, Litter, Purebred Gilt, and Home Furnishing. It was interesting to note the influence the various clubs have had upon the different parts of the community.

J.H. Hilton was the Greene County Extension Agent from 1924 – 1926.

The baby beef club had a wide influence in the county, in fact, a good number of the parents and neighbors of the club members have adopted some of the feeding methods used by the boys in feeding their baby beef calves. It has also brought about a keen rivalry between the different communities. The same can be said of the dairy calf and the pig club work.

In the baby beef club, 26 boys and girls were enrolled at the beginning of the feeding year, which was November 1924. Three boys did not secure calves, and three dropped out of the club soon after the first of January. Eighteen boys and two girls finished the work. The calves were one hundred per cent better than those fed the year before, and the members did a far superior job of feeding than was done the previous year. Three breeds, Herefords, Shorthorns, and Angus, were represented in the club. The Herefords led with ten head, Angus was second with six head, and Shorthorns had four head.

In 1925 Leona Mae Paup of Churdan had the Grand Champion beef. This calf weighed 570 pounds when it started on feed November 15th, 1924, and weighed 1210 pounds when it was shown on September 20th, 1925. This was an outstanding job of feeding. The calf was shown at the International Livestock Exposition at Chicago this year and placed third. The standings of the other boys in the senior Hereford class were: Forrest McDonald of Hardin township, second, Clifford Simkins of Grant township, third, Earl Day of Franklin township, fourth, and Charles Fields of Paton township, fifth.

Katherine Ayers showed the champion Angus and Florence Youngblood was in the Purebred Gilt Club.

4-H club work had influenced the county’s livestock feeding methods and farmers began to adopt these practices. An example is illustrated in this quote from the 1925 Farm Bureau records:

“Katherine Ayers was awarded the champion Angus calf. This calf was selected from her father’s herd of Angus and was somewhat of an inferior individual at the beginning, but she did such a good job of feeding that by fair time, many of the faults of the calf had been covered up and she deserved to win where she did. I know of no other club member whose influence has been more effective in her own home and community, as the influence of this little girl. Her father is a breeder of Angus cattle and up until this year he had disposed of his calves to his neighbors as soon as they were weaned from the cows. By feeding one of these calves, Katherine was able to show him the folly of selling his calves each year; so this year, and he says all other years, he intends to feed his calves himself. Also some of the neighbors adopted some of the methods used by Katherine in her feeding operations this past year.”

At the Greene County Fair all clubs in the county had exhibits. It was soon felt by the county club committee that health was an important problem and by 1927 a county health contest was sponsored. Zetta Rittgers was the health champion and represented Greene County at the State Fair.

Grain judging contests were held in 1929. Greene County received 1st place at the State Fair with Harold Harton getting a perfect score. That was the first time that had ever been accomplished and he won scholarships of $100 and $125.

By 1930 the 4-H girls had a county-wide Music Memory Contest in which 150 girls competed. The work done by 4-H members was stimulating community interest, but it was becoming difficult to get young people in clubs because of the expense of getting started. It was decided that money should be given to, and used for 4-H. Not only were young people learning valuable essentials in home making and agriculture, but were rapidly developing into community leaders. The necessity for leadership was unquestionably the greatest need existing at the time.

A new 4-H colt club was started in 1931. The 4-H uniform included a sailor collar with a bow. It was decided that 4-Hers must keep records and enter record contests. In 1932 came the first opportunity for Greene County 4-H girls to attend camp, which was held at the YMCA Camp northwest of Boone. The 4-H boys had already been attending a camp at Mineral Springs, five miles south of Rippey.

In 1933 Greene County sent 67 4-H girls to the Girls’ 4-H Club Convention, which was the largest delegation. Ruth Hastings was elected State Historian. That year Vivian Radebaugh of Greene County won a trip to Washington DC offered by the Des Moines Register and Tribune for “Best 4-H Club Record” in the state. The crops judging team of Dee Berry, Carl Hebner, and Royal Holz won 1st in the state, with the first ever perfect score.

1929 Style Show winners at the Greene County Fair.

In 1934, for the second year in a row, a girl from Greene County, Ruth Hastings, received a trip to Washington DC from the Des Moines Register and Tribune for the “Best 4-H Club Record” in the state.

The Greene County grain judging team of Royal and Russell Holz, Haven France, Buford McClurg, won the championship at the Iowa State Fair, and then went to the International Contest in Chicago to receive 3rd.

The 1935 the Greene County championship basketball team played at the District in Fort Dodge and won at the State Tournament in Waterloo. The grain judging team of Royal and Russell Holz, and Marshal Norman again won the State Championship at the Iowa State Fair.

In 1936 the “4-H Better Groomed Girl” Contest and the Style Revue Contest was held at the club level, and at the county fair. At this time it was determined that 4-H work had a definite relationship to the community through the development of leadership and the spirit of service through increased scientific information. 4-H members were better able to help in solving communication problems. A deepened sense of responsibility gained through demonstration work and cooperation in the club was carried over to community life. 4-H club work had dignified rural homemaking.

Of all of the problems 4-H had, that of securing leadership for clubs was foremost. At first women were timid about assuming leadership; and then leaders were so much in demand in other groups and organizations that it was difficult to always secure them as club leaders.

Among problems facing Extension in the county from the standpoint of 4-H club programs were the following: the need for reaching and developing younger women as leaders, for meeting the needs of the girls who were interested in the educational work, for reaching girls who most need help, for reaching more girls of club age, and holding the interest of 4-H girls so that a transfer into a rural youth group or adult Farm Bureau could be made.

Russell Holz was chosen Iowa’s outstanding 4-H club boy in the 1937 Des Moines Register and Tribune’s contest, and represented Iowa at the National 4-H Club camp at Washington DC. He was chosen outstanding boy in the United States, exhibiting in the Junior Feeding Contest, and he received a $300 scholarship to use at Iowa State College. Robert Clause and Mary Hawley represented Greene County at the1937 National Club Congress on the Iowa State Poultry Judging Team. Robert was 3rd and received a trip to the International Club Congress as a member of the state team.

Again the value of 4-H club work was addressed noting that 4-H work has enriched the lives of girls living in the county by dignifying farm homemaking, developing homemaking skills, training for self-confidence, poise, balance, leadership, communication, responsibilities, true sportsmanship, and social culture.

In 1937 and 1938 the 4-H slogan was “Every 4-H club have girls in uniforms”. The Greene County Livestock Judging Team was named champion at the Iowa State Fair, and then went to the National Contest at Chicago and won, and then on to the American Royal Show in Kansas City. They also attended the National 4-H Congress and Chicago International Livestock Show.

In grain judging at the 1938 Iowa State Fair Robert Clause was the high man receiving a $50 scholarship to Iowa State College. There were also poultry, carcass, dairy, and horse judging teams participating there. Robert Clause was interviewed by Herb Plambeck on the WHO radio station about his 4-H poultry club work.

At this time, the 4-H Club Committee questioned whether girls should be allowed in the livestock program. Their unanimous finding was, “girls enrolled in 4-H livestock projects are required to feed and care for their project and be accompanied at all activities including local club meetings, tours, and local and state fairs by at least one of their parents or other adult member of the family.”

In 1939 the 4-H Committee noted that “Good publicity is one of the best means of adding to the prestige of club work in the county, and of spreading information concerning the work so that more rural girls may enter the organization.” Genevieve Eklberg of the Paton Hustlers has appeared twice on radio programs; once on WHO in Des Moines on the Corn Belt Hour, broadcasting on her conservation activities; and once on the Saturday 4-H club program on WOI at Ames, broadcasting on her home beautification activities.

It was also recognized that former 4-H girls were assuming responsibilities in their communities as leaders in 4-H club work and home project work. Club girls were becoming the leaders in farm organization activities and were helping to promote improved standards of rural living.

In 1940 the goals for the food preservation project were specifically laid out. Each girl was to preserve at least the following items: 4 jars of meat of 2 kinds, 8 jars of vegetables of 4 varieties, 6 jars of fruit of 3 varieties, 2 jars spiced fruits of 2 varieties, 4 containers of jams or butters, 1 jar dried products, and 2 jars of soup. Then there were specifications on nutrients and food plans, plus those for personal activities and club work, including personal expense accounts and other record keeping.

Continuing the good publicity for 4-H, Elisabeth Clause was on Radio Station KVFD at Fort Dodge discussing methods of food preservation.

In 1941, and for several years, the county 4-H slogan was, “Every 4-H girl to complete her project.” Again specific goals were outlined to guide the girls in their nutrition project. They included: baking 8 quick breads, 2 whole cereal yeast breads, 2 white loaf breads, 2 variations of yeast breads, 2 butter cakes, 8 cookies – 2 each of drop, rolled, spread, and ice box, and 10 milk dishes plus goals for the vegetable garden, health exams, learning of songs, keeping a longtime record memory book, and 100 % attendance at club meetings.

In 1942 the girl’s 4-H program was geared to meet the changing situations, needs, and problems of youth in wartime. The major project, “Nutrition for Defense,” emphasized the basic principles of good nutrition. In a Stamp and Bond Program each club sold corsages to get war bonds, and reports were made to the State War Stamp and Bond Chairman monthly. Greene County’s Elisabeth Clause was elected secretary-treasurer of the state girls’ club organization at the State 4-H Convention held at Iowa State College. Mary Carmel Tiffany acted as her campaign manager. 

In 1943 the county rural youth group faced the problem of losing many of their members to the armed service and to jobs taking them outside of the county, as well as the members remaining having more responsibilities and more work to do. This affected the attendance of their meetings. It was decided in November that boys clubs would discontinue holding meetings until after the war. They thought that would be better than letting the organization die by lack

of interest. The Greene County Fair Board decided not to hold a 1943 fair, but after discussion with other organizations, decided to have a 2-day fair.

In girls’ club work, there was a reduction in the average number of meetings held per club during the year, due to scarcity of gas and tires. In the Food-For-Victory Program 115 girls made a contribution to the food production program by helping to grow, preserve, and store food for home use, and helping to relieve the farm labor shortage.

In a war campaign, Stamp and Bond Drives, “Outfit the 4-H Outfit,” was the slogan for the girls in the county. They were trying to pay for outfits worn by former 4-H members now in the armed services. In the 4-H Ambulance Fund, $13.55 was contributed by 4-H clubs to the National 4-H ambulance fund. The Salvage Campaign reported 77 girls collecting scrap paper and waste fat. And for the Red Cross ten clubs contributed to the collection of material for scrapbooks for convalescent men in the armed services. Five scrapbooks were completed, 20 dozen favors, and fifteen dozen book marks were made according to Red Cross specifications.

The war-related programs were carried on into 1944. Besides the Red Cross, where the 4-H girls cooperated with the Junior Red Cross by making bedside and kit bags, the Cedar Highland Club had two paper drives and donated the money earned from a memorial for Dr. O.C. Lohr. The money was used to purchase equipment for a room in the Greene County Hospital’s new wing. It was decided that all livestock club members must hand in record books by September 1st in order to receive premium money.

In 1945, Lois Jean Youngblood received a certificate for outstanding achievement and a $25.00 war bond for her Long-Time Record. Every active club contributed at least $2.00 toward the

Iowa 4-H girls’ club fund to educate a Chinese woman at Iowa State College who would take 4-H club work to China.

The Greene County 4-H girls led the state in the sale of war bonds in 1946 with a total sale of $87,199.75. The Washington Willing Workers led Greene County with a sale of $27,412.50. In the European Relief Projects 12 clubs sent boxes of clothing to Europe. Many letters of appreciation were received, which resulted in establishing pen pals from Denmark, Greece, Holland, and Norway.

At the 1947 Iowa State Fair Robert Holz had three Shorthorn heifers placing first, second, and third, including grand and reserve grand champion. Roger Clause’s longtime record book won him a trip to the National 4-H Club Congress.

The 4-H organization instituted the health improvement project in cooperation with the health committee of rural women, Greene County Dental and Medical Association, the Health Improvement Association, and the county nurse. Each boy and girl was urged to have a physical and dental check-up. Each club was given $.50 per member from the Health Improvement Association if all members were examined. Five of 27 clubs earned the reward.

There were 14 delegates from Greene County to the Girls’ State 4-H Convention, where Monica Tiffany from Greene County was elected State Historian.

In 1948 A. R. Clause adopted a new system of club competition called a point system for 4-H members. It strived for more club competition rather than competition between club members.

Boy’s 4-H Club Point System

1. Regular monthly meeting – (limit, credit for 12) 10 (ea. meeting)

2. Percentage of members attending meetings 1% = 1 point

3. Percentage of members attending judging work outs 1% = 2 points

4. Percentage of members participating in local club programs


during the year-(talk, demonstration or committee) 1% = 1 point

5. Percentage of members exhibiting at County Achievement Show 1% = 2 points

6. Percentage of members completing projects turning in record books 1 % = 2 points

7. Planned club program for year & copy in the hands of members 50 points

8. Club having demonstration at county fair. 50 points


If two teams, the second will receive 25 points

All over two teams receive for each team 5 points

9. County sports events – club represented at each event 24 points

10. Officers training school (each officer present in 1948) 5 points

11. Leaders attending local club meeting 5 points


Assistant leader attending (limit, credit two) 5 points

12. Leaders at training schools (limit, credit two at ea. school) 10 pts. ea. leader

13. Club having a committee member at one club meeting during the year 50 points

14. Delegate from club to short course at Iowa State College, & district camp 10 pts. ea.

15. Club present program at Farm Bureau or community meeting 25 points


A club must have at least 750 points to be eligible for any award. There were 12 premiums, the first place being $50.00. There was a judging school point system too that seemed to be quite beneficial.

The” Garden Seeds for Europe” was a state-wide project sponsored by the State 4-H club office and Greene County led the way for other counties in the state by being first to turn in their contribution of $321.00; or enough to buy 107 seed packets which would feed 642 for one season from the crops grown.

At the 1948 Iowa State Fair, Rodney Williams showed the champion Angus heifer and Robert Holz showed the champion Shorthorn heifer. Robert Holz took part in the calf scramble sponsored by Armour & Co. and caught a calf that was presented to him in October. He was expected to feed the steer for the 1949 International Livestock Exposition.

On June 1, l949, 230 boys and 7 girls and leaders from Boone and Greene Counties went by train on an Omaha Tour. The girls visited the Furniture Factory, Boys Town, Joselyn’s Memorial, the Union Pacific Museum, and had lunch at Bishops. The boys visited the Swift Packing Plant for a carcass demonstration, the livestock exchange with a trip through the yards, and Boys Town.

In 1950 the Greene County fair had its largest livestock show ever, with 124 baby beeves, 29 purebred beef heifers, 39 dairy cattle, and 70 pens of purebred and market hogs. A talent show was held for the first time in front of the Grandstand. 65 members took part under the supervision of the program director for WHO in Des Moines. Robert Holz had the champion Shorthorn heifer at the State Fair, and he took top honors in the beef heifer showmanship contest.

4-H publicity had been outstanding. Ruth Fielding appeared on TV and the radio. At the State 4-H Convention Jo Ella Shearman from Greene County was selected to read the “Country Girl’s Creed”.

Eighteen girls attended the 1951 Girls’ 4-H Convention in Ames. Patty West was honored by getting to recite the “Country Girl’s Creed.” TV honored 4-H when Jan Jewett appeared on WOI-TV singing, “Dreaming,” during the installation.

The livestock judging team of Bill Lawton, Tommy Fisher, Charles Van Gilder, and Dick Frantz took second place, out of 84 teams at the Iowa State Fair. In its second year of generosity toward 4-H work, the Greene County Farm Youth Foundation sponsored a trip for eight boys to Montgomery County, Tennessee. The trip was set up on a 4-H exchange idea basis. Because of this trip 4-H members had a better idea of the agricultural problems in other parts of the United States. They saw how tobacco, cotton, and rice grew.

At the 1952 Iowa State Fair Gary Williams of Greene County had the Grand Champion Angus heifer, and Ronald Frantz had the champion Hampshire boar. The Greene County 4-H boys and girls decided that the 4-H Achievement Banquet was not the place to hold a county election, so the 1952 county officer’s election was held by mail. Each club was asked to select a candidate, and qualifications were sent to the county office. All of the candidate’s qualifications were mimeographed and sent to clubs with ballots for each member. They were filled out at local club meetings and returned to the county office where they were tabulated.

In 1953, 15 girls attended the Girls’ State 4-H Convention at Iowa State College in Ames. Camille Buckner, of Greene County was selected to give the “Country Girl’s Creed” over WOI-TV. This was the first year the Greene County Youth Foundation sponsored a special award trip to Chicago. Five 4-H members were chosen for this one week trip. Highlights of the trip were: two test kitchens, two museums, the Board of Trade, Marshall Fields, the Planetarium, Aquarium, and zoo, along with many other attractions.

Five boys were selected from 23 to attend a Youth Foundation exchange trip to Pueblo County, Colorado. During their stay at farms and ranches the boys observed irrigation and ranching operations. Due to extreme drought and grass hopper infestations, the boys had the opportunity to see how these problems were handled. Other stops included: Kansas State College (the animal husbandry and agronomy departments), Manford Feed Lots in Greely, Colorado, and W.H.R. Herford Ranch in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Appearing on WOI-TV, Carl Watson told about the Montgomery County, Tennessee exchange trip, Doyle Bielenberg explained the Junior Swine Improvement Program, Bobby and Don Lawton described the Junior Cattle Feeders Program, and Gerald Clause represented the Greene County Youth Foundation and Extension Director. Three other shows in this series included Janice Carson with a piano solo, the Greene County Fair Board President, and two demonstration teams.

At the 1953 State Fair, Dick Wallace from Greene County had the reserve grand champion steer and Larry Barr placed first with his Angus steer. Clarence Meinecke won first place Purebred Hampshire Ram Lamb and first place Hampshire Ewe Lamb. With Larry Meinecke having the 2nd

and 3rd place Purebred Hampshire Ewe Lamb the two brothers made a clean sweep of the 4-H Purebred Hampshire sheep Show.

Because the majority of the 266 girls in 16 clubs, in 1954, were between the ages of 10-13, it was thought that the 4-H program must be geared to the young and their problems and the teaching methods must be readjusted to reach these younger girls. Since Foods and Nutrition was the major theme for the year, 45,000 meals were prepared, 8,800 quarts were canned or preserved, 4,800 quarts were frozen and 8600 pounds were frozen. 215 families reported improved diets.

It was thought that there was not enough music and recreation in the club programs. Few girls learned songs or learned to recognize music by listening to numbers, and few girls learned the folk games in the music program. It seemed more emphasis could be placed on some other phase of 4-H work for them, but as 4-H is to develop the many sides of a girl’s talent, then surely music was important. But 4-H was a wonderful experience for many Greene County families. Skills and new methods were only a part of the learning; being a good officer, working well on a committee, gaining poise and self- confidence by giving talks and demonstrations – these too were a part of the program.

The 1955 State Convention was held in Ames, June 15-18. One member from each club attended. Ruth Fielding was one of three girls from Iowa to be an International Farm Youth Exchange delegate to Denmark. And the director of 4-H work in Manitoba chaperoned a group from Canada to Greene County. They toured the county, and Iowa State College. He was impressed with the 4-H dormitories at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines and their method of handling their show. He was also impressed with TV and how it was used in education.

The youth boys’ and girls’ committees were named the Youth Committee by the Extension Council. Some of their reflections in 1956 were that older girls were dropping out and the need for advanced work being designed to interest these girls. Also recreation for boys and girls was a major problem, and all clubs should be afforded recreational training. Objective grading of record books fairly was a major problem and the County Committee and leaders should take an active part in grading them, paying no attention to the names on the books. And finally, the need to enroll all eligible Greene County youth and to carry on an active 4-H program in all clubs in the county by an active publicity program and personal invitation.

In 1957 a Music Festival Day was held in May. For the first time a 4-H Girls’ Chorus was organized to sing at Rally Day. Mrs. James Kearney was the director. The only requirements were to own a uniform and come to 2-3 rehearsals. 50 sang at Rally Day and it was a big success, so the hope was to have it again the next year.

A 4-H Girls’ Dairy Smorgasbord, in cooperation with the June Dairy Promotion committee, was held. Tickets were sold by clubs in advance, having a contest to increase sales. For promotion the girls handed out samples of cottage cheese, cheese dip, and potato chips in nearly all grocery stores in the county. Donations were received from creameries in the area. The girls served 750 people, and cleared approximately $300.00, making it a great success.

A new system was used for judging the 190 4-H record books that were turned in. One person judged all of the books, to be more uniform, and the reaction was favorable.

Eight boys and six girls were awarded the Youth Foundation Trip on the basis of their over-all 4-H club record, as well as other community activities. The boys visited several ranches in

Nebraska, Randall Dam and the Corn Palace in South Dakota, plus the Hereford Ranch and County Fair near Sioux Falls. The girls were driven to Chicago to see Midway Airport, the Cinerama, Marshall Field and Company, the Aquarium, the Museum of Natural History, Soldiers Field and more. The trip was sponsored by 36 businesses. Each group was given $300.00.

“Prevention of Marketing Losses,” an area of animal husbandry, was an emphasis in 1958. 135 boys toured Omaha, the packing plants, and Boys Town. The 4-H’ers paid their own $365 expenses. A recommendation from the county committee to 4-H leaders stressed that 4-‘ers turn in record books, not scrapbooks.

A herdsmanship award was added at the county fair. For a monetary prize clubs were scored on keeping the barns and exhibit areas neat, clean, and well cared for. Judges looked for evidence of: teamwork, education, interest, and creativity.

The County 4-H Spring Fling was the first annual 4-H skating and dancing party that was held at Spring Lake. Over 700 attended. 13 and under 4-H’ers attended first; then at 9:30 the party shifted to dancing for the teens 14 and over. This was the largest crowd ever on record at the roller rink.

The Youth Foundation Award Trip was awarded to eight boys selected for their outstanding long-time record in 4-H work. The boys went for a six-day camping trip through Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming, using a Shearman’s camping trailer and preparing their own meals.

The Greene County 4-H livestock judging team won first place in the state 4-H livestock judging contest at the Iowa State Fair. The boys then represented the county at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago. Members of the team were: Bob Kidney, 16, Ron McClurg, 16, Jim Scheuermann, 18, and LeRoy Wessling, 17.

In 1959 there were 1100 exhibits at the county fair. This was the first year exhibits were placed by club and not class for more caring of the exhibits.

The special activity for the 4-H boys was “Wildlife Conservation.” 150 boys planted shrubs and evergreens (35,000) in 13 wildlife areas. There were some joint boy-girl activities held this year, including officer training school and a recreation and music training.

The 1960 Junior Livestock Show at the Greene County Fair, August 7-11, was the largest and most successful one yet. Exhibited were: 156 baby beeves, 40 heifers, 7 cow-calf pairs, 104 hogs, 156 sheep, 22ponies, 2 poultry, and 11 pens of five beef.

The special activity for the year for the boys was a 4-H tractor program, because every boy works with a tractor and needs to know proper care and maintenance. Along with the 4-H Tractor Activity and with the Oliver dealer in Jefferson, 55 boys visited the Oliver Corporation in Charles City. On the way they stopped at the Eldora Training School for Boys. Then an agriculture engineer from Iowa State University conducted a county-wide workshop on tractor safety in Churdan. 200 boys and their dads attended.

The Greene County Farm Youth Foundation reorganized and new standards were written for the boys award trips. They were to attend . of their club meetings, complete 3 years of club work, participate in 3 county, or 2 state judging contests, give a county demonstration, and reach age 16. Eight boys were eligible to go to Washington DC for a 4 . day citizenship seminar. They visited the capitol, White House, FBI, Treasury, USDA, Smithsonian Institute, Arlington Cemetery, Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and Mount Vernon.

The girls’ educational trip was to Minneapolis again. The girls were given $15 to buy material for a dress for the Home Economist. They needed to choose the material and a pattern. The $800 trip cost was provided by money from the Dairy Smorgasbord and the Greene County Fair stand.

In 1961 the county had 604 girls and boys in twenty-two 4-H clubs with thirty leaders. This was the first year demonstrations were chosen to go to not only the state fair, but also the Clay County Fair in Spencer. In the past, the citizenship short course to the National 4-H Club Center was attended by 4-H boys. The trip had been so successful the girls were contemplating making the trip with the boys the next year. The standards were to be the same as the boys.

At the Iowa State Fair Jack Lorenzen had the 1st place Angus Baby Beef, and Steve Smith had the Reserve Grand Champion market lamb. Ann Luther received 1st and 3rd places with her Hampshire ram lamb.

An honor club was established in 1962, to keep older 4-H members interested in club work during their high school years. Boys and girls 15 . years and older were interviewed and 29 were asked as members. The group selected a service project and a leadership one. Then they wrote a constitution to state the purpose and clearly state the requirements for membership.

Of the 2,500 youth of 4-H age in Greene County in 1963, 23 % or 585 girls and boys were in 4-H. The County Committee looked at trends in 4-H agriculture projects since 1960.Their findings were that beef members, market and purebred swine litters, and garden, woodworking, electric, and entomology had increased. The horse and pony members had sharply increased, but dairy and market and purebred sheep decreased.

At the State 4-H Conference Ann Schilling was elected State Historian and received National honors, accepting a trip to the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago because of her leadership activities. In April she was chosen to attend the National 4-H Conference at the National 4-H Center in Washington DC, along with a scholarship.

Several projects completed by 4-H members raised $1000 to send Joan Allen, a well-known 4-H leader, to England to the bedside of her ill mother. She also received luggage, movies of her family, and tape-recorded voices of her four children so that her parents could see and hear them.

In 1964, to encourage 4-H members to broaden their interests, the county took fifteen 4-H’ers in a County Exchange program with Alpena County, Michigan. They lived in the homes of 4-H’ers there.

This year’s Rally Night, in April, was the first joint girls and boys one. After the election of officers the joint installation was held. Clothing was the project for the year. 1034 clothing exhibits came to the county fair. It was decided there was not enough time for judging the exhibits, so either they need to be limited, or arrangements needed to be made for more judging time.

This year saw the first 4-H Softball Tournament at Hyde Park north of Scranton. All clubs in the county took part and lived up to the 4-H motto, “Winning without bragging and losing without squealing.”

At the Greene County Fair in 1965 the 4-H youth were no longer able to burn refuse, so each boy was charged a $ .10 fee for disposal. As foods was the major project for the year, several community service projects included tray favors, bibs, entertainment, and caroling for the County Home and hospital, in Jefferson and Woodward, and Veterans Hospital in Des Moines were undertaken.

In 1966 Home Improvement was the major project for the year. The Foods and Nutrition and Clothing projects were carried too, but due to space only Home Improvement exhibits came to the fair. There were 810 articles. The Citizenship Washington DC Trip, that took place in August, had 36 members attending.

1967 was the only year the Greene County 4-H trip did not go to Washington DC. 22 4-H members went to Denver in July to study economic and social problems of Iowa and Colorado.

The Greene County Fair was held later this year, in August, instead of July. Jane Terrill showed the grand champion beef which her father had done 25 years earlier.

In the IFYE (International 4-H Youth Exchange) program in 1968, Chitra Manohar Oka from India stayed with the Robert Minnehan family. Ann Schilling brought home some crafts from her 6-month stay in Greece. She was one of six attending from Iowa.

Mary Zahner was named the 1969 Iowa winner of the National 4-H Safety Program by a representative of General Motors, and Miss American 1970, at the National 4-H Congress in Chicago. As a community service project the 4-H county officers presented $50 to the County Home as a donation for recreation equipment. The money was raised through a box social held during the boys’ county softball tournament.

Mrs. Dennis McGregor was selected to receive one of four 4-H Alumni Awards in Iowa. It was presented at the 1969 4-H State Conference in Ames. She was an 11 year member, on a state fair demonstration team, worked three years as a district camp recreation director, was county 4-H vice-president, and for three years was a leader-member in her local 4-H club. She was a state 4-H girls’ historian, was one of the Iowa delegates to Camp Miniwanca, and was an exchange candidate for the International Farm Youth Exchange.

The name of 4-H demonstrations was changed to presentations, to allow more freedom for youth to use their own creativity and ideas when they presented. The senior 4-H members held three meetings on world hunger problems this year, and discussed the problems of Yucatan in particular.

Joanne Hunter was named the 1970 Iowa winner in the 4-H Home Management program. She was one of 27 Iowa delegates to the 1970 National 4-H Congress in Chicago. Sylvia Hoyle of Greene County sang “I Hear America Singing” as part of the entertainment.

Stan Curtis showed the top gilt at the Iowa State Fair. It was out of a purebred Poland China Boar and an off-belt Hampshire sow from the Curtis breeding herds. He also showed the top Poland China March gilt and the top purebred pen of Poland Chinas.

The livestock judging team of Charles and Howard Holz, Randy Hedges, and Randy Cooklin placed 2nd out of 65 teams at the Iowa State Fair. A new event in Greene County this year was the girls’ softball tournament held at Cooper.

During National 4-H Week in 1970, a major effort was made to inform all youth about the 4-H program. Because of this a new town boys’ club was formed, the 4-Leaf Friends. Model rocketry was initiated with two college boys conducting project meetings. With the encouragement of Mike Minnehan, used photography processing equipment was purchased so that 4-H’ers could develop, print, and enlarge their own pictures. Also because of this club, a county-wide entomology project meeting was held.

1970 saw a new home for the Greene County Extension Office. It was now a part of four agricultural agencies in a new building on North Highway 4, in Jefferson.

For many years the county 4-H’ers were led by the Greene County boys’ and girls’ officers. In 1971 ten members were elected to serve on a council that would give leadership to the many 4-H programs during the year. The Greene County Boys’ and Girls’ Softball Tournaments continued, but a new project was the concession stand at the stock car races, which was done five times during the summer.

Ed Fitzpatrick was selected as Fort Dodge area council representative during the state 4-H Conference. The Greene County Dress Revue was held at the Methodist Church in Jefferson with 59 girls attending. They were judged on grooming, posture, poise, appropriateness for occasion, becomingness in color, texture, design, fit, accessories, and construction of the garment.

The Ames Hospital honored the 4-H members of Greene County, as well as eight others that collected 150,000 Betty Crocker coupon points for additional equipment for the unit. The first ever alumni picnic for county officers back to 1961 was organized by Terry Rich.

In 1972 there were 374 girls and 251 boys enrolled in 29 clubs in Greene County with 48 leaders. This appears to be the largest enrollment recorded in the county’s history. Educational presentation day was moved from the traditional summer date to March 31, and the number of presentations went from 35 to 100.

The photography project was becoming increasingly popular. Project meetings were held six times a year. A project leader and professional photographers did the teaching to 30 – 50 members per meeting.

The livestock judging program increased markedly under the leadership of experienced judging coach, Bill Fulcher. After many workouts Greene County received 4th at the State Fair. Members were: Tim Collogan, Tom Custer, Mark Young and Craig Lawton. Then they took second against 40 teams at the Little International Livestock Judging Contest. And at the National Barrow Show in Austin, Minnesota, Craig Lawton, Dan Tronchetti, Kurt Lawton, and Steve Peterson placed first among 4-H teams, and 11th overall in competition with 250 4-H and FFA teams.

At the Greene County Fair the Extension aide organized a talent show. All clubs had the opportunity to display the creative ability of their members. The response was so great plans were made to continue it in the future.

An article appeared in the National 4-H News Magazine that was written by Terry Rich when he served as extension aide in the Greene County office. The article referred to the mini-station Terry organized and used for broadcasting at the county fair. The radio station was operated by 4-H members under Terry’s supervision. The National 4-H News Magazine was distributed to Extension offices and 4-H leaders nation-wide. In response to Terry’s article the Greene County Extension office received requests from Illinois, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Washington, Louisiana, Michigan, Virginia, with three requests from Ohio for detailed information on how to set up such a radio station.

With the livestock judging program still increasing, in 1973, the team of Stan Curtis, Dan Tronchetti, Doug Hawn, and Joy Clause took first at the Iowa State Fair. They also did well at the National Barrow Show in Austin, Minnesota, and the Iowa State Little International in Ames. The team of Kurt Lawton, Jeff Sandage, Mike Holden, and Dan Tronchetti placed first at the annual Iowa Duroc Breeders’ Association show at Marshalltown.

Dan Tronchetti was named the Iowa winner in the 4-H Swine Program. He was one of 29 Iowa delegates to the 1973 National 4-H Congress in Chicago. He was also the champion showman at the Iowa State Fair. “Profitable swine production requires proper management techniques, including careful attention to health and feeding”, said Tronchetti. He was one of six national winners in the 4-H swine program. He received a $700 scholarship which was presented at the National 4-H Congress in Chicago, following a review of his records and a personal interview.

In 1974 the first Greene County Fair parade was held on Wednesday evening before the fair. The parade lined up at the fairgrounds and wound around the downtown square. It was followed by free ice cream cones by the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce back at the fairgrounds. Hugh Gannon showed the Grand Champion steer at the fair, which had a daily gain of 3.18 pounds per day. McAtee Tire Service purchased the grand champion, a 1215 pound steer, at $70.50 cwt. for a total of $856.58. The greased pig contest was initiated on Friday night of the fair in front of the grandstand.

New at the fair this year was a 9600-square foot all-steel building, located on the site of the former show ring building. The new building featured new aluminum bleachers with a seating capacity of 720, a square 60 x60 showring, four powerful lights above the ring, and 16-foot sidewalls. The cost of the building was $43,765.

Livestock numbers were down due to high feed costs and replacement costs. Small animal projects continued to increase in numbers.

At the 1975 Iowa State Fair, Bill Raney, a 4-Her from Greene County, was one of the two 4-Hers to escort President Ford through the 4-H building. Raney had been the past State Historian. The McGregor family band was asked to perform during the time President Ford was visiting the 4-H building. They had been at the State Fair Saturday playing during the “Share the Fun” program and later received a special request to play their half-hour show while President Ford went through the building. The seven member band, made up of mother and sons and daughters, played soft rock music, not unlike the Carpenters.

Kristi Holz was named a state winner in the 4-H home management program and attended the National 4-H Congress.

The Greene County team of Rob Clause, Kurt Lawton, Jeff Sandage, Tom Lawton, Teela Muir, Craig Lawton, and Doug Hawn placed first out of 54 teams at the 1976 Iowa State Fair. Jeff Sandage was first place individual.

In 1977 the pseudorabies situation changed the order of the county fair sale. Due to the pseudorabies issue the hogs had to all go directly to slaughter following the sale.

A new and challenging 4-H project emerged in the form of commercial beef pen of three exhibits at the 65th Greene County Fair. Beef of any breed or crossbred were eligible for exhibition. The commercial pens were not eligible for halter classes. They were evaluated in two areas, premium money and ribbon placings.

For the third time in the last six years Greene County won the 1978 Iowa State Livestock Judging Contest. The team of Kirk Citurs, Rob Clause, Tom Lawton, Kent Citurs, with coaches Paul Quam and Jeff Sandage were in competition with forty-five other teams. Individuals that were first in the state were: Rob Clause, and Kent and Kirk Citurs.

The Greene County Youth Committee decided to go with conference judging at the Greene County Fair. This meant that the 4-H’er presented their project and discussed it with the judge in order to receive their placing.

Mrs. Larry Johnston founded the Weary Waggers to establish a dog club as part of the Greene County 4-H program. Members guided their dogs through about fourteen weeks of obedience training in preparation for competition at the county and state fairs. This was the second year of its existence.

The Buckaroos served the special interests of those who had horse and pony projects. The club was designed to provide special help for those young persons who had selected horse and ponies for their projects. They were provided with special help that they would not receive in a regular club. The winter meetings were concerned with the care of horses and equipment, and in the spring members brought their horses to the fairgrounds where they learned the fundamentals and sophisticated rigors of show ring etiquette and performance.

In 1979 Temple Grandin, a consultant and designer of livestock handling facilities for feed lots, ranches, packing plants, and auctions was brought to Jefferson to speak on livestock handling.

A new 4-H and FFA dairy goat show was planned for the 1980 Greene County Fair. There was a lot of interest in the new show. Pam Thomsen was the superintendent.

Kevin Hoskins of Greene County showed the grand champion 4-H market lamb at the 1980 Iowa State Fair. To show their appreciation for Kevin’s achievement, the Greene County and Surrounding Area Promoters of 4-H, an ad hoc group, purchased his lamb for $1963.50. That was $16.50 a pound, by far the highest price ever paid for an Iowa State Fair 4-H champion lamb.

Scott Finneseth won the highest national award that could be given to a youth by the Appaloosa Horse Club Inc. Finneseth was one of just two young persons in the nation to receive the National Honor of Merit Award through the Appaloosa Youth Program.

“Your Children Your Promise,” Monica McGregor’s group, presented their program during worship services in the Rippey United Methodist Church. That year the program was changed to relate to the “Year of the Family”. They made appearances in churches all over the state, and in October presented their program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the National Council of Catholic Women. Members were: Monica, Dave, Bridget, Mark, Stuart, and Sheila McGregor, Pat DeMoss, Jeff Derry, Cindy Schirmbeck, Julie Bordenaro, and Cindy Gose.

Gary Hoskin’s lamb was selected Grand Champion 4-H Market lamb at the 1981 Iowa State Fair.

Special emphasis was given to 4-H leader and parent training on special subject areas and on writing goals and objectives for projects. As a result a new form was developed which was to accompany each 4-H project to the fair.

New in 1981 was a free gate at the fair, in order to boost attendance. David Morlan of Greene County swept top honors in the Hampshire division of the 4-H breeding sheep show at the Iowa State Fair. He won first place with his ewe lamb, his yearling ewe and a pair of ewes.

The first annual Leader’s Recognition Dinner was held. Twenty-three business and individuals in Greene County donated over $400, and the Greene County Porkettes and Pork Producers donated their time and the ground pork. The Greene County Council provided entertainment, with over 75 leaders and spouses attending.

Cindy Schirmbeck, of Greene County, earned the 1982 Iowa 4-H Citizenship award. She received a trip to the National 4-H Congress in Chicago. Cyndi Gose, also of Greene County, spent six weeks in Italy through the International 4-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) program. A new club, Scranton-Kendrick, was formed with Ruth Stephenson as organizational leader, and Bob Stephenson as livestock project leader.

In 1983, David Devalois was one of 29 Iowa 4-H’ers with a photograph in the 1983-84 Iowa 4-H Photography Traveling Exhibit. The works by Iowa 4-H’ers ages 12-18 were selected from more than 200 in the photography division at the Iowa State Fair. The exhibit was on display in nine Iowa cities through September sponsored by a grant from Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.

A new producer - 4-H market steer show was organized. The project consisted of a cow-calf producer in Greene County donating a calf to a 4-H member. The calf would then be shown at the fair, sold, and the check from the packer split 50-50 between the 4-H member and the cow-calf producer.

The Franklin Eager Beavers and the Hardin Happy Hustlers 4-H clubs voted to combine into the first co-ed club in the county.

The 1984 junior sheep show was one of the biggest county shows in Iowa. Dana Hamilton of Greene County, as the state 4-H sheep award recipient, participated in the 63rd National 4-H Congress in Chicago, IL. During National 4-H Week Dana was one of the state 4-H Council members with Governor Terry Branstad when he signed a proclamation declaring National 4-H Week.

In 1985 there was a major push to replace sexist club names. One club was even named Mixed Species. The “Youth” 4-H club was organized and led by Monica McGregor and Sheilah Pound. The group was organized into a music, communication, and citizenship 4-H club .The group’s citizenship responsibility was to the children of Africa, since 1985 was declared the International Year of Youth by the United Nations General Assembly, with the theme “Peace and Participation.” Julie Holz was an IFYE representative to Taiwan.

1986 was the 75th anniversary of the Greene County Fair, and despite the reduced livestock numbers in the county, it showed an increase in livestock entries. The Greene County Fair was the only fair in the Des Moines extension area to show an increase, and the quality was good.

Tracy Rowedder showed the top steer in the 1987 Limousin terminal steer show at the Iowa State Fair. “Spot” was judged as the first place winner in both the live judging and carcass contests. The 1320 pound Limousin was reserve grand champion at the Greene County Fair.

Malinda Miller’s photo of her brother and parents was the winner for the 1988 Greene County “Take Pride in Iowa Families,” photo contest, and a statewide finalist. She was invited to a governor’s award ceremony at the state capitol building.

Cleo Duff and Roger Clause were nominated for State 4-H Alumni Awards. Both had many years of involvement in 4-H themselves, as well as leading Greene County clubs.

The 40th birthday of the Iowa 4-H Foundation was celebrated at the 4-H Camping Center with the YOUTH 4-H club performing the music. The Youth 4-H club was one of two clubs from Iowa that donated $400 to the Iowa 4-H Foundation through the 4-H 400 program. The entire club was recognized at the 1989 Iowa 4-H Conference at Iowa State University. Alex McGregor began the club’s donation campaign as a result of attending the 1988 conference and being inspired by the clubs recognized at the time. He began the local campaign through a pop-can poster and the club joined in resulting in $401.55 given to the Iowa Foundation.

At the Iowa 4-H Recognition Banquet, Alex McGregor received the Iowa Citizenship award, and a trip to the National 4-H Congress in Chicago, IL.

A group of 4-H’ers assisted in sowing prairie seed on four acres of land in the John Waters Wildlife area east of Jefferson in a prairie restoration project. They were assisted by Dan Towers of the Greene County Conservation Board. A $1000 youth volunteer award came from an Iowa Conservation Corps grant. The 4-H’ers learned how to burn off pasture, set backfires for control, and clean a bed for prairie grass seed, as well as building four bluebird houses. Those involved were: Alex McGregor, Rod Kuebler, Melodie Murphy, Meshell Palmer, Jackie Coyne, Ken and Tim Hardman, John Green, along with adult coordinators Annette Anderson, Cherie Roquet, Towers, and the 4-H club leader Monica McGregor.

The 4-H’ers who participated in the 4-H Prairie Restoration project during 1988 received a national Group Conservation Award. A grant was received from the Iowa Conservation Corps to cover many expenses. The 4-H’ers developed a table top display, video, and album of the project that was displayed at the 1988 Greene County and Iowa State Fairs.

Gina Hamilton was crowned the 1989-1990 National Suffolk Princess, in Louisville, KY. She had served as the 1989 Iowa Suffolk Queen, and then in the spring she was crowned the Mid-Iowa Lamb and Wool Producers Queen for 1990, after serving as princess. She was a well-informed industry spokesperson. Eighteen members of the Youth 4-H club presented a musical tribute to Galen DeValois at a retirement open house held in his honor.

In 1991 the YOUTH 4-H club presented a Safety program to the annual Greene County Farm Bureau meeting, at Valley West Mall in Des Moines as part of Terry Branstad’s declaration of Iowa’s first Child Health Week. It was also presented to the Agricultural Conference on Safety and Health in Des Moines. Members participating were: Kristi Schwaller, Katie Turpin, Jennifer Costello, Wendy Roberts, Jackie Coyne, Joshua, Kristina, and John Hedges, Rod Kuebler, Meshell Palmer, Alexis Clause, Amanda and Tanner Taylor, Alyssa Friedow, Becky North, Connie Hurley, Eugene and Marie Norgart, Andrew Gettler, John Green, and leader Monica McGregor.

Pizza Hut in Jefferson gave personal pan pizzas to 4-H youth turning in, and having outstanding record books. An ultrasound test was conducted on over 150 head of livestock at the 1992 Greene County Fair, including swine, beef, and sheep. The ultrasound test on the swine determined the placing in the swine production test contest. The beef and sheep ultrasound tests this year were conducted solely for educational purposes.

YOUTH 4-H Life Skills club presented “Concentration on Conservation” in narrative and song as an “infotainment” presentation for Summer on the Square in Jefferson. They also sold samples of Hillary Clinton’s and Barbara Bush’s chocolate chip cookies as a fundraiser.

YOUTH club’s safety presentations were given eleven times to civic organizations, as well as to the United States Surgeon Generals’ Conference in Des Moines. The YOUTH club attended the National Safety Council Conference, youth division, in Orlando, Florida to receive the national runner up award for their efforts in promoting safety awareness for two years in Jefferson and throughout Iowa. Funds for the trip were provided by the Iowa 4-H Foundation, 3M of St. Paul, MN, “Successful Farming Magazine, as well as from much local fundraising by the club members. Those attending the congress included Wendy Roberts, Travis Crouse, Jeanette Reck, Kristina, Joshua, John, and James Hedges, Becky North, Andy Gettler, John Green, and Matt Thompson. The club leaders attending were Monica McGregor and Linda Hedges, with Randy Hedges and Alex McGregor as chaperones.

The delegation joined more than 250 representatives from eighteen states. As part of the event, youth attended sessions conducted by safety specialists on stress, substance abuse, AIDS, farm chemical, water, and motor vehicle safety. With more than 700 exhibitors, the National Safety Congress was the world’s largest display of safety and health products and services in the world.

The Greene Emeralds co-ed 4-H club was organized in 1993 with ten charter members. Monica McGregor, longtime Greene County 4-H leader, received a Jefferson Chamber “bouquet”, noting that “McGregor teaches the young people self-esteem, entertaining, helping others, and interacting with all ages. Volunteers are hard to find for these kinds of programs, and Monica should be an example for all of us.” The YOUTH 4-H club was featured in a “Successful Farming” feature article describing how the award- winning club taught safe farming and living with an entertaining style. National attention was received by the article in Successful Farming and the National 4-H Magazine.

At the conclusion of the YOUTH club’s safety presentations they held a thank you chili supper in appreciation of the support the community gave the club for the Safety Congress trip to Florida. Shirley Stakey, state 4-H and youth program assistant, spoke commending the group for its community efforts. The music and narrative of the “Priorities Review” was a take-off of the Disney World theme, including opening music by the YOUTH 4-H band, a vocal solo by Wendy Roberts, and small-group messages: adults and youth working as partners, agriculture safety, healthy lifestyles, esteem-building, and traffic safety. Vince and Larry (alias Joshua Hedges and John Green), safety belt crash dummies appeared, challenging the audience to “buckle up

There are no comments yet.
Add Comment

* Indicates a required field

© 2024 Iowa 4-H Foundation. All Rights Reserved.